Just before Christmas I came to a tentative deal for two books with the fantastic folks at DAW books. Seeing as the wheels of publishing turn slowly, it took a tiny bit of time to get all the details nailed down. Since then poor Marshall has been sitting on the knowledge he had finally gotten his dream. He wasn’t allowed to tell anyone because the contracts weren’t signed, witnessed and returned. After you read this (or before, it’ll still be here) go congradulate and comiserate with him, you can find him in several places on the intertubes.
Q: So who is this Marshall Ryan Maresca fellow?
Q: NightWing and Hawkeye get into a battle to the death; who wins?
Q: Your bio says you do some acting, would you want to play any of your characters in an adaptation? If so who?
You heard me!
Why are you reading this?
Oh wait. Let me guess. You’re that one person who has already bought, read, reviewed, and shared, on all your social networks The Broken Dragon? You know the latest in Irene Radford’s long running universe from DAW books?
That’s the book with this lovely cover:
I mean, honestly, between you and me (and the convieniently obsequious electrons helping us), I can’t think of any other reason for someone to be here right now reading this. Let’s be realistic, laundry, work, and the cat will still be there in a few hours, the book must be read (and the other stuff), now.
So stop reading. (Just share this post, eh?)
Find yourself a copy of Rayguns Over Texas, an anthology of fantastic fiction. There is a foreword by someone named Bruce Sterling who’s been in print since the 80′s, it is edited by Rick Klaw, and more importantly if features the writing of the amazing Marshall Maresca, along with more than a dozen others including Aaron Alston, Joe R. Lansdale and Michael Moorcock.
If like the rest of the explored universe you’ve been waiting impatiently for another fix of fantasy by marvel maker James Enge, you can breathe again.
In fact please, please breathe its very hard to run, walk, skateboard, or drive for very long. You certainly wouldn’t be able to do it long enough to make it to the store much less read the book.
In through the nose, out through the mouth.
One of the things that you learn as you study history is that at some point someone has tried to explain everything from positions that don’t hold water. As a young nation, which America still was in the early 1800s it was wildly xenophobic. Worse as a large part of the movers and shakers who built America were from England their reaction to the Irish either Protestant or Catholic wasn’t always pleasant. The Irish in turn lashed out. Despite getting to vote fresh off the boat, no bars on employment and often language barriers as even the Gaelic speakers were integrated into the police, fire, political and union machinery, they lashed out at blacks to bolster their position.
This link is a pdf that I tripped over the other day that takes a look at things: click here
One of the “lost” events of the civil rights struggle was the kidnapping, mutilation and murder of a 14 year old boy in the Mississippi delta for failing to follow the rules he, a visitor, was wholly ignorant of. Worse was the travesty of a trial afterwards. Simeon Wright is the cousin of that lost boy Emmett Till, and he tells the story as he lived it.
Simeon’s Story: An Eyewitness Account of the Kidnapping of Emmett Till by Simeon Wright
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
My only complaint about this book is that it isn’t long enough.
Simeon Wright plainly, and unbiasedly tells his part and memory of a dark, dark period of American history. Life in the Mississippi Delta in 1955 was precarious even if you’d grown up their and knew all the rules, Simeon Wright’s cousin from Chicago didn’t, and his life ended in the delta floating down the Tallahatchie river wired to a fan for whistling at a white woman.
Well told, good use of pictures and no grandstanding.
Not so incidentally, the Emmett in Pyramid Power by Dave Freer and Eric Flint is named after Emmett Till.
One of the things a lot writers have to do is jump outside the known, into the stark cold reality of “making shit up” and not just making it, making it up and making it sound good. If you’ve never left the southern tip of Miami, or live on a beach in Panama, you probably haven’t spent much time in the cold and snow. One of the wonderful things about snow is that it doesn’t merely fall from the sky and stay on the ground. It blows.
Trying to make it through the snow, on the ground is only part of it. It reflects light. It changes the shape of things, it can make it impossible to tell how far you are from something.
Even without the differences of night and day, the changes can be dramatic.
The boundaries of land, sea and air can get a little blurry.
If you missed it earlier, Irene Radford’s newest book is available. Go get a copy, and wrap thyself around it.
For those of you who somehow forgot to preorder, and missed Irene Radford’s blog post, and didn’t get to a book store, Silent Dragon came out this week. This video is a lovely interview DAW put together with the author.
The book is available in paperback, and multiple ebook formats.
Benjamin Benneker was not a space marine but that’s probably only because he never got a chance to work with NASA. One of the black men held up to show various small minded bigots like Jefferson that blacks were intellectual equals to the white slave owning, power holders. Among his other accomplishments was hand carving a wooden replica of a pocket watch that kept accurate time, and being a technical assistant on the first federal survey of the land that would become our nations capital. He wrote 28 editions of an almanac that was well regarded even in comparison to Ben Franklin’s, and he was almost an entirely self taught mathematician and astronomer.
This is one of the best books I’ve read in the last two or three years. If you’re looking for a larger than life figure to base a character on, Dr. Howard is the man. If you want to read about civil rights figures beyond Malcolm X, or Dr Martin Luther King Jr, Dr. Howard is still the man. It starts with some history of the area he was born and raised in, and follows his life closely. Beito and Beito do a job worthy of all the superlatives you can apply in bringing Howard to life.
One particularly interesting part is how the governor of his home state responds to the Knight Riders.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is an excellent book on an under-discussed, vibrant man who was critical to the civil rights era. He came before Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, or Bobby Seale. He mentored Rosa Parks and Medgar Evers and was the single best asset to the family of Emmett Till, and the prosecutors who went up against the White Citizens Councils and was an active part of the movement despite having a career as a surgeon and some expensive habits.
Dr. Theodore Roosevelt Mason Howard was:
a caring father
a big game hunter
a mediocre husband
atop the KKK’s most hated list.
A real American.