Showing posts from June, 2012

Looking for Reviewers

Anyone interested in taking a look at my new novel, Beyond the Rim of Space?  Right now we have the e-file available and if  you're willing to tackle an e-book, I'd be happy to send it to you--just ask that you post a review on Lulu and/or Amazon (when it eventually trickles its way through the Amazon bureaucracy to emerge as a Kindle book.

Oh, and for those kind enough to take a look at this blog from time to time, the alternative cover:  We had several while in the works, and the one above is the one--for a variety of reasons, that we settled on--but each had its merits.  Enjoy!

John Galt et al.

It occurred to me the other day, while reading a remarkable study of the figurehead and inspiration behind our latest round of privateering, that we've really missed the mark.  It really occurred after I attempted to watch Atlas Shrugged in its most recent film incarnation, not wishing to subject myself to the turgid prose and rancid philosophizing of the one person most responsible for the progressive decline of anything good to say about the libertarian ideal.  If  The Book of Mormon could spawn a highly successful Broadway appearance, why not Atlas Shrugged: The Musical,  or better yet, Who is John Galt?: The Musical. It could be paired with a revival of Springtime for Hitler  or Hitler on Ice: The Ice Capades Spectacular (as featured at the end of History of the World: part I). Think of the possible profits--the ability to exploit the poor and downtrodden--the possibility of proselytization.

On a more serious note--a more sobering and bracing study of the influence of Ms. Ran…

It's Easy Being Green

from The Amish Way
Donald B. Kraybill, Steven M. Nolt, David L. Weaver-Zecher

David Kline was green long before it became trendy. He summarizes his theology for eco-friendly living in these words: "If one's livelihood comes from the earth--from the land, from creation on a sensible scale, where humans are a part of the unfolding of the seasons, experience the blessing of drought-ending rains, and seek God's spirit in all creation--a theology for living should be as natural as the rainbow following a summer storm. And then we can pray, 'Help us to walk gently on the earth and to love and nurture your creation and handiwork.'"

On Using the Bible as a Bludgeon

From my Amish reading--a reflection on the proper use of Bible reading.

from The Amish WayDonald B. Kraybill, Steven M. Nolt, David L. Weaver-ZercherOne minister, however, cautions that "Bible reading and study is not good when you do it to find fault and criticize churches and people around you. There is a big difference between reading for your daily bread and inspiration, and studying the Bible just to be critical of others or to justify your own contentious and rebellious thoughts."
It is very important to remember that any interpretation of Scripture that is used to harm others or to coerce others very likely lacks authenticity.  If we fail in love, we fail.

Notes on The Amish Way

I will readily confess a deep interest in the Amish way.  Not the romanticized Witness and television drama version of Amish living, but in the witness the Amish offer of the possibility of another way of life--of being separate, apart, and yet whole.

Reading this wonderful book offers insights that go beyond what one might encounter in many books about the Amish.  It does not offer the usual proverbs, sayings, and superficial picture of buggies, bonnets, and barns.  Instead, we are offered a glimpse of Amish worship and how the Amish make meaning.

What is fascinating to me about all major faiths is the way that the emphasize a particular truth of the Gospel (often, I must say, at the expense of representing the fullness of the gospel).  What the Amish show, and represent powerfully is the notion of salvation within community--certainly a theme of Jewish Spirituality--but the main theme of the Amish way.  Everything is about keeping the community as Church intact.  For example, the p…

Revisiting To the Lighthouse

As anyone who may look into this blog from time to time undoubtedly knows, Virginia Woolf wrote a number of modernist masterpieces.  It's hard for me to choose from among her novels, to name the very finest, because each has its own merits, its own unique contributions to the literary world.  But surely it would be impossible to consider modern literature without Mrs. Dalloway with its unfortunate light into Woolf's own life and demise.  Equally, To the Lighthouse, is remarkable for its insights into how a family thrives and does not thrive, how two people relate and refuse to relate.

You really don't get much more pointed in such a discussion than this passage found on the very first page of the novel:

from To the LighthouseVirginia Woolf
"But," said his father, stopping in front of the drawing-room window, "it won't be fine." Had there been an axe handy, a poker, or any weapon that would have gashed a hole in his father's breast and killed him…

The Woman in Black--Susan Hill

I was familiar with the name Susan Hill from that wonderful little book Howard's End Is on the Landing, a kind of compendium of personal favorites from books and literature.  I was familiar with The Woman in Black from the film, which I had wanted to see, but never really had the opportunity.  So, what a wonderful convergence when I discovered that the film I wanted to see came from a source that I knew I would enjoy reading.

And, I was not wrong.  The Woman in Black has the form of a classic ghost story--it even starts on Christmas Eve as children are sharing their made-up ghost stories and the experience plunges our first person narrator into a re-experience of his own horrifying ghost story.

Arthur, a  young lawyer, is sent from London to the middle of nowhere--a small town at the very edges of a great swamp/marsh where stands Eelmarsh House--the home of an eccentric old woman who has recently died.  His job is to go through the papers in the house, extract those that seem mos…

R.I. P. Ray Bradbury

A great loss for literature.

The man who single-handedly got a great many of us to read.

Hiatus: Please Pardon the Advertisement

Some may have wondered to whence I had vanished lo! these long days; and I truly do wish to come back and begin more regular review of the literary (and not so literary) world.

But I have been away preparing for this, my first full book-length fiction publication:  Beyond the Rim of Light.

A collaborative venture between another writer and me, it has been many years in the making.  You can read an excerpt of it here.

E-file versions should be ready for Amazon Kindle and available through Amazon shortly.

You might also wish to check into the Facebook Author Page for Alex Stone, where I will be making feeble attempts to keep everyone updated as I work on the sequel and on two novel-length projects of my own.

Hope to be back reviewing once I can return to the rhythm of things.