Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

Have you ever had something bad happen to you? Something done to you by another person? Maybe a lover betrayed you? A parent abandoned you? A thief robbed you? It’s probably more surprising if you’ve skated across the thin ice of life, hearing the creaks, cracks, and groans but somehow never falling through yourself.

Bad things happen to the characters in this collection of four novellas from master storyteller Stephen King. Very bad things, done by bad people. Mostly without anything supernatural going on. This collection won 2010 Bram Stoker Award for Best Collection.

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The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters

I picked The Last Policeman entirely by chance while perusing science fiction titles. The cover caught my eye and the description convinced me that it was something I might enjoy. That’s what it takes isn’t it? And I have a fondness for science fiction mystery stories. I enjoy reading them almost as much as writing them.

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Blaze by Stephen King

Clay Blaisdell called “Blaze” by his friends, a petty crook, con-man, sometimes speaker to ghosts, who stood up to bullies, who didn’t become a bully despite his size, didn’t want to hurt anyone. We don’t always get what we want.

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Collecting Fears: Night Shift by Stephen King

Night Shift by Stephen King

I picked several short stories collections for the 2019 Hail to the King Reading Challenge because I plan to write quite a few stories this year. I wanted to study stories by the master of the short story. I’ve read Night Shift several times over the years and I continue to revisiting this classic collection that has tapped into so many fears and inspired so many movies (of varying quality).

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Dreamcatcher: Hail to the King Reading Challenge 2019

Dreamcatcher

Three weeks of gray boys, SSDD, alien fungal infection, friendship, and so much more. Dreamcatcher kicks off the 2019 Hail to the King Reading Challenge with all of its 620 pages. I read this one in hardcover and it was a weighty book to haul around in my bag. Could I have read it on the Kindle? Sure. I didn’t. I own most of Mr. King’s books in print and I do like to take them down sometimes and read the actual book.

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Freedom From Distractions With Freewrite

Freewrite Blank

My Freewrite arrived today along with the set of blank keycaps I had ordered. There was a question about whether the Freewrite would arrive today. The UPS shipping was originally going to deliver to the Post Office for them to deliver. I paid to upgrade the shipping because they said it would arrive a day earlier. But this morning the tracking still showed “In Transit” though it had a scheduled delivery date of today.

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Happy Birthday Mr. Clarke and Ms. Austen

Jane Austen

Today, December 16th, is the birthday of both Arthur C. Clarke and Jane Austen, two literary greats.

Clarke’s work had the greatest impact on my own. I discovered Clarke through his short stories and novels at an early age. Rendezvous With Rama, 2001, and his other works shaped my interests in science fiction. For the longest time 2001 and the sequels were the future. I remember how strange it was when I found myself living in 2001,then 2010, and it wasn’t—of course—the future that Clarke described. I was born near the end of the Apollo missions and was a child in the Mojave desert when the Space Shuttle started flying. Clarke’s work (and that of other science fiction writers) led me to believe we’d be back to the Moon and beyond. By 2010 that seemed much less likely but my enthusiasm around space exploration hasn’t dimmed. I was so excited when Huygen's Probe finally showed us the surface of Titan or New Horizons revealed Pluto and Charon—and soon Ultima Thule (in 15 days!)

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