Sunday, August 22, 2010

What's Next

Well, this is getting to be a habit. For the second week in a row, the featured review in the Denver Post books section is by yours truly. Enjoy my review of Zero History by William Gibson.

I think the review is pretty good, but I was well-prepared by interviewing the author a few months ago. It's always a pleasure to hear Gibson's unique voice, whether it's in print or on the telephone. I mentioned to him that his most recent books are rather unnerving because they make the future feel like a place where no one knows what's going to happen next.

"Well, I think that is what the future feels like now," he said. "It’s what I was feeling a decade ago. I had to be really honest with myself and with the reader in admitting that I didn’t know what was going to happen, even in a limited way. I couldn’t even pretend I knew what was going to happen. I’ve never meant to predict what might happen in the future. I’ve just written about pretending that. It got to a point where it all just seemed like everything was going to be random. But we were a decade into it being kind of random, and I started to think about how I might fit into that place."

Fascinating conversation, and a terrific interview subject, even if he does make my brain hurt just a bit...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Dead Celebrities

Okay, technically there are no dead celebrities in the latest kick to the funny bone from Florida satirist Carl Hiaasen, but it's not for lack of trying.

To enhance your enjoyment of Star Island, the celebrity-skewering latest novel by Hiaasen, please enjoy my interview with the novelist in the Sunday Post. Carl has been on my short list of authors to interview for a very long time, in fact since I reviewed his last book, Nature Girl, in the dearly departed Rocky Mountain News. And he was a terrific interview subject, one of my favorites so far - open, articulate, opinionated and much like the rest of us, infuriated about current events in the Gulf of Mexico. When I can have a conversation about corporate malfeasance, idiocy that's too good to be fiction, and Travis McGee, I'm a happy writer.

If that's not enough, you can backtrack a few years to "Something in the Water," my mystery column that delves into all things Florida-related, including gents like Randy Wayne White and Tim Dorsey. You can also get a refresher on John D. MacDonald with one of my first columns, "Pulp Fiction, Hard Cases and the Travis McGee Retirement Plan."

And as a late addition, here's something cool that I didn't know existed: the U.S. Library of Congress' Center for the Book once commissioned an essay by MacDonald. In response, MacDonald crafted a 26-page short story, "Reading for Survival," that features a conversation about the importance of reading between Travis McGee and his philosophical buddy Meyer. What a great way to end the day...