Memory and Dream: May Newsletter

Books to Read and Other News:

Our second newsletter goes out on Mayday, which is not only International Workers’ Day, but our 24th anniversary, as well! We have for you some micro-reviews of books we’ve recently read and recommend. We also have some news about a coming book release for Duane’s new novel, Skyrmion: Book One of the Sweetland Quartet. Happy reading.

Oregon Painted Hills. Photograph (cc-by) Duane Poncy & Patricia J McLean

Micro-reviews: books we’ve been reading

Cuckoo Cloud Land: A Novel by Anthony Doerr
This novel is truly amazing. From ancient Constantinople, to modern day Idaho, to far-future generation ship, Doerr ties it all together in a story about story. —reviewed by Duane

The Orchardist by Amanda Copland
Set in the early 1900s in eastern Washington, this is an extraordinary story of a man who tends his orchard and the memory of his lost sister, whose life is disrupted by the sudden appearance of two pregnant sisters. This dark and gritty story addresses some sensitive subjects. —reviewed by Patricia & Duane

The Innocents: A Novel by Michael Crummey
Michael Crummey’s novel is a gritty historical novel set in early 19th Century Newfoundland. Young orphaned siblings, a boy and a girl, must learn to survive on their family’s fishery. Beautifully written. While not a major theme, this book addresses an incestuous relationship. —reviewed by by Duane

Sea of Tranquility: A Novel by Emily St. John Mandel
I must admit, I am an Emily St. John Mandel fan. I’ve read all of her novels, and while it wasn’t my favorite, this time travel story was a very satisfying read. The novel starts out a bit slow and it takes its time before you begin to see where it’s going. But it gets there. Highly recommended. —reviewed by Duane

Echogenesis by Gary Gibson
Okay, the main character was a little too stereotypically “male” for my taste. But it was a well-written page turner with a not-too-subtle anti-colonialist theme about cloning and planetary conquest. —reviewed by by Duane

The Bohemians: A Novel by Jasmin Darznik
This is a great historical novel about young photographer Dorothea Lange. Set in early 20th century San Francisco it is an interesting glimpse into a bohemian art culture long gone. —reviewed by Duane

The Beautiful Ones: a Novel by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
This is a novel by another of my favorite authors. Set in an alternate-universe Belle Epoque France, this is a book about love, betrayal, duels, and telekinesis. —reviewed by Duane

The Seventh Function of Language by Laurent Binet
An amusing and gently instructive murder mystery tour of 20th century French intelligentsia. Whether you’ve stumbled on (or over) Derrida, Foucault, Eco, etc. – or if you never have and never want to – Binet’s irreverent novel is superbly entertaining. —reviewed by Patricia

Daughter from the Dark: A Novel by Marina & Sergey Dyachenko
Creepy and beautifully written. When a little girl and her teddy bear show up on DJ Aspirin’s door, things start getting really weird. The Dyachenkos, a Ukrainian duo, have given me a renewed interest in urban fantasy. Highly recommended reading.
—reviewed by Duane

Skyrmion pre-sale and ARC release

Skyrmion: Book One of the Sweetland Quartet, Duane’s sci-fi epic, is now on pre-sale at Smashwords, Amazon, and other ebook retailers. It goes live on August 2. Skyrmion is part near future mystery-thriller and part cyberpunk, in the tradition of Neal Stephenson’s Snowcrash.

Advance Review Copies will be available in June. If you would like to review this book and be part of our ARC team, let us know and we’ll send you a link.

By Duane Poncy & Patricia J McLean

Duane Poncy and Patricia J McLean are the authors of several books, including Bartlett House, Skyrmion: Book One of the Sweetland Quartet, and Ghosts of Saint-Pierre. The were also the creators, in 2004, of the ground-breaking web-fiction, The Germaine Truth, and were founders of The Habit of Rainy Nights Press.