Review of “My Country is a Ghost” by Eugenia Triantafyllou

Plot:At first, Niovi tries to smuggle her mother’s ghost into the new country in a necklace. It doesn’t work. Foreign ghosts are not needed in the new land. “The only things [the ghosts] had to offer were stories and memories,” the reader is told. She has a choice. She can go back to Greece. SheContinue reading “Review of “My Country is a Ghost” by Eugenia Triantafyllou”

Review of “Erasure” by Christopher McGrane

Plot:Journalist Alex is meeting a whistleblower named Burke in a parking lot. He has a tale to tell about government abuse, not just of people but also of history. Understandably, he is nervous. He starts babbling, telling her that before he worked in government, he worked in advertising. Alexa, understanding how anxious he is, letsContinue reading “Review of “Erasure” by Christopher McGrane”

Review of “The Killer Shrews” (1959)

This is this week’s Saturday night pizza and bad movie entry. We had pizza and fruit with wine the day after a Christmas dinner of tamales, homemade mac and cheese, and half a cornbread muffin, with homemade pumpkin pie for dessert. Life is good. The movie sucked. Plot: The opening narration warns the viewer: “ThoseContinue reading “Review of “The Killer Shrews” (1959)”

Review of “Echo Volume 1: Approaching Shatter” by Kent Wayne

Plot: More than a thousand years before the action of this book, the earth was abandoned because of environmental degradation, and humanity settled on the earth-like planet of Echo. Echo has stagnated, its citizens living under the autocracy of the Regime. There is perpetual civil war with the Dissidents. The military is highly developed, withContinue reading “Review of “Echo Volume 1: Approaching Shatter” by Kent Wayne”

Review of “Travelogue of the Perennially Lost” by Wendy Nikel

Plot:The story is laid out in a series of vignettes that show the lives of a happy couple (who do quarrel) on occasions failing to make it to the destinations they intend. What matters is what they do with once they reach the alternative destination. Miss a concert because the map—or maybe the map-reader—was wrong?Continue reading “Review of “Travelogue of the Perennially Lost” by Wendy Nikel”

Review of “The Invisible Woman” (1940)

The movie for this week’s Saturday pizza and bad movie night was extremely silly. The pizza was yummy. Plot: Wealthy playboy Richard Russell (John Howard) is bothered by little—until his lawyer tells him he is broke. He regretfully has to turn down a request for $3000 from an eccentric scientist friend, Professor Gibbs (John Barrymore)Continue reading “Review of “The Invisible Woman” (1940)”

Review of “Optic Covenant” by Katherine Ley

Plot: There really isn’t a plot to this flash fiction piece. It’s a portrait of a person held captive by a robot who loves him. (I use “him” for the sake of simplicity. The character’s sex is never indicated.) It’s for his own good that he’s tied to a chair and fed spoiled Brussels sprouts.Continue reading “Review of “Optic Covenant” by Katherine Ley”

Review of “The Return of the Vampire” (1943)

This is this week’s Saturday pizza and bad movie entry. The pizza was good if the movie was lukewarm, but it was nice to see a suitably menacing Bela Lugosi with Svengoolie. Plot:The opening scenes show a wide-eyed young woman (uncredited Jeanne Bates) backing away from some threat. Next, the viewer sees a creepy, foggyContinue reading “Review of “The Return of the Vampire” (1943)”

Review of “The Sandman” by E. T. A. Hoffmann

This is a classic horror story, first published in 1816 in a collection titled “Nachtstücke” (“Night Pieces”) by E. T. A. Hoffmann, a writer, composer, and caricaturist with a day job as a jurist. It remains one of his most often anthologized works in English—and little wonder. Even if the language is a bit thickContinue reading “Review of “The Sandman” by E. T. A. Hoffmann”

Review of “Cold War” by Ike Lang

Plot: A broadcast appears unbidden across all screens, addressing the citizens of earth. An elderly man appears in full military uniform, medals and insignias across his chest. At his side stand four other men, also in military uniform, though their uniforms differ from his. “In early February, 1945,” he tells his audience, “our scientists pickedContinue reading “Review of “Cold War” by Ike Lang”