Friday Reads

A peek at what I’m reading today. Click on the images for links.

OweMeAnswer

What’s it really like behind the façade of glitz and spin at the Cannes Film Festival? In YOU OWE ME AN ANSWER, VideoScope Art-House columnist Nancy Naglin takes you into the hotel backrooms where B-movie hustlers and wannabes set up shop. Follow fading action star-turned director Bruce Jay Streeter as he schmoozes the wheeler-dealers behind such flicks as “Brain Bugs,” “Trashdance,” and “Ninja Holocaust,” while dreaming of art films and keeping his smart trophy girlfriend from looking too deeply into the abyss of Cannes-Babylon.

Martian Sands_DJ_final.indd

1941: an hour before the attack on Pearl Harbour, a man from the future materialises in President Roosevelt’s office. His offer of military aid may cut the War and its pending atrocities short, and alter the course of the future . . . The future: welcome to Mars, where the lives of three ordinary people become entwined in one dingy smokesbar the moment an assassin opens fire. The target: the mysterious Bill Glimmung. But is Glimmung even real? The truth might just be found in the remote FDR Mountains, an empty place, apparently of no significance, but where digital intelligences may be about to bring to fruition a long-held dream of the stars . . . Mixing mystery and science fiction, the Holocaust and the Mars of both Edgar Rice Burroughs and Philip K. Dick, Martian Sands is a story of both the past and future, of hope, and love, and of finding meaning—no matter where—or when—you are.

Vampires-in-the-Lemon-Grove-Courtesy-of-Knopf-689x1024

(Short Stories) A dejected teenager discovers that the universe is communicating with him through talismanic objects left behind in a seagull’s nest. A community of girls held captive in a silk factory slowly transmute into human silkworms, spinning delicate threads from their own bellies, and escape by seizing the means of production for their own revolutionary ends. A massage therapist discovers she has the power to heal by manipulating the tattoos on a war veteran’s lower torso. When a group of boys stumble upon a mutilated scarecrow bearing an uncanny resemblance to the missing classmate they used to torment, an ordinary tale of high school bullying becomes a sinister fantasy of guilt and atonement. In a family’s disastrous quest for land in the American West, the monster is the human hunger for acquisition, and the victim is all we hold dear. And in the collection’s marvelous title story—an unforgettable parable of addiction and appetite, mortal terror and mortal love—two vampires in a sun-drenched lemon grove try helplessly to slake their thirst for blood.

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