New Arrivals, Current Reading November 11 – 17, 2013

Tales from the Spaceport Bar
A friend sent a book he thought I might enjoy. Thanks, Jeff! No other new arrivals.

Tales From the Spaceport Bar edited by George H. Scithers and Darrell Schweitzer [Avon 1987 mass market paperback, used, gift] – science fiction. Twenty-two stories, the earliest from 1948, most from the Eighties. The spaceport setting lends itself to some intriguing and fun stories.

What did YOU get, new, used or from the library?



I’m working on that stack of books, continuing to read stories from The Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask Stories, which I’m enjoying. My effort to read a short story a day is good so far, I’m also reading stories from  Skirmish: The Great Short Fiction of Clifford D. Simak, and from another  SF anthology, plus I read one Father Brown story.

I read and enjoyed and The Uncomplaining Corpses by Brett Halliday, the fourth Mike Shayne novel, the first in which Shayne is married. The plot in it was a little weak, but the characters were well done. Due to my lack of satisfaction with Out of the Blackout by Robert Barnard, I’m reading The Case of the Missing BrontëI’m also about halfway through Simple Dreams, the musical memoir by Linda Ronstadt. Very interesting and enjoyable. Lastly, I have barely peeked at the new film Dear Mr. Watterson, about Bill Watterson, the creator of Calvin and Hobbes, which was released November 15th.

She finished A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout, Without Fail the sixth in the Jack Reacher series. She has also started Cross and Burn, the latest Val McDermid.

So, what have YOU been reading?

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
This entry was posted in books, Current Reading, mystery, New Arrivals, science fiction. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to New Arrivals, Current Reading November 11 – 17, 2013

  1. Jerry House says:

    I have a SPACEPORT BAR lying around somewhere. I’ll have to dig it out. Mike Shayne’s marriage did not last long; Halliday soon realized it’s limitations, I fear.

    I read del Rey’s BATTLE ON MERCURY, one of the old Winston Adventures in SF juveniles. As with most of that series, it was a very good read. I also read Walt Kelly’s I GO POGO which just added to my obsession. I’ve got to order more Pogo real soon. I am reading (and will finish tonight) F. Paul Wilson’s DARK CITY, the second in the Young Repairman Jack series. One more book to be published and then I face the horror of Jack withdrawal — or not…there are hints that Wilson will be doing some Repairman Jack graphic novels in the future.

    I’m still dipping into the stories in REALMS OF DARKNESS and have started dipping into John Gawsworth’s 1933 anthology FULL SCORE. For the next two weeks, I’ll probably be concentrating on short stories what with the upcoming holiday and expected (and unexpected) guests, Groff Conklin and Noah Fabricant’s GREAT DETECTIVE STORIES ABOUT DOCTORS just came in, so that will be fun.

  2. Evan Lewis says:

    I’m reading The Tall Dolores, Tom Sawyer, Story Engineering, Wyatt Earp’s Tombstone Vendetta and Marvel Masterworks: Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos.

  3. Patti Abbott says:

    LET HIM GO, Larry Watson, brilliant. COUNTRY HARDBALL, Steve Weddle, and a Barnard book whose title I can’t remember. But it looks great.

  4. Love the spaceport book, looks like fun. I like the idea of stories set in bars or inns, be they fantasy or science fiction related. Will be curious to see what you think of the stories.

  5. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Isn’t it Bill Watterson?

    Nice coincidence, as I also read a Simak collection this week, Best Science Fiction Stories of Clifford D. Simak. I don’t know if they are or not, having read little Simak before, but I thought it was more good than great. Also read a Bill Crider recommendation (which I thought was really good), Chris Knopf’s Dead Anyway, which starts with a bang (check Bill’s blog for the review of the sequel) and goes from there. Lastly it was a George Kelley recommendation (all three of these were library books by the way), Beth Kephart’s Handling The Truth: On the Writing of Memoir.

    I’m currently reading the latest Adirondacks mystery by Julia Spencer-Fleming (the time lag between books makes it hard to remember exactly what happened the last time) as well as De Camp & Pratt’s Tales From Gavagan’s Bar.

    The only new arrival was a trade paperback (another Bill Crider recommendation), Murder Plus: True Crimes Stories From the Masters of Detective Fiction.

  6. I’ve been reading work-related books as the semester winds down. I’ll be posting my review of THE EVERYTHING STORE: JEFF BEZOS AND THE AGE OF AMAZON on my blog in a few days. Isn’t it nice to have friends like Jeff Meyerson!

  7. I’ve always enjoyed Simak

  8. Richard says:

    Jerry, good thing I already knew Mike Shayne’s marriage didn’t last long or that would have been a spoiler. I think the constant threat to Shayne’s wife was the elephant in the room and a plotting hazard. I liked your review of BATTLE ON MERCURY last Friday. I loved the old Winston Adventures in SF juveniles. I have I GO POGO and a raft more of the books, many from when I was a kid and also a set I bought later on. It’s all in my older post, a Pogo book review, here.

    I think I’ll get the first Repairman Jack book. A John Gawsworth’s 1933 anthology. Oh my, what’s the subject?

  9. Richard says:

    Evan, seems you’re getting right through to the comments page lately.Maybe WP has learned your a good guy. That’s a lot of reading. Most of it on the iPad? I like those old Fury stories.

  10. Richard says:

    Patti, I hope the Barnard isn’t the same one I’m reading, but I guess it doesn’t make any difference. I’m trying to get ahead on the FFB posts, but find myself back to needing one on Monday for Friday. Pressure, pressure.

  11. Richard says:

    Carl, I’m with you on spaceport books. I have two or three others and they are always fun.

  12. Richard says:

    Jeff, yes it is. Corrected. Sheesh, writing from memory last night. I looked at that Simak collection, but thought this one was slightly better. Some of the same stories are in both. Simak prided himself on “quiet” SF stories rather than bang boom alien shootouts and such.

    If I read every Crider recommendation, I have time for nothing else. I saw George’s review, but since no one would read my memoirs, I figured I wouldn’t write them and so didn’t need to read the book. I have De Camp & Pratt’s Tales From Gavagan’s Bar, which I think I already told you elsewhere, and liked it. Those masters of __ books always make me wonder who’s deciding what a “master” is.

  13. Richard says:

    Charles, so far I’m enjoying this collection, but I’m not far into it.

  14. Richard says:

    George, I look forward to your review.

  15. Jerry House says:

    Richard, the Gawsworth book seems to be a mixed bag. (Actually, I just noticed that the book was published under his real name, Fytton Armstrong, rather than the Gawsworth pseudonym.) I’ve read twelve of the 26 stories and although it is listed in ISFDB, most of the stories seems to be literary and satiric rather than fantasy. One deals with the consequences of Judgment Day in which it is discovered that various country’s Unknown Soldiers were not what they seemed; another involves a discussion in Heaven about a proposed saint who is found to have been a Jew — the angels and the other saints are divided, Jesus does not want to offend anyone on either side of the issue, God doesn’t care (He’s busy with other religions), and it’s up to the Holy Ghost to decide. Twenty-three pages are wasted on a story which is actually a travelogue with no plot whatsoever. There are also stories by M. P. Shiel, Arthur Machen, Lafacdio Hearn, and others popular (to one degree or another) at the time. From what I’ve read so far, this is an interesting yet minor anthology.

  16. Richard says:

    Thanks, Jerry. It doesn’t sound like one I’d be getting to any time soon, so I’ll pass. 🙂

  17. Hi Richard,
    I bought four used books from a book sale at a library this Sunday and I’m reading one of them now, The House of Doctor Dee by Peter Ackroyd. It’s about an old house with a dark past, ghosts, and a famous sixteen century sorcerer and astrologer who was rumored to dabble in the dark arts. So far it’s quite gripping.
    I came over from Carl’s website.

  18. Richard says:

    Delia, welcome! I hope you’ll make this a weekly Monday stop. The House of Doctor Dee sounds cool. I’ve been using the library more and more the last few years. I should be reading what’s on hand, but there’s always something I learn of that I just have to read.

  19. I wish I could use the library more but as far as I know there’s only one English library here and often they don’t have the books I would like to read. There’s a big bookstore chain here and that’s where I get my books from.
    I’ll come by again, thanks for the welcome.

  20. Patti Abbott says:

    Well, I read OUT OF THE BLACKOUT too, RIch and disliked it but I will review it next month. Never met so many unlikable characters in one household.

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