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Monday, August 22, 2011

Vampires on the loose -- book review, Stargazer, by Miguel Conner

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“And we might once again gaze at stars.” (p. 41)

In a post-apocalyptic world, Stargazers raise Warm Ones on farms, harvest them for their blood and use them for sport. The best literature leads us to feel sympathy for the villain, but in this novel the villain is also the hero, which increases our sympathy to an excruciating level. We get a look at ourselves through the looking glass of the night sky.

The Stargazers are vampires. They consider the Warm Ones animals, even though they look a lot like Stargazers and have language and culture. For all their superiority, the Stargazers suffer from one major weakness and one minor weakness – they are helpless while the sun is in the sky, and they stifle creativity in their society.

When Byron, branded a heretic by the Stargazer Elders, meets a Warm One and gets to know her as a person, the conflict turns from external to internal. As Alice learned, one should never get to know one’s food by name; such familiarity makes it impossible to eat it.

As with most self-published books, this one could use a good copy editor. However, the minor typographical errors do not stop me from plowing through the story. I want to know what happens next.

On the larger scale, will the air pollution clear up to reveal the stars that once dotted the night sky? On the medium scale, will the Elders relax the draconian laws that restrict the lives of the Stargazers? On the small scale, will Byron survive to complete his mission?

On the most personal level, at least for us Warm Ones (humans), will the human race triumph over the vampires?

Read Miguel Conner’s Stargazer to find out.

Stargazer
by Miguel Conner
2011, Aeon Byte Press
280 pages

Available at Barnes & Noble

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Stargazer/Miguel-Conner/e/9780615367217/?itm=1&USRI=stargazer+miguel+conner

Also available on Amazon Kindle

http://www.amazon.com/Stargazer-Dark-Instinct-Book-ebook/dp/B004XDA0HI/ref=kinw_dp_ke?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

and Barnes & Noble Nook

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Stargazer/Miguel-Conner/e/2940012275714/?itm=1&USRI=miguel+conner+stargazer

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

What I'm reading now

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I have a number things to read every day, but books are still my first love.

Here's what I'm focused (more or less) on at the moment:

Stargazer by Miguel Conner, a novel about a vampire with a conscience living in a post-apocalyptic world. This is my favorite novel at the moment.

A Flickering Reality by F. David Peat, an exploration of -- well, as the subtitle says, "Cinema and the nature of reality" -- it mentions Philip K. Dick. This book interests me because I have studied film and taught several film classes.

The Arranger by L.J. Sellers, a detective / thriller novel written in journalistic style, fast-paced and exciting.

Reviews will eventually appear on this blog.

What are YOU reading? Any recommendations?

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Another attack on small family farms

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Small farmers built this nation, and they are under increasing attack from the very nation they built.

Here is just one more example of those attacks:

More on raw milk raids

Since when it is the business of government to tell us what we can and can't eat?

We can eat raw oysters, raw fish and raw steak, but NOT raw milk! Of course not, since the organic farmers compete with large corporate dairies! Raw milk is not inherently dangerous,a nd pasteurized milk is not inherently safe.

Pasteurization simply reduces the number of bacteria, a step which makes the milk from large factory farms less dangerous.

Raw milk is safe when produced from healthy cows kept in clean conditions. Pateurized milk is not safe when produced from unhealthy cows in filthy conditions.

(NaturalNews) The Rawesome Foods raid that took place August 3, 2011, is being publicly described by many as an act of "government terrorism" against innocents

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/033318_government_agents_Rawesome_Foods.html#ixzz1V3XcZ100

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Friday, August 12, 2011

Produce raw milk, go to jail!

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A small Amish farmer was treated the same as a drug lord selling dangerous drugs, just because he sold raw milk. In other words, his milk was not pasteurized. And for this, the federal government spent tens of thousands of our tax dollars on a year-long investigation of a small farmer. This is not the only case -- it is happening all over the nation.

The same people who eat sushi, steak tartar and raw oysters have made raw milk illegal, regardless of whether it is safe.

The truth is that pasteurization only reduces the chances of milk being contaminated with bacteria. And factory dairies that produce milk in unsafe conditions must pasteurize their milk product because they produce that milk in filthy conditions.

Moreover, who is the government to tell us what kind of food we may or may not eat? They are simply trying to put a stop to the organic food movement and to eliminate small farmers who take a market share away from the corporate factory farms.

In the end, this is a matter of personal choice.



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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Neil Diamond still going strong - and still inspiring

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When I was a teenager and feeling worthless and hopeless, Neil Diamond's music saved what little sanity I had left.  This particular song was playing on the radio several times a day.  "I am, I said"

And at age 70, he is still going strong with that wonderful voice and his marvelous songs.

I remember being at school and doing my work while the radio played this and other Neil Diamond songs.

The spiritual quality of his music still touches my heart and my soul.




Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sample of PKD handwriting

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Thought this might interest fans of Phil: