David Margolick remembers the first time that he heard the name of John Horne Burns. Margolick was attending a boarding school when he heard about a book that had been banned from this prep school. Burns had written a scathing book, a novel, that was a thinly disguised critique of that school. Margolick was intrigued.
Michael Wellman brings his distinctive literary voice to fiction for the first time in his novel Versus the Demons. This is the story of Shorty Irslund, a guy who loved playing baseball so much that he sacrificed a good part of his life toiling away in the minor leagues.
John Scalzi is one of our bright young talents in science fiction today. Scalzi is prolific and hard working. He just published his latest novel, "The Human Division," the latest installment in his "Old Man's War" universe of books. This book is classic Scalzi; witty, entertaining, and wildly imaginative.
In this wide ranging interview the author talks about this series, his influences and inspirations. And he describes the amusing chain of events that transplanted this city boy from southern California into a tiny community in rural SW Ohio.
Steve Bennish is a reporter for the Dayton Daily News. Bennish has written extensively about the deterioration of the manufacturing base in Dayton and Montgomery County. Hundreds of manufacturers have closed or moved away. Thousands of jobs have been lost. That's why they call this region the Rust Belt.
Bennish observed another symptom of our industrial malaise; scrappers, people who are surviving by salvaging scrap metal and selling it for a few cents on the pound. Many of these scrappers once had decent jobs. Now they are struggling just to get by.
Verlyn Klinkenborg is the author of a column called "The Rural Life," essays which appear on an irregular basis in the editorial pages of the New York Times. These pithy pieces are often inspired by his observations about life on the rural acreage that he owns somewhere in New York State. The author can be a bit mysterious when it comes to describing the precise location of his small farm. It appears that he enjoys keeping his readers guessing in regard to that particular mystery.