RaveSeattle Book ReviewThere’s so much to unpack here, but Cooper makes it all easy to digest, even as he’s blowing your mind with the sheer immensity of the universe and the incredible distances and challenges involved in locating, let alone communicating with, an alien species. The Contact Paradox is the best of scientific writing: it’s engaging, informative, full of wonder, heartbreakingly honest, and presents all sides fairly. Everything you need to know on the subject is right here.
PositiveThe Manhattan Book Review... combines the paranoia of 1984, the dystopian undercurrents of Soylent Green, and the menacing influence of corporations in modern-day America into one thoroughly-engaging feast for the imagination. Cloud’s operations are all too believable — feeling like an amalgamation of an old company town and a modern tech campus — and the realistic touches make the unsettling horror of the novel so damn effective ... Although the eventual reveals at novel’s end are a little underwhelming, the story that gets you there is engrossing enough to make up for it, and the journey taken by both Zinnia and Paxton (as well as the reader, since you’re constantly assessing what you would do in their place), makes for a tense near-future adventure that will haunt you for days after you’ve turned the last page.
PositiveSeattle Book ReviewThe book analyzes Barnum’s life in great detail ... But where this book differs from previous biographies is how it tries to examine the subject through the lens of Barnum himself, comparing his own words via his autobiographies, and highlighting what Barnum discussed, left out, or changed. This becomes particularly interesting when it comes to his wife and the death of his child. Barnum was a complex public figure, a character begging for deep examination, and Wilson presents a true timeline of Barnum as a thinker, a believer, a businessman, and a family man ... With Wilson at the wheel, a road trip through well-trod history becomes a truly remarkable ride.
PositiveThe San Francisco Book ReviewI confess, this was nothing like I expected when I first picked it up. If you’re looking for something akin to Finding Bigfoot on TV, you’ll be disappointed. Sure, there are plenty of stories, both first- and secondhand accounts of encounters with sasquatch-like creatures, but this is less a hunt for Bigfoot than it is a meditation on what that search means for people ... The book also offers a wonderful new perspective on the creature, exploring it as both a part of a greater ecosystem and a part of a spiritual system that goes beyond simple biology and into the metaphysical. And that narrative, more than the hunt, is what makes this an engaging read. The people Zada encounters, the culture, the way that Bigfoot is woven in local legends and native mythology… that strikes far more of a chord with the reader than any of Zada’s wanderings looking for tracks, etc. ... This tome is less about \'when will we find him?\' and more about \'Why do we search for Bigfoot in the first place?\' And that journey proves to be exponentially more interesting.
MixedSeattle Book ReviewThe Grand Dark is set in an intriguing new world, unlike anything Kadrey has written before. The setting is almost relentlessly grim ... Themes of oppression, choice, and coercion are rich soil for someone with Kadrey’s creativity and insight to work with, and it’s genuinely intriguing to see a rebellious spirit take on the actual concept of rebellion. The novel feels almost China Mieville-esque in its tone and themes ... The elements never entirely coalesce into a single whole, but the ingredients add loads of intrigue and mystery to a peculiar conspiracy narrative.
RaveThe Manhattan Book Review... the heart and sincerity that make Lessons from Lucy such a wonderful read might surprise some, but to others, it’s a welcome return to form for one of America’s most charming voices ... Naturally, Dave manages to crack a lot of jokes along the way, but they are brilliantly balanced by kind thoughts, sage advice, and little anecdotes any pet owner can empathize with. Lessons From Lucy might not be Barry’s most uproarious book, but it’s by far his loveliest.
RaveThe Manhattan Book Review\"Campion brings the creative process to life. He ponders lyrical references, personal revelations by Zevon, and revels in the fierce, funny, sobering imagery that typified Zevon’s deepest cuts. Part love letter to an icon, part scholarly attempt to learn what makes an icon tick, Accidentally Like a Martyr is a tribute quite unlike anything I’ve seen before.\
MixedThe San Francisco ReviewJ. Allen Hynek is a name that has been both cursed and celebrated in UFO investigation circles. As an astronomer recruited by the government to debunk and explain away UFO sightings, he was the enemy to many believers ... The Close Encounters Man chronicles the life of Hynek and his incredible influence both on the UFO community and on how popular culture views unexplained phenomena, government intervention, and other subjects that feel ripped right from an episode of The X-Files ... Seeing Hynek get his due in proper biographical fashion is a treat. Unfortunately, the man himself is sometimes lost in the author’s explorations of the stories around him ...it sometimes feels like Hynek is pushed to the background in order to tell the story of the UFO community’s emergence.