Ready for More Frame Travel?

I’ve just added another story to the Short Fiction menu of this blog. Boredom Fighter is a FRAMES story. It shares the narrator and worlds of that series of novels. However, Boredom Fighter is stand-alone (and turned out funnier than the novels). You don’t need to read the novels to understand or enjoy it.

Chronologically, Boredom Fighter comes after the first two FRAMES novels. So the order is:
Nica of Los Angeles
Nica of the New Yorks
Boredom Fighter
… several more stories
… two more novels.

At least 3 more stand-alone FRAMES stories are in the works*. I’ll probably finish those before I complete the remaining two novels in the series.

* That is, in my head and on various scribbled notes. With a bit of effort, one can even compose an iphone note as though it were scribbled.

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To Read or To Re-Read? (Musings and mini-reviews)

My To Read list is decades long, so I rarely stop to re-read a book, no matter how much I love it. Lately I’ve made exceptions, though, for books that mattered to me long ago. With some, I’ve been curious about whether they would hold up. With others, I’ve simply wanted to reunite with old friends.

Thus, over the last year, I have discovered that these books hold up well:

Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner, a 1960s skew on a dystopian future, many details of which are now Life As We Know It. Brunner writes this in a style that was unusual in the ’60s and remains distinctive today. Some people lose patience with it. Give it 50 pages to settle in.

In Deep by Patricia Cooper, a brooding character study of a smart, troubled woman with tangled, suspect relationships. Cooper’s writing is edgy yet smooth and insightful. I wish she had continued to write novels.

After Leaving Mr. MacKenzie and Good Morning Midnight by Jean Rhys, portraits of independent, sensual women, damaged by life in a society where women were supposed to be neither.

If chick lit had books like the above, I would seek it out.

Double Indemnity by James M. Cain, a perfect slice of noir. Here, every word counts, making it an excellent training for any aspiring writer. Reading it reminded me I need to watch the movie again, with a brilliant script by Raymond Chandler.

Which brings me to Chandler.  I have been happy to (again) reconnect with all seven of Raymond Chandler’s novels.  He remains my favorite author. If you have never read him, start with Farewell My Lovely.

As you may have guessed, I recommend all of these books.