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Joy V. Smith's website

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November 28th, 2016

Mary Fields AKA Stagecoach Mary by Erich Martin Hicks  (Paperback – March 9, 2016)
I've known about Stagecoach Mary for a long time (She's on my Western Style board on Pinterest), so I was happy to find this book. (It's written in the present tense, btw.) Not much is known about her early life so the author has fictionalized that, but I believe he's caught the flavor of the time: plantation life, the slaves' lives, the Civil War, and the aftermath when the slaves were freed. He enhanced her later career, however, which wasn't necessary because she was a fantastic woman--and a legend in her own time.

The book has a number of photos and illustrations from her life and times. Despite her being a black woman, the town (Cascade, Montana) where she lived later, respected her, and there are clippings from the newspapers when she died and the town turned out for her funeral. Of course, she did run into a lot of prejudice; the N word was especially popular back then..., but she stood her ground: "Do ya wanta' meet your 'maker' now...or later when he's a callin' for ya?"

Highly recommended because of the history and because this woman should never be forgotten.

Note: The author has done a lot of research--read more at the end of the book--but it could have used more editing. There were a number of misspellings--one word was spelled two different ways--and commas were falling like snowflakes.

October 17th, 2016

The Durrells in Corfu (link)

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I was surprised and delighted to come across The Durrells in Corfu while browsing the channel listings. I read My Family and Other Animals and Gerald Durrell's other books (there are more than two others) years ago, I am grateful to PBS for adding this (there are six episodes) to their Masterpiece Theatre offerings: The Durrells in Corfu

October 13th, 2016

From Tor.com:

Here's an interesting list of supernatural detectives: A list of ten of our favorite supernatural detectives

October 7th, 2016

From press release:

"Fans voted in August 2016 to trial a new Hugo award for “Best Series”, which could be added in 2018. Each Worldcon Committee has the authority to introduce a special category Hugo award, and Worldcon 75 has decided to test “Best Series” in 2017. This follows the precedent of the 2009 Worldcon, which trialled “Best Graphic Story” before it became a regular Hugo the following year. Fans at Worldcon 75 will be able to decide whether to ratify the “Best Series” for future years and suggest revisions to the award definition at the World Science Fiction Society Business Meeting held in Helsinki during the convention."

Link:
Which Series Warrants a "Best Series" Hugo Award?
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August 25th, 2016

What book introduced you to your favorite genre(s)? Here's a list from Tor.com: Five Gateway Books

August 19th, 2016

Here's a list of favorite fantasy ships--it should be ships and not boats, shouldn't it?--from Tor.com, and be sure to check out the ones in the Comments: Seafaring vessels
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July 31st, 2016

Sharknado

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I saw that today the Sharknado movies started running, and I watched some of the good parts of 1 and 2 . The ending of S2 (NYC) is fun--the Today show scenes, etc.. Sharknado 4 is on tomorrow night; S3 precedes it.. Planet of the Sharks is on at 1 am tonight, and I missed it the other day. (I wanted to see the beginning of the planet being inundated by water because of the melting glaciers.) So I may look at the beginning; I have to get up in the morning or I'd sleep in.
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