nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
In other news, the first Tommy & Tuppence book by Agatha Christie is now available to read for free on Project Gutenberg. Besides being a fun spy-type story set right after World War I, it's worth it just for the awesome dialogue. Yay!
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (thoughtful)

"Haven't you ever been disappointed yourself? Wanting to go to a party, and not being allowed to at the last minute, and all that?"

"Oh, yes," agreed Philip. "Not parties, but other things. But I didn't know grown-up people could be disappointed about anything. I thought they could do anything they liked."

Hitherto Philip, simple soul, had regarded disappointment and hope deferred as part of the necessary hardships of youth, bound to melt away in due course, in company with toothache, measles, tears, treats, early bedtimes, and compulsory education, beneath the splendid summer sun of incipient manhood. Most of us cherish the same illusion; and the day upon which we first realise that quarrels and reconciliations, wild romps and reactionary dumps, big generous impulses and little acts of petty selfishness, secret ambitions and passionate longings, are not mere characteristics of childhood, to be abandoned at some still distant milestone, but will go on with us right through life, is the day upon which we become grown up.


From A Knight on Wheels, by Ian Hay (1914), via Project Gutenberg
(The "children" in question are not so small - Philip is fourteen, and the other is probably much the same.)


I just started reading this book and I have no idea how much I'll like the whole thing, but so far I've rather enjoyed it. There's a lot of humor so far. But this little tidbit stood out to me for a different reason. For all that being grown-up is not so fun at times, it's really true that "quarrels and reconciliations, wild romps and reactionary dumps, big generous impulses and little acts of petty selfishness, secret ambitions and passionate longings" aren't childish. They're human!

And that is an encouraging thought.

;)
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (thoughtful)

"Haven't you ever been disappointed yourself? Wanting to go to a party, and not being allowed to at the last minute, and all that?"

"Oh, yes," agreed Philip. "Not parties, but other things. But I didn't know grown-up people could be disappointed about anything. I thought they could do anything they liked."

Hitherto Philip, simple soul, had regarded disappointment and hope deferred as part of the necessary hardships of youth, bound to melt away in due course, in company with toothache, measles, tears, treats, early bedtimes, and compulsory education, beneath the splendid summer sun of incipient manhood. Most of us cherish the same illusion; and the day upon which we first realise that quarrels and reconciliations, wild romps and reactionary dumps, big generous impulses and little acts of petty selfishness, secret ambitions and passionate longings, are not mere characteristics of childhood, to be abandoned at some still distant milestone, but will go on with us right through life, is the day upon which we become grown up.


From A Knight on Wheels, by Ian Hay (1914), via Project Gutenberg
(The "children" in question are not so small - Philip is fourteen, and the other is probably much the same.)


I just started reading this book and I have no idea how much I'll like the whole thing, but so far I've rather enjoyed it. There's a lot of humor so far. But this little tidbit stood out to me for a different reason. For all that being grown-up is not so fun at times, it's really true that "quarrels and reconciliations, wild romps and reactionary dumps, big generous impulses and little acts of petty selfishness, secret ambitions and passionate longings" aren't childish. They're human! And that is a comforting thought.

:)
nuranar: (books)

Georgette Heyer's first novel, The Black Moth, was made available on Project Gutenberg today.

Read it here!

According to that infallible source, Wikipedia, The Black Moth was Heyer's first novel, published in 1921. It is not technically a Regency novel, being set firmly in the middle of the eighteenth century.  However, it is very much in the same vein, and I find it a very fun read.

Heyer renamed and slightly recast the characters for These Old Shades, written five years later, and then Devil's Cub, set in 1780, in the early 1930s.  Devil's Cub (and particularly its hero) is high on most Heyer readers' favorites lists. ;)  An Infamous Army is the last in this mini-series; I own it, but have not yet read it.

So go read! I think you'll enjoy it.

nuranar: (books)

Georgette Heyer's first novel, The Black Moth, was made available on Project Gutenberg today.

Read it here!

According to that infallible source, Wikipedia, The Black Moth was Heyer's first novel, published in 1921. It is not technically a Regency novel, being set firmly in the middle of the eighteenth century.  However, it is very much in the same vein, and I find it a very fun read.

Heyer renamed and slightly recast the characters for These Old Shades, written five years later, and then Devil's Cub, a true Regency novel, in 1932.  Devil's Cub (and particularly its hero) is high on most Heyer readers' favorites lists. ;)

So go read! I think you'll enjoy it.

nuranar: (reading)
Snagged from [livejournal.com profile] ladyneferankh. :)

1) What author do you own the most books by?
Haha, LibraryThing to the rescue! Although I don't have everything in there yet. Hmph.
Andre Norton, 49.
Edgar Rice Burroughs, 37.
Erle Stanley Gardner, 30-40.
Margery Allingham, 27.
Leslie Charteris, 20-30.
Agatha Christie ought to be up there, too, since between my mother and I we own all but a couple of her 70+ novels. But I did most of my buying in junior high and early high school, and we never kept track of them.

More behind the cut! )
nuranar: (reading)
Snagged from [livejournal.com profile] ladyneferankh. :)

1) What author do you own the most books by?
Haha, LibraryThing to the rescue! Although I don't have everything in there yet. Hmph.
Andre Norton, 49.
Edgar Rice Burroughs, 37.
Erle Stanley Gardner, 30-40.
Margery Allingham, 27.
Leslie Charteris, 20-30.
Agatha Christie ought to be up there, too, since between my mother and I we own all but a couple of her 70+ novels. But I did most of my buying in junior high and early high school, and we never kept track of them.

More behind the cut! )
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (pre-raphaelite)
New book today on Project Gutenberg:

English Costume by Dion Clayton Calthrop (William I - George IV)
Published 1906

It's... interesting!  Pretty watercolors, if nothing else. And excerpts from things like Pepys' diary. I'll bet it was very useful for fancy dress balls!
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (pre-raphaelite)
New book today on Project Gutenberg:

English Costume by Dion Clayton Calthrop (William I - George IV)
Published 1906

It's... interesting!  Pretty watercolors, if nothing else. And excerpts from things like Pepys' diary. I'll bet it was very useful for fancy dress balls!
nuranar: (reading)
This one from [livejournal.com profile] seawasp


1) What author do you own the most books by? Not sure. With the weekend's acquisitions, I have 32 Saint books, so that's probably the highest.  The Agatha Christie and Nancy Drew collections surpass that, but both are jointly owned by my mother and I. And the majority of the Louis L'Amours are Nathan's.

2) What book do you own the most copies of? With far too little space for the books, I don't like having multiple copies of many things unless there's a reason for a particular edition. I have duplicates of some Austens and Sherlock Holmes, but I think the winner is Bibles, with five. In length-of-ownership order, I have the Living Bible I was given for Christmas in... 1989, I think; the NIV I got for Xmas in 1992 or 1993; a slimmer NIV, this time from the church, upon my high school graduation in 2001; an 1855 pocket-sized KJV I bought on ebay while in college to use for 1860s reenacting, and which I often carry to church because it's the smallest; and the NIV study Bible given to me by Mr. and Mrs. Klob when I graduated from college in 2005.

3) Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions? Nope. Sometimes I try to avoid it in my writing, but only when it doesn't sound too contrived.

4) What fictional character are you secretly in love with? Oh, I love Richard Diamond, but that's hardly a secret; and he is a radio character, not a book character. There's plenty of others I could love, but none come to mind right now when I want them.

5) What book have you read the most times in your life? Err.  I never keep count. The Bible, Ben-Hur, Alistair MacLean's Where Eagles Dare and The Golden Rendezvous, Rifles for Watie, maybe Agatha Christie's Partners in Crime and The Man in the Brown Suit; probably lots more. I love to re-read.

6) What was your favourite book when you were ten years old? Nothing stands out; probably a Nancy Drew. I read all of Mom's before I was 8, and I added to the collection for years.  I also loved The Black Stallion; it's one of the earliest books I remember reading, certainly before first grade.  I would have read it to death except that I never owned it.

7) What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year? Not sure. Probably the book I stumbled across on Project Gutenberg that ends unhappily, with the central character going rather nuts - after the reader's been suckered into really really rooting for him and the woman. I loathe books wherein the main character(s) really, truly are insane.

8) What is the best book you’ve read in the past year? Impossible to say. Thanks to Project Gutenberg and Google Books, it's a choice among hundreds.

9) If you could force everyone you know to read one book, what would it be? I can't think of one. People tend to hate what they are forced to do. I sure do!

10) Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for Literature? Not a clue.

11) What book would you most like to see made into a movie? There was something I was thinking about recently, but I'm dashed if I can think of it now... I would love to see the Lensman books made into good movies, but there's No Way In The Universe that's going to be done acceptably.

12) What book would you least like to see made into a movie? There's an ocean of drivel that should never be given the shred of dignity conferred by movie release. And then there's the Lensman books, as I just mentioned; honestly, I would cringe if I heard they were being filmed, because they wouldn't be right.

13) Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character. I don't remember my dreams. This phenomenon has long been a cause for passing puzzlement and frustration.

14) What is the most lowbrow book you’ve read as an adult? I have no pretense to any brow. This question and all its implications annoys me.

15) What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read? Maybe the textbook for discrete mathematics, although I don't remember a thing about it. It's more likely the first programming text I had, since it hopelessly confounded me for the first fourteen minutes and put me to sleep within the fifteenth.

16) What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you’ve seen? Neither The Tempest nor King Lear is obscure, methinks.

17) Do you prefer the French or the Russians? As authors, neither. Judging from what I've read, French, for the sake of Victor Hugo and Jules Verne.

18) Roth or Updike?  Who?

19) David Sedaris or Dave Eggers? Who?

20) Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer? Shakespeare. I haven't read enough Milton to know for sure, though.

21) Austen or Eliot? Austen.

22) What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading? The biggest gap would probably be the so-called "Lost Generation" writers, both American and British. I have little-to-zero interest in the worldview of those writers or the content of their writings, and no plans to ever close that "gap" in my reading.  I'm not embarrassed about this gap.  I do wish I had read more 19th-century literature back when I had more time and less tired brain cells, but it's still a strength in my reading and I'm planning to continue.

23) What is your favourite novel? Another impossible question. I'd probably have a list of 50, even if I limited favorite authors to one book. The ones I've read multiple times are there.

24) Play? The translation of Molière's Tartuffe, or The Hypocrite in my high school lit book is hilarious and made of awesome. (So is Wishbone's version of The Hypochondriac!)  I want to find out which translator did it and get Tartuffe, and others if possible, by him.

25) Poem? Not sure. Maybe If.

26) Essay? Either "On Faerie Stories" or one of C. S. Lewis's writing ones, such as "On Writing for Children" or "On Science Fiction."

27) Short story? I have no idea. There are way too many to tell, especially considering the SF ones.

28) Work of non-fiction?  The Bible. Aside from that, Costume in Detail. I've pored over the drawings in that book for years, and it still never fails to fascinate me.

29) Who is your favourite writer? I can't pick one. Alastair MacLean is waay up there.

30) Who is the most overrated writer alive today? No idea. I read little that was published in the last 10, 20, or 30 years.  I'd take a stab at Stephanie Meyer, but for all the raving I haven't heard anyone actually building up her writing.  (I don't seek out such discussion, though.)

31) What is your desert island book? Swiss Family Robinson.

32) And… what are you reading right now? LJ, with forays to Wikipedia (drama on the Lost Generation talk page, ahoy!), Amazon, and my tags list, to garner links.
nuranar: (reading)
This one from [livejournal.com profile] seawasp


1) What author do you own the most books by? Not sure. With the weekend's acquisitions, I have 32 Saint books, so that's probably the highest.  The Agatha Christie and Nancy Drew collections surpass that, but both are jointly owned by my mother and I. And the majority of the Louis L'Amours are Nathan's.

2) What book do you own the most copies of? With far too little space for the books, I don't like having multiple copies of many things unless there's a reason for a particular edition. I have duplicates of some Austens and Sherlock Holmes, but I think the winner is Bibles, with five. In length-of-ownership order, I have the Living Bible I was given for Christmas in... 1989, I think; the NIV I got for Xmas in 1992 or 1993; a slimmer NIV, this time from the church, upon my high school graduation in 2001; an 1855 pocket-sized KJV I bought on ebay while in college to use for 1860s reenacting, and which I often carry to church because it's the smallest; and the NIV study Bible given to me by Mr. and Mrs. Klob when I graduated from college in 2005.

3) Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions? Nope. Sometimes I try to avoid it in my writing, but only when it doesn't sound too contrived.

4) What fictional character are you secretly in love with? Oh, I love Richard Diamond, but that's hardly a secret; and he is a radio character, not a book character. There's plenty of others I could love, but none come to mind right now when I want them.

5) What book have you read the most times in your life? Err.  I never keep count. The Bible, Ben-Hur, Alistair MacLean's Where Eagles Dare and The Golden Rendezvous, Rifles for Watie, maybe Agatha Christie's Partners in Crime and The Man in the Brown Suit; probably lots more. I love to re-read.

6) What was your favourite book when you were ten years old? Nothing stands out; probably a Nancy Drew. I read all of Mom's before I was 8, and I added to the collection for years.  I also loved The Black Stallion; it's one of the earliest books I remember reading, certainly before first grade.  I would have read it to death except that I never owned it.

7) What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year? Not sure. Probably the book I stumbled across on Project Gutenberg that ends unhappily, with the central character going rather nuts - after the reader's been suckered into really really rooting for him and the woman. I loathe books wherein the main character(s) really, truly are insane.

8) What is the best book you’ve read in the past year? Impossible to say. Thanks to Project Gutenberg and Google Books, it's a choice among hundreds.

9) If you could force everyone you know to read one book, what would it be? I can't think of one. People tend to hate what they are forced to do. I sure do!

10) Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for Literature? Not a clue.

11) What book would you most like to see made into a movie? There was something I was thinking about recently, but I'm dashed if I can think of it now... I would love to see the Lensman books made into good movies, but there's No Way In The Universe that's going to be done acceptably.

12) What book would you least like to see made into a movie? There's an ocean of drivel that should never be given the shred of dignity conferred by movie release. And then there's the Lensman books, as I just mentioned; honestly, I would cringe if I heard they were being filmed, because they wouldn't be right.

13) Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character. I don't remember my dreams. This phenomenon has long been a cause for passing puzzlement and frustration.

14) What is the most lowbrow book you’ve read as an adult? I have no pretense to any brow. This question and all its implications annoys me.

15) What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read? Maybe the textbook for discrete mathematics, although I don't remember a thing about it. It's more likely the first programming text I had, since it hopelessly confounded me for the first fourteen minutes and put me to sleep within the fifteenth.

16) What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you’ve seen? Neither The Tempest nor King Lear is obscure, methinks.

17) Do you prefer the French or the Russians? As authors, neither. Judging from what I've read, French, for the sake of Victor Hugo and Jules Verne.

18) Roth or Updike?  Who?

19) David Sedaris or Dave Eggers? Who?

20) Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer? Shakespeare. I haven't read enough Milton to know for sure, though.

21) Austen or Eliot? Austen.

22) What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading? The biggest gap would probably be the so-called "Lost Generation" writers, both American and British. I have little-to-zero interest in the worldview of those writers or the content of their writings, and no plans to ever close that "gap" in my reading.  I'm not embarrassed about this gap.  I do wish I had read more 19th-century literature back when I had more time and less tired brain cells, but it's still a strength in my reading and I'm planning to continue.

23) What is your favourite novel? Another impossible question. I'd probably have a list of 50, even if I limited favorite authors to one book. The ones I've read multiple times are there.

24) Play? The translation of Molière's Tartuffe, or The Hypocrite in my high school lit book is hilarious and made of awesome. (So is Wishbone's version of The Hypochondriac!)  I want to find out which translator did it and get Tartuffe, and others if possible, by him.

25) Poem? Not sure. Maybe If.

26) Essay? Either "On Faerie Stories" or one of C. S. Lewis's writing ones, such as "On Writing for Children" or "On Science Fiction."

27) Short story? I have no idea. There are way too many to tell, especially considering the SF ones.

28) Work of non-fiction?  The Bible. Aside from that, Costume in Detail. I've pored over the drawings in that book for years, and it still never fails to fascinate me.

29) Who is your favourite writer? I can't pick one. Alastair MacLean is waay up there.

30) Who is the most overrated writer alive today? No idea. I read little that was published in the last 10, 20, or 30 years.  I'd take a stab at Stephanie Meyer, but for all the raving I haven't heard anyone actually building up her writing.  (I don't seek out such discussion, though.)

31) What is your desert island book? Swiss Family Robinson.

32) And… what are you reading right now? LJ, with forays to Wikipedia (drama on the Lost Generation talk page, ahoy!), Amazon, and my tags list, to garner links.
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Dangerous Books)
After the success of my last free book posting, I'm emboldened to post another recommendation.

This one, alas! lacks any Saintly references.  However, it has another reference, I might say theme, which is just as marvelous - to more than one reader of this blog.

To set the stage: "The Return" is a science fiction short story published in 1954.  It is set in what used to be the United States, two hundred years after a nuclear war or disaster; the nation is now isolated pockets of varying levels of civilization, from animalism to futuristic technology.

But in a manner of which C. S. Lewis would wholly approve, that is merely the mechanism for setting up the fascinating situation revealed in the story.  See if you can figure it out.  I did - ironically - by intuition!

The Return
H. Beam Piper and John J. McGuire

(The HTML version available on Gutenberg includes the original black and white illustrations from Astounding Science Fiction.)
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Dangerous Books)
After the success of my last free book posting, I'm emboldened to post another recommendation.

This one, alas! lacks any Saintly references.  However, it has another reference, I might say theme, which is just as marvelous - to more than one reader of this blog.

To set the stage: "The Return" is a science fiction short story published in 1954.  It is set in what used to be the United States, two hundred years after a nuclear war or disaster; the nation is now isolated pockets of varying levels of civilization, from animalism to futuristic technology.

But in a manner of which C. S. Lewis would wholly approve, that is merely the mechanism for setting up the fascinating situation revealed in the story.  See if you can figure it out.  I did - ironically - by intuition!

The Return
H. Beam Piper and John J. McGuire

(The HTML version available on Gutenberg includes the original black and white illustrations from Astounding Science Fiction.)
nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
I worked late last night, of course, to offset coming in late from my eight o'clock morning class. When I walked into the house (passing Bro. No. 1 on the way, going I know not where), "Be Our Guest!" was blasting from the stereo and Dad was dancing around the living room. It was so funny and so typical all at once. His dancing, by-the-bye, is most awe-inspiring, since he makes up for lack of training with enthusiasm, and stands 6'8" to boot. A most impressive sight. :D

Free Speculative Fiction Online has provided me some amusement in the past weeks. A certain set of three books, a collaboration published under the name "Mark Phillips," deserves special mention. Read on - this is not Nuranar once again burbling on about how fantastic something is.

The books in question are Brain Twister , The Impossibles , and Supermind , originally published in Astounding in 1959 and 1960. All can be found at The Gutenberg Project.

The introduction to Brain Twister is priceless, and sets the tone for the series.

"Mark Phillips" is, or are, two writers: Randall Garrett and Laurence M. Janifer. Their joint pen-name, derived from their middle names (Philip and Mark), was coined soon after their original meeting, at a science-fiction convention. Both men were drunk at the time, which explains a good deal, and only one has ever sobered up. A matter for constant contention between the collaborators is which one.

They have been collaborating for some time now, and have devised an interesting method of work: Mr. Garrett handles the verbs, the adverbs and the interjections, Mr. Janifer the nouns, pronouns, and adjectives. Conjunctions are a matter of joint decision, and in the case of a tie, the entire game is replayed at Fenway Park, Boston, early in the following year.

BRAIN TWISTER was fifteen years in the making, of which time three days were spent in the actual writing. When the book was finished, both authors relaxed in the mutual pleasure of nervous breakdowns, from which it is not certain that either has ever recovered.

Mr. Garrett is a large, roundish fellow with a beard. He wears flowered vests and always carries a small talisman which no one has ever seen. Mr. Janifer is a somewhat shorter and thinner type, with a shorter and thinner beard. His vests are in solid colors, he wears horn-rimmed glasses because he has always done so, and he is never found without a souvenir subway token from the City of New York.

The personal lives of the authors differ widely. Mr. Garrett's hobbies, for instance, include such sports as close-order drill and river pollution. Mr. Janifer, a less active type, prefers sedentary games such as humming or blinking.

Mr. Garrett is engaged to an exotically beautiful creature, and the two plan to be married as soon as they run out of excuses. Mr. Janifer, on the other hand, is fascinated by women, and hopes some day to meet one.

Great start, huh? The books themselves are not flat-out amazing, but they're quite humorous and the cast of characters is terrific. Although set slightly in the future, the "science fiction" aspects are primarily concerned with mental power. Furthermoer, Supermind draws all three plots together with real genius. I don't know if they planned it, but the three have a latent coherency and hidden connection that's superior to most series. The big electrifier, though, came in The Impossibles:

He [Malone, an FBI agent] found a phone booth in a bar called the Ad Lib, at Madison Avenue. Sternly telling himself that he was stopping there to make a phone call, a business phone call, and not to have a drink, he marched right past the friendly bartender and went into the phone booth, where he made a call to New York Police Commissioner John Henry Fernack.
*moves on* *pauses* *looks again* * eyes widen* No way! 

nuranar: Hortense Bonaparte. La reine Hortense sous une tonnelle à Aix-les-Bains (1813) by Antoine Jean Duclaux. (Default)
I worked late last night, of course, to offset coming in late from my eight o'clock morning class. When I walked into the house (passing Bro. No. 1 on the way, going I know not where), "Be Our Guest!" was blasting from the stereo and Dad was dancing around the living room. It was so funny and so typical all at once. His dancing, by-the-bye, is most awe-inspiring, since he makes up for lack of training with enthusiasm, and stands 6'8" to boot. A most impressive sight. :D

Free Speculative Fiction Online has provided me some amusement in the past weeks. A certain set of three books, a collaboration published under the name "Mark Phillips," deserves special mention. Read on - this is not Nuranar once again burbling on about how fantastic something is.

The books in question are Brain Twister , The Impossibles , and Supermind , originally published in Astounding in 1959 and 1960. All can be found at The Gutenberg Project.

The introduction to Brain Twister is priceless, and sets the tone for the series.

"Mark Phillips" is, or are, two writers: Randall Garrett and Laurence M. Janifer. Their joint pen-name, derived from their middle names (Philip and Mark), was coined soon after their original meeting, at a science-fiction convention. Both men were drunk at the time, which explains a good deal, and only one has ever sobered up. A matter for constant contention between the collaborators is which one.

They have been collaborating for some time now, and have devised an interesting method of work: Mr. Garrett handles the verbs, the adverbs and the interjections, Mr. Janifer the nouns, pronouns, and adjectives. Conjunctions are a matter of joint decision, and in the case of a tie, the entire game is replayed at Fenway Park, Boston, early in the following year.

BRAIN TWISTER was fifteen years in the making, of which time three days were spent in the actual writing. When the book was finished, both authors relaxed in the mutual pleasure of nervous breakdowns, from which it is not certain that either has ever recovered.

Mr. Garrett is a large, roundish fellow with a beard. He wears flowered vests and always carries a small talisman which no one has ever seen. Mr. Janifer is a somewhat shorter and thinner type, with a shorter and thinner beard. His vests are in solid colors, he wears horn-rimmed glasses because he has always done so, and he is never found without a souvenir subway token from the City of New York.

The personal lives of the authors differ widely. Mr. Garrett's hobbies, for instance, include such sports as close-order drill and river pollution. Mr. Janifer, a less active type, prefers sedentary games such as humming or blinking.

Mr. Garrett is engaged to an exotically beautiful creature, and the two plan to be married as soon as they run out of excuses. Mr. Janifer, on the other hand, is fascinated by women, and hopes some day to meet one.

Great start, huh? The books themselves are not flat-out amazing, but they're quite humorous and the cast of characters is terrific. Although set slightly in the future, the "science fiction" aspects are primarily concerned with mental power. Furthermoer, Supermind draws all three plots together with real genius. I don't know if they planned it, but the three have a latent coherency and hidden connection that's superior to most series. The big electrifier, though, came in The Impossibles:

He [Malone, an FBI agent] found a phone booth in a bar called the Ad Lib, at Madison Avenue. Sternly telling himself that he was stopping there to make a phone call, a business phone call, and not to have a drink, he marched right past the friendly bartender and went into the phone booth, where he made a call to New York Police Commissioner John Henry Fernack.
*moves on* *pauses* *looks again* * eyes widen* No way! 

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