Friday, November 30, 2018

FFB: WOMEN SHOULD BE ALLOWED by WIlma Shore (Dutton 1965), among her other writing

It took a while to find an image online for the cover of Women Should Be Allowed, the only collection of Wilma Shore's short fiction to be published during her life (or, ever)(on 28 November 2016, I finally found one, along with a picture apparently of Shore with her husband Louis Solomon...see the latter below. The jacket is a bit more cute than the fiction deserves, I'd suggest, and probably didn't help sales nor reception). My own second-(or third-)hand copy is missing its dust jacket, and there was no paperback edition, as far as I can tell. As the biography at the Jewish Women's Archive notes, she in 1929 as a 16yo left the US (having been born in NYC and spent high school years in California) and went to Paris to study painting, and "Leo Stein, Gertrude Stein’s brother, declared her a leading talent of her generation." However, as noted there, what she became, as a professional artist, was a writer.

'Shore’s second story "The Butcher" was included in The Best Short Stories of 1941 [with the next year's volume to take on the title-form it still has, Best American Short Stories], and she continued to receive their honor call [sic--honor roll] mention in subsequent years. Shore published widely in magazines, including The New YorkerCosmopolitanStory Magazine, The Saturday Evening Post, The Writer, Ladies’ Home Journal, The Antioch Review, McCall's and The Nation. In 1950 [sic: it was the 1958 O. Henry volume], her story “The Cow on the Roof” was included in the O. Henry Awards Prize Stories.'

Contents of the 1941 volume, courtesy WorldCat:
Shadow of a Girl / E.B. Ashton --
All Around the Town / Stephen Vincent Benet --
Handy / Erskine Caldwell --
Big Jules / Morley Callaghan --
The Net / Robert M. Coates --
Mamma Is a Lady / David Cornel DeJong --
To the Least ... / Henry Exall --
A Nun No More / John Fante --
Gold Is Not Always / William Faulkner --
'Color Trouble' / Harold Garfinkel --
The Magic Wire / Felicia Gizycka --
Smile for the Man, Dear / Justin Herman --
The Life of the Mind / Weldon Kees --
The White Bull / Mary King --
Some People Are Just Plumb Crazy / Arthur Kober -
Scorn and Comfort / Christopher La Farge --
The System Was Doomed / Meyer Levin --
Don't Get Me Wrong / Roderick Lull --
Sunday Morning on Twentieth Street / Albert Malz --
Ill-Winds From the Wide World / Peter Neagoe --
The Three Swimmers and the Educated Grocer / William Saroyan --
Triumph of Justice / Irwin Shaw --
The Butcher / Wilma Shore --
Goin' to Town / Wallace Stegner --
Love / Jesse Stuart --
The Psychologist / Benedict Thielen --
Houdini / Jerome Weidman --
Strip-Tease / George Weller --
Almos' a Man / Richard Wright.

Contents of the 1958 volume, courtesy WorldCat:

In sickness as in health / Martha Gellhorn --
What a thing, to keep a wolf in a cage! / Hortense Calisher --
The deeps of the sea / George Steiner --
My blithe, sad bird / Jean Stafford --
The stone boy / Gina Berriault --
The eclipse / Elizabeth Enright --
The making of a clerk / Leo Litwak --
A summer shower / Walter Clemons --
The long night / Lowell D. Blanton --
A slow boat to China / Nancy Hale --
A drink of water / T.K. Brown III --
A cow on the roof / Wilma Shore --
First voice / Robin White --
The ambassador / Edward Newhouse --
The passion for Silver's arm / Herbert Wilner --
My apples / Robert Granat --
Travelin' Man / Peter Matthiessen.

She and Solomon continued to write for electronic media, and he became a fact, as the JWA text continues, "Shore also wrote for television, was commissioned to write a song for Carol Channing, and had stories included in the anthology series The Best From Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1965 and 1973. She also published autobiographical pieces in the New York Times Sunday Magazine and the Women’s Studies Quarterly.

"A dedicated teacher, Shore taught at the League of American Writers' School from 1942 to 1944 and at the People’s Education Center until its dissolution. She then taught from her home.

"Shore’s involvement with these schools, her work on the editorial board of the California Quarterly, a politically progressive publication, and other left-wing political activity caused her and her husband to be blacklisted during the House Committee on Un-American Activities hearings." Like most of the blacklisted, Shore and Solomon turned to other work, and also continued to work under other names in the blacklist-sensitive industries...Solomon was eventually a producer on The Great American Dream Machine for PBS.

Skipping ahead: a paid note in the New York Times, published May 12, 2006:

SOLOMON--Wilma Shore, 92. Writer, painter, wit and friend; wife of the late Lou Solomon; mother of Hilary Bendich, Berkeley, CA. and Dinah Stevenson, Hoboken, N.J; grandmother of Nora, Jonathan and Bridget; great grandmother of five; great great-grandmother of one. We welcome donations in her name to feminist, humane, or environmental organizations or those actively opposed to the Bush administration. A Memorial Gathering will be planned.

And, dated with the month of my birth, that first contribution to F&SF, the brilliant and gently caustic, if such a thing is possible, "Bulletin from the Trustees...", a story I first read ca. 1972 in my father's battered copy of Robert Silverberg's anthology Voyagers in Time. Meanwhile, note below the contents of that issue of F&SF, which include Shore's story as the lead, Fritz Leiber's important "When the Change Winds Blow" as the cover story, and early stories by Joanna Russ (her own gently caustic parody of Lovecraft) and Dennis Etchison (just after the start of his impressive career) and Thomas Disch (likewise). And editor Avram Davidson, noting the passing of artist and writer Hannes Bok, and otherwise brilliantly curating the issue (along with being my favorite writer on many days, his F&SF remains my favorite period of the magazine's long, impressive history).

The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, August 1964:

4 • Editorial (F&SF, August 1964) • [Editorial (F&SF)] • essay by Avram Davidson
5 • A Bulletin from the Trustees of the Institute for Advanced Research at Marmouth, Mass. • short story by Wilma Shore
12 • "I Had Vacantly Crumpled It into My Pocket . . . But By God, Eliot, It Was a Photograph from Life!" • [Cthulhu Mythos] • short story by Joanna Russ
22 • Books (F&SF, August 1964) • [Books (F&SF)] • essay by Avram Davidson
27 • Poor Planet • novelette by J. T. McIntosh
54 • Nada • short story by Thomas M. Disch
71 • Hannes Bok (Obit) • essay by Avram Davidson
72 • The Red Cells • [The Science Springboard] • essay by Theodore L. Thomas
73 • Epitaph for the Future • poem by Ethan Ayer
74 • A Nice, Shady Place • (1963) • short story by Dennis Etchison (Originally published in Associated Students, L.A. State College)
87 • Redman • short story by Robert Lipsyte and Thomas Rogers [as by Robert M. Lipsyte and Thomas Rogers]
95 • The Days of Our Years • [Asimov's Essays: F&SF] • essay by Isaac Asimov
105 • When the Change-Winds Blow • short story by Fritz Leiber
113 • In the Calendar of Saints • short story by Leonard Tushnet

You can now read several short stories, the cited radio play (or listen to it), and a couple of articles (so far) at a new post here, and reprinted below in this redux compilation post.

The next year, E. P. Dutton published Women Should Be Allowed, which includes the following stories, each with a long introduction in which Shore archly, wittily highlights a point or three the following story might support, mostly feminist points in those months after The Female Mystique and the Civil Rights Act and the ferment around the liberation movements of the previous decade-plus had no doubt given Shore at least some new hope, thus:

"A Mammal in a Black Crepe Dress" (published as "The Point of No Return of Gloria MacAdoo" in Good Housekeeping in 1957)

"All Sales Final" (as "The Dress from Bergdorf’s" (ss) Cosmopolitan Jun 1959)
"By the Still Waters of Ethel Wilkie" (as "Do You Take This Man?" GH 1955)
"Go and Catch a Falling Star" (Good Housekeeping Aug 1949)
"The Psychopathology of Everyday Life" (apparently first published in this collection)
"Some Kind of Lousy Cinderella" (as "It Was Different with Cinderella" (ss) The Saturday Evening Post Aug 24 1963)
"Good-bye Charlie" (as "What's Happened to Charlie?" GH, 1957)
"Yours Very Truly, (Miss) Leona Freemantle" (Antioch Review, 1960)
"I Can Get Along Fine" (as "I'll Get Along Fine" GH 1946)
"A Reasonable Facsimile" (as "Marry Me a Million" (ss) Cosmopolitan Feb 1949)
"May Your Days Be Merry and Bright" (The Saturday Evening Post Dec 21 1963)
"The Whole World Takes Off Its Hat to Sheree Wallach" (Ladies Home Journal May 1961)

--as the book's subtitle might suggest, the collection stands in at least partial refutation of the likes of James Thurber (and what might be called default attitude at The New Yorker and around the popular culture), and these stories, with their feminist messages unblunted by their titles being fiddled with by the women's magazines they were published in (when not the Saturday Evening Post or a little magazine), often cheek by jowl with their era's equivalents of today's "service" articles "How to Suppress Everything About Yourself to Snare That Man!" and "Why You Should Give In, For the Sake of the Marriage" and "How to Subvert the Fool without Him Catching On..." as well as more openly or tacitly feminist items, feature in most cases not so very enlightened young women learning better...about their current conditions, about the loutish swains they have been putting up with (and the often just as loutish if more polished men they aspire to) and their own often corrosively unsupportive families; about what really matters as opposed to Why It's Important to Be Married by 25 (though her characters almost to a woman do bristle, however subconsciously in some cases, at the notion that they need to be Safely Ensconced in marriage before they have had much chance to figure out what they need for themselves, while their potential mates have at least a decade or so more to come to some similar conclusions). A few stories deviate from this pattern, such as "May Your Days Be Merry and Bright," from the perspective of an empathetic woman in a retirement hotel, comparable to the upscale condo communities of today, watching the interactions of her colleagues and their families, the little power-plays and jostling for prestige--or the most savagely critical piece here of its female protagonist, "The Psychopathology of Everyday Life," about a boundary-free monster of ego and how she blithely "improves" the lives of her husband, son, and everyone else around her. Even the canniest of young women protagonists here, that of "A Reasonable Facsimile," finds her utter pragmatism in the face of Women's Estate in midcentury NYC shaken, probably if unsettlingly for the better, by the end of her story.

Wilma Shore was a hell of a writer, and her work richly rewards your attention. I probably should add to this critique, but I've my own pragmatic quotidian matters to attend to...though another, comparable writer I've not written well or enough about previously, Carol Emshwiller, is treated a bit more elegantly by James Sallis here.

Meanwhile, going to the FM Index at the link below and clicking through to the magazine issue contents, often seeing the context in which these satiric feminist stories were published (and often how much other fiction was published, even rather recently but not recently enough, by the women's magazines particularly, with Shore sharing space thus with John D. MacDonald and Daphne Du Maurier and A. A. Milne and Hughes Rudd and Hugh B. Cave, is another reminder of Times Changing).

from the FictionMags Index

SHORE, WILMA (1913- ) (chron.)

* The Butcher, (ss) Story Nov/Dec 1940

* Dress from Bergdorf’s, (ss) Cosmopolitan Jun 1959
* Go and Catch a Falling Star, (ss) Good Housekeeping Aug 1949
* It Was Different with Cinderella, (ss) The Saturday Evening Post Aug 24 1963
* Lock Stock and Barrel, (ss) Short Story Magazine #78 1951
* Marry Me a Million, (ss) Cosmopolitan Feb 1949
* May Your Days Be Merry and Bright, (ss) The Saturday Evening Post Dec 21 1963
* The Moon Belongs to Everyone, (ss) Short Story Magazine #70 1950
* The Ostrich Farm, (ss) Short Story Magazine #71 1950
* Someday I Have to Buy a Hat, (ss) Good Housekeeping Nov 1942
* Something of Her Own, (ss) McCall’s Mar 1944
* The Whole World Takes Off Its Hat to Sheree Wallach, (ss) Ladies Home Journal May 1961

From ISFDb:

Legal Name: Solomon, Wilma Shore
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Birthdate: 12 October 1913
Deathdate: May 2006

Short fiction (in sf/fantasy magazines):

A Bulletin from the Trustees of the Institute for Advanced Research at Marmouth, Mass. (1964) (F&SF, 8/64)
Goodbye Amanda Jean (1970) (Galaxy, 7/70)
Is It the End of the World? (1972) (F&SF, 3/72)
The Podiatrist's Tale (1977) (F&SF, 4/77)

For more of today's books, please see Patti Abbott's blog.

Wilma Shore contributions to The New Yorker (unless you're a subscriber, they want to charge you extra).

Wilma Shore and Louis Solomon in foreground,  at a banquet, ca. 1950

Three blogposts in total over the last half-decade isn't Too much to devote to the late, brilliant Wilma Shore, whose career is briefly limned here [as combined above and below]...along with links to the un-"protected" online archives of the magazines that ran these items (and a couple of posts offering both the script and the recording of the playlet she wrote with her husband for Orson Welles's CBS radio series).  An amusing set of magazines, too...there are a few other writers, but no too many, who might tie together the folded but extremely influential sf magazine Galaxy (which published among so much else Damon Knight's "To Serve Man", the first form of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, Frank Herbert's Dune Messiah and Ursula K. Le Guin's "The Day Before the Revolution"--Galaxy in its first decade particularly was the home of the kind of satire Kingsley Amis dubbed the "comic inferno"--eventual editor Frederik Pohl was Amis's choice as the best of 1950s sf writers), Good Housekeeping (now ever more a "service" magazine at well over a century of publishing), and the Communist-sponsored quasi-revival of the more broadly radical and also hugely influential magazine The Masses, retitled for the new decade The New Masses.  All of these stories are worth reading, the essays as well, and the playlet just a bit slight and humorously sentimental, but not extraordinarily so (and probably pitched just so to Welles or at least at his request). 
"Goodbye Amanda Jean" is a savage bit of satire, set in a version of 1970 U.S. that allows hunting humans for meat, but where killing just for sport is frowned upon, to say the least (and shooting a teenage girl pedestrian from a moving car, rather than from a stopped one or on one's own feet, is utterly illegal if possibly not prosecuted); Shore barely allows the reader time to gather much at all before Amanda Jean's father has failed to shield his daughter from a crosstown neighbor of sorts, and has, still stunned, accepted a side of the kill for dressing and refrigeration. The loss and injustice of it all still rankles him, and it might just be time to take retribution into his own hands...while staying more inarguably within the law. Bloodsport was in the air at the turn of the '70s, and Shore's story is unrelenting and as plausible as sending National Guard units onto various state university campuses and pointlessly dragging out a war in Vietnam while expanding it to neighboring countries. More startling to me is how much this story, which after appearance in Galaxy has only been reprinted in Robert Silverberg's anthology Alpha 2, and which I've read for the first time this week, prefigures the nature and the method of the satire I applied in one of my better stories, "Bonobos," published a decade back in Claude Lalumiere's webzine Lost story, as human/bonobo behavioral crosses might suggest, is as drenched in sex as this one is in violence, and is by intention funnier than Shore's story, but Shore's is the better story, and the laughter here is meant to have what Avram Davidson once referred to as a big bubble of blood in it, in describing a similarly incisive satire. A number of people to whom I've recently mentioned the Shore story remember it well, from reading it decades back. 
The newer of the two stories from The New Masses, "The Story of Dorothy Anstable", is a much more muted affair, but has an early example of the kind of overbearing stage mother, living through her family, who will recur in some of Shore's other stories; Dorothy also is fortunate enough to have her story retold by her rather slow-witted elder brother, so by the end, we're (or at least I'm) not exactly sure of all the details of how thoroughly her mother's obsession with the daughter's reliable promptness and attendance record, and the minor but Official recognition of it and the petty fame that has accrued with that, has derailed her daughter's life, but we have some sense of it. The least of these stories, but it still has a bit of a chill to it. Speaking of a bit of a chill, the story is immediately followed by an example of historical blank verse, about George Custer and Crazy Horse and their encounter, by none other than the relatively young Joseph Payne Brennan...never much of a poet, and sometimes a rather clumsy constructor of prose but not by any means always, and clearly like his Arkham House editor and publisher August Derleth at least an occasional contributor to the politically radical press. Wilma Shore and Joseph Payne Brennan, both praised by Avram Davidson, though AD liked Shore's work better.

"Some Day I Have to Buy a Hat" is a much more probable item to have sold to Good Housekeeping, the account of an obstetric nurse doing a favor for a young patient of her boss's private practice, during World War II, in the face of the disruption the war was causing. A far more humane tale than the first two, albeit by necessity just as cognizant of the ugly realities of its times, if also noting that some tragedy can be ameliorated, to some extent, by the kindness of relative strangers. (Shore's essay "What Happened to the Slicks?" notes that this kind of story, not at all shying away from what was happening in a world at war, was now something found in women's magazines that might previously have preferred more purely escapist, if also feminism-tinged, fare. ) It's notable that her story is the first piece of fiction one finds in the GH issue, blurbed by them "A story on the hard-boiled side, but there's a fair chance you'll like it." Shore later stories would get cover credits at the magazine.

"Decision" is the oldest of these stories, and much more deftly and complexly deals with racism, classism, sexism and the exigencies of Getting By under unfeeling bureaucracy and general inequity than something like the fairly recent film The Help, not too tough for a good short story written by an observer as sharp as Wilma Shore was when this was published in 1941, when the clumsy US bureaucracies were still coping as they did with the leftovers of the Great Depression, not quite yet also coping with US involvement with the war.  The last lines are almost inexorable, and still sting today. 

You can do much worse than visit with these stories and more, and the occasionally reprinted stories and memoirs, in one anthology or occasionally several, including the O. Henry Award Prize Stories, Best American Short Stories and the Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction's volumes over the decades, that await you from Ms. Shore's not so small set of contributions, along with those behind paywalls and the like from The New YorkerCosmopolitan, The NationThe Antioch Review, Women's Studies Quarterly, The Ladies Home Journal, The Saturday Evening Post and other magazines, or seeking out her two books, the short story collection Women Should Be Allowed and the apparently charming, Edward Lear-ish children's picture story Who in the Zoo? Perhaps I'll need to do more than I have so far to advocate and excavate here. 

The following links are to facsimile PDFs of stories and articles I've found so far, without need of a JSTOR, ProQuest or other membership, which latter will allow much greater access to a variety of her other stories and noted in my earlier post on Shore, one can read a handful of short stories and  a "casual" essay if you have a New Yorker subscription.

"Goodbye Amanda Jean"
from Galaxy, July 1970

"Go and Catch a Falling Star"*
from Good Housekeeping, August 1949

"The Story of Dorothy Anstable"
from The New Masses, 15 July 1947

"I Can Get Along Fine"*
magazine title: "I'll Get Along Fine"
from Good Housekeeping, January 1946

"Some Day I Have to Buy a Hat" 
from Good Housekeeping, November 1942

from The New Masses, 13 May 1941

*included in the collection Women Should Be Allowed (E. P. Dutton, 1965), Shore's only volume of short stories published so far, and as far as I can tell one of only two books with her 1976 children's picture book Who in the Zoo?...though she helped produce The California Quarterly at the turn of the 1950s as well...

radio playlet:
"Something's Going to Happen to Henry"
by Wilma Shore and Louis Solomon
for The Orson Welles Almanac, 1 December 1941 episode, with Janet Gaynor, Joseph Cotten, Ray Collins, Glenn Anders.
paired in the episode below with "Wilbur Brown, Habitat: Brooklyn," by Arthur Stander,  with Orson Welles, Ray Collins, Glenn Anders

The radio episode archived here.

Amusing that the Galaxy story is in the same issue as the first part of one of Heinlein's, shall we put it, more controversial, particularly among feminists and sympathizers, (and Not Greatest) novels...

"What Happened to the Slicks?" (on the improvement in slick-magazine fiction during World War II), The New Masses, 12 September 1944
"Young America Paints" (a review of a show of children's paintings at the NYC Museum of Natural History) The New Masses, 14 May 1940

JWA: Jewish Women's Archive
FictionMags Index
The late Robert Vaughn cited her in his blacklist history/PhD dissertation, Only Victims.

Friday's "Forgotten" Books (and Magazines, Short Fiction, Comics and Audiobooks): the links to the reviews and more: 30 November 2018

This week's books, unfairly (or sometimes fairly) neglected, or simply those the reviewers below think you might find of some interest (or, infrequently, you should be warned away from); certainly, most weeks we have a few not at all forgotten titles.  Founder Patti Abbott is on hiatus this if I've missed yours or someone else's, please let me know in comments...

Patti Abbott: favorite books of 2018

Les Blatt: Before Midnight by Rex Stout

John Boston: Amazing: Fact and Science Fiction Stories, November 1963, edited by Cele Goldsmith

Brian Busby: The Thread of Flame by Basil King

Martin Edwards: Singled Out by Simon Brett

Peter Enfantino: Atlas/Marvel horror comics May-June 1951

Peter Enfantino and Jack Seabrook: EC Comics December 1955

Will Errickson: Miss Finney Kills Now and Then by Al Dempsey

Curtis Evans: Charlotte MacLeod and "Whitey" Bolger

Paul Fraser: New Worlds SF, May 1965, edited by Michael Moorcock

John Grant: Mrs. Murphy's Underpants by Fredric Brown; The Front Seat Passenger by Pascal Garnier (translated by Jane Aitken)

Rich Horton: The Cobbler of Nîmes by M. Imlay Taylor; The Planet Killers by Robert Silverberg; We Claim These Stars! by Poul Anderson; short fiction by Sarah Monette; The Body Artist and Cosmopolis by Don DeLillo

Jerry House: Abu and the Seven Marvels by Richard Matheson

Kate Jackson: The Beast Must Die by Nicolas Blake; The Man in the Brown Suit by Agatha Christie

Tracy K: And Be a Villain by Rex Stout

Colman Keane: Route 12 by Marietta Miles; How Like an Angel and Ask for Me Tomorrow by Margaret Millar

George Kelley: The Big Book of Female Detectives edited by Otto Penzler; Blood Work edited by Rick Ollerman

Joe Kenney: The Mexican Connection by "Alexander Mason"

Margot Kinberg: Rumpole of the Bailey by John Mortimer

Rob Kitchin: Takoro Gorge by Jacob Ritari

B. V. Lawson: A Different Kind of Summer by "Jennie Melville" (Gwendoline Butler)

Evan Lewis: Will Eisner's The Spirit Archives, Volume One by Will Eisner, et al.

Steve Lewis: The Clue of the Second Murder by John Stephen Strange; Two Pistols South of Deadwood by Merle Constiner; A Secret Singing by Richard C. Smith

Mike Lind: Bombay Ice by Leslie Forbes

Gideon Marcus: Gamma, November 1963, edited by Charles Fritch

Todd Mason: Women Should Be Allowed and other writings by Wilma Shore

John F. Norris: Don't Open the Door by "Anthony Gilbert" (Lucy Malleson)

John O'Neill: Terra Incognita: Three Novellas by Connie Willis; Outside the Gates by Molly Gloss; buying paperbacks at a Dreamhaven Books convention table

Matt Paust: Troubled Deaths by Roderic Jeffries

James Reasoner: No Business of Mine by James Hadley Chase; Startling Stories, July 1952, edited by Samuel Mines

Richard Robinosn: The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries edited by Otto Penzler; The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi 

Gerard Saylor: Double Cross by Ben McIntyre; "Revival" by Stephen King

John Scoleri: Screen Stories, October 1971 (featuring a "The Omega Man" short story adaptation, by Jean Francis Webb, of the screenplay based loosely on I Am Legend by Richard Matheson)

Steven Silver: "The Figurine" by L. Sprague de Camp; "Bialystock Stronghead and the Mermen" by Frederik Pohl; "The Valor of Cappen Vara" by Poul Anderson; "The Centipede's Dilemma" by Spider Robinson

Victoria Silverwolf: Fantastic: Stories of Imagination, December 1963, edited by Cele Goldsmith

Kerrie Smith: The Storm Sister by Lucinda Riley

Kevin Tipple: On the Inside by Ted Wood

"TomCat": Murder for Christmas by "Francis Duncan" (William Underhill)

Danielle Torres: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

David Vineyard: The Exploits of Beau Quicksilver by Florence M. Pettee

Friday, November 23, 2018

Friday"s "Forgotten" Books (and magazines, comics and stories): the links to the reviews for 23 November 2018

Birthday greetings, slightly belated, for yesterday to Paul Barnett, who writes as John Grant!

This week's books, unfairly (or sometimes fairly) neglected, or simply those the reviewers below think you might find of some interest (or, infrequently, you should be warned away from); certainly, most weeks we have a few not at all forgotten titles.  Founder Patti Abbott is taking a break this if I've missed yours or someone else's, please let me know in comments...

Mark Baker: Books Can Be Deceiving by Jenn McKinlay

cover story by a young Neal Barrett, Jr.