I have been operating Lyn McClenaghan Tutoring Service for over 12 years. Read the rest of this entry »
Essential Classic of a creative non-fiction that exploits the best elements of fiction and a compelling read Read the rest of this entry »
To Set A Watchman Read the rest of this entry »
I often mention in my posts that part of my research as an author involves reading the works of other writers including other Indi authors. Read the rest of this entry »
Brilliant re-imagining of Frankenstein myth Read the rest of this entry »
A beautiful and sad novel which is impossible to fit into any particular genre, explores the complex moral issues raised by a religious family’s decision to refuse medical treatment to their son Adam as it involves a blood transfusion. Adam, 17, almost 18 – and this is crucial to the story – agrees with them.
I need ya, Deck…I need the old Bladerunner, I need your magic Read the rest of this entry »
From the opening lines Ray’s autobiography is imbued with a personal touch which contrasts Mick Wall’s cynicism. Read the rest of this entry »
Minutes ago I saw an advertisement which featured an image that I have used and paid for on my Ebook novel In Jeopardy. I hope this person/organization has paid Shutterstock for the use of this image as I did. I am aware I don’t have exclusive rights to this image. However, I find this confronting given that I changed the previous cover of In Jeopardy when I found the image had been used on another book cover after mine had been published.
Imagine yourself peering into a bookshop window at the other side of the country and seeing your book cover on display with another title? In this case the proprietor (a) removed the book from the window (b) was very helpful and disclosed full details of the use of this image, which was legitimate. None the less really frustrating. My jaw dropped when I discovered that a friend on Facebook had used this image to promote one his own ventures. Even more disheartening was when I discovered that he had recently viewed my post displaying this cover.
Original cover is at the top left
New cover – recently viewed on Facebook is at the top right
I thoroughly enjoyed each of these stories as they are all as well written and dramatic as the best known of the collection, The Lost World. Arthur Conan Doyle’s writing here has stood the test of time; modern readers will find his prose engaging and accessible, not dated or impenetrably dense.
These stories are generically interesting too – fantasy, romance, adventure, thriller mixed in with a kind of early science-fiction. What also struck me was that there is a strong thread of social criticism implicit in some of the stories, most notably in Land of Mist, which I’ll return to in just a moment. Doyle has a social conscience; although it may seem elitist, his decrying of his period’s general scientific ignorance and closed-mindedness is just as relevant today. Another example is in The Disintegration Machine, with its trenchant condemnation of the amoral development and sale of weapons of mass destruction.
Arthur Conan Doyle is sometimes mocked for what some take to be his naïve credulity in matters of the occult. The story in this collection, Land of Mist is criticised by another reviewer as merely an apology for the author’s spiritualist beliefs. Rather, it is a study of how society may ruthlessly crush those it deems heretical, and its focus on institutional authoritarianism, police duplicity, the corruption of the law and the exploitation of the helpless is quite moving. Some of the scenes recall Dickens’ depictions of poverty and squalor.
For the price you cannot go wrong with this collection. Reading these stories has inspired me to seek out other examples of the author’s lesser known works.