Sammath Naur
Mythopoeic Society of Hawaii

Discussing Science Fiction & Fantasy Literature since 1975

Suggestions for 2007

The Bear Went Over The Mountain by William Kotzwinkle for Sammath

Burt's Comments: I asked my cousin Mary's book group in Alaska for slam dunk recommendation for our group. We are close to them in that they like to eat, socialize, read short (no thicker than a peanut butter sandwich) and fun books just like we do. The Bear That Came Over the Mountain was the big sure-fire. A university english professor desperate to hold on to his job sequesters himself in the woods to write a novel. The novel turns out to be a humdinger. Going into town one day he worries that someone will steal his manuscript so he hides it under a tree. A bear finds it, starts reading it, realizes it's pretty good and heads to the big city to pass himself off as the author and get it published. The book follows what happens to him in the big city and the professor in the woods.
BOTTOM LINE: 90% of the book club should like this...a lot. I got lots of strange looks in public when I would let out a loud Burtness laugh in a restaurant or standing in line reading it

Book of Lost Things by John Connolly for Sammath

Vanessa's Comments: Well, I'll take Ed's lead and recommend a book I haven't read because it looks so good. An email arrived in my in box this morning from B&N highlighting this just published book. I looked at the excerpt and was immediately sucked in.

To quote B&N's email: "...a touching portrait of a boy facing his fears while on the verge of adulthood. Months after his mother's death at the outset of World War II, 12-year-old David finds himself in the British countryside with a new stepmother and half-brother. His attic bedroom, filled with books, overlooks a sunken garden with a curious hole in its wall, through which he enters an eerie realm where the inhabitants, from the bloodthirsty Loups to the aging king, live in fear of the Crooked Man. It's a book that stays with you not only for the height of its imagination, but also for the depth of its feeling. "

Camouflage by Joe Haldeman for Sammath

Vanessa's Comments: A quick and interesting read. that sucks you into the story and immediately becomes difficult to put down. An alien life form which has adapted to be able to change its form at will. Immortal beings which have been send out in vessels to travel to the stars. One such vessel splashes into the Pacific Ocean long before the dawn of man. One life form begins to explore the planet taking on the shape of a shark exploring the oceans for millennium eventually forgetting it's own origins. Then in 1931 it takes on the identity of a man and begins to explore the world of man. Interesting historical episodes as the creature lives through some of the significant events of the past century.
Concurrently told is a fast forward to the future in 2019 when the vessel is discovered in a trench in the Pacific Ocean.

Child of Flame by Kate Elliot for Sammath

Burt's Comments: Continue the saga, wonderful characters, exciting story, support Alis.

Castle Waiting by Linda Medley for Sammath

Burt's Comments: This is a graphic fantasy novel. It's like reading classic comic fantasy. Interconnected stories and characters, at times disjointed but interesting ideas and writing/drawing. Women power is the name of the game here, men are only supporting, thank you very much. Jane Yolen loved it and pitches it on the cover. I enjoyed it.
BOTTOM LINE: 90% of the book club should like this. It's a fast enjoyable read and may entice our younger members into participating.

Delights and Shadows by Ted Kooser for Moolelo

Burt's Comments: This is the book that won him the Pulitzer Prize. The Former Poet Laureate of the United States Ted puts the fun and joy back in poetry. Unpretentious with a capital U Ted was the first (and still only) poet laureate from the Great Plains. He's a man you want to invite to dinner and afterwards listen to him tell stories by the fireplace.

Eifelheim by Michael Flynn for Sammath

Ed's Comments: Two parallel stories: A modern historian and his physicist girlfriend investigate a medieval German town's disappearance. In 1348, as the Black plague sweeps Europe, a village priest makes a startling discovery in the woods. (Carl Sagan meets Umberto Eco) Disclosure - I
have not read it yet.

Fledgling by Octavia Butler for Sammath

Vanessa's Comments: Earlier this year the world lost a wonderful SF writers, Octavia Butler. I first came across her writings at the recommendation of Orson Scott Card and I fell in love with her writings. The last book written by this extraordinary writer is an evocative vampire book with SF overtones. Fledgling is the story of a young vampire who has lost her memory of who she is.



God's Debris by Scott Adams

Vanessa's Comments: Only 144 pages, but the most mind bending 144 pages -- covering God, Evolution, Quantum Physics, Free Will, ESP, Gravity and much more.... The book can be purchased in print or is available free from the Dilbert Blog website.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein

Jeremy's Comments: This is a classic book that has been revisited several times. I think it should be revisited again because people have already read it so you don't need to re-read it and you can catch up on some of the other reading and it's new to me. It's a great book filled with midget, dwarfs, and wizards. You can't say no to that!

The King Must Die by Mary Renault for Sammath

Willy Comments: The telling of the greek tale of Theseus.It is a quick read, although about 400 pages. Mary Renault weaves a atmosphere of an ancient world, full of gods, ambition, and uncertainty, completely different than our concerns today. Fate and chance are key elements, the weavers weaving our fate or moria.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy for Sammath

Ed's Comments: An unflinching tour of an America rendered barbaric by a fiery cataclysm that ends most life on earth. A father and son trudge across a wasteland of burnt trees and skeletons, evading murderers and cannibals. Grim as "The Road" is, it's more anguishing emotionally, as the ailing father struggles, out of febrile love for his son, to keep the boy and hope alive. On the New York Times best-seller list. Disclosure - I have not read it yet.

  • The Road Excerpt unavailable

Sabriel by Garth Nix for Sammath.

First book in the Abhorsen triology, which was nominated for the Mythopoeic Society Best Children's Book. (Note: This book is young adult to adult.)

Jeremy's Comments: First off I'd like to say if my book doesn't get voted in, it will smash my tiny ego and I will never be able to read another book in my life.

I would like to suggest Sabriel because it's a good book that incorporates darkness, goodness and love and such. It follows the adventures of a young girl becoming a necromancer who tries to keep the dead dead and the evil impending forces dead. It sure sounds strange with the idea of the dead coming to life. But, I think it's a great book. It has great characters like the talking cat, Mogget, and the frozen prince and the main character Sabriel.

Vanessa's Comments: Garth Nix is probably one of the best current fantasy writers. His writing is simply superb. In Sabriel, Nix creates two worlds which border each other. In one magic still holds sway, in the other a more contemporary world to our own a hundred years ago or so. Sabriel is a daughter of a necromancer and has been trained in the arts. The book starts with her at boarding school just across the border from the magical world. Sabriel's father disappears and she must journey back to the magical world and even into the death realm to find her father and rescue him.

The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue for both

Quote from Peter Beagle which tells it all.
" The Stolen Child is a truly remarkable work on the ancient legend of the changeling. Keith Donohue's poignant take on the myth, rooting it in our time, and telling it from the alternating viewpoints of the two changelings, makes for one of the most touching and absorbing novels I have read in years."
Burt's Comments: The is NOT borderline. It's as mythy as they come and still can be found in the literature section. I requested it from the Library in March. I was 19th on the List and I didn't get it until October. It was worth the wait.
BOTTOM LINE: 50-60% of the book club will like this book. It's not all sunshine and light, and it's not all doom and gloom. It's a honest effort to imagine the reality of this myth. If changelings and hobgoblins don't interest you at all then this is not the book for you.

Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link for both

Steve's Comments: This is the fist book of short stories by Kelly Link, the author of Magic for Beginners, which we just read. I've read some of the stories, and they're good, just like the ones in the other book - witty, imaginative, funny, surprising, odd (right up our alley). Unfortunately, it's not available in the state library system, or at Borders Ward or Kaneohe. Availability at Barnes & Noble is unknown, as their web site apparently doesn't allow store searches. The paperback version is available from Amazon for $11.36.