Despite not being a fan of zombie stories or knowing much about the history of the Titanic, I enjoyed Chris Pauls and Matt Solomon’s Deck Z immensely. I had prepared myself for a silly backstory as to why zombies were on that fateful voyage to begin with, but the authors carefully crafted a plausible scenario and sympathetic characters. In true thriller style, the plot was relentless, chugging full steam ahead just like the doomed ship. I appreciated the small details, like structuring the novel into three stages just like the stages of the zombifying disease. Captain Smith was a proper hero, just as I imagined he would have conducted himself in such a bleak scenario, and though liberties might have been taken with certain historical figures and moments, they were done so respectfully. My only complaint is that the length did not allow for much exploration of the characters outside of pitched zombie battles. I’ll stop now to avoid any spoilers and urge you to pick up a copy for a quick, satisfying read.
I love Sherlock Holmes. I wanted to love this book, too, and expected I would at least like it, based on the blurb and the subtitle. The author obviously loves Holmes, too, which saved this from being a one-star review, because I did enjoy the excerpts from Doyle’s stories. Regardless, I gave up about a third of the way through because the book was just so padded and I didn’t care enough about thinking like Sherlock Holmes to continue slogging through it.
If one of your new year’s resolutions is to write more letters, why not send a friend one of these adorable squid greeting cards by makoshark? The Squid of Reassurance is my favourite. There are many designs, with and without squid, as well as different products like t-shirts, iPhone cases, stickers, and kids’ clothing.
“How I Came to Work at the Wendy’s” is a mini-comic by Nick St. John, who crafts a poignant, compelling story without teetering into absurdity or mawkishness. I am eager to read the rest of St. John’s comics, but not all at once because I need there to be more around.
As a newbie to the brain of Robert Charles Wilson — of his other novels, I’ve only read Darwinia — I was prepared for big questions with few answers. I was not disappointed. The story here is not one of overt heroics or melodramatic clashes but rather the quiet, bewildering moments of humanity as our collective “buckets of grief.” We grieve for the world as it was, the world as it could be, and eventually the world as it is: infrastructure crumbling, paranoia swelling, violence reigning.
Not that the story ends without hope, because it does. But I asked myself as I turned the final page if, even as we learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it. The central idea of time travel is paired with the idea of belief, and how what we expect to be true or significant (or moral, or just … I could go on) informs the landscape of our future. In a way, we are all constantly time-traveling, remembering the parts of our past to paint us in our best light, only seeing the interesting and shiny parts of our present. We build the future; we build our monuments to the future.
Once again, Robert Charles Wilson asks important questions and leaves it to us to find our own answers.