The Life and Times of SKAborough Fair

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Ann Arbor, MI. 1990. Louie is drowning his sorrows in crappy retail jobs while trying to avoid the inevitable transition into pending adulthood. Through a mix of luck, rebellion, and boredom, he makes new friends who form a ska band, SKAborough Fair, to pass the time. Louie, Denis, Ruby, Harry, and Rudie have an undeniable chemistry on stage and generate a genuine hit song that charts but earns them the label of "one-hit wonder." As they try to shake that label, tour the world, and find themselves, they stumble through the pains of navigating young adulthood and adjusting to the stress of creating new music. Eventually, tensions between some band members threaten to break the band apart as the other members try to keep the peace and produce new music, hoping to find unity in the one thing that brought them together.

<adult, contemporary bookclub fiction>

Lies from Beechwood Drive

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In Opole, Michigan, they celebrate their Polish heritage by baking paczkis and hosting an annual Wianki festival. Esther Fuhrman is a small-town gossip in Opole who slips in and out of everyone’s lives. She spreads their stories, adding her own details when necessary to fill the gaps or make the stories more interesting. Whether it’s the pornography being distributed on the playground, the sale of firearms on the school bus, or a cheese shoppe that might be a front for the mob, Esther has her nose in it all. Sometimes she uncovers a truth and averts a disaster, and other times she’s simply wrong. When the neighbors lose faith in her as a reliable source for news and close their doors to Esther, she struggles to establish a new identity and purpose.

<adult, contemporary bookclub fiction>

Voyager

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On Earth, Grover Baines (a NASA scientist) is murdered in 1979 when he stumbles upon a secret third Voyager flight. Unlike the two other probes, Voyager 3 was a small manned craft loaded with reproductive material in hopes of finding a suitable planet for habitation on Alpha Centauri. The scientist's family continues to unravel clues about what happened, and whether there's any truth to the papers they discover. Years later, in 2001, a fourth Voyager is sent on the same mission. Though technology has advanced dramatically in the 24 years since the first three Voyagers were launched, this mission manages to remain secret amid the attacks on the Twin Towers. When contact is lost with Voyager 4, plans are put into motion for a 5th Voyager to retrieve its lost siblings. As NASA struggles to reconcile the past, the crews on each ship wrestle with the boredom of space and limitations of the technology available to them, and the Baines family attempts to find peace with the past. 

<adult, literary, science fiction>

Bidding Wars

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Jenny is an orphan caught in the middle of a bidding war between two clerks with ties to wealthy philanthropists, who find ways to manipulate the system through insider trading. The Market allows shares of children to be traded, where more investment provides a better opportunity for the child's future. However, you can also short a child's stock and bet on him or her failing. Because orphans are unknown commodities, they offer great risk and potential reward for savvy investors, but leave the orphans to the whims of the Market.

<adult, literary, speculative fiction>

Emergency Preparedness (and other stories)

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The eleven collected stories represent work beginning at as early as 1997 and as recent as 2018. It’s certainly not all inclusive of the work done during that period, but these stories share elements and themes in common. Though the stories span so many years, they share a general sense of humor, exploration of quasi-sci-fi/speculative fiction, and relationships echo through the sentences.

<adult, humor, sci-fi, speculative fiction>