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12-19-14 : Mark Samuels 'Written in Darkness'

Sinkholes of Despair

It is all too human to feel despair, and oh so easy to fall in love with it. Those moments of anguish that nobody can avoid, their chill darkness, the numbing of our colonized minds, they all offer us the bliss of oblivion. Blot out our thoughts. Let us slide from life.

Mark Samuels' short story collection 'Written in Darkness' bubbles up out of those depths and with each story, slips us as readers another comforting round of numb. This is an abyss that is not content to merely gaze back. For Samuels, nothingness is everything.

The collection is short, a mere 128 pages, but feels full. Reading 'Written in Darkness' is the literary equivalent of an ice bath. You're engulfed. If you survive, and you will, you will want more.

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What is The Agony Column?

"He took down the great book in which, day by day, he filed the agony columns of the various London journals. "Dear me!" said he, turning over the pages, "what a chorus of groans, cries, and bleatings! What a rag-bag of singular happenings! But surely the most valuable hunting-ground that ever was given to a student of the unusual!"

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure of the Red Circle

NEW!!! 12-19-14: Audio Book Review : Mark Samuels, Written in Darkness
12-16-14: Time to Read Episode 187: Christopher Hobbs and Leslie Gardner: Grow it, Heal It: Natural and Effective Herbal Remedies from Your Garden or Windowsill

12-16-14: A 2014 Interview with Christopher Hobbs

"I want to integrate both the traditional uses and the traditional wisdom and knowledge and experience with modern science." —Christopher Hobbs

Christopher Hobbs is easygoing and relaxed as we sit down to discuss his book 'Grow It, Heal It' — more so than I'll ever be. After all, here's a man who has spent his life in the world of natural health, mining ancient medicine with modern science. The continuity implied has got to give him the level of peace and intelligence that he brings to the conversation.
12-09-14: A 2014 Interview with Tad Williams

"...Heaven and Hell couldn't be an open, on-going dramatic conflict; it would be more like the Cold War." —Tad Williams

After Tad Williams and I sat down at the dining room table in my house to talk about his latest novel, 'Sleeping Late on Judgment Day,' I was once again struck by his amazing ability to get to the heart of any question, and his willingness to rip apart his own assumptions. Williams is an eloquent spokesman for what he calls 'hard fantasy.'
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The Agony Column Literary Magazine for December 21, 2014, 6-7 PM PDT
Christopher Hobbs, Alan Cheuse and Kathy Freston. Email me.

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