Essays, Reviews, and Other Oddments

This is my junkdrawer of odds'n'ends, especially the offbeat, quirky, and lighthearted stuff that doesn't directly pertain to my "day job" as a computer technology author, editor, and futurist. Some of this was originally published elsewhere; much of it appears nowhere but here. I've written quite a bit of miscellanous copy over the years, and as I find the time to recast it as HTML I'll post it here.

Essays and Appreciations

Ghostbusting in a 1968 Chevelle

I've Been to Distraction on a Thing With No Name

In Memoriam: Mr. Byte, 1980-1995

Jeff Duntemann's 7 Tips for Young People Writing Commercial Fiction

Tom Swift, Jr.: An Appreciation

Where Is Everybody...Really?

Book and Music Reviews

Heads up! I must point out here that all of my reviews are major spoilers. I write long, detailed reviews that take books on point by ugly point. I cannot do this (especially on novels) without spilling a good part of the beans, especially from cans that are mostly empty to begin with. So if you object to spoiler reviews, stay here and read the one-line summaries. After you've read the book, you can always come back and flame me for slagging one of your favorites.

Another disclaimer to those who don't know me well: Yes, I am a book publisher, reviewing books published by other book publishers. However, I am limiting myself here to reviewing books that my own publishing company would never in a gazillion years even think of publishing. If the list seems to run heavily to whacko stuff, well, don't think that it's all I read. It's just all I can in good conscience review.


The Message of the Sphinx

by Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval

Category: Fringe Science

Short form:

Methinks the Sphinx winks at we who thinks we knows when he was builded...

Jeff's Recommendation:

Fast, crazy fun if you're willing to suspend some disbelief in pursuit of a good time.


'Scuse Me While I Kiss This Guy

by Gavin Edwards and Chris Kalb

Category: Humor

Short Form:

If you can't hear the song you sing, just sing the song you hear.

Jeff's Recommendation:

Major pants wetter. Don't miss it.

The Bleeding Mind

by Ian Wilson

Category: Fringe Science

Short form:

You can get rid of warts, improve your bustline, or take on the wounds of Christ, just by thinking.

Jeff's Recommendation:

Engaging, not exciting. Good book to talk about late at night after a few drinks.


In Heaven, As On Earth

by M. Scott Peck, M.D.

Category: Metaphysical Fiction

Short form:

Dear God, if there are indeed "many mansions" in Your house, stick me in another one. Please. Any other one. Your choice.

Jeff's Recommendation:

Ghastly book by a wonderful writer. Buy a hair shirt instead. You'll have more fun.

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