Biedermeier: his identity, both mistaken and true
Otto Biedermeier, the Hollywood icon and B-movie legend, was murdered by his wife, Mysterious Circumstances. Tom Lenz, a film historian and the director’s biographer, wants to update his 20-year-old monograph as well as to pay his respects.
After meeting again with Ms. Circumstances, a former circus performer whose specialty of magic tricks on the high wire had made her briefly famous before capturing the heart of the filmmaker, Tom Lenz has his doubts.
Once, I had asked,“Why? Does it matter? No one seems to care. People apparently want to be lied to. That’s what politics is. That’s why they go to the movies, isn’t it?”
Otto was firm in his answer. “Truth matters. You have to look for it. What our children know is our only legacy. That’s why I make my movies.”
A Republic of Books
This is my chance, then, to cast myself in the hero’s role. I’ve been a humble author and bookseller for all these years. (Allow me my hyperbole—at least I’m much humbled.) I don’t run into tall buildings to save women and children while other’s flee. (My knees have never been so strong, but it bears asking, do the women need the saving anymore?) My eyes are not good enough to fly jet planes or hit a fast ball.
I sell old books and the few that are new that are worth the time, and write novels I cannot sell. And though the writing has been much ignored, it is a witness to what I do and what I’ve done—that is, for sixty-eight years I have done pretty much what suited me.
And here, at last, is a chance to do what is arguably better if not best. The argument is not settled. (That whine you hear is not self pity, but the wind in the gears.) I sally forth. My armor is the truth. I have a worthy truck for my steed. My companion is—well, we’ll work that out.
In his study of the past, John Finn can glimpse whole lives and imagine how they were lived. There he can even imagine his own life complete.
Now, he has stumbled on love again, only to lose it. What is he actually good for?
Perhaps only to find out what happened to a girl who was lost two hundred years ago—and to avoid getting shot in the meantime.
The knight’s tale: a story of the future
If history repeats itself, the future may come more than once.
Three generations after the end of the famines and plagues now known as ‘The Elide,’ when the Long Wars are little more than legend, a depopulated world has renewed itself again.
The earth’s abandoned colonies in the heliosphere are flourishing and independent, while the ‘remnant’ peoples of the earth have reorganized under weakened governments without armies.
Trade between the outer nations and the earth has increased steadily as fears of lingering viruses fade and the demand by the former settlements for the earth’s natural resources and raw materials like wood, fertile soil, and specific minerals, continues to grow.
In a mere three weeks of the year 2162, John Holt, an aging paladin in the now dwindling Order of Pelagius, those sworn to defend surviving civilization, attempts to keep his own honor while fulfilling his duty and resolving past mistakes, even as he confronts his own future.
Called upon by a Wilmer Wright, a former knight and now local sheriff, to solve the mundane murder of a cattleman in New Hampshire, John is beguiled once more by the sheriff’s daughter, Glenys, as he finds himself entangled in the breaking of a local slave trade, snared by the correcting of a wrongful death he may have caused, and obligated to investigate another.
Unknowingly at first, he must confront a greater power working to dominate the Myriad nations of the earth and the independent states of the heliosphere, even as a previously vanquished foe seeks revenge amidst a clash of history and circumstance, using railguns, railroads, dirigibles, steam trucks, and river barges, and with the help of a horse named Rosie.
The Dark Heart of Night
1937. Murder before breakfast.
A beer and a beating for lunch.
Just don’t be late for dinner or a deadline.
A Slepyng Hound to Wake
Chaucer said “It is nought good a slepyng hound to wake.” Henry Sullivan, bookhound, is ready to be that sleeping dog: to settle down in his new apartment and enjoy life with his new girlfriend.