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MirrorMask (children's edition)
Neil Gaiman
The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories, Volume One: Where on Earth
Ursula K. Le Guin
Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown
Maud Hart Lovelace
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Oscar Wilde, Camille Cauti
Riders of the Purple Sage
Zane Grey
Vampires, Zombies, & Wanton Souls
Marge Simon
Blackout - Mira Grant For me, the Newsflesh Trilogy got off to a thrilling, emotionally draining start in Feed, peaked somewhere in the middle of Deadline, stepped off its high a bit while still packing punch throughout most of Blackout, and then what payoff did I get for my 1,700 pages worth of trouble? A weak "ride off into the sunset" moment told from a third-person pov. Thanks for that Mira. Disappointed!

Still, there's so much that's lovable about Blackout. Georgia's back! (Well, 97% of her's back anyway.) And three cheers for Grant's confirmation of Georgia's and Shaun's incestuous relationship. Don't get me wrong, I'm no proponent of doing away with the taboos surrounding incest. But I admire Grant's courage in letting the story go to that uncomfortable place. And Steve? Rick? President Ryman? They're all back for one last go.

In the end, I'll remember the ethical and philosophical debates running throughout the Newsflesh Trilogy. Here's one among many thought-provoking statements on truth:

The dangerous thing about truth is the way it changes depending on how you're looking at it. One man's gospel truth is another man's blasphemous lie. The dangerous thing about people is the way we'll try to kill anyone whose truth doesn't agree with ours.

That's a gem from Georgia-clone-person, a bit reminiscent of the words uttered by Pontius Pilate in response to Jesus in the Gospels - "What is truth?" Ask around and you'll probably get as many different answers as their are people. Scary that, the subjectivity and inconvenience of the truth. Hence the popularity of fundamentalists and other assurance-peddlers who promise salvation in black-and-white.

Georgia and Shaun would make horrible fundamentalists. Sure, Georgia holds firmly to the notion of "truth" as subjective. At the same time, she rejects any objective idea of "Truth" whether expounded by priests or scientists. As a theologian, I can't help but hear in Georgia's words a critique of high Christologies and soteriologies (salvation): "I did not change the world by dying. All I did was die." I'm not saying Georgia stands in for Jesus in the story. But I do hear the critique of hiding behind heroes and saviors hoping they will win the day on our behalf. Rhetoric is only as good as the response generated. We have agency in this world! We must respond! Otherwise, nothing.

Philosophically, Georgia and Shaun are dyed-in-the-wool existentialists. Shaun minimizes the supernatural by saying people are "meat" moved by electrical impulses. Both Shaun and Georgia claim that all relationships outside of their own are unimportant, even meaningless. If God's working behind the scenes of their zombie-filled, truth-challenged world, then who can blame them for rejecting all but human agency? Divine Love makes no sense when you're a vessel for a dehumanizing virus, even if that virus "resurrects" its victims. Resurrection devoid of promise; Pandora's box with the "hope" tag removed - that's the world of the 2040s. I'll be 70 then. So much for chess in the park I guess.

Grant asks when I will rise. Good question, but I have a better one for her. When will your ending get a pulse? Disappointed!