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The Spellman Files


Have you read any of the Spellmans series? If you haven’t found this cozy, hysterically funny mystery series, you’ve got to check it out – especially if you’re a fan of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. (And yes, I’ve said this before.)

Isabel Spellman’s whole family is – strange? weird? unpredictable? They are a family of private investigators (except for the older brother, David, who is a lawyer). While they take care of their clients, they spy on each other as well. If you haven’t read these, run to your nearest library and check out the first one, The Spellman Files.

After I finished the marvelous Physics of the Impossible Friday evening, I picked up the final book in the Spellman series, The Spellmans Strike Again. Despite the fact the family was coming here today for dinner and the house cleaning I had to do, I still tore right through this book.

By now the narrative style Lisa Lutz uses in these books is no longer new. Yet it’s still fresh and I still found myself laughing out loud at the family’s antics. These books are family friendly reading – no bad language, no questionable bedroom scenes, no violence. I’ve recommended these books from my mother-in-law and my mother to my youngest daughter and anyone who can read at this easy adult level. Age doesn’t matter – although you might not want precocious younger teens reading these. They’ll get lots of ideas to disrupt everyone’s life.

I’m sorry the stories are ending, yet they end in a good way. Everything is tied up as well as life ever lets up tie up our stories. Thanks, Ms. Lutz, for these great books.

Turning Science Fiction Into Science


Physics of the Impossible by Michio KakuIt was impossible for me to ignore a nonfiction physics book with a picture of the Tardis from Dr. Who on the cover. So I borrowed a copy of Physics of the Impossible by Michio Kaku from my public library. It’s fascinating.

Kaku’s main focus is to show how physics is moving into the realm of “impossible” science fiction. In the process of showing the reader what could happen, we learn what is happening or how it is happening. For example, in his discussions about phasers and light sabers, Kaku describes how computer chips keep getting faster and are able to hold more on them. Then he mentions how some studies into storing data on crystals are developing into reality. I know computer crystals rather than chips has been a science fiction staple for decades.

Right now I’m listening to Brightness Reef by David Brin in the car. One of the six alien races living on the planet Jijo moves around on wheels. I kept trying to picture how that would work, even with bones in sockets, etc. Then I learn in Kaku’s book that nature on Earth has already mastered atomic machines in some tiny creatures – so the possibility that larger creatures could work similarly is not a far stretch of the imagination. Brin’s characters could work after all.

Obviously science and science fiction work together. Science fiction takes imagination of what’s possible from what we know. Science can then turn that science fiction into reality. Then science fiction will take the imagination further. Then science will add to reality. Etc, etc, etc.