Sara Kendell once read somewhere that the tale of the world is like a tree. The tale, she understood, did not so much mean the niggling occurrences of daily life. Rather it encompassed the grand stories that caused some change in the world and were remembered in ensuing years as, if not histories, at least folktales and myths. By such reasoning, Winston Churchill could take his place in British folklore alongside the legendary Robin Hood; Merlin Ambrosius had as much validity as Martin Luther. The scope of their influence might differ, but they were all a part of the same tale. -- Charles de Lint's Moonheart

Those are indeed severed finger cookies complete with, as you will discover when you bite one of them, strawberry filling. Kestrell Rath's trying to get them perfect for her Halloween tea party, so do tell her what you think of them please. And yes, those are demon skulls complete with horns spun out of sugar -- very nice crunch when you bite down into them.

As you well know, October is a cold, rainy, and often simply nasty time as regards the weather 'ere in the place where the Green Man offices are located, with the result that there's lot of folk staying inside today reading, drinking warm beverages, and generally just having a quietly low-key day. Our Editor, Cat Eldridge, is having several pints of Headless Jack's Pumpkin Spice Halloween Ale while re-reading Moonheart for what is probably the fourth time. I certainly envy him for the Subterranean Press edition of that book, as it is truly magnificent!

I see April Gutierrez curled up near the fireplace in The Robert Graves Memorial Reading Room with Daphne du Maurier's House on the Strand drinking a cup of divine, thick dark drinking chocolate with a cat or two helping her out.

So let's see who else chimed in on this subject...

Connor Corcoran of Conlan Press and über-editor for Peter S. Beagle says:

Me, I'm on a space opera binge -- both the new stuff like Peter F. Hamilton, and the old stuff like E.E. "Doc" Smith that first set my mind whirling when I was 11 years old. Can't explain why -- I'm just rolling with it.

As for beverages, right now I hop back and forth between decaffeinated pomegranate green tea and non-dairy hot chocolate made with almond milk. I know, I's a strange life.

Like our Editor, Zina Lee has had some major life chnages, hence her detailed answer:

Right now, with things so busy and so much on my mind, I'm going for books that I can dip in and out of easily. The current book on the iPad is The QI Book of the Dead by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson, which covers the lives of 38 extraordinary human beings (most famous, some not so).

I'm currently on the entry for Jeremy Bentham, the social philosopher and reformer, who left his body to be preserved in a glass-fronted wooden cabinet at University College, London. They put his skeleton into his clothes and posed him in an as-life pose on his favorite chair and with his favorite walking stick, but couldn't seem to get the preserving of his head right, so it has a death mask now; originally they put the head at his own feet, but after too many undergraduate pranks involving the head, they stored it safely away.

He was the first person we know of to use the words 'international' and 'monetary' and defined 'utility' as the property in an object which tends to produce pleasure, good or happiness, or to prevent the happening of mischief, pain, evil or unhappiness. Bentham was the author of the revolutionary idea that the law should be used to ensure the greatest happiness of the greatest number of people -- a highly radical idea, as the aristocracy, the Crown, and the judicial systems of the times had never before considered that ordinary people were entitled to happiness. His friendships with Thomas Jefferson and James Madison meant his ideas helped inform their ideas for their new country, as well as Catherine the Great, Francisco da Miranda, and Talleyrand.

Oops, sorry, got a bit carried away.

I love bits and pieces of useless knowledge, and useless knowledge about people is especially fascinating. As for hot drink, it's going to be hot chocolate or tea.'

Robert M. Tilendis likes curling up with a good book, but who here doesn't?

I'm likely to do single-author or series marathons, sometimes from my reread frequently list. If I'm feeling really ambitious, I might do the entire Black Company series by Glen Cook, or maybe George Alec Effinger's Budayeen novels, backed by Jon Courtenay Grimwood's Arabesks -- those are a nice combination. I might even, this year, consider finishing Steven Erikson's The Malazan Book of the Fallen. (Yes, I know, but we're talking long-term projects here -- when the weather settles in in Chicago -- which it does sometimes, believe it or not -- it can settle in for a while.) Or, if I'm in a lighter mood, I might dive into Kazuya Minekura's Saiyuki -- who knows, I might even do all three series. Or Tite Kubo's Bleach, although at 40 volumes, give or take, that is a commitment.

Or, if it's just a rotten evening out, there's always some of my favorite shorter manga or comics series -- maybe Sunflower or Ordinary Crush from Hyouta Fujiyama's Kinsei Cycle, or the first few collected volumes of Gail Simone's Secret Six.

As for potables -- well, as long as my feet are warm, anything goes.

Ellen Datlow has a far shorter answer:

Horror horror horror (any of the many anthologies I've got to read for the Best Horror of the Year). Earl Grey tea with honey and a bit of half and half. And pumpkin pie!

Peter S. Beagle or Uncle Fox as we all call him here says:

Once the World Series is over, and my traditional Thanksgiving/Christmas depression sets in, I need the comfort of old friends, so I usually reread The Once and Future King, and Avram Davidson's Vergil books -- The Phoenix and the Mirror and Vergil in Averno. I don't drink anything like as much coffee as I used to (there was a time when I could go through a 9-cup percolator pot in a morning), but I do still have a great weakness for cocoa and/or hot chocolate. Soothing. Reassuring. Reminding me, as my father used to, that This Too Will Pass.

Kathleen Bartholomew is a traditionalist:

Every October I read The Lord of the Rings. I drink lots of coffee and take breaks walking in the wet, leafy, rainy streets. This year, for the first time in forty plus years, I am doing all this in the same neighborhood where I read it the first time.

Gwyneth Jones has a wonderful reply:

Your query happens to have reached me on the first crisp and fair-weather morning for about a fortnight, but I'll give it a try.

The book I would curl up with -- The Tale Of The Shining Prince, Murasaki Shikibu.

Not only is the mood of Genji perfect for the job in itself, full of sad princesses gazing out over romantically faded and bedraggled gardens, but I read this favourite fat book of mine for the first time in autumn, so now I add my own seasonal nostalgia. One of the red maple leaves I used as a bookmark then has survived between the pages.

As reserve choices, George MacDonald's Phantastes and Lilith, (Fairyland is a dangerous place, and can invade our reality if it likes); and What Dangers Deep, Ruth Nicholls (a beautiful and wonderfully spooky story set in sixteenth century Poland, with Philip Sidney as a character).

The beverage would be hot chocolate, of course. The snack would be apples.

Camille Alexa says simply

I'm gearing up to tackle Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell.

need --
- big fluffy bed with antique linen sheets, fresh and crisp
- dog, curled at feet
- new fave fall brew -- organic apple spice cinnamon tea with Pendleton whiskey

Deorah Grabien is not a reader when the weather turns foul:

In that weather, I rarely read -- I write. If I am reading, it's going to depend largely on my mood, but anything from the collected poetry of Cecil Day-Lewis to Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived in the Castle to Barney Hoskins' Hotel California to anything at all by Peter S. Beagle. More likely, though, I'm listening to music and remembering the autumn of 1975. Yes, very specific; so are the memories and the music.

Hot beverage? Depends on the time of day, but before 3 pm it's got caffeine in it. After that, not. Food is probably going to be a homemade stew. Treats, the ones I don't cook myself, there's no contest -- caramel apples.

Jane Yolen has a problem most if not all of us connected to Green Man have(and that includes you dear reader of these words!)

British decaf tea with one teaspoon demarara sugar and a dollop of milk. And I simply pick up the next book on the ever-growing pile of To Be Read Soon books. Like a shark, I must swim forward, ever forward, or die.

Please note Pamela Dean has Bradbury, Bull, Tolkien, and Yolen in her list of favourite writers!

Well, on such a day, I must decide first whether to wallow in it, or escape from it. For wallowing, Ray Bradbury is supreme. The October Country is a very good wallowing-in-rainy-autumn book, but I also like Something Wicked This Way Comes for that. A very fine one from Jane Yolen, if you prefer to take things to their logical conclusion and wallow in winter, is Owl Moon. The other book of this kind that I really love in autumn, though it is more than a day's undertaking, is The Lord of the Rings. It begins in September. I no longer reread it every autumn, but sometimes I read one volume on a cold and rainy November day.

For escape, Ray Bradbury is also good -- Dandelion Wine. But there's also Emma Bull's Bone Dance,which is wonderful to read at any time, but has some little global-warming-made-us-lose-our-musk-oxen-to-Canada gems glimmering in corners, and has lots of summery ambiance in it.

I'd be drinking hot tea or hot cider, probably.

A very happy autumn to you, Cat.

I'd say that James Hetley is a traditionalist on these matters:

Hot spiced cider, Roger Zelazny's A Night in the Lonesome October.

And, if I'm not having cider, favorite fall food is hot greening apple pie with a chunk of Vermont cheddar.

Charles Stross says:

My new year's resolution for next year is to re-read books. (Exceptions -- books I've been asked to review or blurb, and books already on my to-read heap.) Because, normally, I don't.

Hot beverage -- that'd be Irish Breakfast Tea. Bright orange, corrodes stainless steel, roughly the same caffeine level as coffee.

Fall food treat -- I don't have one. (Or rather, I don't reserve specific foods for specific times of year.)

Chris Fowler has a yummy treat:

Book -- The Complete Short Stories Of J.G. Ballard.

Treat -- Egg and bacon panin.

Elizabeth Hand:waxes on

Mmmm! Wonderful question! Let me think about it tonight. I started rereading The Fellowship of the Ring last month (for the hundredth time, I do turn to it in autumn), but had to drop it for review books, and then a few nights ago found myself watching the film version instead. So that doesn't quite count ...

Every autumn I find myself thinking about The Lord of the Rings, and many years I pick up The Fellowship o the Ring and/or some volume of The Complete History of Middle Earth (12 volumes). I rarely get too far into The Fellowship and haven't completed the entire trilogy in some years, but I'm always absorbed by The History, maybe because I'm less familiar with the material. It's the perfect bedtime reading, both compelling (all those wars for the Ring!) and rather tedious (endless revisions of characters whose names all sound like Turin/Hurin!). Mostly I tend to read and reread short stories in the fall — Algernon Blackwood's work, especially his North Woods tales, like The Wendigo and Running Wolf; Isak Dinesen's Copenhagen Season. Between books for review and books for my own research, I rarely have enough time to read for pleasure anymore, especially novels. So short stories fill the gap.

A few years ago I went on a binge and read everything by Alice Thomas Ellis, who is a marvelous, undeservedly little-known British writer of very short novels (novellas, almost) with a supernatural edge.

Readers who like Sylvia Townsend Warner's Kingdoms of Elfin and Lolly Willowes should check her out. And almost every fall I decide, This will be the year I finish Moby Dick. I've started it several times but have never gotten off Nantucket. A few weeks ago I bought a copy of the old Modern Library edition with the Rockwell Kent woodcuts — I had a copy years ago but it disappeared — and am now waiting to, finally, board the Pequod. Guilty pleasure -- the just-published '70s memoir Apathy for the Devil, by the British rock critic Nick Kent.

As for an autumn treat -- I'll get apples from Hope Orchards down the road, or else pick Northern Spies from my friend Norm's old trees, and make apple crisp, which I could probably live on between now and Christmas. Then I'll have a tot of cognac or Calvados or single malt Scotch in front of the woodstove, my reward for having filled the woodbox for the millionth time.

Ellen Kushner:

I think it's time for me to revisit The Hobbit while drinking Teavana's Azteca Fire tea w/milk. In the Fall, I like a nice baked apple.

And Sharyn November says:

Anything by Edward Eager or Lloyd Alexander, or Pamela Dean's Tam Lin .

I drink a seasonless pot of PG Tips, and eat toast!

Kestrell Rath has an equally detailed answer:

If it's October, it must be time for fiction gothic, ghostly, and ghoulish.

I just finished reading October Dreams, an anthology published originally by Cemetery Dance, which collects fictional and nonfictional Halloween stories by horror writers. Next, I am planning on reading Ellen Datlow's anthology Darkness and rereading Bradbury's The Halloween Tree from which I hope to find an excerpt to be read aloud during my Halloween tea party.

I am also adding the films Something Wicked This Way Comes and Tim Burton's version of Sleepy Hollow to my NetFlix list. I have a DVD with the Disney version of Sleepy Hollow in my collection, and will also be showing that during the tea party. I livein a neighborhood where hundreds of kids hopped up on sugar run amok for many hours, so it definitely helps with the feeling that Halloween is still worth anticipating.

Elizabeth Bear is another traditionalist:

I'm reading Jo Walton's forthcoming Among Others, and nothing beats hot cider....

Tobias Buckell has an odd answer for beverage:

It's time for my annual reread of The Hobbit.

I'm an odd duck, I keep with the cold stuff year round. I love an ice cream float in early winter.

Larry Kirwan gets the last words:

A very odd book - A Dead Man in Deptford by Anthony Burgess -- set in Elizabethan England and detailing the life and times of the enigmatic Christopher Marlowe. Burgess is a master of contrived language -- Clockwork Orange -- and he outdoes himself on this crafty novel.

Also, Running in the Family by Michael Ondaatje, a memoir for a lost Ceylon.

I've been drinking a lot of Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA. Strong enough to make me forget but even enough to help me remember. I always drink my beer ice cool.

I never eat when reading. But if you'd like to send me some pumpkin pie with smothered with a hefty dollop of rum raisin ice cream, I'll break my rule....

OR Melling:

Oh yes, Moonheart is always worth a re-read!

I've been going steadily through the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov written over a period of time from the 1950s to as late as 1993.

I was able to thoroughly enjoy the long-winded philosophical sections, the suspenceful trials, and the unpredictable plots because I'm now old enough to ignore his neanderthal views of women. Not one of his scientists, thinkers, movers or shakers is a woman! Indeed one of the books hadn't a single female character. No wait, there was the brief appearance of a nagging wife of a petty king of a small planet. Well there were two major female characters in the entire series and one turned out to be influenced by superior minds (male, of course) and the other was a robot! All the spacemen lighting up cigarettes and cigars was pretty funny.

Fall food treat? Homemade bread and soups -- the latter including minnestrone, potato and leek, vegetable with barley, and carrot and ginger.

Great to hear from you. I'm working away on three (!) books before I head off to India in January for teachings of the Dalai Lama.

And now for our book reviews this edition!

Craig Clarke informs us that 'Lawrence Block and Donald E. Westlake met while both working for Harry Shorten at Midwood writing soft-core sex novels,' and that 'Hellcats and Honeygirls contains the only novels Block and Westlake ever collaborated on.' Check out his analysis of said novels here.

Faith J. Cormier thinks that the murderer in Liane Merciel's The River Kings' Road -- A Novel of Ithelas 'has unusually good motives for mass-murder.' Good motives for mass murder? Find out what else is surprising in her review here.

Denise Dutton gives high praise to Tate Hallaway's Almost to Die For -- A Vampire Princess Novel, saying, 'With an "OMG, BFF!" vibe from the first paragraph, I snuggled into my sofa and prepped myself for a good time. And a good time it was, too.'

However, Denise recommends D. Harlan Wilson's They Had Goat Heads 'For serious fans of absurdist or bizarro fiction only.' Read this review advisedly.

Of the Garrett, P.I. series by Glen Cook, Cat Eldridge refrains from a detailed commentary 'on the stupidity of publishers who release in ePub format bits and pieces of a series....GRRRR!' Indeed! But he's also enthusiastic about the series in his review here.

In his review of Simon R. Green's A Hard Day's Knight Cat elucidates his belief that it 'was the best novel to date in the series, bar none.'

Mike Resnick's The Buntline Special -- A Weird West Tale was a really fun read. Read his review here to find out why!

Cat also reviewed the audio production of the first book in another Green series. 'Hawk & Fisher Number One is swords, sorcery, and politics in a locked mansion mystery.' Read his review to see why he liked it a lot.

Cat saved the best for last -- he says 'Gilded Lateen Bones is the latest in Glen Cook's Garrett, P.I. series and . . . this is the finest novel in the series to date' -- although it shakes things up a bit. How? You'll have to read Cat's review to find out.

Gereg Jones Muller is 'severely vexed' at MJ Heiser, author of Corona. 'The woman has scored Mythically Correct Points off me, which is of course unforgivable.' But did he like the story? Find out here.

'The late Kage Baker was one of those admirably unpredictable writers whose stories never seemed to fit into any sort of mold, whether they were part of a series or stood alone,' says Robert M. Tilendis in reviewing her book The Bird of the River.

Robert's review of Glen Cook's Stars' End -- The Starfishers Trilogy Volume Three is mixed. He says, 'Alas, even the gods aren't perfect, and Cook is, after all is said and done, human.' Find out how Cook has fallen here.

Continuing his review blitz, Robert prefers To Your Scattered Bodies Go when comparing it to The Fabulous Riverboat, both classics from the Riverworld series by Philip José Farmer.

And finally, Robert says of The Sword of the Dawn by Michael Moorcock, 'this is, indeed, pulp fiction, of a high order.' Curious? Read his review here.

We also have an announcement from Gary Whitehouse of a very special evening coming up soon in Portland, Oregon:

Emmylou Harris, Music For The Mission preview, Crystal Ballroom, Portland, Oregon, Nov. 3, 2010

Emmylou Harris will perform a homeless benefit concert in Portland, Oregon, at the Crystal Ballroom Wednesday, Nov. 3. The concert, which will benefit the Portland Rescue Mission, will reunite Harris with Daniel Lanois, who produced and played on her landmark 1995 album Wrecking Ball.

A publicist for the show told Green Man Review that Harris and her band will perform a variety of songs from throughout her lengthy career, but will also play many of the songs from Wrecking Ball*.

Joining multi-instrumentalist Lanois in the band will be guitarist Greg Leisz, bassist Chris Thomas and drummer Brian Blade, who also played on Wrecking Ball and was a member of another hot Harris band, Spyboy.

The concert is the first in a series called "Music For The Mission," which is Brian Blade's brainchild. Its goal is to raise awareness and provide financial support for the needs of homeless people in every city where such concerts can be organized.

In her nearly 40-year career, Emmylou Harris has become a living legend in country, pop, folk, rock and alternative music. She has been involved in numerous social causes, including Concerts For A Landmine-Free World. With an instantly recognizable voice, she has recorded with a diverse list of artists that includes The Band, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Little Feat, Tammy Wynette, Neil Young, Bill Monroe, Lyle Lovett, Roy Orbison, Trisha Yearwood, Bonnie Raitt, Lucinda Williams and George Jones.

Daniel Lanois is best known as a producer who has worked with Dylan, U2, Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel, Robbie Robertson, The Neville Brothers, Willie Nelson, Sinéad O'Connor and many others, and who recently produced Neil Young's latest album, Le Noise. He is also a vocalist, songwriter and versatile guitarist. GMR reviewed his 2005 album Belladonna here.

Tickets for the concert ($50) are available from Ticketmaster or at the Crystal Ballroom box office, 1332 W. Burnside St., Portland.


Green Man Review News is an email list for readers of Green Man Review. Each edition, we'll send out a brief precis of our current edition. This is an announcement-only list. To subscribe, send an email to this address, or go here. Green Man Review also posts its updates on Livejournal.

Entire Contents Copyright, 1993-2010, Green Man Review, a publication of Kinrowan Limited except where specifically noted. All Rights Reserved.

All stories, songs, and other intellectual property hosted on the Green Man Review site as linked to here is done so with the explicit permission of the copyright holder. No re-use is allowed without the express written permission of the copyright holder.

A metafictional postscript -- all actual living beings referred to in the Green Man Review grand narrative have agreed to be there. Really. Truly. Confused? Just sit back and enjoy our stories within stories. And do keep in mind that opinions expressed in the metanarrative do not necessarily reflect the views of Green Man Review or that of Kinrowan Limited. They might, they might not.

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Editorial Staff


Cat Eldridge

Managing Editor

Lisa Spangenberg

Book Reviews Editor

April Gutierrez

Culinary Reviews Editor

Joseph Thompson

Film and DVD Reviews Editor

Maria Nutick

Performance Reviews Editor

Chris Tuthill

Recorded Music Editor

David Kidney


Faith Cormier

Denise Dutton

Robert Tilendis

Continuity Writers

Camille Alexa

Kate Bartholomew

Faith Cormier

Zina Lee

Jack Merry

Joseph Thompson

Robert Tilendis

Proofers and What's New Writers

Camille Alexa

Faith Cormier

Michael Jones

Iain Mackenzie

Robert Tilendis

Joseph Thompson

Matthew Winslow

Leona Wisoker

Author Editions

Kage Baker (1952 to 2010)

Peter S. Beagle

Elizabeth Bear

Charles de Lint

The Frouds

Neil Gaiman

Christopher Golden

Elizabeth Hand

Patricia McKillip

J.R.R. Tolkien (1892 to 1973)

Catherynne Valente

Other Editions

Best Music Reviewed!

Best of the Past Year

Bordertown series

Celtic Music


Nordic Music


Ryhope Wood series

Series Reading

Summer ales

Winter Libations

YBFH anthologies

Words and Music

Kage Baker reading her
The Empress of Mars

A reading from Peter S. Beagle's The Last Unicorn

Peter S. Beagle reading 'The Fifth Season', 'Marty and the Messenger', 'Mr. McCaslin', 'None But A Harper (Ibid.)', 'The Rock in the Park' and 'The Stickball Witch'

Excerpts from Peter S. Beagle's forthcoming novels, Here Be Dragons and Summerlong

Elizabeth Bear reads The Chains that You Refuse

Black 47's 'Liverpool Fantasy'

An excerpt from Paul Brandon's The Wild Reel novel

Tunes from Paul Brandon's old group, Rambling House and his new group, Sunas

Emma Bull and Will Shetterly's The War for The Oaks movie trailer

Nicholas Burbridge's 'Open House'

Cats Laughing's 'For It All'

Charles de Lint performing his 'Sam's Song'

Charles de Lint -- Some thoughts on his fiction

Gaelic Storm's 'Kiss Me'

Christopher Golden's 'The Deal'

The opening chapter of The Weaver and The Factory Maid, the first novel in Deborah Grabien's Haunted Ballad series.

An excerpt from Deborah Grabien's Rock & Roll Never Forgets -- A JP Kinkaid Mystery

'The Oak King March' (featuring Will Harmon and Zina Lee on fiddles and Pete Strickler on bouzouki), composed in honour of Peter S. Beagle

'The Winter Queen Reel' (played by Roger Landres), composed in honour of Jane Yolen

Chuck Lipsig on 'Star of Munster' variations

McDermott's 2 Hours' 'Fox on the Run'

Jennifer Stevenson's 'Solstice', plus a reading of 'Solstice' by Stevenson herself.

An excerpt from James Stoddard's 'The High House'

Tinker's Own performing 'The Tinker's Black Kettle', a jig by Charles de Lint from The Little Country

Vagabond Opera's 'Marlehe'

A Vasen tune for your enjoyment

Cathrynne Valente's 'The Surgeon's Wife'

Cathrynne Valente reading a selection titled 'The Tea Maid and The Tailor' from The Orphan's Tales Haunted Ballad

Robin Williamson's 'Five Denials on Merlin's Grave'


Kage Baker

Peter S. Beagle

Steven Brust

Emma Bull and Emma Bull & Will Shetterly on the War for the Oaks screenplay

Tom Canty

Glen Cook

Ellen Datlow and Gavin Grant of YBFH

Charles de Lint in 1998 and 2006

Gardner Dozois

Brian, Wendy and Toby Froud

Neil Gaiman in 2004 and 2005

William Gibson

Christopher Golden

James Hetley

Michael Kaluta

Patricia McKillip

James Stoddard

Catherynne Valente

Gordon Van Gelder

Charles Vess

Terri Windling

Uploaded 16 October, 7:13 pm Pacific LLS
Archived 30th October 2010 LLS