Fantasy/Science Fiction

Trips as far as the imagination can carry you…

The Latest from Carolina Book Beat

Rachel Pollack

The Queen of Eyes



The Queen of Eyes by Rachel Pollack,(broadcast 9-2-2013) Rachel brings us some excellently imaginative reading with Jack Shade as the principal character in a series of novellas described as shamanic noir.  Jack is a present day private eye occultist shaman who deals with the supernatural, traveling to other dimensions for people who hire him.  Tough, smart and sophisticated, nevertheless as in the classic noir stories, he is likely to be scammed by his clients who have their own agendas.   “Queen of Eyes”, second in the series that started with “Forest of Souls”, is featured in the September-October 2013 edition of Fantasy and Science Fiction.  The title character is a woman who holds all the world’s oracular power within her body.  She’s missing, and Jack is on the hunt.  Along the way he introduces us to The Nude Owl, a Knowledge elemental who is dressed in so many layers of clothing that his/her sex is indeterminate, takes us along to a homeless shelter in New York for exiled angels, demons and others of that ilk and embarks on a wild journey that begins in a magical dollhouse in the world’s most famous toy store.  Reading just one of the Jack Shade stories will have you waiting for more like the rest of us.  Find out more at Fantasy and Science Fiction.


The Postmortal  by Drew Magary (broadcast 2-6-2012) Imagine a situation where a simple medical procedure would halt the process of natural aging.  A person receiving a particular injection would remain at the physical age they had attained when when it was performed.  It wouldn’t prevent other causes of death,  from disease or accident for example, but under favorable circumstance someone could live for hundreds of years.  This is the scenario into which Magary puts his characters thus taking the reader into an intriguing tale of the future where relationships and ethics, politics, society and everything else is turned upside down, leaving us to wonder…would we do it?  Listen in to hear what the author would choose.  Find out more at Drew Magary.


Kingdom in the Balance/The Source by Debra Killeen/Diana Bastine (broadcast 9-19-2011)  Sister authors, Killeen and Bastine, have each come up with good reading fantasy novels that fit into the young adult category.  Kingdom in the Balance, by Killeen, is the final and very satisfying installment in The Myrridian Cycle.  This series of five books takes place in a medieval kingdom discovered by accidental visitors from our time who become actively involved, as does the reader, in a world where Magic works and who controls it intensifies the intrigue.  The Source, by Bastine, also takes us into another world but this is one hidden in ancient caves deep below the magic terrain of Ireland.  The story begins when a young girl discovers a strange-looking man who she first suspect is a vampire but soon learns something about him even more fantastic.  This is Bastine’s first novel and gives promise of a lot more enjoyable reading to come.   Find out more at    and

→ Leave a comment

The Magician King by Lev Grossman (broadcast 9-5-11) Here is an invitation to enter another world, a world of magic, challenging, oft times dangerous, but always offering the possibility of achieving all one might wish for.  The Magician King continues the story of very human individuals who happen to have rare and special gifts.  How these gifts effect their lives, their humanity and the worlds they live in forms the basis of the literary fantasy series that began with the  bestselling The Magicians.  Listen in as Grossman talks about the difference between Fantasy and Science Fiction, writing and why we need the printed page.  Find out more at The Magician King

→ Leave a comment

Journal of a UFO Investigator by David Halperin (broadcast 2-7-2011)  A book within a book, within a book, Halperin, UNC Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies, offers a universe of experience from which the reader can choose.  A boy in his early teens whose mother is dying becomes involved in investigating a suspected government cover-up of UFO activity.  What is real, what is fantasy and how they intertwine with what it means to believe are some questions that, along with skilled storytelling, makes this a book that will keep you reading…and thinking.  Find out more at

→ Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *