Haiku Book

Hello All,

I am bringing back the blog from its dust covered resting place and will eventually buy a web title for it. As of last Thursday I’ve been putting together a book of haiku. The plan is to have 108 haiku/senryu mixed with 4 haibun and an introduction. I might also add some chapters on Japanese poetry and notes to the poems. The ever wonderful Kiersty Boon has agreed to write a foreword for me. Thank you so much Narnie! You will find the book on Amazon Kindle and Lulu’s ebooks (Apple Store and Nook) by the end of the month and maybe a paperback print version too by the end of December. I’ll be working on a special hard back edition too if it is feasible. More to come soon, Will Crowbourne


The Lathe Of Heaven (Ursula Le Guin)

First Published 1971

Gollancz’s SF Masterworks Series.

Ursula Le Guin has long been one of the SF greats on my reading list along with Philip K. Dick, Octvia Butler and Robert A. Heinlein. Of Late I’ve been able to get into some thanks to the new Masterworks series.

George Orr appears at first to have a drugs dependency problem. He has been using other people’s prescription cards to help suppress his dreams. Once caught Orr has no choice but to submit himself to a psychiatrist, Dr. Haber. It is either that or he gets sent down.

At first Haber believes Orr is simply psychotic but then he begins to realise there is a truth behind why Orr wished to suppress his dreams. Orr’s dreams alter reality. Not just simple changes lacking continuity but such deeply rooted changes they alter the narrative history of the world to fit the changes.

This realisation turns Haber power hungry where, using hypno-suggestion, attempts to build his perfect world using Orr’s dreams.

Le Guins work then turns to the flawed attempts to make a perfect reality, how power corrupts, but it is more subtle and interesting than that. The book considers a whole range of scenarios from eradicating racism through making everyone grey, to euthanasia, alien invasion, super plagues and unified world government. The ends are unexpected and the results often making things worse.

This is an intriguing book that like many grand SF novels discusses great ideas and morals that are relavent to us. Ones that should not be dismissed just because of the fantastical elements. Is there such a thing as a perfect world? Do we even want it?


Henning Mankell – The Man From Beijing

Swedish crime writer Henning Mankell is best known for his globe trotting Wallander series. We know Wallander from Kenneth Brannagh’s portrayal on TV.

The Man From Beijing  does not include the famed detective. Instead it revolves around the mass murder of pensioners, their pets and one kid, in the village of Hesjovallen. The dead come from two linked families. When Judge Birgetta Roslin realises those killed includes her mother’s foster parents she sets about unravelling the mystery.

My problem with the book is the split narrative and oodles of information about the future of China. As interesting as China’s paradoxical future is, it distracts from the novel’s narrative drive. A promising police angle is cut way too soon and left hanging as indifference and incompetence. With the perpetrators known early the book dawdles to a weak finish.

A book with promise but sadly let down in execution.