Fast Food

Whatever You Do, Don’t Run: True Tales of A Botswana Safari Guide by Peter Allison

 

“‘Whatever you do, don’t run.’ This was the solemn counsel of the three guides who worked at the camp. ‘Food runs,’ added Alpheus, the tracker, his rough face split by an enormous grin.’And there is nothing here that you ran outrun anyway.’”

Many people agree that there are few things more exciting than viewing exotic wild animals in their natural habitat. What most people do not realize that there are also few things more dangerous. In his many years working as a safari guide in Botswana Peter Allison hasn’t “seen it all”, but he has come fairly close. From dinner-crashing honey badgers to naked baboons and tourists who are nearly as strange and exotic as the animals they come to see, Allison relates the many experiences and lessons he has learned while working a job that is as challenging and dangerous as it is rewarding. Running through nearly every story is the lesson that whatever happens on a safari, you should never run.

Somewhere Out There

2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke

 

On the plains of Africa a tribe of ape-men on the verge of extinction encounter a strange rock, a carved and polished monolith that awakens in them the spark that will one-day move them forward into civilization.

Millions of years later, Dr. Heywood Floyd travels to the moon to investigate reports of a strange object found buried in the Tycho Crater; an object that, according to scientific tests, predates the rise of human civilization on earth.

In the furthest reaches on the Solar System astronauts David Bowman and Francis Poole command the Discovery One, a spaceship originally intended to travel to Jupiter that is suddenly given the mission to be the first manned flight to reach Saturn.

What are these mysterious monoliths, where have they come from, and why have they suddenly appeared at such momentous points in the history of the human race? What awaits the Discovery One at Saturn? What does this mean for the future of the human race? Have we finally found the answer to the question we have been asking for over a century, are we alone in the Universe? Or are there intelligent civilizations in the farthest reaches of Space?

Oh What a Tangled Web

Spider Woman’s Daughter by Anne Hillerman

When a retired colleague is gunned down just after a breakfast meeting Navajo Nation Police Officer Bernadette Manualito is shocked by the boldness and sheer cold-bloodedness of the act. What is worse is that the retired officer is a close friend both to her and to her husband Sergeant Jim Chee.
An officer known to the Navajo Nation Police as “the Legendary Lieutenant” is bound to have his share of enemies, but who would bear a grudge that strong to gun him down in broad daylight in the parking lot of a crowded restaurant full of police officers?
As a witness, Officer Manualito is forbidden by regulation to be involved in the case, but neither she is going to sit idly by and do nothing. But the identity of the shooter and the reason for the shooting are unclear, tangled up in a web of cold cases and an unfinished private investigation into the insurance value of a private collection of ancient Native American artifacts. A web as tangled as any woven by Spider Woman herself.

Not Your Average P.I.

Hot Lead, Cold Iron: A Mick Oberon Job by Ari Marmell

Mick Oberon’s just your average hard boiled gumshoe trying to make an honest buck in 1930s Chicago, well not countin’ the pointy ears underneath his hat and when he says he’s packin’ heat he means a wand, not a gun.
Mick is one of the aes sidhe, the noble Fae that have all but left the mortal world. Like any good private dick he tries to stay on the straight and narrow and avoid any job that brings him close to the city’s Underworld and the city’s Otherworld. But even noble Fae of ancient lineage still need to pay rent.
Against his better judgement, he agrees to find a mobster’s lost daughter, the only problem being she was replaced by a changeling…sixteen years ago.

Don’t Go With the Flow

The Shape of Water by Andrea Camilleri

 

An abandoned car found by two garbage collectors in a place known to the locals in Vigata, Sicily as the Pasture. Inside, the body of Silvio Luparello, engineer, politico, and local “man-of-influence”.

It seems perfectly clear, Luparello must have come to the Pasture and died in a moment of passion, after all it is well-known that his heart was not strong. It is clear to his political colleagues, to the local judge, to the chief of police, to the coroner, and to the bishop that that is what must have happened, a moment of indiscretion has turned fatal and Signore Luparello has paid the price; wouldn’t it be better for everyone if it was left at that?

It does not seem perfectly clear to Inspector Salvo Montalbano. Why would a man as careful, as influential as Silvio Luparello (at a time when he is finally poised to step out from the background and take center stage) choose to risk throwing it all away in a place like the Pasture, known for it’s vice and sordid happenings? There has to be something more, something beyond the shape of the container this case is being poured into.

Don’t Let Me Die Alone

Death Without Company by Craig Johnson

“Ah! surely nothing dies but something mourns!”
-Don Juan, Lord Byron.

The death of Mari Baroja doesn’t seem anything out of the ordinary, after all she was over seventy years old. But her neighbor in the Durant Home for Assisted Living insists she was murdered, and if anyone should know it’s former Absaroka County Sheriff Lucian Connally.
What should have been an easy favor for his predecessor, turns into something far more complicated for Sheriff Walt Longmire when it turns out that Lucian was right. But why would anyone want a harmless old Basque woman dead and what is her connection to the former sheriff?
Even though the ground is frozen solid in Absaroka County Wyoming, all the secrets surrounding Mari Baroja are not going to stay buried for long.

All is Fowl in Love and War

Love Among the Chickens by P.G. Wodehouse

Stanley Featherstonehaugh Ukridge, “A stout fellow in both the physical and moral sense of the words, [...] It had always been my experience that, when Ukridge was around, things began to happen swiftly and violently, rendering meditation impossible. Ukridge was the sort of man who asks you out to dinner, borrows the money from you to pay the bill, and winds up the evening by embroiling you in a fight with a cabman. I have gone to Covent Garden balls with Ukridge, and found myself legging it down Henrietta Street in the grey dawn, pursued by infuriated costermongers.”
Poor in money but rich in plans, Ukridge’s latest get-rich-quick scheme is certain to succeed:
“When I said that we were going to keep fowls, I didn’t mean in a small, piffling sort of way—two cocks and a couple of hens and a golf-ball for a nest-egg. We are going to do it on a large scale. We are going to run a chicken farm!”
“A chicken farm,” echoed Mrs. Ukridge with an affectionate and admiring glance at her husband.
“Ah,” I said, feeling my responsibilities as chorus. “A chicken farm.”
“I’ve thought it all over, laddie, and it’s as clear as mud. No expenses, large profits, quick returns. Chickens, eggs, and the money streaming in faster than you can bank it. Winter and summer underclothing, my bonny boy, lined with crackling Bradbury’s. It’s the idea of a lifetime.”
Prior experience, not necessary! Any knowledge about chickens or farming in general, only guaranteed to get in the way! After all what could be simpler than raising chickens?