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By Carole Howard
PREVIEW Columnist, and the Library staff
“Endangered,” the first book in a science fiction trilogy by local author Shaun Kelsey, is an adventure story that will entertain readers from pre-teens to adults.
When the tale begins, pilots are leading tours to other planets so that humans can see endangered species in their true habitat. As the title portends, during the course of the book the question becomes whether it is the humans or the mythical creatures who are endangered. The adventure begins when the interplanetary tour shuttle is hit hard in a storm, exploding and catching on fire. The humans escape in life pods to another planet, and they must survive in a wilderness valley where unusual creatures abound and vines slither along the ground like snakes. The author says that this valley actually exists in Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies.
Human heroes of the story are the injured tour leader, a female doctor and a little girl with a special affinity for animals. But it is the well-crafted mythical creatures who grab your attention, aided by charming drawings by the author’s daughter Randi Lynn. They include a werewolf warrior, previously an enemy of the humans who later plays a key role in saving them, plus resident dragons, wolves and creatures akin to deer.
Shaun Kelsey is the pseudonym of Doug Roberts, who lives in Aspen Springs. Under another penname, d. William Roberts, he writes historical and science fiction, including numerous Star Trek stories. A former airborne infantryman and sniper, he later went to college, returned to the Army after graduation, and then worked for the U.S. Postal Service while staying in the Reserves, retiring as a Major. An avid outdoorsman, Doug and his wife Deb have owned property here since 2002, camping on the land and building their house until they could move in last summer. They have two grown children.
“Endangered” started out as a “Star Trek: The Next Generation” teleplay, then was stashed away when Paramount turned it down. For this reason, Doug advises writers to never throw any of their work away.
The author has donated a copy of “Endangered” to the library. If you want your own copy, contact Doug at email@example.com. The other two books in the series — “Kishtla!” and “Manifest Destiny” — are available exclusively as e-books on MobiPocket, a subsidiary of Amazon.com, or from the author as a pdf file. He is working on a fourth novel for this series, and also on a story that takes place in Pagosa Springs in the not too distant future.
Banned Books Week
Various programs and book displays are going on now in celebration of Banned Books Week. Come in to your library to learn more about the Freedom to Read. And join us tomorrow (Friday, Oct. 5) at 2:30 p.m. for a free showing of the 1966 film “Fahrenheit 451,” based on the book by Ray Bradbury. The movie’s title comes from the fact that paper burns at 451F. Popcorn will be provided.
Forest Service timber expert Steve Hartvigsen gives a free lecture at the library this evening (Thursday, Oct. 4) at 6 p.m. on the pine beetle issues in the San Juan Forest.
Next up on the Lifelong Learning calendar is a talk by local author Doug Neel on Thursday, Oct. 25, at 6 p.m., on the historical importance of first-century meals based on his book, “The Food and Feasts of Jesus.”
Informal sessions with Cody are set for this afternoon (Thursday, Oct. 4) from 3-5 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 9, from 10 a.m.-noon, and Thursday, Oct. 11, from 3 – 5 p.m. Next Friday, Oct. 12, is Intermediate Microsoft Word from 10 a.m.–noon, helping you expand on basic Word knowledge. For space reasons, advance registration is required for this session.
“The Man Who Quit Money” by Mark Sundeen is the biography of Daniel Suelo, who gave away his life savings ($30) in 2000 and learned to live sanely and happily. “On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson” by William Souder is a new portrait of the founder of the environmental movement published on the 50th anniversary of her book, “Silent Spring.”
Mysteries and thrillers
“Zoo” by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge is a thriller about brutal attacks by animals that are crippling entire cities. “Gone” by Randy Wayne White is the start of a new mystery series featuring Hannah Smith, set in Florida’s Gulf Coast.” This Case Is Gonna Kill Me” by Phillipa Bornikova follows a young woman fresh out of law school whose adventures involve vampires and werewolves.
“The Tombs” by Clive Cussler and Thomas Perry is the latest in the Fargo adventure series. “By Starlight” by Dororthy Garlock is a romance set in the Great Depression during Prohibition. “The Time Keeper” by Mitch Albom is about Father Time returning to the world after being banished for trying to measure God’s greatest gift. “One Last Thing Before I Go” by Jonathan Tropper follows a drummer needing heart surgery trying to remake his life with his daughter. “Severe Clear” by Stuart Woods is the latest in the Stone Barrington series.
“Where’d You Go, Bernadette” by Maria Semple, follows a daughter searching for her mother after she disappears to avoid having to travel and interact with other people. “Train Dreams” by Denis Johnson is a novella about a day laborer in the American West at the start of the 20th century.
Thanks to our donors
For books and materials this week we thank Medora Bass, Maria Flynn, Tammie Shrader and Jim Van Liere.
“An error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.” — President John F. Kennedy.
For more information on library books, services and programs — and to reserve books from the comfort of your home — please visit our website at http://pagosa.colibraries.org/