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Audisee Presents: The War of the Worlds

As new age synthesizer music, a rich baritone narrates: “Audisee presents: The War of the Worlds. The year is 2015 A.D. From the first launching into space, in 1961, to the establishment of a base on Jupiter this year, man has not encountered extraterrestrial life forms.” When I was about 10 or 11, I loved listening to this audio book-and-tape adaptation. When I read the H.G. Wells version, I was…

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Reading should not carry a health warning

This is probably the first time in history that young readers themselves are demanding protection from the disturbing content of their course texts, yet reading has been seen as a threat to mental health for thousands of years. In accordance with the paternalistic ethos of ancient Greece, Socrates said that most people couldn’t handle written text on their own. He feared that for many – especially the uneducated – reading…


“Oliver Twist” is a story of redemption for PICT Classic Theatre.

Carolyn started rehearsals for PICT Classic Theatre’s Oliver Twist this week. She’s playing a member of Fagin’s gang. Last year in Great Expectations, she split a role; this year there is no double-casting, so she’s in every performance. I’ll be doing a lot of driving. This is not the musical Oliver; it’s the director’s original adaptation. Oliver Twist, a young orphan boy, becomes lost in the underbelly of old Victorian…


How ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ Changed Sci-Fi Forever

I read this book for the first time just recently. Was totally freaked out by the chapter that moves us from a realistic YA world to a fantasy/SF world, and then even more freaked out by further twists. I can only imagine the impact it must have had in 1963. It’s a fantastical story featuring interstellar travel; alien planets; an evil, disembodied brain; and a world under siege from an unknown…


Ursula K. Le Guin: A Personal Take on Go Set a Watchman

  Before Watchman was published, I was skeptical and unhappy — all the publicity made it sound like nothing but a clever lawyer and a greedy publisher in cahoots to exploit an old woman. Now, having read the book, I glimpse a different tragedy. Lee was a young writer on a roll, with several novels in mind to write after this one. She wrote none of them. Silence, lifelong. I…