Archives for category: Researching an historical novel

Just what I want to do my first night in Berkeley. Get in bed with an undead disco superstar. I decide to humor him for the sake of the job and perch on the edge of the mattress, gripping my Eye and my Cross. “I’m Abby Teller.”

His hand whips out, seizes my wrist, and yanks me flat on my back. My spine arches over his thighs. His supernatural power makes Brand’s bold magic seem feeble. I feel as if I’ve been seized by a force field, vast and relentless.

I brandish my Eye and my Cross so fiercely, I nearly tear the chains off my neck. Jake takes one look and shrugs, as if my magically protective amulets trouble him not at all.

Am I scared? Witless, but more than that, I am vexed. Why should the undead wield such power in the world of the living? Me, I’m alive. I’m a magician with human magic. I’m in charge of this world, night or day. “Let go of me.”

He doesn’t let go. “Abby Teller. Such a tragic name.”

“Why tragic?”

“Once upon a time there was a little girl named Abby Teller from a place called Buckeye Heights. The little girl died. Everybody knows. You can’t be that Abby Teller.”

For the first time since I’ve entered Number Twenty-seven, a chill–a truly chilly, truly arctic chill–shivers down my spine. This monster is a denizen of the World of Magic? This monster has heard the strange rumors about me? But how? And where?

“Yes, I’m that Abby Teller, and I’m not dead.” I’m getting kind of tired of repeating myself and freaked out by the notion that people think I’m dead. Just what did Mama not tell me? I take care not to look too closely in his eyes of blue ice. I pulse out a spark of my power and am exceedingly pleased when he shrinks back. “I’m your new super.”

–From THE GARDEN OF ABRACADABRA!

Read the whole book!

THE GARDEN OF ABRACADABRA, Book 1 of the Abracadabra Series, my big new urban fantasy, is on Nook and on Kindle. A print edition is planned for late 2013.

At her mother’s urgent deathbed plea, Abby Teller enrolls at the Berkeley College of Magical Arts and Crafts to learn Real Magic. To support herself through school, she signs on as the superintendent of the Garden of Abracadabra, a mysterious, magical apartment building on campus. She discovers that her tenants are witches, shapeshifters, vampires, and wizards and each apartment is a fairyland or hell. On her first day in Berkeley, she stumbles upon a supernatural multiple murder scene. One of the victims is a man she picked up hitchhiking the day before. Compelled into a dangerous murder investigation, Abby will discover the first secrets of an ancient and ongoing war between good and evil, uncover mysteries of her own troubled past, and learn that the lessons of Real Magic may spell the difference between her own life or death.

“So refreshing. . . .This is Stephanie Plum in the world of Harry Potter.”

Whether you’re a fantasy fan or someone who simply enjoys an entertaining read, please give this book a try! On Nook and on Kindle. Here’s the Abracadabra cover.

The Bantam classic is back, new and improved! SUMMER OF LOVE, A TIME TRAVEL was a Philip K. Dick Award finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book. On Nook and on Kindle.

Fifteen five-star Amazon reviews
“This book was so true to life that I felt like I was there. I recommend it to anyone.”
“More than a great science-fiction, a great novel as well.”

The year is 1967 and something new is sweeping across America: good vibes, bad vibes, psychedelic music, psychedelic drugs, anti-war protests, racial tension, free love, bikers, dropouts, flower children. An age of innocence, a time of danger. The Summer of Love.

San Francisco is the Summer of Love, where runaway flower children flock to join the hip elite and squares cruise the streets to view the human zoo.

Lost in these strange and wondrous days, teenager Susan Bell, alias Starbright, has run away from the straight suburbs of Cleveland to find her troubled best friend. Her path will cross with Chiron Cat’s Eye in Draco, a strange and beautiful young man who has journeyed farther than she could ever imagine.

With the help of Ruby A. Maverick, a feisty half-black, half-white hip merchant, Susan and Chi discover a love that spans five centuries. But can they save the world from demons threatening to destroy all space and time?

SUMMER OF LOVE, A TIME TRAVEL is on Nook and on Kindle. Here’s the gorgeous Summer cover.

The Bantam sequel to Summer, THE GILDED AGE, A TIME TRAVEL, aNew York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended book, is on Nook and on Kindle.

“Dazzling. . . .rollicking.” Locus Magazine

The year is 1895 and immigrants the world over are flocking to California on the transcontinental railroad and on transoceanic steamships. The Zoetrope demonstrates the persistence of vision, patent medicines addict children to morphine, and women are rallying for the vote. In San Francisco, saloons are the booming business, followed by brothels, and the Barbary Coast is a dangerous sink of iniquity. Atop Telegraph Hill bloody jousting tournaments are held and in Chinatown the tongs deal in opium, murder-for-hire, and slave girls.

Zhu Wong, a prisoner in twenty-fifth century China, is given a choice–stand trial for murder or go on a risky time-travel project to the San Francisco of 1895 to rescue a slave girl and take her to safety. Charmed by the city’s opulent glamour, Zhu will discover the city’s darkest secrets. A fervent population control activist in a world of twelve billion people, she will become an indentured servant to the city’s most notorious madam. Fiercely disciplined, she will fall desperately in love with the troubled self-destructive heir to a fading fortune.

And when the careful plans of the Gilded Age Project start unraveling, Zhu will discover that her choices not only affect the future but mean the difference between her own life or death.

“A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.” The New York Times Book Review.

THE GILDED AGE, A TIME TRAVEL is on Nook and on Kindle. Here’s the lovely Gilded cover. It looks like an 1890s handbill!

The Story That Sold To The Movies. TOMORROW’S CHILD began as a medical documentary, then got published in Omni Magazine, and finally sold to Universal Pictures, where the project is in development. On Nook and on Kindle

A high-powered executive is about to lose his estranged teenage daughter to critical burn wounds and only desperate measures may save her life.

The ebook includes my month-long blog, The Story Behind The Story That Sold To The Movies, describing the twists and turns this story took over the years. Here’s the fantastic Child cover.

New! HUMMERS was published in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, chosen for Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror 5th Annual Collection (St. Martin’s Press), and nominated for the Nebula Award.

Laurel, in the terminal stages of cancer, is obsessed with the Egyptian Book of the Dead. Jerry, her homecare nurse whose lover is dying of AIDS, gives her a surprising gift. A hummingbird feeder. As Laurel comes to grips with her own death, she learns powerful and redeeming lessons about Egyptian Magic from the hummingbirds that visit her. On Nook and on Kindle for 99 cents. Here’s the Hummers cover.

New! My thriller, SHAKEN, is an ebook adaptation of Deus Ex Machina published in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, republished in Transcendental Tales from Asimov’s (Donning Press), and translated and republished in Europe and South America.

Emma “J” for Joy Pearce is at her editorial offices on the twenty-second floor of Three Embarcadero in downtown San Francisco when the long-dreaded next Great Earthquake devastates the Bay area. Amid horrific destruction, she rescues a man trapped in the rubble. In the heat of survival, she swiftly bonds with him, causing her to question her possible marriage to her long-time boyfriend.

But Jason Gibb is not the charming photojournalist he pretends to be. As Emma discovers his true identity, his mission in the city, and the dark secrets behind the catastrophe, she finds the choices she makes may mean the difference between her own life or death. A list of Sources follows this short novel.

SHAKEN is on Nook and on Kindle. Here’s the Shaken cover.

THE SIXTY-THIRD ANNIVERSARY OF HYSTERIA, published in the acclaimed anthology, Full Spectrum 5 (Bantam), which also included stories by Neal Stephenson, Karen Joy Fowler, and Jonathan Lethem, is on Nook and Kindle.

The year is 1941, and Hitler’s armies have swept across Europe. Nora, a budding young Surrealist artist, has fled to Mexico with B.B., a much older and acclaimed Surrealist playwright down on his luck. Hundreds of European artists and writers have formed a colony in Mexico City, and Nora befriends Valencia, a fellow Surrealist artist and refugee. Together the friends explore Jungian psychology and the power of symbols in their Art. But Nora is plagued by an abusive relationship with B.B. She embarks on a harrowing journey deep into her own troubled psyche.

The novelette was inspired by my favorite Surrealist artists, Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo. I include in the ebook an Afterword describing Carrington and Varo’s actual lives and a List of Sources. Here’s the Hysteria cover.

EVERY MYSTERY UNEXPLAINED, published in David Copperfield’s Tales of the Impossible (HarperPrism), an anthology that also included stories by Ray Bradbury, Joyce Carol Oates, and Kevin J. Anderson, is on Nook and on Kindle.

The year is 1895, and Danny Flint is a young man living in the shadow of his father, a famous stage magician whose fortunes are fading. Danny is grieving over his mother’s recent accidental death, for which he feels he is to blame. He learns to reconcile himself with his grief and guilt and to assume his place at center stage as a magician in his own right with the help of a mysterious beautiful lady. Here’s the Mystery cover.

DAUGHTER OF THE TAO, published in Peter S. Beagle’s Immortal Unicorn (HarperPrism), which included stories by Charles de Lint, Karen Joy Fowler, Robert Sheckley, and Ellen Kushner, is on Nook and Kindle. Five-star Amazon reviews.

Sing Lin is a mooie jai, a girl sold into slavery at the age of five to a wealthy merchant in Tangrenbu, the ghetto of her people in the new country across the sea. One lucky day, while she is out shopping by herself, she meets another mooie jai, Kwai Yin, a bossy, beautiful girl two years older. Kwai has a secret. Before she was sold into slavery, she had a Teacher who taught her about Tao Magic.

But Sing watches Kwai succumb to the terrifying fate of all slave girls in Tangrenbu.

Soon Sing is destined to go to the same fate. But will her invocation of Tao Magic save her? DAUGHTER OF THE TAO is on Nook and Kindle. Here’s the Tao cover.

For something fast and fun, U F uh-O, A SCI FI COMEDY, my script for a producer looking for the next Galaxy Quest or Men in Black that evolved into a novella, is on Nook and Kindle. Here’s the UFO cover.

Nikki and Josh really want a child but have infertility issues. Gretchen and Mike have the same problem. When Nikki meets Gretchen at the Happy Daze Family Clinic in Pasadena, they discover that they share a love of music and have asked for a donor with musical talent. Nine months later, they give birth to very unusual babies and, seeking an answer to why the kids are so special, they meet again at a pediatrician’s office. And the search is on: who—and what—is Donor Number 333?

For something very different:TESLA, A WORTHY OF HIS TIME, A SCREENPLAY, which was read by the producer of “Aliens” and “The Abyss” and is currently under consideration at another L.A. producer, is on Nook and on Kindle. I’ve included a List of Sources with this title. Since I’m a novelist, the screenplay has a bit more description than you’ll find in other scripts. Tesla’s story is fascinating, sort of a secret history of corporate America. Give it a try!

Genius. Visionary. Madman.

Nikola Tesla (1856–1943) was the pioneering genius who invented the AC electrical system that powers our world to this day, as well as radio, remote control, the automobile speedometer, X-ray photography, the AND logic gate that drives all our computer systems, and countless other devices and precursors to devices such as cell phones, television, and the Internet that we so effortlessly use today.

Strikingly handsome and charismatic, fluent in half a dozen languages, mathematics savant and master machinist, a reed-thin perfectionist who quoted poetry like a Victorian rapper, Tesla became one of the most famous men of his day. Friend of tycoons like John Jacob Astor and Stanford White and celebrities like Mark Twain and Sarah Bernhardt.

Yet Tesla was an intensely driven and lonely man, beset by inner demons, and cursed with a protean inventive imagination a century ahead of his time. He died in obscurity and poverty and, to this day, his name is not widely known. How did that happen?

Blending historical fact with speculative imagination, Lisa Mason explores the secrets of the Inventor’s inner life and his obsession with Goethe’s Faust set against the backdrop of sweeping technological changes at the turn of the twentieth century that have forever changed the world.

TESLA is on Nook and Kindle. Here’s the Tesla cover.

For a short erotic novel, you should try Eon’s Kiss by Suzanna Moore on Nook and Kindle. This has a paranormal hero who is not a vampire or a werewolf. If you’re looking for something sweet and erotic to read, check it out! Here’s the Kiss cover.

On the eve of what Jenna Coltrane believes will be Brett Becker’s marriage proposal, tragedy strikes her life—not just once, but twice. In the midst of trouble, she encounters Eon, a regal young man unlike anyone she’s ever met before.

With him, she enters the magical world of the Arbor, discovering love, passion, and beauty beyond her wildest dreams.

Jenna is swept up in a struggle for survival between human greed and the Arbor, a struggle in which her love for Eon and her very life are at stake

Forthcoming is The Quester Trilogy, an ebook adaptation improving upon my early cyberpunk classics, Arachne and Cyberweb, and much more.

For all my science fiction and fantasy books, stories, screenplays, and forthcoming news about print books and ebooks, visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Web Site. I thank you for your readership!

If you enjoy a work, please “Like” it, add some stars, write a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and spread the word to your reader friends. Your response really matters!

Last week I talked about Researching the Gilded Age and mentioned I’d talk about what my research revealed about the “ninety-nine percent” in 1895. It’s pretty eye-opening, at least I think so.

Society at the turn of the twentieth century was still largely agrarian. People lived on small farms producing their own food or in small towns amid the farmers supplying other goods and services people needed. It’s difficult to assess what people actually earned since much of the exchange of goods and services was by barter.

But the huge exodus from farms to the cities was well underway and there, in the cities, the average worker earned one dollar a day, working six 12-hour days a week. The middle class as we know it barely existed. Small shop owners and service providers existed, true, but other than the value of their businesses, it’s difficult to tell what their net income was.

A step up from small business owners were professionals like lawyers and doctors who might clear $4,000–$7,000 a year. A talented star like the composer and band leader John Philip Souza was lauded for earning a whopping $60,000 a year for his performances.

A room in a boarding house might cost $5 dollars a week, so the average worker had little disposable income. It did help that a decent five course meal in some San Francisco eateries cost ten cents. A small Stick-Eastlake house cost $7,000 to build, and the Stanford town house atop Nob Hill today cost a whopping $30,000.

Then there were the “robber barons” who amassed tens of millions and even hundreds of millions of dollars through railroad construction, predatory banking and finance, and importation of raw materials from abroad (copper, tin, sugar, and the like) when that worker I told you about cleared maybe $300 a year. The 1896 Argonaut exposed one lady among the “Two Hundred” socially prominent families in New York for spending $60,000—on fresh flowers for a party.

I haven’t worked out a statistical comparison to how those numbers compare to American society today, but I’m hoping we’re a lot better off than people were 120 years ago. But maybe not! What do you think?

Novelettes that benefited from all this research include Every Mystery Unexplained, about a young stage magician coming to grips with his mother’s death, first published in David Copperfield’s Tales of the Impossible (HarperPrism), an anthology that also included stories by Ray Bradbury, Joyce Carol Oates, and Kevin J. Anderson, on Nook and Kindle; and Daughter of the Tao, about a slave girl trying to save herself with Tao Magic, first published in Peter S. Beagle’s Immortal Unicorn anthology (HarperPrism), which also included stories by Charles de Lint, Karen Joy Fowler, Robert Sheckley, and Ellen Kushner, also on Nook and Kindle. The book that started it all is my New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended book, The Gilded Age, A Time Travel, on Nook and Kindle.

For all my science fiction and fantasy books, stories, screenplays, and forthcoming news, visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Web Site.

There you’ll find the ebook adaptation of my Philip K. Dick Award finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book, Summer of Love, A Time Travel on Nook and Kindle; and Tesla, A Worthy of His Time, A Screenplay, which was read by the producer of “Aliens” and “The Abyss” and is currently under consideration at another L.A. producer, on Nook and Kindle. For something fast and fun, try U F uh-O, A Sci Fi Comedy, my script for a producer looking for the next “Galaxy Quest” or “Men in Black,” that evolved into a novella, on Nook and Kindle.

New developments? My brand-new, big new urban fantasy The Garden of Abracadabra is proximately done and the next book in the series is in research and development. Stay tuned for more announcements. The Quester Trilogy, an ebook adaptation of my cyberpunks, Arachne and Cyberweb, is in development, too, and much more.

Visit me and feast your eyes on the lovely book covers. I thank you for your readership!

I’ve talked here before about researching historical fiction. It’s a task that is both a joy and fascination, and a daunting chore and time-eater. You need to nail down the basic characteristics of your time period—the political scene, society, economics, wars—but you always want to discover that telling detail that makes your time period come alive for the reader.

I’ve talked about Researching Summer of Love and Talking the Talk in Historical Fiction. Now it’s time for The Gilded Age.

Fortunately, I found an entire library of books about the world during the 1890s, the United States, and San Francisco in particular. Several journalists in the 1930s and 1940s published detailed and lively accounts of the City before the Quake and Fire all but demolished San Francisco, including such classics as The Barbary Coast, The Madams of San Francisco, and The Tongs of Chinatown. Accounts of the Great Earthquake of 1906 and of Donaldina Cameron, who plays a pivotal role in my book, abound. Fin de siècle San Francisco was already a tourist attraction in the 1890s, and I found an actual guidebook published in 1899.

But what about those telling details?

Novels of the period (by such authors as Frank Norris and Jack London) reveal much about personal attitudes. At the late, great The Holmes Book Company in Oakland I discovered recipe books written by the great chefs of 1890s San Francisco with delicious details about food and drink. I think my favorite resources are the facsimile editions of the Montgomery Ward and Sears & Roebuck catalogs. There I discovered a wealth of detail about clothing, popular books, harnesses and carriages, guns, sewing implements, patent medicines, wigs, smoking accoutrements, makeup, children’s toys, and more. Heaven for the historical researcher!

The biggest, juiciest treasure trove came in an actual bound volume of The Argonaut for the entire years of 1896 and 1897. There I discovered some eye-openers about the fin de siècle you just won’t find in history books. Tomorrow, The Ninety-nine Percent in 1895.

For all my science fiction and fantasy books, stories, and screenplays, visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Web Site. There you’ll find the ebook adaptation of my Philip K. Dick Award finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book, Summer of Love, A Time Travel on Nook and Kindle; my New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended book, The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on Nook and Kindle; Tesla, A Worthy of His Time, A Screenplay on Nook and Kindle, which was read by the producer of “Aliens” and “The Abyss;” “Tomorrow’s Child,” the Story that Sold to the Movies, and my blog from January 30 through February 21, “The Story Behind the Story That Sold to the Movies” on Nook and Kindle; “The Sixty-third Anniversary of Hysteria” first published in the acclaimed anthology, Full Spectrum 5 (Bantam), which also included stories by Neal Stephenson, Karen Joy Fowler, and Jonathan Lethem, on Nook and Kindle; my novella, Every Mystery Unexplained, first published in David Copperfield’s Tales of the Impossible (HarperPrism), an anthology that also included stories by Ray Bradbury, Joyce Carol Oates, and Kevin J. Anderson, on Nook and Kindle; and “U F uh-O, A Sci Fi Comedy,” my script that evolved into a novella, on Nook and Kindle. My brand-new, big new urban fantasy The Garden of Abracadabra is proximately done and the next book in the series is in research and development. The Quester Trilogy, an ebook adaptation of my cyberpunks, Arachne and Cyberweb, is in development and more. Visit me and feast your eyes on the lovely book covers. I thank you for your readership!

If you’re writing contemporary fiction, you need only know your own culture. If science fiction, you need to have your technical talk nailed down or, if it’s pure imagination, keep your neologisms consistent. But if you’re writing any kind of historical fiction, you must talk the talk of the era. There’s nothing more irritating than reading historical fiction and bumping into a glaring anachronism (I don’t want to criticize other authors, but some of the worst offenders have been big bestsellers. Enough said.) If your characters live in the Sixties, it’s okay for them to say “groovy.” Groovy originated in 1937 among early jazz musicians, referring to the grooves in a phonograph record, and is the functional equivalent of “awesome.” But you wouldn’t want a character to be watching “happy talk” on TV; that expression didn’t originate till 1973.

Your first best research resource is good ol’ Webster’s Tenth Dictionary, which provides a word’s date of origin right in the definition. Next, a book like New Dictionary of American Slang or Thesaurus of American Slang both by Robert L. Chapman. I collect slang dictionaries, and I think my favorite for sheer fun is The Surfin’ary, A Dictionary of Surfing Terms and Surfspeak by Trevor Cralle. Sadly, I haven’t used it yet because I haven’t written a surfing story but, you never know, that could happen.

Often you’ll find the best slang in magazines and newspapers of the period, which is why you must search for and collect those invaluable resources. I think my favorite slang for 1967 is “knickknacker” (noun) or knickknacking (verb) for a shoplifter/shoplifting. Found that gem in a 1967 issue of The Berkeley Barb. And what was the functional equivalent of “awesome” in 1895? Distillers of fine liquor cast their names right in the bottle, while cheap distillers merely glued on a paper label. So if something, anything was awesome in 1895, you said it was “blowed in the glass.” Found that gem in my bound volume of The Argonaut from 1895 through 1897. Yes, the real newspaper, not a facsimile!

For all my science fiction and fantasy books, stories, and screenplays, including Summer of Love, A Time Travel on Nook and Kindle, The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on Nook and Kindle, Tesla, A Worthy of His Time, A Screenplay on Nook and Kindle, and brand-new projects such as my big new urban fantasy, The Garden of Abracadabra just released on Nook and Kindle with a print edition to follow in 2013, visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Web Site. Tomorrow, Researching The Gilded Age.

I’m a student of history (not some superannuated ex-hippie yearning for the good old days), and as one studies the progress of the decades of the 20th century, the Sixties leap out as a clear demarcation between the Victorian attitudes of the nineteenth century and modern society as we recognize it to this day. Yes, the civil rights movement made headway against Jim Crow laws and grandfather clauses, but it wasn’t till the Sixties that America began to allow African-Americans into mainstream culture. Yes, women won the vote in 1920 and staffed the war industries in the 1940s, but feminism finally clarified issues of workplace opportunity and women’s roles in the home and in the bedroom only in the Sixties. (And feminist issues are hardly resolved today. Witness the December 2011 issue of The Hollywood Reporter, stating that only 13 % of directors and screenwriters of top movies are women, and that hasn’t changed in 40 years. 13%) And yes, there always existed a gay underground among the demimonde, but the Sixties were truly when people began to come out of the closet and into mainstream culture.

For all my science fiction and fantasy books, stories, and screenplays, including Summer of Love, A Time Travel on Nook and Kindle, The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on Nook and Kindle, Tesla, A Worthy of His Time, A Screenplay on Nook and Kindle, and brand-new and forthcoming projects, visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Web Site. Tomorrow, I’m transitioning from Summer of Love to the Gilded Age to blog about Talking the Talk in Historical Fiction.

Writing an historical novel was not my entire concept for Summer of Love, A Time Travel. I wanted to juxtapose a far future dystopia that could have followed that era as a commentary about the Sixties and our present. What was most striking to me when researching the period was the virulent sexist attitudes toward women. But it can be difficult to dramatize that without another point of view providing an analytical lens to give the drama context. And that’s what my far future time traveler does. Other issues on which Chiron provides perspective are recycling and the consumption of resources, overpopulation and how the world could respond to that, even suntanning.

But writing about the future can be tricky, exposing the writer’s hidden attitudes or assuming that certain aspects of reality will stay the same. Witness the mini-skirted stewardess (as flight attendants were called then) working for Pan Am in the film “2001.” Not long after that movie was made in 1968, Pan Am went bankrupt and disappeared! Or Isaac Asimov speculating that astronauts on an interplanetary journey could raise rabbits for meat when we know very well that people can survive, and even thrive, on a vegan diet. The real question is how astronauts could grow rice on board! As for me, I speculated that a woman would be elected President of the United States, but not for another hundred years or more. One of my critics accused me of being sexist. No, I’m pessimistic! It’s 2012 and we don’t have a viable female presidential candidate from either party, do we. Tomorrow, the pleasures and perils of time travel. Summer of Love, A Time Travel on Nook and Kindle.

The overwhelming majority of readers who have appreciated Summer of Love, A Time Travel, those folks who were adults or young adults the summer of 1967, always ask me, “Were you there?” The answer is no, I was safely dancing ballet, swimming, and climbing trees back in Ohio. When, years later, I was drawn to write about that unique and pivotal period, I set out to capture the sights, sounds, attitudes, and culture from the inside out. I started out with The Haight-Ashbury, A History by Charles Perry, a book he worked on for eight years. From there, I read the daily San Francisco Chronicle from June 21, 1967 to September 4, 1967 on microfiche at the Santa Rosa Public Library (the only place in the Bay area where I could find such an archive). I acquired the gorgeous facsimile edition of The Oracle published by Regent Press and found a complete archive of The Berkeley Barb at the Berkeley Public Library. At Walden Pond Books, Bibliomania, and the now-vanished Holmes Book Company (all in Oakland) and Shakespeare & Company and Moe’s (both in Berkeley), I found rare books such as Lenore Kandel’s infamous Beat poem, Love Needs Care by Dr. David E. Smith who founded the Free Clinic, and Notes From Underground. I borrowed people’s home movies, studied Making Sense of the Sixties, which featured the famous Harry Reasoner clip, and watched Star Trek episodes (no, I’m not a Trekkie, but that research was fun). I acquired Life and Time magazines for June through September, 1967 from online bookstores, as well as a privately published corporate history of Marinship for details on Ruby Maverick’s mother’s experience as a war worker (found that gem at a military books specialist in St. Louis). I spoke with, met, or corresponded with Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, Katharine Kerr, Allen Ginsberg, and Allan Cohen, and even spoke by phone with Lenore herself. She told me that the bus fare in 1967 was fifteen cents (not a quarter, as I’d thought) and that there was no Sausalito ferry operating in 1967. We shared a laugh over the fact that her brother wrote some scripts for Star Trek (she proofed the manuscript for me and loved the Star Trek riffs). And, of course, I visited the ‘hood itself and walked through the Portals of the Past. What an education! But an historical novel was not my entire concept for the book. I wanted to juxtapose a far future, a dystopia that could have followed that era, as a commentary on our present. More about that tomorrow. Summer of Love, A Time Travel on Nook and Kindle.