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For Thanksgiving, we decided to see “The Sound of Music” and “The Wizard of Oz”. Both DVDs we happen to have, thanks to a neighbor who moved away.
I haven’t seen SOM for 55 years, literally, when I was a child going to a movie theater in 1965. I’m going to have ear-worms for weeks (“Climb every mountain,” “Doe a deer, a female deer,” “I am sixteen, going on seventeen.”)
Plot spoiler alert: after the long interludes during which Maria comes to be the governess for the seven Von Trapp children and totally wins them and their father over, Maria marries Captain Von Trapp. A ten-minute scene happens during which she is dressed in a fabulous wedding gown, somberly walking down the aisle of an elaborate church, while the song, “What To Do About Maria”, celebrating her independence and exuberance, is played like a dirge—if religious devotion couldn’t “tame” her spirit, matrimony will. Then Maria kind of fades into the background (hmmm….).
The story briefly focuses on Captain Von Trapp’s problems with the invading Third Reich (essentially, he’s drafted). We have some Nazi suspense, then the family is seen trekking up a green hill among the Alps, without food or water or even warm coats, while a chorus (not them) sings “Every Mountain.” The End.
Tom and I looked at each other and said, “Huh?” My movie guide gave the film four stars, probably because of the abruptness of the end. I didn’t remember much of the plot from 55 years ago but, I mean, this is supposed to be a movie about the Von Trapp Family Singers crossing the Alps by foot to escape to Switzerland.
The movie, for it to end there, really should have had a coda (like so many movies these days). Something like:
“The Von Trapp Family Singers crossed the formidable Alps, by foot, managing only to get a few blisters on their feet. Entering neutral Switzerland, Captain Von Trapp effectively dodged any military action during World War II. He and wife Maria had seven children of their own, for whom the Captain’s eldest daughter by his first wife was pressed into acting as governess. The Family Von Trapp Family Singers competed in several music competitions but First Place thereafter evaded them. They had enormous Thanksgiving parties in Geneva, Switzerland in their tiny chalet. The End.”
(Just kidding. Of *course* the Swiss don’t celebrate Thanksgiving.)
I first saw “The Wizard of Oz,” also as a child, on television. The film was released in 1939, way before my time. I distinctly remember the thrill when the sepia tone of the beginning changes to full Technicolor—and what color it is!—when Dorothy opens the door into the Land of Oz. A door is a very effective visual and written symbol. We thoroughly enjoyed the film but Tom said, when it was over, “There are really not that many songs. Where is the Wicked Witch’s song? The Wizard’s song?”
Fair point, but I will have a couple of ear worms from that movie, too. (“Ha ha ha, ho ho ho, and a couple of fah-lah-lahs, That’s how we while the day away in the merry old land of Oz” and of course “We’re off to the see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz”)
Garland does look a little plump at age sixteen—she was only four foot eleven—and they costumed her as a much younger girl.
We saw “Judy” two weeks ago. “Judy” is a very sad story, a tragic story taking place toward the end of Garland’s life, but Renee Zellweger is sensational as Garland. My Facebook friend Lindalee reminded me that Zellweger won the Academy Award for Best Actress of 2019, the Golden Globe, the Screen Actors Guild Award, and a couple of more awards for her totally convincing performance.
The “Judy” script shows, through flashbacks to the sets of “Wizard”, the pressure put on her as a teenager to lose weight, stay awake for back-to-back performances, and fall asleep, all through pharmaceuticals, which damaged her for the rest of her life. Everyone at the studio called her “ugly.” Louis B. Mayer, the powerful producer who gives her a mixed-message pep talk about her talent at the beginning of “Judy,” in fact called her “my little hunchback.”
Zellweger looks like the anorexic Garland became and captures her mercurial moods, depression, fear of performing, attempt to be positive to her children, and also her hilarious wit. The two long-suffering assistants on her London tour buy her a fancy cake to commemorate the tour’s end, and the woman asks Garland if she wants to do the honors of cutting it. Garland demurs and replies, “Every time I cut a cake, I end up married to some jerk.” She was married five times.
But! You don’t need at all to see “Judy” to enjoy “Oz.” A great movie night was had by all.
ODDITIES: 22 Stories is on Kindle worldwide including in the US, in the UK, Canada, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, in the Netherlands, Mexico, Brazil, India, and Japan.
ODDITIES: 22 Stories is in Print as a beautiful trade paperback in the US
, in the UK, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Japan.
CHROME is in U.S. print as a beautiful trade paperback. Also in U.K. print, in German print, in French print, in Spanish print, in Italian print, and in Japanese print.
The CHROME ebook is on US Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, India Kindle, Germany Kindle, France Kindle, Spain Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Japan Kindle, Brazil Kindle, and Mexico Kindle.

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I have much to be thankful for this year, in spite of 2020 being such a horrible year. I am strong and in good health, husband Tom is strong and in good health, same for Athena our cat. I’m working on a new novel and new stories, Tom is working on new drawings, mobiles, jewelry, and sculptures, Athena is working on being adorable and keeping us happy every day. I published a novel and a second story collection that were well received. Life is good in the San Francisco Bay area.
I’m thankful that both sets of my grandparents left Europe for America at the turn of the twentieth century before the bloody Bolshevik Revolution, starting our tiny family in the U.S.A. I’m thankful that my family had nothing to do with genociding the Native Americans or with slavery—we weren’t even here.
If you want to disparage Thanksgiving or feel guilty about it, that’s on you.
I remember traveling from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor to my parents’ home in Cleveland for Thanksgiving. I loved doing that. There was a relaxing, celebratory feeling unlike any other. My mother and grandmother were fabulous cooks and filled the house with delicious odors when I woke up in my old bedroom.
I love the traditional Thanksgiving feast with all the trimmings. My mother served shrimp appetizer with her scrumptious homemade cocktail sauce and my grandmother would make her trademark lemon meringue pie, along with pumpkin pie.
Everyone dressed up. My parents invited several of their friends to fill out the chairs around the formal dining room table.
On my first dinner home from college, my mother’s friend was proclaiming about something or other but she kept referring to grown women as “girls”. I, a newly minted feminist at age eighteen (I was the obnoxious one), objected to her reference. She was briefly taken aback but then smiled at me and said, “Honey, when you get to my age, you’ll be glad if anyone refers to you as ‘a girl’.” She was in her mid-forties. I briefly thought she was being condescending, then smiled back. I got her point, she got mine, and the Thanksgiving feast proceeded well. I don’t remember anyone arguing about politics or having angry arguments.
In Los Angeles, Tom was having his own Thanksgiving feasts with his family. He had an Obnoxious Great-Uncle, one of the brothers of his grandmother. One Thanksgiving, the Obnoxious Great Uncle told Tom’s mother, announcing to all assembled, “Lynnie, you look like hell.” She was struggling with her weight. She took a glass salad bowl filled with salad and cracked the bowl in two on the top of the Obnoxious Great Uncle’s head. Tom’s mother was prone to fits of anger—her own mother called her “The Storm”—but I always tell Tom, “I’m on her side on this one.” The feast didn’t proceed well.
A decade later I’d gotten together with Tom and we were heading to his grandmother’s home in San Jose. I’d baked a pumpkin pie and we left in plenty of time, but the freeway traffic was hellishly slow-and-go all the way from San Francisco to San Jose. We arrived forty-five minutes late. We apologized, explained about the traffic, and the Obnoxious Great-Uncle quipped insinuatingly that we must have lingered too long in bed. I knew he was trying to bait me; I ignored him and asked Tom’s aunt what was her recipe for a dish she contributed to the dinner.
So there you have it.
What about you? Do you have any memorable moments of confrontations (or reconciliations) around the Thanksgiving table?
ODDITIES: 22 Stories is on Kindle worldwide including in the US, in the UK, Canada, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, in the Netherlands, Mexico, Brazil, India, and Japan.
ODDITIES: 22 Stories is in Print as a beautiful trade paperback in the US
, in the UK, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Japan.
CHROME is in U.S. print as a beautiful trade paperback. Also in U.K. print, in German print, in French print, in Spanish print, in Italian print, and in Japanese print.
The CHROME ebook is on US Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, India Kindle, Germany Kindle, France Kindle, Spain Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Japan Kindle, Brazil Kindle, and Mexico Kindle.

Join my Patreon page at https://www.patreon.com/bePatron?u=23011206 and support me while I recover from the Attack. I’ve got lots of goodies for you—delightful stories, movie reviews, recipes, book excerpts, and more.
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Publication Day! Yes!
Here You Enter
Yesterday, Tomorrow & Fantasy
When I was mulling over stories to publish in my second collection, I noticed the stories fell into historical, futuristic, and fantasy categories.
ODDITIES: 22 Stories includes those previously published in Omni Magazine, Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Full Spectrum 5, The Shimmering Door, Peter S. Beagle’s Immortal Unicorn, David Copperfield’s Tales of the Impossible, Not One of Us Fiction and Poetry Journal, and Daily Science Fiction, plus six new stories.
“I find myself constantly surprised by the breadth of styles, places, and characters in this collection. ….sometimes you want to be surprised; and that’s what Ms. Mason delivers in this collection…. Like Ray Bradbury’s short stories, these never fail to surprise you with little sparkles and occasional rockets going off and spreading happy fireworks in your brain!”–Amazing Stories Online Review
ODDITIES: 22 Stories is on Kindle worldwide including in the US, in the UK, Canada, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, in the Netherlands, Mexico, Brazil, India, and Japan.
ODDITIES: 22 Stories is in Print as a beautiful trade paperback in the US
, in the UK, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Japan.
Donate at paypal at http://paypal.me/lisamasonthewriter
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Visit me at www.lisamason.com updated for 2021 for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, beautiful covers, reviews, interviews, blogs, round tables, adorable cat pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!

 

New Review of The Gilded Age at http://sfbookreview.blogspot.com/2017/12/the-gilded-age-by-lisa-mason.html:
“The world of 2495 is at an unsustainable twelve billion population. Zhu Wong is a Daughter of Compassion, a group working to enforce the birth restriction laws. She is in jail awaiting trial when she is recruited by the Luxon Institute for Superluminal Applications (LISA, I love the acronym) to t-port back to 1895 San Francisco. She accepts the deal. Her mission is to find Wing Sing, take her and the aurelia to the mission run by Donaldina Cameron. In 1967 Wing Sing’s daughter will eventually give the brooch to Chiron at the end of his stay in the Summer of Love project.
Zhu finds Wing Sing, but she doesn’t have the aurelia. They are captured by a Chinese gang. Zhu is bought away from them by Jessie, a madam, Wing Sing stuck with the Tong. Zhu does work for Jessie, but is more valuable as a bookkeeper so avoids becoming a prostitute. Daniel Watkins is the son of a real estate magnate coming to San Francisco to collect on debts. He is low on funds and is referred to lodging at Jessie’s where his life becomes entwined with Zhu’s. Somehow Zhu is attracted to this heavy drinking smoker who has distinct views of women. Despite herself and her mission, Zhu cares about Jessie and Daniel.
I loved the character of Zhu. Somehow I wasn’t repulsed by Daniel and Jessie. They are more a product of their environment doing what they can with their sense of right and wrong. Very enjoyable, I read the last two hundred pages straight through. This is definitely a stand alone novel, though Summer of Love is mentioned several times. I’ll have to read that one as a prequel rather than book one.”
And this is from Library Journal:
“The discovery of a golden brooch that should not exist in the 25th century prompts the Luxon Institute to send a young Chinese woman 600 years back in time. She arrives in San Francisco in 1895 to prevent the future from altering the past. This sequel to Summer of Love (LJ 6/15/94), seen through the eyes of an observer from the future, juxtaposes the tempestuous, sprawling milieu of boomtown San Francisco with its shadowy underside of prostitution and decadence. Mason’s graceful prose and her skill in orchestrating a complex and satisfying plot make this a solid purchase for sf collections.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
This is from a reader:
https://www.amazon.ca/Golden-Nineties-Lisa-Mason/dp/0553373315
5.0 out of 5 stars Hypnotic Read
By,Robin Booneon Published on Amazon.com|Verified Purchase
“Lisa Mason’s Summer of Love and The Golden Nineties both have this quality – you want to reread them as soon as you’ve read them. Her writing conveys an abiding love of San Francisco, and interesting bits of California history are woven into the storylines. The writing is so compelling that you feel as though time travel were a possibility. I hope she writes more of these San Francisco fantasies!”
And this is from Publisher’s Weekly
https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-553-37331-8
“Mason’s sequel to Summer of Love is a delightful expansion of that work and a major step forward for her. The tale centers on Zhu Wong, a Chinese national whose lawyer plea-bargains her release from prison so that Chiron and his companions from the previous novel’s Luxon Institute for Superluminal Applications can transport her 600 years into the past to find a macguffin called the aurelia. Once in San Francisco, 1895, Mason brings the environment and the times to life with her rendering of the city’s activities, especially its corruption. The several historic personages who appear–including Frank Norris, Jack London and Susan B. Anthony–are all given dimensions that reflect the rigor of Mason’s research without leaving the reader overburdened by minutiae. Zhu Wong finds herself embroiled in a world of decadence and prostitution; she sees friends and companions abuse themselves with such things as alcohol, cocaine and corsets. As with Karen Joy Fowler’s Sarah Canary, Mason uses the novel partially to explore the role of women in society. As Zhu grows to understand the hypocrisies of the 1890s, she becomes even less comfortable with the presumptions of her own time. She creates several “closed time loops,” apparent paradoxes that impede her mission–and, perhaps more important, thwart her own desires. Eventually she finds her way out of the time loops and in the process teaches everyone–including herself–a few lessons about life. Her bravura performance with this book should both leave the reader wanting more and solidify her position as one of the most interesting writers in science fiction.
And this just in from an Amazon.com reader
Buy It
By Uke Enthusiast
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
“One of my favorite books. I am delighted it is back in print. A thoroughly entertaining time travel story supported by vivid characterizations and settings.”
Book Description: 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
“Graceful prose. . . .A complex and satisfying plot.” Library Journal
“Rollicking. . . .Dazzling.” Locus Magazine
“Should both leave the reader wanting more and solidify Mason’s position as one of the most interesting writers in science fiction.” Publisher’s Weekly
The cover, by San Francisco artist Tom Robinson, is styled to look like an 1890s billboard.
The Gilded Age is BACK IN PRINT! Order the beautiful trade paperback in the U.S., in the U.K., in France, in Germany, in Italy, in Spain, and in Japan.
The ebook
is at BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords and on Kindle worldwide at US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.
So there you have it, my friends
. Bantam Books, a division of Random House, published this as The Golden Nineties. Yes, I changed the title. I think the new title is better. (Wish I’d thought of it in the first place) This is the Author’s Preferred Print Edition.
Whether you’re a longtime reader or new, I hope you enjoy this classic!
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Please disregard any ad you see here. They have been placed without my permission.

“Turn! Turn! Turn!”, or “Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)”, is a song written by Pete Seeger in the late 1950s and covered by the L.A. band, The Byrds. (I’ll provide the Youtube link at the end of this story.)
I love the Byrds’ sound, their precise harmonies and unique guitar work. Other songs I love by the Byrds include a cover of “Mr. Tambourine Man”, written by Bob Dylan, and the enigmatic “Eight Miles High” written by Gene Clark, Roger McGuinn, and David Crosby. Musically influenced by Ravi Shankar and John Coltrane, “Eight Miles High” was influential in developing the musical styles of psychedelic rock, raga rock, and psychedelic pop.
Tom, as a young teen, met The Byrds at the Burbank Airport in Los Angeles. There they were, with their guitar cases emblazoned with the band’s name. He went up to them and told them he loved their music. Also, at various times at the Burbank Airport (he flew out of there to go to San Francisco, where he attended art school, and back to L.A., where his family lived), Tom met Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Junior, Ronald Reagan, and Richard Nixon (that’s who he met). A lot of people keep their private jets at Burbank.
Burbank is a pretty little airport, much more peaceful and friendly than LAX. If you don’t have to catch an international flight, I recommend flying into L.A. via Burbank. I did just that in 1996 to attend the Science Fiction World Convention in Anaheim.
I reserved a car from the rental agency at the airport. When I went to pick up the car keys and sign papers, the cheerful customer rep told me, “A car just came in, is gassed up and ready to go. Would you like an upgrade? I’ll give it to you for free.”
I said “Sure!” and walked out to pick up the car. It was a dark scarlet Cadillac Seville with a tan leather interior. The driver’s seat was as comfortable as a luxurious living room couch.
I’d never driven a Caddie before—or since. It was like driving a tank. I had no fear of the treacherous L.A. freeway traffic. When I drove into Hollywood, I got plenty of double-takes and stares. Sharon Stone was big then, appearing in Basic Instinct. Her image was on all the gigantic billboards lining Sunset Boulevard. Maybe at a distance, with my fair hair, wearing sunglasses, I resembled Stone?
I parked in the garage of a hotel on Sunset Boulevard. I’d rented a room there for a night and walked down the boulevard to my film rights agent’s office. We had just sold a very nice, high-five option to Universal Pictures of my OMNI story, “Tomorrow’s Child” and Joel wanted to know what else I had.
That evening, I had a wonderful Japanese dinner with Teresa Phalen Rosen and her husband, Russ. A full moon illuminated the Hollywood Hills. It was a magical day.
In the morning, I drove down to Anaheim to the WorldCon and dropped the Caddie off at the rental agency at the hotel. My “free upgrade” turned out to be not so free, after all. The Caddie was a gas-guzzler and set me back a couple hundred bucks. Never mind. The ride was worth it.
The convention was THE best convention I’ve ever attended. Saw lots of writer-friends and editors there. I almost met Ray Bradbury (a near-miss, but that’s another story). I caught the hotel’s free shuttle bus to LAX and from there flew back to San Francisco.
Here’s “Turn! Turn! Turn”” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pX6SuX0Z6AQ
Join me on my Patreon page at https://www.patreon.com/bePatron?u=23011206 and help me after the Attack. I’ve posted delightful new stories and previously published stories, writing tips, book excerpts, movie reviews, original healthy recipes and health tips, and more!
Visit me at www.lisamason.com for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, blogs, roundtables, adorable cat pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!

I’m so thrilled this book is back in print! And as timely as ever! Bast Books has reported that the print book and the ebook sold in the U.S., the U.K., France, and Germany last month.
What readers say:
5.0 out of 5 stars I dig this book!
Reviewed in the United States on March 11, 2020
Summer of Love is a beautiful work of literature encapsulated within the science-fiction genre. It invites you on an emotionally jostling roller coaster ride.
Lisa Mason is a prolific author who weaves a time-travel story that delves into many underlying themes at a micro and macro level during the famous “Summer of Love” pandemic in Haight Ashbury, San Francisco, in 1967.
The author also descends underneath the epidermis of the street’s kaleidoscopic and “groovy” ambiance to reveal what is and what is not through each character’s eyes — and whether or not we can rely on hope to wake us up the next morning.
I felt the characters (even the secondary ones), the moments, the sights, the sounds and the smells of the time. As if I myself was time traveling. I found myself not only reading but tasting each word; sometimes going back to read a sentence, a paragraph or a page again.
This is a novel I will not hesitate to recommend. https://www.amazon.com/dp/1548106119
“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.”
“My favourite SF book of all time, beautiful, cynical and completely involving….Unmissable!”
2018 review of SUMMER OF LOVE at http://sfbookreview.blogspot.com/2018/02/summer-of-love-by-lisa-mason.html
”Ever since the Save Betty project completed there has been degradation in the archives. The Luxon Institute for Superluminal Applications (LISA, still love that acronym) has determined that San Francisco in 1967 is a hot dim spot. They commission the Summer of Love project. Twenty-one year old Chiron Cat’s Eye in Draco will t-port from 2467 to the summer of love where he is to find the Axis, a teenage girl from the Midwest will have important descendants, and protect her through the summer. This Susan Stein takes an alias, so Chiron has only probabilities to know if he finds the right girl.
In 1967 Susan receives a postcard from Nance, aka Penny Lane, who is in San Francisco. Her parents find the postcard, tear it up and burn it. She runs away that night and takes the name Starbright. She arrives hoping to see Penny Lane, but instead meets up with Stan the Man, manager of the Double Boogie band. She is invited to live with them in a house that is a constant party. She loves it, but a week later Stan hooks up with someone new. She meets Ruby again and Ruby takes her in. That first night Chiron saw an eye symbol by Ruby’s shop, decided to hang around there and Ruby let him sleep on the couch. He’s not sure that Starbright is the Axis, but there is a high probability. 
Without being preachy major themes in the book include the environment, population control, women’s rights, and addiction. These were put into the setting of real life 1967. Street names referenced in the book exist and the Grateful Dead did have a concert there on August 22. I enjoyed the story without any nostalgic feeling, other than references to old Star Trek episodes and other SF works.
I really enjoyed the book.It was excellent and the first chapter or two set up encounters throughout the rest of the book. I loved all three of the main characters, Starbright, Chiron and Ruby.” By John Loyd
Book Description: 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 wise and feisty half-black, half-white hip entrepreneur, 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?
A harrowing coming of age. A friendship ending in tragedy. A terrifying far future. A love spanning five centuries. And a gritty portrait of a unique time in American history.
The cover, hand-drawn by Tom Robinson, is styled to look like a 1960s psychedelic poster.
What the professional book reviewers say:
“Captures the moment perfectly and offers a tantalizing glimpse of its wonderful and terrible consequences.” TheSan Francisco Chronicle
“A fine novel packed with vivid detail, colorful characters, and genuine insight.” TheWashington Post Book World
“Remarkable. . . .the intellect on display within these psychedelically packaged pages is clear-sighted, witty, and wise.” Locus Magazine
“Mason has an astonishing gift. Her chief characters almost walk off the page. And the story is as significant as anyone could wish. This book will surely be on the prize ballots.” Analog
“A priority purchase.” Library Journal
5 stars From the Readers
Calling All Fans
Amazon Verified Purchase
‘Summer of Love is an important American literary contribution that may very well have a strong and viable fan base. Where are you? Join us!
This novel is loads of fun to read. The majority of the characters are hippies from the 1960s who meet a stranger from the future who’s looking to save his world. This fellow, Chiron, needs to find a troubled adolescent teen named Susan (a.k.a. Starbright) for a very compelling reason. The book has a great deal to offer: swift action, lovable characters, spiritual insight, and well-chosen primary documents such as essays, poems, and news articles which round out the reader’s understanding of the worldview of the novel.
I think Summer of Love has excellent potential for a wider audience. I hope it continues to enjoy a healthy amount of sales in the used books market on this site. I wish even more for it to be in wider circulation. Some books talk about the sixties. This novel IS the sixties, thanks to the spirit and scholarship of its author. And, as one reader aptly put it, ‘the sci-fi stuff is just plain off the hook.’ Get a copy. Most people who have read it seem to respect it and enjoy it every bit as much as I do.”
New Reader Review! “Just checked to see if this book was on Kindle. It has been many years since I’ve read it but I remember it as one ofmy very favorite books. Time to go back and re-read it!”
New Reader Review
Kent Peterson
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fine Story
10 February 2015 – Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Summer of Love, A Time Travel is a fine story. Lisa Mason takes three interesting characters, a time traveller from a future 500 years hence, a 14-year-old midwestern runaway flower child, and hip shopkeeper and places them all in the fascinating place and time that was San Francisco’s Summer of Love, 1967.
Mason has certainly done her homework. You can almost smell the pot and patchouli, see the painted faces and hear the sounds of Janis and the Grateful Dead as Chi, Starbright and Ruby fight to hold on to what really matters at a time when everything seems possible and even the smallest things can have huge consequences.
The time travel plot is nicely (if a bit predictably) done and the glimpses from Chi’s future world are fascinating, frightening and ultimately hopeful. Starbright is 100 percent convincing as a confused, loyal, idealistic, moody teenager who really could hold the key to what is to come. And Ruby Maverick, the shopkeeper who reluctantly gives the two young strangers shelter and strength in a strange and wondrous time is strong and smart and the kind of friend you’d want holding your hand or watching your back when the trip starts going strange.
Summer of Love, A Time Travel is not a rose-colored look backwards. It’s is a kaleidoscopic look at a time of both darkness and light, of confusion and clarity. It’s scary and beautiful, a strange trip where maybe all you need is a little love and some flowers in your hair.
New Reader Review
Eos
5.0 out of 5 starsTime travel done right
20 August 2017 – Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This is a longtime favorite novel. Mason’s time travel tale is fascinating as both a tale of the future and of the past. I am delighted it is now available as a Kindle edition as my paperback copy is long past its prime.
New Reader Review
paula ferre
5.0 out of 5 stars… the last 20 years – it is such a great story.
26 September 2016
Verified Purchase
I’ve read this book 3 or 4 times in the last 20 years – it is such a great story.
Find the PRINT BOOK in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Japan.
The ebook is on US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.
So there you have it, my friends. Whether you’re a longtime reader or new to the book, I hope you enjoy this classic.
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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 that 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.
Torn between three men—Daniel Stern, her ex-fiance who wants her back, Jack Kovac, an enigmatic FBI agent, and Prince Lastor, a seductive supernatural entity who lives in the penthouse and may be a suspect—Abby will question what she really wants and needs from a life partner.
Compelled into a dangerous murder investigation, Abby will discover the first secrets of an ancient and ongoing war between Humanity and Demonic Realms, 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.
The Garden of Abracadabra is an ebook on BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
On Kindle in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Japan, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Australia, and India.
The Garden of Abracadabra is in Print in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and Japan.
“So refreshing. . . .This is Stephanie Plum in the world of Harry Potter.”
Goodreads: “I loved the writing style and am hungry for more!”
Amazon.com: “Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy”

This is a very entertaining novel—sort of a down-to-earth Harry Potter with a modern adult woman in the lead. Even as Abby has to deal with mundane concerns like college and running the apartment complex she works at, she is surrounded by supernatural elements and mysteries that she is more than capable of taking on. Although this book is just the first in a series, it ties up the first “episode” while still leaving some story threads for upcoming books. I’m looking forward to finding out more.”
The Garden of Abracadabra was, in part, inspired by the Garden of Allah, a townhouse and apartment complex in Hollywood, California. New Yorker writers, like Robert Benchley and Dorothy Parker and F. Scott Fitzgerald, who went to L.A. to write screenplays, and actors like the Marx Brothers and Errol Flynn lived it up there and created quite a scandalous reputation for the place. “Big Yellow Taxi,” the song by Joni Mitchell was inspired when the city razed the place to the ground and built a strip mall over the ruins. “They paved Paradise and put up a parking lot,” the line goes.
So there you have it, my friends! I’m delighted to announce The Garden of Abracadabra is in print and an ebook worldwide.
Join other patrons on my Patreon page and help me after the Attack at https://www.patreon.com/bePatron?u=23011206. I’ve got delightful new and previously published stories, writing tips, book excerpts, movie recommendations, and more for patrons!
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ODDITIES
22 Stories
Lisa Mason
Table of Stories
Part I
Yesterday
“Every Mystery Unexplained
Ed. Janet Berliner and David Copperfield
Tales of the Impossible (HarperPrism 1996)
“Daughter of the Tao”
Ed. Peter S. Beagle and Janet Berliner
Immortal Unicorn (HarperPrism 1996)
“Ghiordes Knot”
Bast Books, 2020
“The Sixty-third Anniversary of Hysteria”
Ed. Jennifer Hershey, Tom Dupree, and Janna Silverstein
Full Spectrum 5 (Bantam Spectra 1995)
Part II
Tomorrow
“Tomorrow is a Lovely Day”
Ed. Gordon Van Gelder
The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (November-December 2015)
“Illyria, My Love”
Bast Books 2015
“Infringement”
Bast Books, 2020
“The Bicycle Whisperer”
Ed. C. C. Finlay
The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (May-June 2018)
“Arachne”
Ed. Ellen Datlow
Omni Magazine (December 1987)
“The Hanged Man”
Ed. Katharine Kerr
The Shimmering Door: Sorcerers and Shamans, Witches and Warlocks, Enchanters and Spell-Casters, Magicians, and Mages (HarperPrism 1996)
“Anything for You”
Ed. C. C. Finlay
The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (September-October 2016)
“She Loves You”
Bast Books, 2020
“Taiga”
Ed. John Benson
Not One of Us (Issue #61 April 2019)
“Teardrop”
Ed. Gordon Van Gelder
The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (May-June 2015)
“Bess”
Ed. Jonathan Laden and Michele-lee Barasso
Daily Science Fiction (May, 2019)
“Tomorrow’s Child”
Ed. Ellen Datlow
Omni Magazine (December 1989)
Part III
Fantasy
“Hummers”
Ed. Gardner Dozois
Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine (February 1991)
Reprinted in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, Fifth Annual Collection
Ed. Ellen Datlow and Terry Windling
(St. Martin’s Press 1992)
“Starfish”
Bast Books 2020
“Riddle”
Ed. C. C. Finlay
The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (September-October 2017)
“Aurelia”
Ed. C. C. Finlay
The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (January-February 2018)
“Mysteries of Ohio”
Bast Books, 2020
“Crazy Chimera Lady”
Bast Books 2020
Preorder ODDITIES: 22 Stories as a Kindle book (publication date November 17. 2020) at US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08GL2Q954
Order ODDITIES: 22 Stories in print NOW in the US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08GLSSNPS
Here’s the Amazing Stories Online review, Part I, of ODDITIES: 22 Stories at https://amazingstories.com/2020/09/new-book-review-lisa-masons-oddities-part-1/
Here’s Part II of the Amazing Stories Online review of my new collection ODDITIES: 22 Stories. https://amazingstories.com/2020/10/lisa-masons-oddities-review-part-ii/
Join my other patrons on my Patreon page at https://www.patreon.com/bePatron?u=23011206.
Leave a tip in the tip jar at PayPal to http://paypal.me/lisamasonthewriter.
Visit me at www.lisamason.com for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, blogs, roundtables, adorable cat pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!

As I read through a final pass of ODDITIES: 22 Stories, I found recurrent themes and point-of-view characters as protagonists, though I portray each story as a unique universe. Over the span of my career, I’ve tended not to repeat myself.
As Steve Fahnestalk in his Amazing Stories review said: “I find myself constantly surprised by the breadth of styles, places, and characters in this collection. ….sometimes you want to be surprised; and that’s what Ms. Mason delivers in this collection (which also spans pretty much the whole timeline of her short story publications). Like Ray Bradbury’s short stories, these never fail to surprise you with little sparkles and occasional rockets going off and spreading happy fireworks in your brain!”
Let me see:
Three, no, four supernatural entities
Five POV artists! (I wonder why I’m attracted to that character type.) But only one writer. And only one stage magician.
Two psychiatrists.
Two lawyers, corrupt in different ways.
Two very different teenage girls.
Five medical stories.
Two very different ghost stories.
Two very different time stories.
Two telespace stories and one artificial intelligence story.
Tarot magic and ancient Egyptian magic.
Four alien stories, approaching the theme from different perspectives.
ODDITIES: 22 Stories is on Kindle Preorder worldwide until November 17, 2020, including in the US, in theUK, Canada, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, in theNetherlands, Mexico, Brazil, India, and Japan.
ODDITIES: 22 Stories is in Print as a beautiful trade paperback now available in the US
, in theUK, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Japan.
Join my other patrons on my Patreon page at https://www.patreon.com/bePatron?u=23011206.
Leave a tip to the tip jar at PayPal to http://paypal.me/lisamasonthewriter.
Visit me at www.lisamason.com for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, blogs, roundtables, adorable cat pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!

Here’s Part II of Steve Fahnestalk’s review of my new collection ODDITIES: 22 Stories. He compared me to Ray Bradbury! Thanks to Gordon van Gelder, C.C. Finlay, and Ellen Datlow for your support as story editors over the years to help me make this happen. https://amazingstories.com/2020/10/lisa-masons-oddities-review-part-ii/
“Welcome back to the second half of my review of Lisa Mason’s Oddities, her new short story collection. Figure 1 was the “artsy” photograph of Lisa used in OMNI (December 1987), for the first publication of her first short story, “Arachne,” later to become a full novel. The accompanying illustration, I’m happy to say, was by Swiss artist H.R. Giger. Not a bad deal for your first story! Anyway, moving on from Part I, Yesterday, to the second and third parts of Oddities, I find myself constantly surprised by the breadth of styles, places and characters in this collection. Some writers have a—not necessarily monotonous—consistent style and tone, let us say, in their writing. Sometimes that’s what you want, but sometimes you want to be surprised; and that’s what Ms. Mason delivers in this collection (which also spans pretty much the whole timeline of her short story publications). Like Ray Bradbury’s short stories, these never fail to surprise you (well, me, anyway) with little sparkles and occasional rockets going off and spreading happy fireworks in your brain!
I don’t want to make this too long, but I have to give you at least capsule reviews of the remaining 18 stories, so let’s get to it, shall we?
PART II: TOMORROW
Tomorrow is a Lovely Day,” published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (November-December 2015). Benjamin lives in a tomorrow that could be our tomorrow: acid rain, earthquakes, volcanoes, wars. He’s got a job as a security guard at a facility where a possibly mad scientist has invented a machine that tells the future. But time’s awry, and Benjamin lives the same day over and over, because time will stop tomorrow. Or will it? Can the machine answer a question that hasn’t been asked yet?
“Illyria, My Love,” published by Bast Books in 2015, is another time story…. Maya lives in Illyria, another planet after people fled Earth, and she lives with Yuri, who’s in the militia. War comes to Illyria, but Maya just wants to live in her little cottage and raise produce. But time seems to be flowing the wrong way.
“Infringement,” from Bast Books, 2020, is about the multiverse and writing. One of the things some authors have to worry about is someone claiming plagiarism or copyright infringement, though that usually only happens when a writer is extremely successful. But what do you do when the person suing you is yourself? And what if they’re right?
“The Bicycle Whisperer,” from The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (May-June 2018), is about the Lone Rangerette, finder of lost bicycles. What kind of person is needed when the bicycles themselves have AI? (Especially Shimano Stella.) A heart-warming little tale.
“Arachne,” Lisa’s first story, in Omni magazine (December 1987), is sort of more up-to-date today—what with telepresence and social distancing—than maybe it was in 1987. It’s kind of nice to find a 33-year-old techno story that hasn’t dated! I won’t spoil the surprise for you.
“The Hanged Man” is from the anthology The Shimmering Door: Sorcerers and Shamans, Witches and Warlocks, Enchanters and Spell-Casters, Magicians, and Mages (HarperPrism 1996)… whew! What a title! Snap works in telespace; he’s a programmer who’s never quite caught onto the corporate “how-to,” and although he’s a great programmer, he’s always broke. (I can relate; the best thing about working for a corporation or big government entity is the people around you. The corporate lifestyle sucks for someone like me.) When a mysterious “gridlock gypsy” offers to tune up his grid connection Snap is dubious, but she introduces him to the Tarot. An interesting meld of cyberpunk/technology and mysticism. A fun, well-written tale.
“Anything for You,” another from The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (September-October 2016), is a bit familiar, like something you might have seen on the original Twilight Zone, with Rod Serling intoning “Submitted for your consideration….” Willem lives for his interactive TV, where he can choose at any time from a menu; choices for the main character of the show; choices that will determine how her life goes. For Willem, Virginia Isley, from the show Dr. Virginia Isley, is more real even than his own wife. He doesn’t see how these choices affect his own life.
Continuing the Beatles theme in titles (what? You didn’t notice Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow?) is the story “She Loves You” from Bast Books, 2020. Dr. Martina Hawke, psychologist, is called in (in Berkeley, California) to help with Jacob “Jack” Strathmore, who owns a pair of stores on Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley, offering vintage books and vinyl records. He’s suffering a mental fugue of some sort. I can’t say too much about this story without giving stuff away that’s crucial to the plot. (But I will say that seeing some of the place names took me back to the Bay Area in the late 1960s.) This is partially about music. And earworms. Well done!
“Taiga” is from a magazine called Not One of Us (Issue #61 April 2019), and is ostensibly about a bunch of Russian cosmonauts hijacked by an alien to an icy alien planet. Something goes wrong and the crew is killed except for Katarina. As the alien seeks to help and communicate with her, she recalls a Soviet invasion of Ukraine when she was a child, leading to her life in Lithuania. Sometimes communication requires both inwardness and outwardness.
“Teardrop” comes from The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (May-June 2015). The editor, C.C. Finlay, obviously likes Lisa’s writing as I do! NanaNini is a “loke,” a local, an inhabitant of planet XYK-834. The lokes are classified as “Grade 12 primitives” who live on the mountains of XYK-834, which has two atmospheres: a dense “lowsky” and a lesser “highsky” which allows them to breathe; in fact, they can “surf” the lowsky on teardrop-shaped boards called “olos.” The lokes are not human; rather they are humanoid, but there’s a lot of interaction there. You’ll have to read this one to get it. Humans are again not necessarily the good guys here, but when they see The Sparkle, they can learn.
“Bess” was published online, at Daily Science Fiction (May, 2019). Bess is about a person captured by aliens (shades of “Taiga”), and kept pregnant by her captors. Just why they do it is the crux of the story. I didn’t get it early, which surprised me; I usually do.
“Tomorrow’s Child” is the last in the SF section of this book; it’s from Omni magazine (December 1989). Turner’s child Angela has always been a wild child. With more money and political clout than he knows what to do with, he’s let her do as she pleases and always bailed her out of trouble; but when she crashes her car, there’s little he can do to save what’s left of her. Except that there’s this stuff from what sounds like (to me) the Roswell “alien crash site,” and it includes something very much like a bandage. The story grows organically from that. It might be a feature film from Universal soon.
Part III: FANTASY
“Hummers,” from Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine (February 1991) (reprinted in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, Fifth Annual Collection, (St. Martin’s Press 1992), resonated with me, because we have hummingbirds (mostly Anna’s) that visit us daily. Many people don’t know about how many birds there are in San Francisco (including the wild parrot flocks on Telegraph Hill). Laurel is dying from cancer; she’s memorized Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s “stages” and is fascinated by the Egyptian Book of the Dead. Her caretaker, Jerry, is no stranger to death himself; his partner is dying of AIDS. One day Jerry gives Laurel a hummingbird feeder (almost exactly like one I have), and she becomes enchanted by the magical little birds that come to it. Does the soul survive after death? Can the little hummers be psychopomps?
“Starfish,” from Bast Books (2020), reminded me a bit of a bad British horror film I was watching, where a werewolf’s cut-off arm was rampaging around a hotel. Hey, if you cut off a werewolf’s arm and it regrows on the werewolf, does the arm grow a new werewolf? Alice and Jonathan are not the ideal couple; in fact, she’s never been in an ideal couple. All the men in her life eventually break up with her. But she keeps busy with her life at the fertility clinic—she’s helping other women conceive. But something goes wrong. Oh, boy, does something go wrong. You might be surprised at what does.
“Riddle” is another story from The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (September-October 2017). Edwin Ecco has been a famous artist in San Francisco; his painting adorns the front of Vesuvio, the club he frequents most often. Edwin’s not been too successful lately, but when he rescues a sphinx from an alley, his life takes a surprising turn. Good one!
“Aurelia” is the last one published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (January-February 2018) in this collection. Robert is a lawyer, and Aurelia hires him to stop someone from encroaching on her property. This property turns out to be a mansion on a rich bit of land in Sausalito, north of San Francisco, worth a bundle. Robert ends up marrying Aurelia. And he learns a few surprising things about butterflies, too.
“Mysteries of Ohio” like the last story, was published by Bast Books, in 2020. Elizabeth Kovac recalls when she was a young woman in Russell Township, Ohio. She’s not sure where she is now, or who these women are who are caretaking her, but she has one clear memory of a day when she “stole” a horse from the stables where she was holidaying, and went for a ride. She’s going to find out what happened that day. Nice and creepy, this one.
“Crazy Chimera Lady,” also from Bast Books (2020), is about adopting animals. Not your usual animals, either. These are chimeras, and from the description, anyone who likes cats will love chimeras… if they can afford to build an aerie for them to exercise in. A fun, and cute, ending to a terrific collection!
ODDITIES: 22 Stories is on Kindle Preorder worldwide, including in the US, in the UK, Canada, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, in the Netherlands, Mexico, Brazil, India, and Japan.
ODDITIES: 22 Stories is in Print as a beautiful trade paperback right now in the US
, in the UK, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Japan.
Visit me at www.lisamason.com for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, worldwide links, beautiful covers, reviews, interviews, blogs, round-tables, adorable cat pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, and more!