Archive for February, 2012

“Baby by Chance” by Elda Minger

She hadn’t expected to be expecting …

Hav­ing a fam­i­ly was­n’t part of Cin­na­mon Robert’s five-year plan, but when she acci­den­tal­ly fell under the spell of a hyp­no­tist who’d been hired by her baby-crazed twin sis­ter, she sud­den­ly became a warm, will­ing woman ripe to con­ceive. Which is exact­ly what hap­pened … by Chance.

Ramblin’ man turned family man?

Chance Dev­ereux had to won­der if he was­n’t the one under a spell .. ’cause ever since sweet-and-spicy Cin­na­mon had come into his life — mak­ing him a dad­dy-to-be — he’d start­ed hear­ing wed­ding bells.

Chance want­ed to make the moth­er of his child an hon­est woman … but could he hope for mar­i­tal bliss after Cin­na­mon came to?

[amtap book:isbn=0373165846]

All Cin­na­mon Roberts thought was that she was going to accom­pa­ny her twin sis­ter Pep­per to a hyp­no­tist, who was going to help the frus­trat­ed Pep­per become more accus­tomed to hav­ing sex so she could final­ly be preg­nant. The trou­ble began with the care­less­ness of the hyp­no­tist, start­ing with not rec­og­niz­ing the signs that Cin­na­mon was under the same trance as her twin Pep­per and end­ing with the poor selec­tion of a post-hyp­not­ic trig­ger, the word “cayenne”.

When Cin­na­mon met Chance Dev­ereux lat­er, when he men­tioned the word “cayenne”, Cin­na­mon imme­di­ate­ly went into a pas­sion­ate state, aston­ish­ing Chance, who, unknow­ing the actu­al state she was in, decid­ed to take ‘advan­tage’ of the sit­u­a­tion. Only after­ward does the trance wear off does Cin­na­mon final­ly real­ize that she was preg­nant, much to their mutu­al aston­ish­ment. That’s when the estab­lished tropes of the romance nov­el begin to appear, and as expect­ed, it all works out in the end.

Com­men­tary: Three clas­sic fails in media hyp­no­sis: first off, the unin­ten­tion­al wit­ness trance, and, sec­ond­ly, the inad­ver­tent post-hyp­not­ic trig­ger­ing, all lead­ing up to the third, that being the inabil­i­ty of the per­son unin­ten­tion­al­ly hyp­no­tized to ignore or resist the suggestions.

This Week in Comics — 2012/02/15

Birds of Prey #6

“Clean Getaway”

The con­fronta­tion with Choke and the Clean­ers is build­ing to a head. The Birds of Prey track down one of the indi­vid­u­als who is under the thrall of Choke and man­age to release him from Choke’s con­trol, then send him back to his reg­u­lar job to act as a lure to draw out Choke. Lit­tle do the Birds know that the entire office staff is under Choke’s con­trol, all mind­less­ly prepar­ing to attack at the same time recit­ing strange phras­es that just might be con­trol trig­gers to take over the Birds of Prey themselves.

Star Trek and The Legion of Super-Heroes #5

With the iden­ti­ty of the mys­te­ri­ous Emper­or of Earth revealed, the ques­tion is, how was Van­dal Sav­age / Flint trans­formed into the ruth­less con­queror of the galaxy and how did he accom­plish that feat? The answer lies in the mys­te­ri­ous force that he keeps locked away, a force that allows him to manip­u­late real­i­ty and com­pel his sub­jects to obey him utter­ly. An intel­li­gent force that does not appre­ci­ate being locked away, a pow­er­ful and petu­lant force used to going wher­ev­er and when­ev­er it willed, unbound by any restric­tions. A force that does not like los­ing, espe­cial­ly to a Stone-Age sav­age such as Van­dal Savage.

A force that should need no intro­duc­tion to any­one who fol­lowed “Star Trek: The Next Gen­er­a­tion”.

“Secret of the Wolf” by Susan Krinard

[amtap book:isbn=0425181995]

Amid the lush vine­yards and majes­tic hills of Napa Val­ley, hyp­no­tist [Doc­tor] Johan­na Schell has found­ed Der Haven — a sanc­tu­ary for those who know the pain of being “dif­fer­ent”. For des­per­ate, fright­ened peo­ple whose souls are lost to grief. For lone­ly tor­tured men like Quentin Foster …

Fright­en­ing spells of amne­sia have plagued Quentin for years, and Johan­na wants noth­ing more than to ease his unspeak­able pain–and find out if his claim to were­wolf blood is just a delu­sion. But she is hor­ri­fied to dis­cov­er that, under hyp­no­sis, this ten­der, thought­ful man becomes vio­lent, venge­ful …evil. And now–caught in the bal­ance between real­i­ty and illu­sion, truth and decep­tion, sim­ple desire and absolute destruction–she must find the courage to trust him. To love him. To save him…

Can a tor­tured man like Quentin Fos­ter find peace? Can a ded­i­cat­ed heal­er like Johan­na Schell find love? Can they togeth­er defeat the ene­mies with and with­out and find their desires together?

Well, this is a romance nov­el, so, yes, they will do all every­thing list­ed above. But it won’t be easy, even less easy than the aver­age romance nov­el. That’s what hap­pens when the para­nor­mal is added to the mix.

⇒ Con­tin­ue read­ing ““Secret of the Wolf” by Susan Krinard”

New Year’s Resolution Scorecard — Week 06

Total weird­ness: a plu­g­in con­flict was ren­der­ing the vis­i­ble blog sec­tion, but not the admin sec­tion, com­plete­ly blank. No data as to which plu­g­in was doing it, the only way to fig­ure it out is to dis­able one after anoth­er to find the offend­ing one.

Which hap­pened to be the first one I tried. Or maybe not: maybe it was just the order in which things were run, and dis­abling and enabling things fixed it. Who knows? What mat­ters is that the blog is back up and oper­a­tional again. Very annoying.

Read­ing: Anoth­er regency romance, this time with a lit­tle more bite and soci­ety pol­i­tics involved than the last one. The male pro­tag­o­nist is not com­fort­able in his new peer­age and sev­er­al of the influ­en­tial mem­bers of the ton have it in for him. At least there’s some­thing more going on than the two even­tu­al lovers sigh­ing and won­der­ing whether they love each oth­er, as at this point they hard­ly know each other.

Research: I picked up the library copy of “Incognito:  the Secret Lives of the Brain” this after­noon but haven’t had the chance to start read­ing it yet. Hope­ful­ly tomor­row afternoon.

Samuel Youd — RIP

The name Samuel Youd is not that most any­one would imme­di­ate­ly rec­og­nize. Even I did­n’t at first.

How­ev­er, his pseu­do­nym of John Christo­pher would be imme­di­ate­ly rec­og­nized by SF fans any­where. That was the name used for the author of a large num­ber of SF nov­els, includ­ing the YA tril­o­gy known under the col­lec­tive name as the “Tripods”. The Tripods tril­o­gy (“The White Moun­tains”, “The City of Gold and Lead”, and “The Pool of Fire”) was about an Earth that was con­quered by aliens who moved about the world in almost “War of the Worlds” tripods. To con­trol the pop­u­lace, every­one was “capped” at the age of 14 with a met­al device that main­tained the aliens’ con­trol over human­i­ty. But not all human­i­ty: an under­ground move­ment, employ­ing agents wear­ing fake “caps” recruit­ed young men to act as under­cov­er agents, even­tu­al­ly able to infil­trate the alien base and pro­vide the infor­ma­tion to restore humanity.

There was also a pre­quel nov­el, “When the Tripods Came”, pub­lished in 1988, almost 20 years after the first pub­li­ca­tion of the first book of the tril­o­gy. This nov­el final­ly dis­closed how the alien “Mas­ters” first con­quered the world: through a hyp­not­ic tele­vi­sion pro­gram called “The Trip­py Show” that reduced resis­tance to the alien conquest.

Samuel Youd’s career was not lim­it­ed to just these sto­ries: he was a pro­lif­ic writer who used sev­er­al pseu­do­nyms as well as his own name. Oth­er than the “Tripods” series, he is best remem­bered for his post-apoc­a­lyp­tic nov­el The Death of Grass, the sec­ond work pub­lished under his John Christo­pher pseu­do­nym, in 1956.


  • The tril­o­gy was adapt­ed as a com­ic strip in the ven­er­a­ble “Boy’s Life” mag­a­zine, from May, 1981, through August, 1986.
  • The first two books of the tril­o­gy would even­tu­al­ly be trans­lat­ed to tele­vi­sion by the BBC, but the third book nev­er got past the script stage.


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