Saturday, June 14, 2008

Matthew Jarpe

Matthew Jarpe is the author of the novel Radio Freefall and other science fiction stories.

Last week I asked him what he was reading. His reply:
I'm so glad you caught me in a month when I'm reading some high brow stuff. It could just have easily been a Calvin and Hobbes retrospective or Spider-Man comic books. But it just so happens that right now I'm reading Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policemen's Union. I've always been a big fan of the Yiddish language and John Straley's series of Cecil Younger mysteries set in Sitka, Alaska. Both of these interests find an unlikely cohabitation in Chabon's latest novel.

And since I'm commuting by car now for the first time in my life, I've been filling the time listening to audiobooks. The first book I picked out is a history of the 14th century called A Distant Mirror by Barbara Tuchman. Holy crap a lot of bad stuff happened in Europe in that century. The Black Death, a Hundred Years War, crazy kings, peasants revolt and to top it off, two popes at once. It's a wonder anyone survived at all.

I'm also halfway through Floating Off the Page, a collection of stories from the middle column front page of the Wall Street Journal. I had to break it up because I found myself about to board a plane in Chicago with nothing to read. My horror subsided when I passed a bookstore and noticed Chabon's book had come out in trade paperback. I haven't been able to put it down since.

Next up, naturally, is a bunch of trivial fluff including the backs of cereal boxes and instructions for video games.
Among the praise for Jarpe's Radio Freefall:
"Rock and roll and old-school hard SF go together like peanut butter and jelly in Jarpe's debut novel."
--Publishers Weekly

"This is a brisk, lucid and engrossing debut. The bloodlines of Heinlein and Varley are clearly displayed in an original new scion. I found it no end of fun."
--Kage Baker, author of Rude Mecanicals

"SF, drugs, and rock and roll! I'm holding my Bic lighter up to the rafters, waiting for an encore."
--Warren Hammond, author of KOP
Visit Matthew Jarpe's website to learn more about him and his work, and to read an excerpt from Radio Freefall.

--Marshal Zeringue