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Tag: insects

Atta; A Novel of a Most Extraordinary Adventure, by F.R. Bellamy – Book Review By Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

“Here is another of my reviews that was published ten years ago, edited in a manner that I didn’t like.  This is my original review, so it’s a bit different from the printed version.”

Atta-hardcoverAtta; A Novel of a Most Extraordinary Adventure, by Francis Rufus Bellamy.
NYC, A. A. Wyn, Inc., September 1953, hardcover $3.00 (216 pages).

         “It is with a singular bitterness that I begin this memoir of my youth.

Here at my table, west of the Mississippi, I can turn in my chair and gaze out my window at sixty acres of green hillside, orchard, and valley. They are the actual scene of the greater part of the adventures I am about to relate, adventures for which I myself can vouch.” (pg. 1)

Two pages later the narrator, Brokell, says these events happened forty years previously. 1953 minus forty years would be 1913, which would explain why he was riding about the countryside in a horse-and-buggy, and why he writes in such an old-fashioned, formal style.

Brokell is waiting in a flowery meadow with a box of candy for his betrothed. She is late, and after a half-hour he notices that red ants are crawling all over the candy. Infuriated (“Darn you, anyhow!” I said aloud.”), he picks up a rock and starts smashing the ants. Suddenly:

“For scarcely had my missile left my grasp before I was conscious of a hitherto unseen dark mass in the sky above me. Even as my own missile left my hand this mass became instantly larger in size and rushed down at me and the earth.” (pg. 7)

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Last of the SandWalkers, by Jay Hosler – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.  

Last of the SandWalkers, by Jay Hosler. Illustrated by the author.
NYC, First Second, April 2015, trade paperback $16.99 ([5 +] 312 pages), Kindle $9.99.

9781626720244_p0_v1_s260x420Biologist/entomologist/cartoonist Dr. Jay Hosler has been creating comic books and cartoon-art books since the 1990s. He may be best-known for his award-winning Clan Apis, a dramatic adventure featuring honeybees that was also (allowing for the anthropomorphization) entomologically accurate; first published as a five-issue comic book in 1998 and still in print as a graphic novel today. Now Hosler has written & drawn Last of the SandWalkers, a science-fiction comedy-drama for readers 10 and up, featuring beetles, for First Second, a subsidiary of publishing giant Macmillan.

The main characters are a scientific expedition of five beetles, all different: Lucy (shown on the cover), a sassy, rule-breaking junior member and a water-capturing tenebrionid beetle from the Southern African desert; Professor Bombardier, the motherly stable team member, a bombardier beetle; Mossy, a giant but unassuming Hercules rhinoceros beetle; Raef, a not-very-bright (mentally) firefly; and grumpy Professor Owen, a small but nasty Cape stag beetle. They are from New Coleopolis, a beetle city under a palm tree in an isolated desert oasis. New Coleopolis was founded a little over a thousand years ago, after old Coleopolis was destroyed by cocoanuts falling on it from the palm tree. It was assumed at the time by religious leaders that the god Scarabus had caused the falling cocoanuts due to displeasure at Coleopolis’ scientific community’s iconoclastic spirit, and since then the new theocratic city has outlawed research. This expedition is the first in a thousand years.

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