Media Mix

ANIMAL ATTRACTION: The introduction begins with a quote from Bulgarian philosopher Elias Canetti. "History," he says, "talks too little about animals." This is an oversight local author and regular Weekly contributor Gregory McNamee sets to rights with an engaging book of essays called A Desert Bestiary--Folklore, Literature and Ecological Thought from the World's Dry Places. Following the model of the medieval Latin bestiaries, which were collections of moralizing tales about real and mythical animals, McNamee has ferreted out myriad literary and scientific references, newspaper articles, indigenous folk tales and other arcane sources to bring 45 desert creatures to life. From Mark Twain's indictment of the deceptive ant to the pious tale of an eastern Saharan hyena, as told by one monk in the Lives of the Desert Fathers, McNamee's well-chosen anecdotes offer new perspectives on creatures great and small: from bat to blowfly, camel to coatimundi, hippopotamus to hummingbird, termite to turkey vulture. It's difficult to find an informative, easy-to-read reference inspiring a sense of wonder and humor about the desert. A Desert Bestiary is such a book, ideal for shared reading among animal enthusiasts of all ages.

The author reads from and signs copies of A Desert Bestiary ($14.95) from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, November 16, at The Book Mark, 5001 E. Speedway. For information call 881-6350.

WEB CRAWLING: The generation that cut its teeth on Atari and Nintendo has, apparently, grown into the segment of our population that's inclined to spend more on a home computer than an automobile, the better to spend late nights scrolling around the World Wide Web in search of new electronic frontiers. How else to explain sites like American Cybercast, a graphic laden e-zine of sorts at This is the pop-literature of the future, aimed at a decidedly Gen-X crowd--a milestone on the info highway where pulp fiction meets video game. Every page boasts corporate sponsorship, meaning they've spared no expense in bringing you the cutting edge in audio, animation and graphic design online.

The site includes three different ongoing series of interactive fiction: "The Spot," "The Pyramid" and "EON-4," respectively sexy, corporate and, well, from outer space. If you've got the hardware, check it out. But even the desktop-challenged can get the skinny in print with The Spot ($12.95, Simon & Schuster), by R. Collins, a paperback history of the original cybersoap.

FALK AND FICTION: Invisible Theatre slips an extra something into the mix with a full evening of theatrical performance and discussion that should fully sate fans of the whodunit. Following the 7:30 p.m. performance of Agatha Christie's Mousetrap on Thursday, November 14, local author Margaret Falk will present a free seminar on the art of writing mystery and suspense novels. Falk, whose first novel Dark Horse won accolades from none other than Tony Hillerman himself, delivers yet again with a new paperback, The Desert Waits ($4.99), about a feisty female wildlife photographer who, while on the trail of an elusive jaguarundi, gets mixed up with the murder of an estranged friend and movie star on location at the Hotel Sonora. This atmospheric morsel is replete with anecdotes on Arizona wildlife, corrupt rural cops and recognizable Tucson references.

IT's "Classic Christie Mistrie," about a group of strangers stranded on a dark, snowy night in a New England boarding house, continues with performances through December 1 at Invisible Theatre, 1400 N. First Ave. The Falk presentation and booksigning is free and open to all, and begins at approximately 9:30 p.m. Call 882-9721 for information. TW

Image Map - Alternate Text is at bottom of Page

Arizona Links
The Best of Tucson Online
Tucson Weekly's Review Forum

 Page Back  Page Forward

Home | Currents | City Week | Music | Review | Cinema | Back Page | Forums | Search

Weekly Wire    © 1995-97 Tucson Weekly . Info Booth