Christi Killien's fiction publication includes six children's and young adults novels with Houghton Mifflin and Scholastic. Her nonfiction publication includes numerous essays and the book WRITING IN A NEW CONVERTIBLE WITH THE TOP DOWN, co-authored with Sheila Bender and published by Warner and Blue Heron. Christi lives in Olalla, Washington with her husband.
This memoir is about two fifty-something Boomers building a small farm life in the Pacific Northwest. The main characters besides me and my husband, the Bearded One, are our 3 twenty-something kids and a few neighbors. We build a barn, an aviary, and a hoop house; acquire chickens and goats for the first time; and have numerous other rural adventures.
A bear, a 25-year-old nursing student and her dog, and one autumn week that changes a small rural community in the Pacific Northwest. This novella is about love and death and a bear trap full of doughnuts. Diana O'Neil is the fierce heroine who wants to fall in love, but is trapped herself.
The Stairway To Nowhere
on Feb. 13, 2010
This is a love story, and one that made me cry, so it gets my highest recommendation. The story is also an ingenious metaphor for our times and the human psyche as it evolves. There's psychology, alchemy, and spirituality, and it moves fast, too...toward the goal of "utopia" in the sequel(s). Is fighting a plausible route to utopia? Hm. I don't know, but there was enough love and compassion in this first encounter to make me want to read more.
The Child of Paradox
on Oct. 24, 2010
This is a magical meditation on love and power; it'll make you think, laugh, and think some more. It's set, as is The Stairway to Nowhere, in modern physical reality, but most of the action occurs in the Background Realm, a parallel stew of a world that includes fairies, goblins, and trolls. Events in this Background Realm impact human reality, which is the fascinating construct Brian Rush uses to imagine how the social evolution of humanity might be occurring. And he backs it up with loads of history and mythology!
"It is Power, not Love that insists on respect and trust," says the Librarian of Thoth to one of the two main character narrators, Falcon, as Falcon goes through his parallel personal choosing of love or power. This choice, love or power, mirrors what all of humanity must ultimately be allowed to do, but the timing has to be just right...and that's where the other main character and the alternating narrator, Angee, the Child of Paradox comes in. Angee grows up before our eyes and is very real and engaging; Brian does a wonderfully believable job of bringing her to life, or rather back to life, as the embodiment of love and power. Her task in volume 3 is to toughen up the Star Mages and ultimately pave the way to make us all Star Mages. I'm totally with her for the ride.
on Feb. 28, 2011
This is a totally fresh and original take on the classic myth set in a bleak, not-too-distant, entirely plausible future America with a computer-hacking gazillionaire hero named Robert Hunter. Labor is done by robots, unemployment is the norm, and most Americans live in poverty. Brian Rush describes the economic history in detail, and the issue of robot soldiers is chillingly timely. The cyber-robot plot works, and there's plenty of computer code talk and robot weaponry for those so enthralled -- but not too much. Brian writes too well to be boring. My favorite part of this creative story is the lineage of Robins. Robert has to carve out his own incarnation of the hero that his father and grandfather were before him. The short novella form works, too. I like the pace and focus and the way it all swirls around a symbol, in this case, mythology. This makes a wonderful first book in Robert Hunter's quest to provoke a successful social and economic revolution.
Democracy: A Proposal For a New Constitution For the United States
on Oct. 17, 2011
This is a radical, outside-the-box little manifesto -- it calls for replacing Congress (!) with Direct Democracy solving the problem of bought-out politicians at the root. What a concept. Mr. Rush makes a highly convincing argument that times and technologies have changed, and that the constitution must as well. This book is a great jump-start to the direct democracy pros and cons conversation.
The Green Stone Tower
on June 24, 2012
This is a fairy tale like none I've ever read before. Johnny the Singer and Illowan the Faerie Girl live in two separate worlds, yet they are destined to love each other and transform both of their worlds. Illowan is a Persephone-esque character with tremendous spunk sorting through the themes of enlightenment, destiny and mortality. Johnny plays his ambertone and has a friend named Stephen Seedcorn. There's also a lawyer named Houndhide and a pantheon of 8 gods that are a hoot. The language is lyrical, the writing elegant and charming. Great fun.
Goddess-Born (A Tale of Two Worlds)
on Dec. 11, 2012
Goddess Born, and its prequel The Greenstone Tower which I also enjoyed, are the first two books in a remarkable fantasy riff on Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities complete with a 18th Century European society in revolution. There's a delightful cast of randy gods and goddesses encouraging the evolution of humankind and the fairy world (the Two Worlds of the title) via mating with the populace and fostering the offspring, the goddess-born of the title, out to worthy families. There's the goddess-born themselves, Malcolm and Sonia, growing up and learning what their roles are in the big change of democracy. And there are the fairies, who kept their magic when they split off to the Other World centuries earlier, but are now intermingling with the Old World humans. It's a wonderful ride, and along the way we get to think about how people and societies do actually change. I can't wait for Volume 3.