Zachary Kelp was born in 1951, in Peoria, Illinois, on the same day as Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were sentenced to death for stealing atomic secrets. Kelp's mother and father were both schoolteachers, and from his earliest days Kelp recalls being surrounded by, and fascinated with literature, his parents having an exhaustive library containing everything from the complete works of Shakespeare and Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson to the latest in avant-garde fiction. Kelp's first novel was Katherine Anne Porter's Ship of Fools, read at the tender age of 12; other early favorites were from Hemingway, Faulkner, and Fitzgerald.
Like many kids of the 1950s, Kelp was fatally attracted to the fantastic worlds of science fiction, on TV, in the movies, and in print form; he bought and devoured as many pulp sci-fi magazines like Amazing Stories and Astounding Science-Fiction as he could lay his hands on, and authors like Murray Leinster, Frederick Pohl and Isaac Asimov soon became his go-to guys for the best in current SF.
Kelp began scribbling his own stories at about this time, and has dabbled at writing, on and off, to this day. Now in retirement, Kelp recently decided to dust off the pen again and continue where he left off in youth. Kelp's current favorite authors are Kerouac, Cheever, Vonnegut and Nabakov, in that order; his life-long dream is to write a satirical SF novel like Cat's Cradle in the beat prose style of Desolation Angels, but realizes that might be too large a task for one lifetime.
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Smashwords book reviews by Zachary Kelp
American Wage Slave
on Sep. 29, 2017
Mel C. Thompson's new job-centric memoir is a short and not-so-sweet ride through the sheer economic Hell of Southern California. In a matter of a few pages, Thompson manages to give as vivid a sketch of the utter cruelty and barbarism of California - and its hypocritical veneer of liberal humanity - as any belabored long-form treatise on same. To put it bluntly, in post-Reagan La-La Land, If you are poor, creative and/or diagnosable, you are s**t out of luck. Late model capitalism is a bloodthirsty vampire which spits out the destitute and the marginal like so many bits of waste peanut shells. There are short term jobs described herein which are hilarious, but most of them are hair-raising, and remind the reader how damn lucky he is to have a roof over his head. One of the saddest episodes regards the author's sojourn in a San Francisco hospital in the late 1980s, where he saw hundreds of young men die slowly and painfully from the new monster disease AIDs, the vast majority completely abandoned by family and friends, left to waste away alone and unloved. If this isn't Hell, I don't know what is. Reminded me a lot of Tom Kromer's harrowing Depression-era memoir, Waiting for Nothing. Highly recommended, but be sure you have a strong stomach for man's inhumanity to man.