NW Books: Essays by Neal Stephenson; Northwest steamboat captains
New books by Seattle-area authors: "Some Remarks," a collection of essays by Neal Stephenson, who has appearances Aug. 7 and 14; "Steamboats on Northwest Rivers," by local historian Bill Gulick; "Silver," a debut urban fantasy by Rhiannon Held; and "Stunned by the Velocity," poems by Carol Levin.
"Some Remarks: Essays and Other Writing" by Neal Stephenson (William Morrow, $25.99). A collection of previously published pieces and a couple new works by the popular Seattle author of "Reamde" and "Snow Crash." Topics listed include the nation's dwindling attention span, the cluelessness of secular society and modern Jedi knights (scientists who are admired and feared by both the left and the right). Author appearance: Stephenson will be at Kane Hall (sponsored by University Book Store) on Wednesday, Aug. 7, and Barnes & Noble at Northgate on Aug. 14.
"Steamboats on Northwest Rivers" by Bill Gulick (Caxton Press, $16.95). A history of the sturdy boats and captains that navigated wild rivers from Idaho to Alaska more than 100 years ago. According to the book jacket, the steamboat pilots' "names and feats were known to travelers and river dwellers, ... each boat's whistle was recognized by hero-worshiping boys who dreamed of growing up to be river captains." Gulick is a longtime Washington resident and has written more than 30 books and 200 articles on Northwest history.
"Silver" by Rhiannon Held (Tor, $14.99). This urban fantasy filled with werewolves, shape-shifters, a pack mentality, danger and romance is the Seattle author's first novel. Publishers Weekly noted its "interesting twists, smooth writing and genuine chemistry between the leads."
"Stunned by the Velocity" by Carol Levin (Pecan Grove Press, $15). These poems by the Seattle author focus on the story of a woman from Seattle who was held captive on a Greek island in 1968 and expands to convey intimate and large-scale events taking place in that tumultuous year.