Welcome to my worlds!

I'm James Maxey, author of fantasy and science fiction. My novels include the science fantasy Bitterwood Saga (4 books) the Dragon Apocalypse Saga (4 books), numerous superhero novels including Nobody Gets the Girl and the Lawless series, the steampunk Oz sequel Bad Wizard, and my short story collections, There is No Wheel and Jagged Gate. This website is focused exclusively on writing. At my second blog, Jawbone of an Ass, I ramble through any random topic that springs to mind, occasionally touching on religion and politics and other subjects polite people are sensible enough not to discuss in public. If you'd like to get monthly updates on new releases, as well as preview chapters and free short stories, join my newsletter!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

First Monday Classics: HG Wells and the Island of Dr. Moreau

Join me and authors Clay Griffith and Nathan Kotecki on Monday, March 3, as we help the Orange County Library launch a new series dedicated to the discussion of classic authors and books. The plan currently is to meet at 6:30 on the first Monday of each month for March, April, and May to discuss a different author, with a focus on one of their better known books.

For March, we'll be discussing HG Wells and the Island of Dr, Moreau. Until last year, I'd never actually read HG Wells. His four core novels of The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, War of the Worlds, and The Island of Dr. Moreau have been so heavily adapted and borrowed from I felt like I knew the books without having read them. I first read The Time Machine and was impressed by the ideas of the book, but found it to be a rather thin read when it came to plot and characters. Still, it was well written, in a style I thought was quite easy for a modern reader to get through, so I decided to try a second novel, The Island of Dr. Moreau.

Wow. The Island of Dr. Moreau is one of the most amazing books I've ever read. The characters are complex, the plot unfolds at a methodical but engaging pace, and they style is the model of clarity. What lifts this book beyond the merely good into the realm of great art are the themes Wells tackles. Man's relationship to nature, man's relationship with God, the exploration of the line between man and beast and the many ways in which it can be blurred... you can't read this book without thinking through the moral questions placed before you. It's the kind of book I longed to talk about the second I closed the covers, which led me to propose this series discussing classic books to the library.

While the monthly discussions will be led by local authors, my goal is to have the audience share their thoughts and experiences with the authors in question. I want it to feel like a bunch of friends getting together to talk about favorite books.

Coming in April: Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice.

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