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The Lazar House of Nancy by Cal Freeman, with AudioThe Lazar House of Nancy
by Cal Freeman, with Audio

On winter days like this, I think of visiting my Aunt Nancy in Northville Psychiatric Hospital. Seeing Northville at 14 was like being at a circus freak show. The ladies in her ward were not bearded, but many of them had that dim five o’clock shadow that comes with experimental psychotropics. There was general excitement in the ward over the carton of cigarettes my mother carried.

  

Time and Chance on a High Desert River by Hal CrimmelTime and Chance on a High Desert River
by Hal Crimmel

If you want to raft a remote Class V desert river, one with risky, demanding rapids, you want some assurance that the river you have chosen is familiar even if it isn’t. You might first check the geology — canyons formed in soft, easily eroded rock tend to contain predictable rapids forgiving to rafts, promising a margin of safety on unfamiliar water in most conditions.

  

At the Mall by John R. CampbellAt the Mall
by John R. Campbell

On Thursday morning I arrive where the well-groomed sales staff hover, where senior citizens speed-walk, where young mothers push strollers with a determined ease. Extravagantly real tropical plants soar above me. Fluorescent light kindles the general air, while sharply-focused halogen lights illumine the displays, so that the merchandise mimics light itself, bathing the world in a material glow.

  

      

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