Reading the North: New books of interest to Alaskans

The Meth Conspiracy

Written by J.E. Horn (Trafford Publishing)

The blurb: This fantasy/science fiction novel follows Jonathan Champion, a once famous federal prosecutor who made a living by taking down big-name meth dealers. That career ends after the deaths of his wife and child, sending him into a world where people are forced into drug addiction to provide energy for their powerful masters.

Excerpt: "The gas fumes made the world into a hazy picture. Fire burned flesh to a sticky sweetness; he could feel the bones in one hand give way to the heated pressure. Bones cracked; metal fumed; he could not breathe...

"Waking up, the sound of the phone sounded shrill after such a dream. Breathing had slowed, and he swallowed a painful lump down an itchy dry throat. The same dream he had been having for over two years now; every time he closed his eyes, it waited to find him. Lying back in bed, he could feel his body sticking to the sheets after the nightmare. The sweat quickly cooled, causing a shiver of goose bumps as he reached for the annoying phone."

Walter's Story

By Barbara Jacko Atwater (Publication Consultants, $19.95)

The blurb: This collection of stories are told by the authors uncle, detailing what life was like in the north Iliamna Lake region for the better part of the 1900s.

Excerpt: "I was born at Kaskanak on June 14, 1922. This is a small river that enters the Kvichak about where the Kaskanak Flats are located. It is a couple miles below Igiugig. My parents were living in a cabin there at the time.

"My Aunt Valun, Mom's youngest sister, was with Mom when I was born. My sister, Alma Jensen was there, too. I was the youngest of my mom's children.

"There were a bunch of loose dogs running around outside. They were the sled dogs, but they weren't tied up. Right after I was born, for some reason, Alma and Aunt Valun left Mom and ran out of the house. They left the door open and the dogs came into the house. They could have eaten me up. I guess Mom got them out somehow, but that was dangerous. I don't know what my sister and aunt were doing. Mom was not happy with them."

Compiled by Chad Walker, Anchorage Daily News