‘Prometheus Stumbles’ is set in Cleveland, decades in future

Prometheus Stumbles, a dystopian thriller by Copley resident Ed Gosney, takes place in the late 21st century, when downtown Cleveland is overrun with homeless derelicts and the ballpark is abandoned, though the rapid transit system still operates.

The protagonist is Derek, a Fairlawn man who agrees to drive to Cleveland with Bradley, an old school friend whose boss has assigned him to buy a mysterious object at a flea market. While he is waiting for Bradley to make his purchase, Derek wanders around the creepy booths and is drawn into a dim hall by Tomás, a boy who is using some kind of mind control. Tomás, calling Derek “the Deliverer,” gives him a blue plastic turtle, which he calls “the most important object in the world.”

Derek meets up with a shaky Bradley, who was unable to locate the item he needed, and they are confronted by a thug working for Bradley’s boss, who kills Bradley for his failure and tells Derek to run.

Derek is pursued by a faceless group of men in dark suits, whom he calls the Watchers. He is helped by Tomás and the boy’s mother, and is directed to a race of underground dwellers who have been waiting for centuries for him to appear with the plastic turtle, which for them is the Holy Grail. Derek’s wife would like to help, but she has her own battle.

There is a level of consciousness called the psionic plane that allows some characters to communicate with and manipulate each other, and Derek sometimes enters a “Dreamworld” where he sees visions.

Prometheus Stumbles (375 pages, softcover) costs $15.99 from online retailers. It is the first book in the announced Dreamworld series. Ed Gosney is a native of Martins Ferry and an Ohio State University alumnus.

‘Sleepy Harlow’

In The Legend of Sleepy Harlow, third in the League of Literary Ladies mystery series by Brecksville author Kylie Logan, the ladies don’t spend much time reading. They’ve chosen Washington Irving’s story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow to go along with South Bass Island’s annual end-of-summer bash.

Narrator Bea Cartwright, owner of Bea & Bees bed-and-breakfast, is glad to be booked for the weekend, but less pleased when she learns that her guests are the same group of paranormal investigators who destroyed an entire grape crop at her friend Kate’s winery the previous year, while filming an episode of their TV show.

The ghost hunters are back because during the previous visit, they claim to have recorded evidence of the ghost of Charles “Sleepy” Harlow, a bootlegger who was murdered by rival gangsters during Prohibition. His headless apparition is reputed to hang around South Bass, possibly looking for his long-lost treasure.

Trouble starts when the group’s leader, Noreen, assumes that she, her crew, and her doormat intern Fiona will again be allowed to film at the winery. Kate refuses. Another character describes Noreen as “self-centered, self-righteous [and] annoying … with OCD and an ego as big as all of the great outdoors.”

Noreen asks Bea to intervene, but Kate holds firm. When Kate stops by her office late at night to find the crew there, she becomes incensed and ejects them, but declines to press charges. Still, Kate becomes the prime suspect when Noreen is found murdered. Bea will do a little ghost-hunting of her own to find the real killer.

The Legend of Sleepy Harlow (294 pages, softcover) costs $7.99 from Penguin, and includes a chapter of Chili Con Carnage, the first book in Logan’s Chili Cook-off Mysteries series. She also writes the Button Box Mysteries and, as Casey Daniels, the nine-book comic Pepper Martin ghost detective series.

Events

International Exposition Center (1 I-X Center Drive, Cleveland) — Bob Adamov, author of the Put-in-Bay-set Emerson Moore adventure books (Zenobia: The Patriot Way is the eighth and latest), signs his work at the Mid-America Boat Show, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. today; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday. Admission charged.

Cuyahoga County Public Library (North Royalton branch, 14600 State Road) — Alan Dutka, author of Cleveland Calamities: A History of Storm, Fire and Pestilence, talks about weather and other disasters, 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Dover High School (520 N. Walnut St.) — Chuck Schodowski, author of Big Chuck! My Favorite Stories from 47 Years on Cleveland TV, is the host of An Evening with Big Chuck, 6 p.m. Wednesday. Reserve at 330-343-6123.

Cuyahoga County Public Library (Beachwood branch, 25501 Shaker Blvd.) — Journalist Nikil Saval talks about the evolution of office space and signs Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Learned Owl Book Shop (204 N. Main St., Hudson) — Liliana Leone reads from and signs Les Cinq Eiffels, a storybook about five paintings at the Louvre that come to life at night, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

— Barbara McIntyre

Special to the Beacon Journal

Send information about books of local interest to Lynne Sherwin, Features Department, Akron Beacon Journal, P.O. Box 640, Akron, OH 44309 or lsherwin@thebeaconjournal.com. Event notices should be sent at least two weeks in advance.