John Zada


Stories within stories: A review of Tahir Shah’s ‘Scorpion Soup’


Reviewed in this essay: Scorpion Soup, by Tahir Shah. Secretum Mundi Publishing, 2013. Fast on the heels of his eerily timed epic, Timbuctoo, travel writer Tahir Shah delivers a fantastical new work of fiction drawn from the deepest wellsprings of human imagination. Scorpion Soup is a collection of stories-within-stories inspired by the Arabic masterpiece One Thousand and One Nights. The book...

A Manifesto for Averting Global Collapse


Reviewed in this essay: Humanity on a Tightrope by Robert Ornstein and Paul Ehrlich. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2010. For many, humanity’s position on Earth appears to be growing more precarious by the day. The threat of global pandemics and nuclear war hangs over our heads; the population odometer continues to rise; the forward agents of expansion pilfer more acreage from the great...

The Oscillating Universe: A Review of Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell’s “Godhead: The Brain’s Big Bang”


Reviewed in this essay: Godhead: The Brain’s Big Bang, by Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell. HG Publishing, 2011. For some time, scientists have been marshaling their knowledge and resources in an effort to answer some of the biggest questions about the universe. With each grandiose experiment, however, science seems to be little closer to solving those fundamental mysteries about the origins of...

The World in Microcosm in a Basement Under Toronto Street: On Open Air Books and Maps


In this essay, John Zada visits Open Air Books and Maps, located at 25 Toronto St, Toronto, ON M5C 2R1. For decades a small indie bookstore has been operating, virtually in secret, beneath the corporate hustle of Toronto’s downtown core. Open Air Books and Maps, a quirky and somewhat clandestine establishment is located in a basement-level nook at the corner of Adelaide and Toronto streets...