Science Fiction Friday – Leading Women

By Richard C.

Sometimes it’s good to zoom out on your reading tendencies and see what you’re missing.  The leading women in these sci/fi choices may cause you to wonder if some diversity would refresh your favorite themes, or perhaps even spark some new ideas:

1) Babel-17 by Samuel R. Delaney. A poet, linguist, and ship’s captain sci/fi heroine?! Yes indeed. Rydra Wong is famous for her poetry throughout known space. But when the military asks her help deciphering a mysterious language they’ve captured on radio waves, she might learn too much about her own mind and the nature of linguistic warfare. Try Snowcrash by Neal Stephenson if you’re intrigued by the war and language theme.

2) We Who Are About to… by Joanna Russ. This one will squeeze you like a sponge. A passenger starship blown far off course crash lands on an unknown planet. So many lifetimes away from Earth, anything but death and starvation are tough to imagine. Most of the motley survivors are optimistic with plans for society, but an unnamed narrator, a woman of compelling personality and character, refuses to conform. Events quickly get out of hand, and it leaves you wondering whether her actions are justified. You be the judge…

3) Diving Into The Wreck by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Boss is deeply intelligent, tough as nails, and a proudly self-identified loner. Her passion is history, but only when she can get her hands dirty. As a “diver” she hunts for abandoned spaceships, hoping to salvage valuables or learn something significant about the past. When it turns out one discovery is so old it must be from a past Earth, but also can’t be, Boss confronts the possibility that some secrets may be better left outside our memory.

4) The Engines of God (The Academy, #1) by Jack McDevitt. Priscilla Hutchins is a pilot and amateur archaeologist at a time when humanity has discovered extinct civilizations on other planets. Quraqua has been studied for decades, but time is running out for any hope of discovering its mysterious connection to sculptures scattered throughout the galaxy by beings only known as the Monument Makers. The seven Priscilla Hutchins books make a highly entertaining and intelligent sci/fi series, one with a well-rounded and formidable heroine at the steering wheel.

Want more? Done and done:

5) Dragonflight (Pern, #1) by Anne McCaffrey
6) Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1) by Susan Beth Pfeffer 
Pushing Ice by Alastair Reynolds 
8) 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson
Empress (Godspeaker Trilogy #1) by Karen Miller

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Let off some steam

    — Posted by Chelsea W.
I don’t know about you guys, but I have been super stressed out lately. And, when this happens, I find it best to find a good album and turn up the music really LOUD and to LET IT ALL OUT. Here are three albums to help that help me to let off some steam, that are all available at Seattle Public Library. Maybe they will help you, too.Bitter Rivals by Sleigh Bells

 Sleigh Bells: Bitter Rivals
Here’s an album that starts off with a bang. Not gonna lie, the title track is a go-to song for letting out my inner rage while I drive at the end of a long day. The utter cacophony of a lot of this CD at first felt like it is just noise. But the moment I let myself fall into it, I found that the timbre suits my inner angst and provides a great vehicle for letting it out. Continue reading

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Seattle’s Favorite Poems — read aloud at Town Hall Thursday night

Thursday night at Town Hall — poets and poetry lovers read aloud. We asked former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky for his thoughts on this wonderful community tradition for celebrating poetry:


robert pinskyI think the truly memorable Favorite Poem Reading at Seattle’s Town Hall years back was the first event at that noble space in its present form. Actor Tom Skerritt and Seattle’s fire chief joined many Seattle area readers. Early in the days, too, of the Favorite Poem Project, which has just upgraded its web site with large format, HD videos.  Continue reading

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Romantic Wednesdays: Spotlight on LGBTQ Romance

Posted by guest blogger Tracy Timmons Gray

If you’re looking for love stories, then the Library is a great place to start! There, you’ll find loads of romances, from mysteries to historicals, from sci-fi to contemporary, and you’ll find a ton of books that star LGBTQ main characters falling in love and finding that awesome Happily Ever After.

But where to start?

  hungry for lovefrom the ashesuncommon romancefrat boy and toppybest lesbian romance 2014  For Contemporary readers, especially all you fans  who love it when things heat up with firefighters, there’s From the Ashes by Seattle writer Daisy Harris. Or you can dive into the hot dish Hungry for Love by local writer Rick. R. Reed. Yum! For a spicier meal, there’s the three novellas in Uncommon Romance by Jove Belle, or if you’re looking for a fun college romance, come skip class with Anne Tenino’s Frat Boy and Toppy. And if you’re looking for a story collection to pick up, there’s the Best Lesbian Romance 2014. Continue reading

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The Librarians, coming soon to a small screen near you

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Movie Mondays: Movies about Movies

Last week, we looked at pictures about pictures — films about art and artists —  and this week we look at movies about movies – documentaries about individual films. These four documentaries — two about classic films and two about films that were never made — are required viewing for cinephiles. Continue reading

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Science Fiction Friday: Winter Is… Here?

By Richard C. 

Even with summer waning, winter is coming has become a popular phrase, what with the ice-cold specter of death and desolation hovering over the latest installments of A SoIaF. Eagerly awaiting the release of Winds of Winter, know that the coldest season has long snowed up the pages of sci/fi, pages buried deeply in ice ages and harsh glacial landscapes, where the stark realities of winter are made utterly manifest on the struggling. I love struggle in sci/fi, and while winter may be merely coming for some, winter is here at your frozen fingertips below:

1) Nights of Villjamur by Mark Charan Newton. Just as an spreading ice age storms the edges of Villjamur, so too the swarms of refugees desperately circle the ancient city walls. Jamur Rika is now queen of Villjamur, and with a nonhuman ally she seeks to steer her kingdom through threats both within and coming fast from far beyond. I’m a sucker for setting in sci/fi, and had to keep my coffee close reading this one so my hands wouldn’t freeze. Continue reading

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