Speculative Short Stories to Read or Listen to Online

Friday the 13th of March was a dynamic scene at the Central Library, with patrons queuing for help to find good books to read during the library’s closure, and the DVD aisles packed with browsers. I miss assisting patrons in person in finding a great story to read or watch – though do visit my colleagues at I at Your Next Five Books where we continue to advise readers and listeners online. Fortunately, there are many other ways to enjoy stories right now.

If you have internet access, here are some places to find speculative stories – e.g. science fiction, fantasy, horror, magical realism, slipstream, and anything in the realms of the imagination. Because it times like these, we need stories that take us away from our current realities, don’t you agree?

Tor.com is a publisher of books, yes, but they also post full-text short stories, as well as blog posts about books and popular culture weekly. Stories are updated in the carousel at the top of the site. Recent stories stories have been written by the likes of Maria Dahvana Headley, Charlie Jane Anders, Harry Turtledove, Garth Nix, and Neil Gaiman. Continue reading “Speculative Short Stories to Read or Listen to Online”

Fantastic Librarians of the Future!!

Many years ago – back in the ‘oughts – we did a couple of popular posts on librarians in fiction, and in fantasy. Since then, librarians have only stepped up their fictional game, appearing in more and more novels, not so surprising when we consider that many authors basically grew up in libraries. They pop up in all genres, from Romance to Mystery to literary fiction from around the world, such as Dag Solstad’s T. Singer, Jennifer Tseng’s Mayumi and the Sea of Happiness, Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera’s The Awakening of Miss Prim, or Jenny Offill’s novel Weather. But most of all, librarians appear in the extraordinary realms of science fiction, fantasy and magical realism. Here are a few recent examples: find more on our list in the catalog.

Continue reading “Fantastic Librarians of the Future!!”

If You Like Game of Thrones

“Wait – what?! Literally NONE of this happened on TV!!”

Frustrated that George RR Martin’s “Game of Thrones” series still isn’t finished, or that the TV spinoff is? Either way, if you’re looking for fresh  fantastical worlds to lose yourself in, replete with political machinations, bloodthirsty scheming and shocking twists, here are some recent epic fantasy series starters for you to dive into.

Continue reading “If You Like Game of Thrones”

Historical fantasy – the best of both worlds!

I appreciate the way genre designations can make books easier to find, but I confess that I love the bleeding edges where books shade from one genre into another; my current bailiwick is historical fantasy. I find that it brings the best elements of historical fiction – a strong sense of time, place, and culture – and melds it with the fantastical elements that make anything possible. Here are a few recent titles that I’ve been thrilled to find.

Book cover image for The Bird KingThe Bird King by G. Willow Wilson – In 1491, Granada, the last remaining vestige of Muslim Spain, has been surrounded and besieged by the Catholic Spanish forces of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. When a delegation comes inside the walled city to negotiate, young concubine Fatima is charged with welcoming the female delegates, including a member of the Spanish Inquisition. After Fatima accidentally reveals that her friend Hassan, the court’s mapmaker, can draw places he’s never seen and reshape reality, she realizes she has put him in danger. Aided by jinn, Fatima and Hassan flee the city. Continue reading “Historical fantasy – the best of both worlds!”

The best of genre reading in 2018

Coordinated by the American Library Association, each year a group of librarians from across the country form The Reading List Council with the goal to identify the year’s best books across eight genres. Here are the 2019 winners (for books published in 2018) in Adrenaline, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, and Women’s Fiction, plus the short list of runners up in each category. Find new titles in the genre you love, or branch out and find something new to try. You can also find this full list in our library catalog.

Adrenaline

Book cover image for Safe HousesSafe Houses by Dan Fesperman
Managing CIA safe houses in 1979 West Berlin, Helen overhears a secret conversation that sends her on the run. Thirty-five years later, a tragedy leads Helen’s daughter to dig into her mother’s secret past, unaware that her mother’s old enemies are still watching. Continue reading “The best of genre reading in 2018”