Change In A Time Of Longing

While browsing Instagram the other day, I came across a post from Sonya Renee Taylor, author of The Body Is Not An Apology: The Power of Radical Self Love, that called out the collective longing to return to our normal state for what it is: a longing to return to a world that “normalized greed, inequity, exhaustion, depletion, extraction, disconnection, confusion, rage, hoarding, hate and lack.” She goes on to say that we “are being given the opportunity to stitch a new garment. One that fits all of humanity and nature.” Whether the full extent of how is apparent yet, there’s no denying that we are in the midst of great societal change and upheaval. And with change comes the opportunity to shape not just the outcome, but also the change itself. As one of our greatest writers commands in her novel Parable of the Talents, “Seize change. Use it. Adapt and grow.” Continue reading “Change In A Time Of Longing”

Science fiction and fantasy books about change

During these times of uncertainty, many of us are looking to our favorite writers for comfort and guidance. For decades, speculative-fiction writers have shown themselves to be especially well-versed in the subject of uncertainty, using their magical worlds to explore social problems and existential questions that complicate our daily lives. Here are three science fiction and fantasy novels that offer empowering perspectives on change and adjusting to a new normal.

The Left Hand of Darkness book cover imageThe Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

This novel is perhaps best known for its commentary on the social effects of gender roles, thanks to Le Guin’s detailed, almost anthropological portrayal of an alien society where gender does not exist. These are the Gethenians, who live out their days on the planet Winter, named so because it is covered eternally in snow, wind, and ice. As narrator Genly Ai learns about the Gethenians’ culture and lifestyle on their frozen planet, the patient reader slowly learns along with him and ultimately is rewarded with profound meditations on change, ephemerality, and living under harsh conditions in a world full of great unknowns. Continue reading “Science fiction and fantasy books about change”

OverDrive Comics and ‘The Best We Could Do’

The Seattle Public Library has physical comics for children, teens, and adults available for checkout in all of our 27 locations, as well as through our mobile services. We also have comics available through our Hoopla Digital service. But did you know, amongst all of the mysteries, memoirs, and literary fiction e-books, that we also have approximately 1,700 “comic and graphic works” in our OverDrive collection?! This collection includes popular kids comics like the Narwhal and Jelly series, relatable webcomics such as “Sarah’s Scribbles,” award winners like Kindred… and even the 2019 Seattle Reads selection The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui!

Narwhal’s Otter Friend: Narwhal and Jelly Series, Book 4 by Ben Clanton
This is the fourth book of the Narwhal and Jelly aquatic graphic novel adventure series for early readers! While Narwhal enthusiastically accepts newcomer Otter into the friend-pod, Jelly reacts somewhat jelly-ously… (Clanton, a local author, won the Washington State Book Award for the first book in this series.) Continue reading “OverDrive Comics and ‘The Best We Could Do’”

Beyond and After Butler

-posted by Veronica H.

Octavia Butler is a giant in science fiction and fantasy and her legacy is far-reaching. Her importance to the genre cannot be overstated. In honor of the recent Door to a Pink Universe Flash Fiction contest, I wanted to highlight some authors who are following in Butler’s footsteps and changing the definitions of science fiction and fantasy.

The Book of Phoenix cover imageNnedi Okorafor, a Nigerian-American author, combines complex political and social issues with African-based science fiction and fantasy for riveting fiction that explores the world we live in and those we might. Her most recent book, The Book of Phoenix, is a prequel to her World Fantasy Award-winning book Who Fears Death, and is set in a future Africa where the effects of technology, colonialism, racism, and war are explored with stunning beauty and intensity. It’s not necessary to read the books in order; both will blow you away. Okorafor has also written several young adult novels that deal with similar themes. She is currently working on a sequel to Akata Witch, a Junior Library Guild Selection book and a YALSA 2011 Best Book of the year. Continue reading “Beyond and After Butler”

Send us a story: Door to a Pink Universe


I hid out in a big pink notebook….I made myself a universe in it…
~Octavia Butler

The operative word is open. Open the door. Enter. I don’t have to tell you, traveler, that a library is a vast, uncharted tendril of time. Have you not traversed, at least, two worlds, to arrive at the hive? Did you not cross galaxies, seeker, of gatherings to ply countless worlds beneath velocities of vellum, bound up in clusters, waiting to be flung open, pulled down and carried away? What unworldly wavelength were you traveling upon? What brought you to that one shelf, that singular screen to delve, yes, partake of these boundless offerings? Continue reading “Send us a story: Door to a Pink Universe”