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!
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.
Nnedi 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”
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”
Conversations with Octavia Butler Give this one a try before diving into the resources specifically on writing advice and developing ideas. Octavia Butler was not only a multiple award winning SF author, but her interviews reveal much about what the experience of writing SF is like. In a 1980 interview, hear about her frustrations as a young writer as well as issues of identity and authorship you probably can’t get anywhere else. In another, hear about how she became the first SF writer to win a MacArthur Genius Grant and why she first started a writing career. In my favorite one she shares her thinking on portraying aliens in SF…
The hottest book right now, for better or for worse, is Fifty Shades of Greyby E.L. James. It’s not really surprising that book is so popular. The combination of intense interpersonal drama and steamy erotica makes it a perfect book for word-of-mouth recommendation.
However, we science fiction and fantasy fans want a little more fancy with our erotica! The drab Pacific Northwest setting just isn’t going to cut with us (I’m only kidding!). We want some richly shaded worl-building and sweeping stories with our steamy romances. With that in mind, here are a couple of speculative fiction reads that are chock full of the dark erotica of Fifty Shades of Grey, but with those genre elements we can’t live without.
A young girl sold by her parents to a house of pleasure quickly learns she is more than adept at the art of pleasure and pain. It’s an epic book that dips and swirls with sensuality with richly-detailed world building reminiscent of classics like Dune and Consider Phlebas. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if E.L. James wasn’t a big fan of the Kushiel series herself. This is the first in the series, so there are plenty more of these erotic favorites if you fall head-over-heels for the first
A novel that is ripe with uncomfortable erotica though with a depth of character most people will find surprising for this subgenre. The novel focuses on decades old vampire who is permanently immortalized in the body of a pre-pubescent girl. As the story unfolds, Butler deft use of sexuality and race issues will make you quickly dismissing any prejudices you may have about reading a “vampire book”.
Leave it to Heinlein to write the definitive science fiction book that desecrates some of the most sacred taboos of Western civilization with wild abandon, while also managing to tell an incredible story. It’s a thought-provoking and wild ride through religion, tie, society and the very limits of sexual freedom. Love it or hate it, no other book comes close to matching the joyous glee of exploding our most sacred cows.