Where It’s At: Science Fiction & Fantasy Novellas

Some of the most exciting and fresh voices in science fiction and fantasy are coming out in short form. While short stories have long been where authors develop their craft and where innovation happens in the genre, novellas are currently a hot commodity for authors who are challenging the status quo. Novellas are where women, writers of color and LGBTQIA voices and characters are breaking through what has long been a white, male-dominated genre.

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Some of my favorite recent science fiction and fantasy novellas have come from Tor.com publishing. Here are some to try: Continue reading “Where It’s At: Science Fiction & Fantasy Novellas”

#BookBingoNW2017: Science Nonfiction or Science Fiction

Book Bingo 2017 is nearly at its end, with just two weeks left to get your bingo or blackout and turn in your card. Have you been puzzling over the Science Nonfiction/Science Fiction category? Enjoy these ideas for avenues to explore.

Science Nonfiction

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Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2017: Science Nonfiction or Science Fiction”

The Comic Book Mignola-verse

When I’m asked for comics recommendations, people often bring up “The Big Two”, Marvel Comics or DC, as a starting point. We’re talking Iron Man or Superman. Thor or Batman. Sometimes that’s the right route to take, but other times, a suggestion outside of this much focused-upon segment of the comics medium is the more suitable and interesting course to follow. One suggestion I often make is the work of my personal favorite, artist/writer Mike Mignola (pronounced MIN-YO-LA).

Mignola began his career in the early 1980s, working as an inker and penciller for both Marvel and DC, on comics such as Alpha Flight, Rocket Raccoon, and the Incredible Hulk, eventually finding his idiosyncratic footing with a number of well-regarded Batman mini-series and one-shots, including Batman: Gotham By Gaslight, a retelling of the Jack the Ripper murders.

In 1993, Mignola took a chance with a creator-owned book he didn’t expect to survive more than a few issues. Published in 1994 as Hellboy: The Seed of Destruction by Dark Horse Comics, this character launched an entire story-telling universe that now spans seven unique titles, over two decades, and normalized the publishing of mini-series of stories, rather than the continuous comics “run”. Continue reading “The Comic Book Mignola-verse”

Thrilling Tales, All Summer Long.

For over a decade, every other Monday at noon listeners have flocked to Thrilling Tales, the Library’s story time for grownups, spending their lunch hour rapt in suspenseful narratives. Janice Leadingham, a local bookseller said in a recent article in City Arts: “Especially for impatient people, it’s good because it slows things down a bit. For one hour, you can just be.” In a recent front page article in The Seattle Times, audience member Zachary Valenter said of Thrilling Tales emcee David Wright, “He’s one of the best storytellers I’ve ever listened to. We come every week that he does the show.”

Find out what the fuss is all about: drop by the Central Library at five minutes past noon on any of the following days, and remember just how fun it can be to sit back, relax and let someone else do the reading.

Monday, June 19: When it Changed, by Joanna Russ. After centuries isolated from Earth and a deadly plague, the lost interstellar settlement of Whileaway had survived and flourished. Then came its biggest challenge: visitors from home. From a master of feminist Science Fiction.

Monday, July 3: Dog on a Cow, by Gina Paoli. After picking up the wrong pair of hitchhikers, Dan finds himself at their mercy. But hey – everyone likes to hear a good story, don’t they? Wild, unpredictable thrills.

Monday, July 17: Little Girl Lost, by Richard Matheson. They woke at midnight to the sound of their daughter crying, despite the fact that their daughter wasn’t there. Twilight Zone terror from a master.

Monday, July 31: A Death, by Stephen King. A little girl is killed, and frontier justice fastens onto moronic Jim Trusdale as the killer, but Sheriff Barclay isn’t so sure they’ve got their man. The king of horror tries his hand at gritty western noir.

Continue reading “Thrilling Tales, All Summer Long.”

Beyond The Handmaid’s Tale: Feminist Dystopia & Utopia

We always love it when worthwhile, interesting books are adapted to film or TV, as it invariably means that a multitude of readers will be drawn to the source. As sales figures and waiting lists and libraries attest, this has been quite a year for Margaret Atwood’s landmark 1985 dystopia The Handmaid’s Tale, owing largely to the recent Hulu series, as well as the current political climate. If you’re waiting for a copy – or if you’ve already read it – why not tap into the diverse tradition of feminist science fiction that explores gender and society in provocative and visionary ways.

Continue reading “Beyond The Handmaid’s Tale: Feminist Dystopia & Utopia”