Reviews and Blog Posts: Fantasy

The Scorpio Races

by Maggie Stiefvater

Reviewer Rating:
4

Every November on the isolated island of Thisby is the same: the carnivorous water horses, or capaill uisce, emerge from the wintry waters off the coast and are captured by locals hoping to win the annual Scorpio Races. Seventeen-year-old Sean Kendrick has won the last four races, and this year...

Congratulations, Tamora Pierce!

tamora pierce wearing a crown. she probably doesn't always wear one, but should.

I just learned that the ALA awarded Tamora Pierce the Margaret A. Edwards award for her Song of the Lioness quartet (Alanna) and the Protector of the Small quartet (Keladry). It doesn’t say this on the website, but it’s probably for her being generally awesome as well.

The thing I love about all of her books is that her female characters are strong and proud of who they are regardless of other people’s judgments. It’s sometimes hard to do that, even as an adult. She was committed to making books about strong young women who exist in the world as humans well before many of her peers in the fantasy world.

Strong Women in Sci-Fi and Fantasy-- now with clothes!

adrienne sati from the thief's covenant. she's probably up to something.

I think it’s relatively easy to think of really amazing sci-fi and fantasy off the top of your head if you read it at all. However, finding sci-fi and fantasy with strong women in it gets a little more difficult, and finding female protagonists that interact with other women and exist as beings unto themselves gets harder.

When I set the challenge to find sci-fi and fantasy that featured women who weren’t fan service, sidekicks, or the only woman in the book, I thought it would be relatively easy and definitely fun to research. After all, sci-fi and fantasy are making a comeback and there are so many great new books published every year. What we found instead is that even now it’s hard to find books written about women who exist as actual people. It’s easier in Teen fiction, but I think there’s more of a push and purpose in that area to make sure that young women and girls have people to look up to.

A Cyborg Walks Into a Saloon: The Weird West

The Good, the Bad and the Infernal by Guy Adams

The Weird Western may not be a genre you are overly familiar with, but because of its growing popularity and unforgettable characters I recommend hunkerin' down for a spell with a handful of books and films that are fine examples of all the Weird West has to offer.

What is the Weird West you ask? The Weird West takes all your favorite nuggets from genres such as Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy and puts in them in an American West setting (or off-world in a place very much like the American West) and tells a story in a gritty and descriptive language that propels readers through each action-packed moment.

Weird West Books:

The(Probably) Awesome book club is indeed AWESOME!

these people had no problem getting out. just sayin'

We had our first meeting on Saturday (where were you?! It was only like 7 inches of snow!) and I think I can officially say that the (probably) can be changed to CAPS LOCK AWESOME! We talked about what kinds of books we like and everyone had read something that no one else had, which was super cool.

Our next meeting is Saturday, April 20 from 10-11:30 a.m. in the Burnham Hoyt book club room at the Central Library. We’re reading Glow by Amy Ryan. If you want to join us, read the book and come hang out. We’ll have coffee and donuts. If you don’t get a chance to read the book in time but want to join the book club, come by anyway. We’ll be picking books for the next sessions plus talking about the book we read. I’m pretty sure no one bites.

Vampires in the lemon grove stories

by Karen Russell

Reviewer Rating:
4

I'm not often drawn to short story collections, but I liked Russell's Swamplandia! so much that I decided to give this collection a try. The stories were creative, fantastical, mind-bending. The audio was enhanced by having a different reader for each story. In one, a massage therapist working with an...

James Tiptree, Jr. Awards Announced

The Drowning Girl

The James Tiptree, Jr. Award and honor books were recently announced.

What is the Tiptree? Given since 1991, it is "an annual literary prize for science fiction or fantasy that expands or explores our understanding of gender...The aim of the award is not to look for work that falls into some narrow definition of political correctness, but rather to seek out work that is thought-provoking, imaginative, and perhaps even infuriating." The Tiptree is named after Alice B. Sheldon, who used the pen name James Tiptree, Jr. to publish her science fiction and fantasy stories, genres largely closed to women at the time she was writing.

Name of the wind

by Patrick (Patrick J) Rothfuss

Reviewer Rating:
5

Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss OH MY GOD this is the best fantasy that I have EVER read I have read it twice in a year. The new one is not out yet but one day it shall arrive and that day shall be like the day the...

Locus Award Finalists Announced

Welcome to Bordertown

The Locus Science Fiction Foundation recently announced the finalists for the 2012 Locus Awards. The Locus Award celebrates science fiction, fantasy, and horror, and nonfiction works related to these subjects. If you're looking for a good read, try some of these!

Science Fiction Novel:

Leviathan Wakes, James S.A. Corey

11/22/63, Stephen King

Embassytown, China Mieville

Rule 34, Charles Stross

James Tiptree Jr. Award Announced!

Deathless

The James Tiptree Jr. Award is a literary award given annually to science fiction or fantasy (novels, novellas, short stories) that expands or explores our understanding of gender. The award is named after Alice B. Sheldon, who wrote under the male name James Tiptree Jr. in order to be more accepted by publishers of science fiction.

While some of these books/stories may not be in the Denver Public Library's collection, they may be worth seeking out if you are interested in issues of gender in science fiction and fantasy. Please note all the teen books on the list--several of which were on my favorite reads of 2011 list!

The 2011 Tiptree Award Winner is: Redwood and Wildfire by Andrea Hairston (Aqueduct Press, 2011)

The Honor List includes:

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