July 19, 2017

LJ’s Reviews of RUSA’s Top Genre Fiction | ALA Midwinter 2017

On January 22, RUSA’s Reading List Council announced the 2017 selections of the annual best-of Reading List, comprised of eight different fiction genres for adult readers. Check out below LJ’s full reviews of the winners and look for the complete reviews of the short list titles in BookVerdict.

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Setting Greater Expectations

This month, Titan Books will release a new edition of Nina Allan’s complex novel of a dystopian, but not-too-distant future society, The Race. In it, award-winning science fiction author Nina Allan proves that complex social dilemmas and troubled characters are not limited to traditional novels. We spoke with the author at her U.K. home to find out more.

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Caveat Historia: The Perils of Playing God

Daniel Godfrey’s New Pompeii combines a fresh approach to science fiction with conspiracy, intrigue, and the unpredictability of human nature.

University of Iowa Libraries Begin to Digitize Decades of Fanzines

Every library has a sci-fi section, but not many can compete with the collection of speculative fiction that has been growing steadily at the University of Iowa (UI) in recent years. While the UI Libraries boast an impressive collection of works by notable authors in the genre, it’s not the focus of the UI’s universe-spanning sci-fi collections.

Popularity Contest: 2013 Hugo Awards Crown SF Winners

The arrival of fall marks the start of the literary awards season. Already Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami is being touted as an odds-on favorite to win the Nobel Prize for Literature next month. But the cynic in me guesses that the always inscrutable Swedish committee of judges will bypass the best-selling author of 1Q84, Kafka […]

New Worlds to Explore | Genre Spotlight

Judging by the upcoming fall publishing season, there will be plenty of speculative fiction titles to sharpen readers’ minds, but no one particular trend is leading the charge. Sf and fantasy has attracted a far more diverse readership than ever before, and publishing success can be found by exploring that diversity. Military sf and space opera stage a revival, fantasy goes dark, and digital publishing is here to stay.

Illusion and Empathy in Science Fiction | ALA 2013

“The mixing of factual and counterfactual is not singular to sci fi and fantasy,” Timothy Zahn (“Thrawn Trilogy”) began. Zahn and Brandon Sanderson (“Mistborn”), Cory Doctorow (Homeland), David Brin (“Uplift”), Elizabeth Bear (Shattered Pillars), and John Scalzi (“Old Man’s War”) were charged with talking about the probable and improbable in science fiction (and, to a certain extent, in fantasy too). Organized by the Library and Information Technology Association and with help from Tor, the Saturday, June 28 panel was packed.

Hungry for SF: Genre Crossovers Retain Fans and Attract New Readers | Genre Spotlight

Can genre purists, or readers who just seek a fantastical escape, find titles that truly speak to them, whether traveling across the galaxy or into the underworld? Perhaps crossovers are just what Doctor Who ordered to perpetuate speculative fiction’s readership. The following survey of fall 2012 and winter 2013 titles illustrates the willingness of readers of all stripes to sit at the same table to feed on the fantastical imagination.

Ray Bradbury, Science-Fiction Writer and Library Fan, Dies at 91

Famed science-fiction writer Ray Bradbury, who published more than 500 works—including the often banned Fahrenheit 451—died peacefully June 5 after a long illness. He was 91. Bradbury referred to himself as a “hybrid author,” with his works ranging from humorous and sympathetic stories to horror and mysteries. “I am completely in love with movies, and […]