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Sci Fi

What to Read While You Wait for Obama’s Favorite Book

While Obama was president, he started a tradition of sharing his favorite books and music from each year and, graciously, he’s kept with this tradition for 2017. At the top of his list this year? A new “dystopian” novel with some radical, feminist themes called The Power by Naomi Alderman. The book was hovering around my to-read list for awhile, and the endorsement from this fella bumped it up several spots.

The reason I used the word dystopian in quotes above is because, when asked if the novel fit that category, Alderman’s response was, “Only if you’re a man.” Its premise asks the question: What happens if, globally, men were suddenly the ones constantly worrying about being overpowered, overlooked, and violently dominated? Read More..

YA Backlist: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Whatever happened to Steampunk? According to some sources, this subgenre of science fiction that incorporates industrial steam-powered machinery from the 19th-century in alternative histories was “over” in 2010. Others might say last year.

In this YA Backlist post, I’m taking a look back at Scott Westerfeld’s YA contribution to Steampunk, Leviathan. To be honest, this was one of three or so Steampunk novels I read – but that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the subgenre or Westerfeld’s novel. I do always find something fascinating about a “what if” premise. Read More..

Is a Book a Sandwich? Super Extra Grande Edition

Just over 100 miles separate The United States and Cuba. Yet, as history would have it, the two nations have carried on a messy and surprisingly limited relationship. Setting aside the geopolitics of the real world—for now—leaves us with a sadly restrained amount of cultural cross pollination. Stateside, Cuba’s strongest association is almost assuredly cigars, followed by pressed ham, pork, and Swiss cheese sandwiches, and in a distant third, there’s Ricky Ricardo, I’m guessing.

For as familiar and adoring as I am of Cuban sandwiches (let me emphasize: extremely), I had never read—or even knew of—any Cuban authors before this summer, which speaks to the unfortunate priorities of our cultural knowledge of our island neighbor. Great art can not be kept back for long, though, and a shiny new copy of Super Extra Grande fell into my hands one day as if it were fate. Read More..