Beth Krippel's blog

Atascocita Online Book Clubs start June 1

Just in time for summer, Atascocita Branch is starting two online book clubs via Goodreads.com.  One book club is for adults (18 and over) and the other for teens (grades 9-12).  Discussion will happen in the group online and guided by Atascocita Branch staff.  Each book read is two months long, but you can read at your own pace in that time.  Discussions are broken down by amount of pages or chapters, and there's a specific place for you speed readers for spoilers.

If your time is limited or maybe you communicate better through text, this is a great way to share reading with others in your community.  Anticipate some fun quizzes and polls along with these groups, as well as a variety of books to read.

The Cinder Spires: Aeronaut's Windlass

Jim Butcher is well known for his captivating series, whether with a film noir, magical detective style such as the Dresden Files or the Roman era in another time and place through the Codex Alera series. Butcher takes familiar SF tropes and tweaks those creating wonderful new adventures. He has done so again with the first in The Cinder Spires series, The Aeronaut's Windlass.

SF Books People Claim to have Read

Today, io9 wrote a blog about "10 Books you Pretend to Have Read." Looking over the list, I realized that, while I've not pretended to read books that I have not actually read, there were several books out there I do need to read.  Lists like this are a good way to grasp the history of the genre, see what has changed, and what ideas we are still exploring.

Terry Pratchett: 1948 - March 12, 2015

Sir Terry Pratchett, Associated PressMarch 12, 2015, Sir Terry Pratchett, famous science fiction author passed away.  Most known for his Discworld series, he was awarded Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to literature in 1998.  For more information, read this article on BBC News.  To delve into, or revisit, Discworld, check out the titles available through HCPL.

 

HCPL Top SF reads of 2014

Here are the top SF reads in Harris County Public Library for 2014.  The influence of TV and movies shows up strongly this year.  Because of that, I’m combining all of the Song of Ice and Fire books as one and giving it the top spot.  After that are the rest of the top ten.  There are a few other titles that belong in the same fictional universe, but as they are not entire series, I kept them separate.  

Favorite SF Series: List of 10

Lists are fun.  Some lists can really stir fans’ passions about their particular topic.  I always enjoy reading “Best” or “Most influential” lists of Speculative Fiction books.  The comments found with those lists are often great ways to find new books.  With this in mind, I’ve decided to write up my list of top 10 favo

Robin Hobb: Fool's Assassin

 I had the privilege of reading Fool's Assassin by Robin Hobb recently, due to be published in August 2014.

Looking for new gritty fantasy read?

If you found yourself loving the gritty, luscious style of George R.R. Martin, or the scoundrel or motley outcast crew is your kind of hero, then debut novel set in award nominated comic book series world Artesia, The Barrow by Mark Smylie may just be your best bet.  

Layers of story, big world building, and characters with flaws by the pound, this novel has taken a big step into the genre working off its basis of RPG game and comic book series.  

The book is currently on order for HCPL, but don't hesitate to add your name to the wait list for when it arrives.

Frederik Pohl: 1919-2013

Novelist, poet, essayist, editor, agent – Frederik Pohl (November 26, 1919 – September 2, 2013) was a pioneer and champion of science fiction.  Not only did he create worlds for which he won many awards, including six Hugos as well as a Grand Master from the Science Fiction Writers of America, but he also guided and encouraged other writers.  With 75 years of influence in the genre, here are a few items worth checking out.  You can also look at the extensive summary on Frederik Pohl on the Internet Speculative Fiction Database.

 

An Author Recommends: George R.R. Martin

Recently, author George R. R. Martin posted "Reading Recommendations" on his blog.  While there are many of these you can find at HCPL, for your convenience, here are a few of his suggestions! 

Of the Classics suggestions:

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