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Science Fiction and Fantasy

Blockbuster titles by some of the stars of the children's writing world are coming out during this last quarter of 2019. Get out your library card and prepare to place holds!

Is your child obsessed with the creepy and macabre? Can they not get enough of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and plan on moving on to Stephen King? You’ll find that these books are terrifying while being a little more age appropriate.

Science fiction writers of the past dreamed of futures, dark and bright, in which humans traveled to the stars, colonized other worlds, and encountered aliens both friendly and deadly. In all their imaginings, did they ever see their genre--ghettoized for so long as just that, genre fiction, said with a sneer--gaining prominence, even prevalence in the culture?

Science fiction teaches us not to bother. Don’t investigate that derelict spaceship. Don’t try to figure out what “soylent green” is, because figuring stuff out only causes trouble. Sure, there are wonderful discoveries to be made, but sometimes it’s important for buried secrets to remain hidden, deep in the ground.

A planet covered in darkness and filled with monsters can be a serious impediment to true love.

“...that country where it is always turning late in the year. That country where the hills are fog and the rivers are mist; where noons go quickly, dusks and twilights linger, and midnights stay.”

WARNING: This post contains spoilers for the film Avengers: Infinity War, because the internet is a cruel place.

Visionary science fiction and fantasy author Ursula K. Le Guin has passed away at the age of 88.

There’s a scene in Karin Tidbeck’s Amatka where the main character, Vanja, goes into a locked archive in her office to file papers and surreptitiously search for secret details about her commune’s past. Outside, a stern secretary watches the clock to ensure Vanja doesn’t spend too much time alone with these secrets.

If today you were to spot a kid walking around and talking to themselves, you'd probably reasonably conclude that they were imaginative.

The end of Summer Challenge is bittersweet. It means school is starting up and the prizes have all been awarded. The good news is there’s a new Star Trek show premiering this fall, with a whole new cast and a whole new mission. Before the franchise begins this new chapter, let’s take another look at its past.

What happens if all your dreams come true when you're still teenager? Usually, you become Justin Bieber. Wil Wheaton avoided the path taken by most child actors, but his journey was still as bumpy as it was beautiful.

Summer Challenge is the perfect time to do things with your family. Your space family from Star Trek: The Next Generation that is.

Frank's sole purpose in life is to experience the pleasures of the world, without consequence. Frank's brother just wants to be good husband, and live a quiet domestic life. Frank's actions pull his family into a horrifying world full of horror.

Mkombozi was supposed to be Theia's savior, but destroyed it instead. Now, it has fallen to Eden to save Earth from the same fate that befell Theia, whether she likes it or not.

Geek Media Expo is a great local fan convention. The library will be there and you should come too. It will be rad. 

Edie has lost everything dear to her since being dragged into the immortal game. Now, she is more determined than ever change the past to prevent the future that she has experienced.

You might not expect a novel about killer plants to be thoroughly lacking in over-the-top corniness, but John Wyndham's The Day of the Triffids handily pulls it off.

A few years ago we all (and I mean ALL of us) geeked out over a little book called Ready Player One. It was an epic battle filled with gaming, fun 80′s stuff, and adventure. It even made our Best of 2012 Popmatic Podcast episode as one of our favorite books of the year. Thanks Crystal for bringing us so much fun and entertainment!

Introducing Melanie, the smartest of a group of children being taught in an underground facility. They have a variety of teachers, some cold and calculating, others loving and caring like Mrs. Justineau. Mostly, they learn about literature and Greek myths. They are no tests. In fact, the children are all strapped into chairs, escorted by armed soldiers, and treated like animals.

The worst thing about history is its lack of monsters. There’s Hitler, of course, the gold standard of historical bad guys, but when I say monsters I mean MONSTERS--mysterious, possibly hairy and/or scaly creatures of unknown origin, things you run from in the night and hope aren’t lurking under your bed. Unfortunately, monsters like Hitler are real and those other guys aren’t, but that leads us to the best thing about history: you don’t have to let facts get in the way of telling a good story.

Suppose you were stranded in the scattered, floating remains of a demolished space vessel. Barely surviving by sheer will, hoping for rescue and constantly disappointed, hovering close to death for no less than 170 days…would you begrudge a passing ship that took notice of you but continued on its way? And what would you do about it?

Since New Year’s is all about making resolutions, I think one of the best resolutions a reader can make is to diversify what they read throughout the year. That being said, POPSUGAR has created a 2015 Reading Challenge, a list of different genres or themes to use as a jumping off point to expand your reading horizons.Here are a few highlights from the POPSUGAR list, and what I'll be reading for each one.