This review originally appeared in the Panel Discussion zine, a print supplement to the Main Library's Panel Discussion book club. If you'd like to join the club or receive a copy of the zine at your branch, email Jeremy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jeremy shares a review from a recent issue of the Panel Discussion zine. This monthly zine is a print supplement to the Panel Discussion book club and can be found at the Main Library and select local stores. If you'd like a copy sent to your branch, email email@example.com
Wonder Woman’s place in DC’s trinity--along with Batman and Superman--has never been in doubt, but finding a story which suis not only her messy backstory but also the near-omnipotence of her powers has proved difficult for many creators.
Right now, in the Pacific Ocean, is a widening gyre of plastic garbage, and among the junk food wrappers are heaps of forsaken toys, broken, exploded by firecrackers, and forgotten by spoiled children across the world. Intrepid explorers through this archaeological landscape will be able to timestamp their findings to the early to mid-1980s when they stumble upon the impressive figure of He-Man.
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.
Conspiracy theories are beautiful and dangerous. Beautiful because they connect dots across social, political, and cultural spheres, creating a mosaic of intentions which seems deliberate. They’re dangerous for the exact same reasons.
Lately I’ve been thinking about Superman. This is not all that unusual, as there are three different’ representations of the character sitting on my desk as I write this, but I’ve been thinking about what he means to the world.
Working in a library is a gift. There are no door-buster sales, no agitated customers (okay, maybe a few), and no Black Friday shenanigans. Instead of trampling over one another, our patrons wait patiently for the latest best sellers. Best of all, everything is free.
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.