The Campaign for Shiny Futures

When Roger Sutton asked me why science fiction for teens did not get the same attention or respect as fantasy, I wanted to throw up my hands and say, “Because it’s written by the ignorant, published by the ignorant, and reviewed by the ignorant — present company included.” Here’s why. The notion that SF for […]

Insurgent movie review

insurgent movie poster

Not having read the Divergent series, I thought myself a great choice of reviewer for the movies — I am a clean slate, after all. And Divergent was fun. It had action, sacrifice, kickassery, feminine heroism, and Rose from Titanic. It had fighting and loving and tattoos and whooping and a very attractive, brooding male. […]

Fantasy and science fiction


This week’s topic is “Beyond the World We Know” — a category that encompasses an extensive range of books, from magical realism to science fiction to the far away places of imaginary worlds. Jane Langton’s classic piece on fantasy from the 1973 Horn Book, “The Weak Place in the Cloth” provides an apt and lovely […]



At first perusal, M.T. Anderson’s Feed is an entertaining tale of privileged futuristic teens who spend spring break on the moon. Their carelessness about the environment, their pitiful lack of knowledge, and technology-induced overstimulation seems so exaggerated as to invite easy laughter. Not far into the book, however, we start to recognize every aspect of […]

Why Can’t the English?


We saw Dawn of the Planet of the Apes last night–ehh. Some the intra- and inter-species encounters were quite moving and dramatic but the plot was on automatic and the fabulously watchable Judy Greer was wasted (she could have been completely blotto given that all she had to do was lie there with a suffering […]

I only just got why he’s called ENDER


I saw Ender’s Game last weekend and enjoyed it more than I thought I would. What impressed me most was how much a true children’s movie it is; like Asa Butterfield’s (Ender) previous movie Hugo, Ender’s Game neither winks over children’s heads to an adult audience nor sexes things up for putative YA interest. Although […]

Paging Jaime Sommers, or: Girls-who-don’t-know-they’re-part-robotic are the new zombies


Vampires have had their day in the sun. Zombies are resting in peace. The new it-girls in supernatural romance seems to be bionic women. [Possible spoilers appear below; and, okay, to be fair, they’re not all robots, but I do sense a trend. And just for fun, Freaks & Geeks fans, click here.] Cinder (Feiwel, […]

YA sci-fi and fantasy you’ve been waiting for

Beth Revis A Million Suns cover

Sci-fi and fantasy fans will thrill to these engrossing sequels. The books are sure to satisfy readers’ expectations and leave them eager for more. In A Million Suns, the sequel to Beth Revis’s Across the Universe, Sol-Earth–born Amy is struggling with the claustrophobic life aboard the Godspeed after being prematurely awakened from her frozen sleep. […]

Katie enters the arena


Katie Bircher braved the midnight show to report on The Hunger Games. In order to get Richard to go I think I’m going to have in turn see Footnote, an Israeli father-and-son drama that doesn’t exactly sound up my alley (anybody else who was bored by A Separation, raise your unwashed hands). But i did […]

Hunger Games lite

city of ember

We’ve heard from a few people looking for books for younger readers who are interested in, but not quite ready for, The Hunger Games trilogy. Here are some sci-fi and dystopian fiction suggestions for the pre-teen set (ages 9–11), all recommended by the Magazine. In Jeanne DuPrau’s The City of Ember, the titular metropolis has […]