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Hbook Podcast 1.23 – YA Science Fiction (Kinda…)

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Podcast the 23rd in which Roger and Siân revisit Farah Mendlesohn’s 2009 article, The Campaign for Shiny Futures, and ramble about young adult sci-fi. Note from Siân: there are a few crackles on this recording (I still have no idea why that happens) and I did not delete/fix them because…well…I went away for the weekend y’all. […]

Brave new worlds

bruchac_trail of the dead

Along with questions about technological and scientific advances, these recent YA novels — three sci-fi adventures and one science-centric historical fantasy — implicitly explore issues of social justice, inviting readers to think critically about our own world. Having escaped from prisonlike Haven in Killer of Enemies, a battle-hardened Lozen now leads her band of refugees […]

Allegiant movie review

allegiant poster

Last spring, the inimitable Siân reviewed Insurgent, the second movie in the Divergent series. Among her observations: “Things exploded. A lot.” I doubt it will surprise anyone that in Allegiant (directed by Robert Schwentke; Summit, March 2016; PG-13), the third adaptation in the trilogy — no, wait, the first part of the two-part adaptation of […]

Fantasy and science fiction | Class #4, 2016

fantasy2014

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 […]

Feed | Class #4, 2016

feed

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 […]

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

fantasy2014

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 […]

Feed

feed

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?

whitemountains

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 […]