The popularity of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien in the 1960s created the modern fantasy genre, but the arrival of a certain boy wizard in 1997 kicked the door open to mainstream acceptance. Though the "Harry Potter" series was written for children, adults around the world found the books just as absorbing. "The Lord of the Rings" films brought millions of new readers to the fantasy fold. The "Star Trek" and "Star Wars" series did the same thing for science fiction. Suddenly it was cool to be a geek who reads fantasy and science fiction.
The Library Center is hosting the "Out of This World Book Group" on the second Thursday night of each month through May. We will be discussing fantasy and science fiction titles, new and classic. Bring your own ideas for future title suggestions for these discussions. If you attend the February or March discussions, you will also receive a free fantasy mini-poster and bookmark.
Here are the upcoming titles for discussion:
Thursday, February 14, 2013
"The Mirror of Her Dreams" by Stephen R. Donaldson
A romantic, swashbuckling classic. Terisa Morgan leads an unfulfilled life in New York City until the night a man named Geraden crashes through one of her mirrors. He is on a quest to find a champion to save his kingdom of Mordant from a pervasive evil. Terisa is no champion and wields neither magic nor power. Much to her own surprise, when Geraden begs her to come back with him, she agrees. Now, in a kingdom threatened from without and within by enemies, Terisa must become more than the pale reflection of a person. For the way back to Earth is closed to her. And the enemies of Mordant will stop at nothing to see her dead. Volume One of Mordant's Need.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
"American Gods" by Neil Gaiman. Hugo and Nebula award winner. At various turns hilarious, erudite and disturbing, this novel is by one of the strongest voices in modern fantasy. Shadow is a man with a past and wants nothing more now than to live a quiet life with his wife. When his wife is killed in a terrible accident, Shadow flies home for the funeral. As a raging storm rocks the plane, the strange man in the seat next to Shadow introduces himself as Mr. Wednesday. He knows more about Shadow than is possible, and he warns Shadow an even bigger storm is coming.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
"His Majesty's Dragon" by Naomi Novik
Aerial combat brings a thrilling new dimension to the Napoleonic Wars as valiant warriors rise to Britain's defense by taking to the skies atop the mighty backs of fighting dragons. When Captain Laurence's ship captures a French frigate and seizes its precious cargo, an unhatched dragon egg, Laurence is cast from a seafaring life into an unexpected kinship with an extraordinary creature. Thrust into the rarified world of the Aerial Corps as master of the dragon Temeraire, he faces a crash course in the daring tactics of airborne battle. Volume One of The Temeraire series, which has been optioned for a miniseries by Peter Jackson, the director of "The Lord of the Rings" films.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
"Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card
Hugo and Nebula classic award winner. Andrew "Ender" Wiggin thinks he is playing computer simulated war games at the Battle School. He is, in fact, engaged in something far more desperate. Ender is the most talented result of Earth's desperate quest to create the military genius that the planet needs in its all-out war with an alien enemy. Is Ender the general Earth needs? The only way to find out is to throw the child into ever harsher training, to chip away and find the diamond inside, or destroy him utterly. Can Ender protect the Earth from alien invasion? A major film starring Harrison Ford, Abigail Breslin and Asa Butterfield as Ender is due to be released in November 2013. Volume One of The Ender Wiggin series.
Possible titles for later in the year will include:
"A Game of Thrones" by George R. R. Martin
In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. In the frozen wastes to the north, sinister forces are massing beyond the kingdom's protective Wall. To the south, the king's powers are failing, his most trusted adviser is dead under mysterious circumstances and his enemies are emerging from the shadows. This sprawling novel tells a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards who come together in a time of grim omens. Amid plots and counter-plots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, allies and enemies, Winter is coming. Volume One of A Song of Ice and Fire.
"The Name of the Wind: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day One " by Patrick Rothfuss. This is the riveting first-person narrative of Kvothe, a young man who grows to be one of the most notorious magicians his world has ever seen. From his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, to years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-riddled city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, "The Name of the Wind" is a masterpiece that transports readers into the body and mind of a wizard. Volume One of The Kingkiller Chronicles.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
In 1945, Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon. When she innocently touches an ancient stone circle, suddenly she is an "outlander" in a Scotland torn by war in 1743. Claire's destiny is soon inextricably intertwined with that of James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, who shows her a passion so fierce and a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives. Volume One of the Outlander series.
More than ever, fantastic fiction beckons us to explore. "It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door,' he used to say. 'You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.'" J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Fellowship of the Ring."
The Springfield-Greene County Library has an extensive collection of fantasy and science fiction books and films. Find out where The Road will take you.
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