Two denizens of New York City, both with a mysterious amnesia, turn out to be connected to each other and to interdimensional intrigue with the fantasy realm of Aandor in Edward Lazellari’s debut novel Awakenings. Given that the other realms and the greater universe are offscreen and only referred to, what the novel comes out to be is an unusual take on urban fantasy, where the fantastic intrusion is from a fantasy realm rather than from, say, Faerie.
A timely dive into the electoral politics and shenanigans of the future, Malka Older’s debut novel Infomocracy does a deep dive into a future where even with decentralized micro democracy, the problems of power and politics remain, even if they have altered their forms.
The monopolization of search engine technology by a company called Information has led to the atomization of society and nearly the entire world into microdemocratic states with outposts throughout the world, or sometimes just regionally or locally. Twenty years in, the next election, which has been previously globally dominated by one party, is being viewed with suspicion and alarm. If Heritage, the overall winner the last two election cycles, should win again, the microdemocratic trend might ossify and die on the vine. But governmental change is a scary thing, scary enough that people might take advantage of the election to push their own power plays. Continue reading
Publishing since the age of twenty, Samuel R. Delany is a highly respected novelist and literary critic alike. Familiarly known as “Chip”, Delany has written science fiction and fantasy (SFF) known for pushing boundaries, for challenging the notions of speculative genres, and experimenting with approaches to literature in general. Delany’s writing both subverts conventions and transcends fiction to explore social realities, most notably the existence of the Other. Indeed, as a man who could be described with terms such as academic, homosexual, polymath, African-American, and intelligent, Delany writes from the point of view of the Other, a spectrum of under-represented perspectives within SFF.
Both Delany’s fiction and nonfiction have been hugely influential, inspiring, and appreciated, partly due to this unique vision. However, his works have also resonated so strongly because Delany’s vision is not just unique, but uniquely brilliant, honest, and perceptive. With all of its challenges and transgressions against comfortable familiarity, Delany’s work strikes universal human chords, conveying both beauty and progressive encouragement. Continue reading
The trilogy ends, but the saga lives forever! In our third episode, Kate, Rachael, and Shaun conclude the Thrawn Trilogy with a discussion of Timothy Zahn’s The Last Command and a side discussion about the origins of Rey and Rogue One (our hopes and our fears). We discuss the politics of the narrative, explore the development of the characters, new and old, examine the politics and underlying meanings in the trilogy as a whole, the number of Ewoks found on Endor, and so much more!
We hope you enjoy the episode!
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Here’s the episode (show notes are below): Continue reading