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Speculative Fiction

VB Reads...Science Fiction & Fantasy

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 7:00pm
1200 11th St
Bellingham, WA 98225-7015

Monday, June 17th, 7:00 pm

Trouble on Triton: An Ambiguous Heterotopia by Samuel R. Delany

In a story as exciting as any science fiction adventure written, Samuel R. Delany's 1976 SF novel, originally published as Triton, takes us on a tour of a utopian society at war with . . . our own Earth High wit in this future comedy of manners allows Delany to question gender roles and sexual expectations at a level that, 20 years after it was written, still make it a coruscating portrait of "the happily reasonable man," Bron Helstrom -- an immigrant to the embattled world of Triton, whose troubles become more and more complex, till there is nothing left for him to do but become a woman. Against a background of high adventure, this minuet of a novel dances from the farthest limits of the solar system to Earth's own Outer Mongolia. Alternately funny and moving, it is a wide-ranging tale in which character after character turns out not to be what he -- or she -- seems.

VB Reads...Science Fiction & Fantasy

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 7:00pm
1200 11th St
Bellingham, WA 98225-7015

Monday, July 15th, 7:00 pm

Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee

To win an impossible war Captain Kel Cheris must awaken an ancient weapon and a despised traitor general.

Captain Kel Cheris of the hexarchate is disgraced for using unconventional methods in a battle against heretics.  Kel Command gives her the opportunity to redeem herself by retaking the Fortress of Scattered Needles, a star fortress that has recently been captured by heretics.  Cheris's career isn't the only thing at stake.  If the fortress falls, the hexarchate itself might be next.

Cheris's best hope is to ally with the undead tactician Shuos Jedao. The good news is that Jedao has never lost a battle, and he may be the only one who can figure out how to successfully besiege the fortress.

The bad news is that Jedao went mad in his first life and massacred two armies, one of them his own.  As the siege wears on, Cheris must decide how far she can trust Jedao--because she might be his next victim.

VB Reads...Science Fiction & Fantasy

Mon, 08/19/2019 - 7:00pm
1200 11th St
Bellingham, WA 98225-7015

Monday, August 19th, 7:00 pm

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Richard Mayhew is a young man with a good heart and an ordinary life, which is changed forever when he stops to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk. His small act of kindness propels him into a world he never dreamed existed. There are people who fall through the cracks, and Richard has become one of them. And he must learn to survive in this city of shadows and darkness, monsters and saints, murderers and angels, if he is ever to return to the London that he knew.

VB Reads...Science Fiction & Fantasy

Mon, 09/16/2019 - 7:00pm
1200 11th St
Bellingham, WA 98225-7015

Monday, September 16th, 7:00 pm

The Gate to Women's Country: A Novel by Sheri S. Tepper

Since the flames died three hundred years ago, human civilization has evolved into a dual society: Women’s Country, where walled towns enclose what’s left of past civilization, nurtured by women and a few nonviolent men; and the adjacent garrisons where warrior men live—the lost brothers, sons, and lovers of those in Women’s Country.

Two societies. Two competing dreams. Two ways of life, kept apart by walls stronger than stone. And yet there is a gate between them. . . .

VB Reads...Science Fiction & Fantasy

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 7:00pm
1200 11th St
Bellingham, WA 98225-7015

Monday, October 21st, 7:00 pm

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon

Aster has little to offer folks in the way of rebuttal when they call her ogre and freak. She's used to the names; she only wishes there was more truth to them. If she were truly a monster, she'd be powerful enough to tear down the walls around her until nothing remains of her world.

Aster lives in the lowdeck slums of the HSS Matilda, a space vessel organized much like the antebellum South. For generations, Matilda has ferried the last of humanity to a mythical Promised Land. On its way, the ship's leaders have imposed harsh moral restrictions and deep indignities on dark-skinned sharecroppers like Aster. Embroiled in a grudge with a brutal overseer, Aster learns there may be a way to improve her lot--if she's willing to sow the seeds of civil war.

VB Reads...Science Fiction & Fantasy

Mon, 11/18/2019 - 7:00pm
1200 11th St
Bellingham, WA 98225-7015

Monday, November 18th, 7:00 pm

Snow Crash: A Novel by Neal Stephenson

Only once in a great while does a writer come along who defies comparison—a writer so original he redefines the way we look at the world. Neal Stephenson is such a writer and Snow Crash is such a novel, weaving virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between with a cool, hip cybersensibility to bring us the gigathriller of the information age.

In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo’s CosoNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he’s a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that’s striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about infocalypse.

VB Reads...Science Fiction & Fantasy

Mon, 12/16/2019 - 7:00pm
1200 11th St
Bellingham, WA 98225-7015

Monday, December 16th, 7:00 pm

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell: A Novel by Susanna Clarke

At the dawn of the nineteenth century, two very different magicians emerge to change England's history. In the year 1806, with the Napoleonic Wars raging on land and sea, most people believe magic to be long dead in England-until the reclusive Mr Norrell reveals his powers, and becomes a celebrity overnight.

Soon, another practicing magician comes forth: the young, handsome, and daring Jonathan Strange. He becomes Norrell's student, and they join forces in the war against France. But Strange is increasingly drawn to the wildest, most perilous forms of magic, straining his partnership with Norrell, and putting at risk everything else he holds dear.

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