Mini Review: “We Won’t Be Here Tomorrow: and Other Stories” by Margaret Killjoy

Release Date: September 20, 2022
Publisher: AK Press
Genre: Anthologies

Description

Spaceships, man-eating mermaids, swords, demons, ghouls, thieves, hitchhikers, and life in the margins.Margaret Killjoy’s stories have appeared for years in science fiction and fantasy magazines both major and indie. Here, we have collected the best previously published work along with brand new material. Ranging in theme and tone, these imaginative tales bring the reader on a wild and moving ride. They’ll encounter a hacker who programs drones to troll CEOs into quitting; a group of LARPers who decide to live as orcs in the burned forests of Oregon; queer, teen love in a death cult; the terraforming of a climate-changed Earth; polyamorous love on an anarchist tea farm during the apocalypse; and much more. Killjoy writes fearless, mind-expanding fiction.

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Review: “The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer” by Janelle Monáe

Release Date: April 19, 2022
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Genre: Science Fiction

Description

In The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer, singer-songwriter, actor, fashion icon, activist, and worldwide superstar Janelle Monáe brings to the written page the Afrofuturistic world of one of her critically acclaimed albumsexploring how different threads of liberation–queerness, race, gender plurality, and love–become tangled with future possibilities of memory and time in such a totalitarian landscape…and what the costs might be when trying to unravel and weave them into freedoms.

Whoever controls our memories controls the future.

Janelle Monáe and an incredible array of talented collaborating creators have written a collection of tales comprising the bold vision and powerful themes that have made Monáe such a compelling and celebrated storyteller. Dirty Computer introduced a world in which thoughts–as a means of self-conception–could be controlled or erased by a select few. And whether human, A.I., or other, your life and sentience was dictated by those who’d convinced themselves they had the right to decide your fate.

That was until Jane 57821 decided to remember and break free.

Expanding from that mythos, these stories fully explore what it’s like to live in such a totalitarian existence…and what it takes to get out of it. Building off the traditions of speculative writers such as Octavia Butler, Ted Chiang, Becky Chambers, and Nnedi Okorafor–and filled with the artistic genius and powerful themes that have made Monáe a worldwide icon in the first place–The Memory Librarian serves readers tales grounded in the human trials of identity expression, technology, and love, but also reaching through to the worlds of memory and time within, and the stakes and power that exists there.

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12th Grade Summer Reading Recommendations – 2022

As a high school librarian, offering reading recommendations for students is one of my favorite parts of my job. These lists are for parents, library workers, and teen readers. In particular, this list is aimed at current and rising twelfth graders.

Educators are welcome to use these lists either as a whole (please credit me and let me know) or as inspiration. I always suggest providing students a list of material to choose from rather than requiring all students to read one thing. That way the students can find something that meets them where they are or allows them to stretch at their own pace. The point of summer reading should be to foster a love of reading, not force every kid into the same small box.

I created these lists through an alchemy involving age of the protagonists, themes, genre, tone, complexity, reader skill/comfortability level, events and topics a student will likely encounter in their studies during the school year, and books they are unlikely to read for school. I also tried to pick materials that published in the last few years or will be published by June 2022. Preference to #ownvoices and marginalized authors.

All links affiliate.

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11th Grade Summer Reading Recommendations – 2022

As a high school librarian, offering reading recommendations for students is one of my favorite parts of my job. These lists are for parents, library workers, and teen readers. In particular, this list is aimed at current and rising eleventh graders.

Educators are welcome to use these lists either as a whole (please credit me and let me know) or as inspiration. I always suggest providing students a list of material to choose from rather than requiring all students to read one thing. That way the students can find something that meets them where they are or allows them to stretch at their own pace. The point of summer reading should be to foster a love of reading, not force every kid into the same small box.

I created these lists through an alchemy involving age of the protagonists, themes, genre, tone, complexity, reader skill/comfortability level, events and topics a student will likely encounter in their studies during the school year, and books they are unlikely to read for school. I also tried to pick materials that published in the last few years or will be published by June 2022. Preference to #ownvoices and marginalized authors.

All links affiliate.

Continue reading “11th Grade Summer Reading Recommendations – 2022”

10th Grade Summer Reading Recommendations – 2022

As a high school librarian, offering reading recommendations for students is one of my favorite parts of my job. These lists are for parents, library workers, and teen readers. In particular, this list is aimed at current and rising tenth graders.

Educators are welcome to use these lists either as a whole (please credit me and let me know) or as inspiration. I always suggest providing students a list of material to choose from rather than requiring all students to read one thing. That way the students can find something that meets them where they are or allows them to stretch at their own pace. The point of summer reading should be to foster a love of reading, not force every kid into the same small box.

I created these lists through an alchemy involving age of the protagonists, themes, genre, tone, complexity, reader skill/comfortability level, events and topics a student will likely encounter in their studies during the school year, and books they are unlikely to read for school. I also tried to pick materials that published in the last few years or will be published by June 2022. Preference to #ownvoices and marginalized authors.

All links affiliate.

Continue reading “10th Grade Summer Reading Recommendations – 2022”

9th Grade Summer Reading Recommendations – 2022

As a high school librarian, offering reading recommendations for students is one of my favorite parts of my job. These lists are for parents, library workers, and teen readers. In particular, this list is aimed at current and rising ninth graders.

Educators are welcome to use these lists either as a whole (please credit me and let me know) or as inspiration. I always suggest providing students a list of material to choose from rather than requiring all students to read one thing. That way the students can find something that meets them where they are or allows them to stretch at their own pace. The point of summer reading should be to foster a love of reading, not force every kid into the same small box.

I created these lists through an alchemy involving age of the protagonists, themes, genre, tone, complexity, reader skill/comfortability level, events and topics a student will likely encounter in their studies during the school year, and books they are unlikely to read for school. I also tried to pick materials that published in the last few years or will be published by June 2022. Preference to #ownvoices and marginalized authors.

All links affiliate.

Continue reading “9th Grade Summer Reading Recommendations – 2022”

Review: “Trouble the Waters: Tales from the Deep Blue” edited by Sheree Renée Thomas, Pan Morigan, & Troy L. Wiggins

Release Date: January 18, 2022
Publisher: Third Man Books
Genre: Anthologies

Description

Trouble the Waters gathers the tidal force of bestselling, renowned writers from Lagos to New Orleans, Memphis to Copenhagen, Northern Ireland and London, offering extraordinary speculative fiction tales of ancient waters in all its myriad forms. Meet techno savvy water spirits, bayou saints and sirens, robots and river rootwomen, a pod of joyful space whales, and a castle of water-born terrors and mysteries. Including work by Nalo Hopkinson, Jaquira Diaz, Andrea Hairston, Linda D. Addison, Rion Amilcar Scott, Marie Vibbert, Maurice Broaddus, and other breakout beautiful voices, these stories and poems celebrate the most vital of elemental forces, water.

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Review: “Reclaim the Stars: 17 Tales Across Realms & Space” edited by Zoraida Córdova

Release Date: February 15, 2022
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Genre: Anthologies, Young Adult

Description

Follow princesses warring in space, haunting ghost stories in Argentina, mermaids off the coast of the Caribbean, swamps that whisper secrets, and many more realms explored and unexplored; this stunning collection of seventeen short stories breaks borders and realms to prove that stories are truly universal.

Reclaim the Stars features both bestselling and acclaimed authors as well as two new voices in the genres: Vita Ayala, David Bowles, J.C. Cervantes, Zoraida Córdova, Sara Faring, Romina Garber, Isabel Ibañez, Anna-Marie McLemore, Yamile Saied Méndez, Nina Moreno, Circe Moskowitz, Maya Motayne, Linda Raquel Nieves Pérez, Daniel José Older, Claribel A. Ortega, Mark Oshiro and Lilliam Rivera.

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Review: “Lost in the Archives” by E. Saxey

Release Date: May 2022
Publisher: Lethe Press
Genre: Anthologies, Short Stories

Description

Stories as historical oddities, some set in parallel pasts, and others are excursions into the daunting near future, these are the tales written by E. Saxey. A wunderkind is stuck in a dysfunctional start-up which may be hastening the apocalypse; in a near-future university, the efforts to create a plagiarism algorithm undetectable by current software is only the beginning of trouble; widow learns that a body found bobbing in the water under the bridge on Rush Street has her face; a boy’s unobtainable love becomes obtainable through a weird dream-drug until he finds himself struggling to ditch the fantasy; a troubled Freud encounters three strange sisters at a cafe and discovers the one he desires only has eyes for a madman.

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Mini Review: “The Haunted Quill” edited by Kate Francia

Release Date: December 1, 2021
Publisher: Megara Publishing Inc.
Genre: Anthologies, Short Stories

Description

A young girl in a mining town hears three knocks at her door on a dark night. Two Viking warriors, haunted by grief, enter a cursed forest of iron trees. A mysterious orphan girl hides in the rafters high above the stage of the Opéra le Peletier. A widowed mother and a ghost fight to save her homestead. 

The Haunted Quill contains eight short stories and original illustrations that explore the strange and uncanny corners of history. Featuring original stories and reprints from new and established writers of speculative fiction, including: Jordan Taylor, Laura Hennessey DeSena, Stephen K Pettersson, Henry Herz, LH Moore, Jane Nightshade, Colleen Ennen, and Caren Gussoff Sumption.

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