Montag, 11. Dezember 2017

Lauren Beukes' "The Shining Girls" - An Epistolary Review

Excerpts of a digital correspondance between Walter Phippeny and Inci German


This review contains spoilers.

Walter:


When I first started into The Shining Girls, I was ready for the book equivalent of a pop-corn movie: something dumb that you could just enjoy, passing over you without much of demand. Unlike a book like Too Like the Lightening, I could tell right away that this story wasn't going to touch on 18th century philosophers, or throw a bunch of languages at me. This was going to be murder, and thrills. And I was not disappointed. It was very much that. But it also surprised me by being smarter than I had expected. The story gripped me and I read it avidly to the end. It fluctuated back and forth between light fare, and something a little smarter. So, I was pleasantly surprised.

Donnerstag, 30. November 2017

Otherland Speculative Fiction Book Club



Yes Yoda, so are we! Luckily it's next week already.

Our current book is a science fiction-thriller: The Shining Girls by South African writer Lauren Beukes, which follows a time travelling serial killer who chooses his victims amongst young women with a certain "shining". One of his victims, Kirby, survives and starts hunting this murderer who shouldn't even exist. Exciting!

The meeting is on Friday, December 8, at 7.30 pm at the Otherland Bookshop as usual.

And again, as usual you don't need to register or pay entrance, just read the book and drop by, there's snacks and all!

See you there!

Samstag, 11. November 2017

Otherland Speculative Book Club Goes Berlin SciFi Filmfest

The doodle poll is closed now and the winner is "How To Build a Time Machine" at 4 pm.

We'll meet at 3.30 pm in front of Babylon (Rosa-Luxemburg-Str. 30).  Tickets have already been purchased for the doodle participants.

See you there tomorrow!

______________________________________________________________________________


We're going to the Berlin SciFi Filmfest this Saturday (November 18th)! Enter the doodle to vote for your preferred movie until Friday (when the poll will be closed). Let the voting begin!


And these are the options:

4 pm    How To Build A Time Machine

Canada 2016
The movie follows two men who were inspired by H.G. Wells' The Time Machine to build their own time machine.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5696188/?ref_=nv_sr_2

6 pm    Occupants

USA 2015
Annie and her husband are working on a documentary which involves setting up cameras throughout their house. Complications arise when the cameras start showing the same couple in an alternate universe.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3980310/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

For more information on the Berlin SciFi Filmfest visit http://www.berlinscifi.com.


Otherland Speculative Fiction Book Club


Not So Maddening


The reaction to Robert W. Chambers' The King in Yellow might be described as lukewarm at best; no one really loved it but no one really disliked it either. Maybe because of the present hype about this evil, mysterious entity (that was presumably instigated by it being mentioned in the first season of the great crime series "True Detective") the expectations were a little higher than they should be - which is fatal for any book.

The King in Yellow consists of ten short stories that focus on mainly decadent, avantgarde characters who either live in Paris or in New York and usually study art - five of the stories involve the sinister presence called the King in Yellow or the play with the same name which drives its readers mad. Although it is a very powerful concept that can in a metaphorical sense show the impact of literature on readers, Chambers just doesn't carry out this theme as effective as he maybe might have. He always merely hints at the uncanny nature of things without elaborating them, which of course can be used to achieve a vigorous impression - but not here. This being said, this book is a whooping 122 years old and in a cultural environment in which the horror genre wasn't as drained and washed-out as in our present day, it must have been received with more enthusiasm than the amount of excitement we in the Otherland book club have experienced. Still, even in our horror engulfed times the yellow king perfectly works in some respects.

Montag, 6. November 2017

The King in Yellow is Waiting for Yooouuu... At the Otherland Speculative Fiction Book Club

The days are dark and darker is our current book; The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers.

Important: We can't provide this book but it's available here:
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/8492

Our discussion takes place on Friday, November 10th at 7.30 pm at the Otherland Bookshop.
Admission is free, no registration is required, just read the book and come!

More Than Lightning

by Inci German

I still cannot believe some of the things I have heard at the last book club discussion on Ada Palmer's Too Like The Lightning! Here are some comments that stuck with me:

"I hate this book"
"Like a a slog through the wilderness..."
"If this was a slog through the wilderness then I DIED along the way!"
"Time will show if it is a glorious failure."

Folks...No.

Let me start with stating that Too Like The Lightning blew.my.mind! I haven't had so much fun reading a book in the last year, and here I want to discuss why I think Ada Palmer is the best thing that happened to speculative fiction in the last decade.

Be warned, reader, for there will be spoilers.

Donnerstag, 5. Oktober 2017

Otherland Speculative Fiction Book Club


Book clubbers!

Have you devoured this tremendous work of art yet?

If no - Hurry up, our discussion is next week, October 13, 7.30 pm at the Otherland bookshop!

If yes - You may want to indulge in further material while preparing for our discussion.
For instance, take a look at these:

http://crookedtimber.org/category/ada-palmer-seminar/
By Max Gladstone on religion:
http://crookedtimber.org/2017/03/10/the-old-dragon-but-slept-terra-ignota-the-sensayer-system-and-faith/
By Ruthanna Emrys on identity:
http://crookedtimber.org/2017/03/13/falling-into-the-cracks-of-identity/
And Palmer's response to both:
http://crookedtimber.org/2017/04/11/the-dystopian-question-and-minorities-of-one/
And more interesting stuff from Ada's blog:
https://www.exurbe.com/?p=4041

(Thank you Marc for the references!)