National Science Fiction Day

Happy New Year and happy National Science Fiction Day! Today’s sci-fi focus is due to the grand poo-bah of all things sci-fi Isaac Asimov being born today back in 1920. Asimov’s sideburns run wide and his influence runs deep through all sci-fi books these days as his books remain some of the best of the genre.

isaac_asmiovIf Asimov is new to you, check him out over on LibraryThing to get a better sense of his books. I think it’s great how science fiction is no longer just the domain of the geeks and such. It’s all pretty much gone mainstream. Niffenegger’s The Time Traveller’s Wife was the first book I remember realizing had jumped to the mainstream (back in 2004) and wasn’t considered science fiction, even though the entire story would not have been possible if time travel wasn’t allowed. Now the books are numerous and run across all genres. I think it’s great.

So, in honor of National Science Fiction Day 2015, here are three things worth checking out. It doesn’t matter if you’re a die-hard nerfherder who groks hard sci-fi over breakfast or if you are new and feel like it’s all so alien, it’s all a lot of fun and plenty to think about: – sign up for their newsletter. These guys are great and they totally get what makes the science fiction community tick. Even though their roots are in sci-fi books, they talk TV, movies, games and music. It’s all very fun. It’s a great site, but be sure to sign-up for their newsletter. I always look forward to it.

Singularity & Co. – these guys are on a mission. They find old pulp out-of-print science fiction books, secure the rights and then re-issue them (usually as ebooks). Plus, they now have a physical shop in Brooklyn where you can buy some of the coolest covers from eons past.

Different Engines – this one is a book. It’s a book about the history of science fiction and is very well researched. I share this book as often as I can. It’s amazing how closely tied science fiction and actual science are. If you’re into sci-fi, you probably should have this one on your shelf.

different engines cover


Happy Holidays & a Book Christmas tree

Book marketers are some of the neatest people I know. They are always super-creative and super-busy. But somehow they still find the energy and take the time, over a couple of days, to do things like make a book Christmas tree, like this one:

book Christmas treeI hope you the end of 2014 is kind to you and yours. I hope you are able to find some peace and time to read. Maybe even get to stroll through a book store or make your own book Christmas tree.

And if you can figure out how we can all make a book Christmas tree a year-’round event, please chime in!


Book Podcast for Book Lovers

Heads up book people! Apple is promoting a new Featured Collection this week – Book Lovers. Their curated list of has 29 book podcasts listed. A handful are radio or tv-related book podcasts, but the others all seem very interesting as well.

book podcasts

I have no idea how to link to an iTunes Featured Collection. If you know how please clue me in! I can link to a specific podcast, but not to the collections.

Just log in to iTunes, on the computer or iOS and scroll down until you see this:

book podcast for book lovers

It will take you the list. I have no idea how long this book podcast list for Book Lovers has been up there or how much longer it’ll be up. I’ve listened to nine of these before and am excited to see what these others are all about. Let me know if you know of the 29 to be better than the rest and I’ll start there.

The Localist – Birmingham Book Launch

Mark your calendars for this Saturday (November 29th) for the book launch of local author and business owner Carrie Rollwagen’s newest project The Localist: Think Independent, Buy Local and Reclaim the American Dream. Things kick off at 10 a.m. at Church Street Coffee & Books.

The Localist is a book that is near and dear to just about everything Rollwagen espouses. It’s a book. It’s local. It’s a way of life. I have yet to get my hands on a copy, but the premise sounds like the kind of book that inspires people to be aware of what is going on around them and could even save our sense of community.


Part memoir and part “how-to” guide for shopping local, readers will:

. . . follow Carrie on her localist adventure as she embraces slow food, small business, the locavore movement, and many quirky indie shopkeepers and unique independent shops along the way.

The Localist promises to not be anti-big-box store, just very very pro-local-indie shop, while offering tips on how to save money buying local and how to interact with the community. It’s a theme Rollwagen (@crollwagen) weaves into her writing whenever pen is put to paper or she sits at a keyboard. She blogs about buying local Alabama goods, she blogs at her local shop and she blogs about her writing.

If you’re not sold yet, then take a moment and read through a couple of excerpts:

So check out The Localist event at Church Street Coffee & Books this Saturday at 10 a.m. There are also more upcoming events listed if you’d like to meet Carrie and check out the book some other time. I have no doubts this book is worth reading no matter where you live or where you shop.

Books, Publishing and Birmingham