The sun is trying to come out and keep things warm. No complaints this weekend – unless you were one of the ones trying to find parking at the Hoover Library yesterday. WOW! Southern Voices 2016 was packed. So many people around the library this weekend. It’s a lot of fun. Here are three other events happening around Birmingham that might interest bookish folks:
Thursday, March 3rd at 5p – 9p – now that the weather is calming down a bit, it may be time to get out for a Birmingham Art Crawl. The chance of stumbling upon print artists, paper artists and book arts folks make it a fun event.
The Authors Conference kicks off the next day on Saturday, February 27th and will cost you $40 to get in the door for the day. The Saturday Authors Conference runs from 9a.m.-5p.m. During the day you’ll get to hear writing advice and stories from such notable authors as Natalie Baszile, Beth Ann Fennelly and Tom Franklin. Plus, Craig Johnson, Jamie Mason, Laura Lane McNeal and Mark Pryor. It’s a great mix of serious, fun and thriller books.
I have to admit that I was bummed when I saw that this year’s musical guest had to cancel. It’s a shame. She’s great. If you haven’t heard of Kellylee Evans before, you need to watch this video:
How catchy is that? You should also check out her Ordinary People. She has this jazzy blues 60’s pop groove that’s addictive. Maybe Kellylee Evans make it to Birmingham or Hoover someday.
So at 9 a.m. this Friday you can click through to the official site and buy online (the BUY NOW buttons are over in the right sidebar) or you can call (205) 444-7888. Good luck! Tickets to past Southern Voices events have gone fast.
So yesterday was National Science Fiction Day for 2016. It’s not exactly a major holiday… yet… but it’s fun to celebrate nonetheless. An hey – if enough blog posts start mentioning it and the right publishers get behind it we could have us a real holiday one day. Though January 2nd would be a tough sell I have to admit. It’s just a little too close to the Christmas & New Year’s Eve to be of any fun.
So in honor of Asimov’s awesome encyclopedic legacy, I’d like to share my three favorite science fiction books I read last year. I have to admit that it’s getting harder to figure out what is “science fiction” these days. So many books have elements of the future, time travel, dragons, etc. that science fiction is teetering on becoming mainstream. But that’s a post for another day.
If you’re looking for a good sci-fi read to kick off 2016, then check these out:
Time Salvager by Wesley Chu – I thought this book was great fun. It does fall in the time travel category. It has a couple of common sense and unique solutions for dealing with many of the common issues with time travel, which I thought clever. Also, it’s the first in a series so it’s a great time to jump on board.
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell – I finally got around to reading this and so glad I did. While I’m not one for “psychic powers” stuff, the writing is incredible and the way Mitchell loops everything together is almost a superpower. It’s a big book. So if you want to dip your toes then I’d recommend reading Slade House. It’s set in the Bone Clocks universe, but no necessarily a sequel. I think you’ll enjoy Slade House more if you read it second, but no harm in using it as an appetizer to see if it’s for you.
Seveneves by Neal Stephensen – this book might very well be the most epic science fiction book I’ve ever read. It is Asimov-like in scope and skill. So very good. There definitely falls in the hard sci-fi column. So expect pages of scientists and engineers debating orbits, trajectories, etc. but you can skim that stuff if your eyes start to gloss over. The story is huge. It tracks humanity thousands of years into the future after the Earth is made uninhabitable.
That’s it! I am a huge fan of science fiction and speculative fiction. So please let me know of any fantastic reads that you’ve found. I’ll add them to my list.