SciFi Sandwich: 8/31/20

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Powell’s Takes a Stand

Portland’s famed indie bookstore, Powell’s, has declared it will no longer sell books on Amazon. Powell’s CEO, Emily Powell, stated that on National Independent Bookstore Day (August 29th) Powell’s would take a stand against Amazon. Since it has become a massive used book conglomerate, Amazon’s reach has taken a toll on bookstores across the states. Powell’s hopes to bring customers to their own door, instead serving the reader through the hands of a competitor.

On the topic of booksellers taking a stand against Amazon, is a website that supports indie stores with every purchase. They have hopes to one day be a main competitor against Amazon. This was one of the biggest contributing factors to why Nicole and Rebecca have chosen as their affiliate partner. We would be thrilled if you’d take a second to check out our page stacked with recommendations. 

Chuck Wendig’s The Wanderers Coming to Television

The fantastic novel by Chuck Wendig (that Nicole and Rebecca reviewed here) is headed for the the series game. The show will star Walking Dead‘s Glen Mazzara. The novel, about a global pandemic, came out ahead of the coronavirus and foreshadowed a lot of the things we saw take place, especially in the pithy world of politics. It’s a novel about the precarious world we find ourselves in today, just as much as it is a speculative thriller. The series doesn’t yet have a release date but word about it is gaining momentum

Rebecca went on to film some commentary on how The Wanderers related to the real-life unfolding of the coronavirus pandemic in June, July, and August as the book itself was divided into months.

But wait, there’s more… Wendig has also announced that he will be coming out with a sequel in 2022. Woop! If you haven’t read The Wanderers yet, we highly recommend it.

Nicolas Cage to Play Alcoholic Dragon in Hiding

That’s a fun headline, isn’t it? It actually has to do with Eoin Colfer’s newest book Highfire. The book is about a world where dragons used to rule in glory but have since been toppled. The story’s dragon, Lord Highfire, is now boozing and binge-watching cable TV under the alias “Vern.” The eccentric Cage has secured the role as poor Vern and should make the show a lot of fun.  

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New Beowulf Translation is ‘Radical and Feminist’

There’s been a lot of buzz about the newest translation of Beowulf since Seamus Haney’s version came out in 1999. The difference in the new book by Maria Dahvana Headley (released just last week) is that there’s a lot more emphasis on Grendel’s mother. Rather than a spin-off conflict, she gets a lot more attention as a warrior. After the release of Headley’s first novel based on the tale of Beowulf, The Mere Wife, publisher MacMillan said “Headley unearthed significant shifts lost over centuries of translation.” Enough that she was invited to rewrite the classic! Check it out.

A.I. Storytelling

A game called A.I. Dungeon may have introduced a new way for publishers, authors, game developers tell stories. The app has served up more than 18.5 million text adventures since it’s inception. The idea is that there’s a base story everyone plays by, but it’s more like a Choose Your Own Adventure where the adventures are developed by artificial intelligence. Read the details here

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Need a break? Try this flash fiction piece (read: short!) called Oracles of Chestnut St. by Dayla Haynes. It’s a sweet story about a man who invokes wonder and satisfies it at the same time.


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A Killing Frost by Seanan McGuire; DAW; 9/1/20
Night of the Mannequins by Stephen Graham Jones; Tor; 9/1/20
The Memory of Souls by Jenn Lyons; Tor; 8/25/20

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Weeks Villoso tour

Brent Weeks and K.S. Villoso Tour

Brent Weeks and K.S. Villoso will be doing a virtual paperback tour to celebrate the release of Weeks’ The Burning White in trade paperback. 

The Burning White is the conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Lightbringer series. Villoso’s hit novel The Wolf of Oren-Yaro is out now and has a planned sequel (The Ikessar Falcon) That will be out in September by Orbit. 

The tour is a celebration of these publications and also a seminar on “Creating Great Characters.” They’ll be taking guests questions as well. See the link to sign up.

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Enjoy this neat photo of Stan Lee playing Atari 2600 back in 1982 (photo supplied by SF Signal)

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