May 27, 2024

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Science It Works

Out and About at WRAL.com

We continue highlighting the book clubs of Quail Ridge Books and their favorite books for reading or discussing.
The Science Fiction & Fantasy book club reads both adult and young adult science fiction and fantasy novels, with a focus on diverse characters and authors, as well as award winners. Any and all readers are welcome (over age 15 please).

According to club moderator, Amber Brown (who moonlights as Quail Ridge Books Assistant General Manager), these are the five titles that created the most engaging discussions:

Fifth Season

The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin
There is a very real reason why Jemisin is the only person to ever win the Hugo Award for Best Novel three times in a row, for the only trilogy to win it for all three installments. At the end of the world, a woman must hide her power to wield the earth as a weapon in order to find her kidnapped daughter. This is an intricate novel of power, oppression, and revolution that defies genres and expectations left and right.

All Systems Red by Martha Wells
Sometimes even a fun novella can provide plenty of discussion. On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is (and also watch its programs). I’ve never related so much to a robot before.

The Power

The Power by Naomi Alderman
In this dark feminist dystopia, teenage girls around the world inexplicably gain the power to cause physical pain and even death with the simple touch of a hand. With this twist of nature, the entire foundation of society is shaken, as the power dynamics between men and women shifts. Alderman explores an alternate reality where we cease to exist in a patriarchy, and what that means for the world as we know it.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
An impossible heist, a fantasy world, and a crew of six very different people brought together in their quest for a life-changing fortune. This crew may also be the only ones standing between the world they know and its utter destruction.

Annihilation

Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer
One of our creepier picks for sure. Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. There have been eleven expeditions, each with something unfathomable befalling their members; we join the twelfth expedition. The group is made up of four women whose mission is to map the terrain, record all observations of their surroundings and of one another, and, above all, avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.

Bonus: Anything by Octavia Butler is guaranteed to keep the thoughts and conversation flowing! Give a listen to NPR’s Throughline podcast episode about Octavia Butler.

The Science Fiction & Fantasy book club is currently meeting in-store on the fourth Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. If you’re interested in joining, or finding out more about any of our book clubs, please email me, Sarah ([email protected]) and I will pass your contact information along to the moderator.