Feb 15, 2020

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi

by Clarence A. Haynes


Hey all! I’m thrilled to announce that the next meeting of the Otherland Mythic Fiction Book Club will occur on Friday, February 28, 7:30 p.m. at the Otherland bookshop in Kreuzberg. The novel we’ll be discussing—Freshwater, the highly acclaimed 2018 debut by writer Akwaeke Emezi. Offering up a multi- perspective narrative, the Nigerian-born author stated in a 2019 New York Times interview that Freshwater is “based in indigenous West African ontology” and features a main character, Ada, who is “a spirit trapped in flesh.” Ada is the embodiment of a type of child spirit known as ogbanje who, in an unusual turn, continues to have access to both the ethereal realm and the earthly realm of humans. Ada thus eventually develops separate selves, an occurrence which further shapes who she is when she travels to the U.S. to attend college and faces great trauma.

Taking on everything from colonialism to transgender identity, Emezi talked more about the book in The Guardian. Emezi has asserted that the autobiographical Freshwater should not be categorized as a form of magical realism or speculative fiction though authors who explore the fantastic are among her favorites, including Zen Cho, N.K. Jemisin and Terry Pratchett. We’ll be sure to present discussion questions via the blog on this richly textured work a few days before meeting. We hope you can join us.

Feb 8, 2020

Neuromancer This Friday

Hey book clubbers,
William Gibson, courtesy of Otherlander Thosten Wullf

Our current book is William Gibson's Neuromancer and the discussion starts this Friday, February 14, at 7.30 at the Otherland Bookstore as usual. Founder of Cyberpunk, master of  polished depictions, a cultural earthquake, winner of the 1984 Hugo, Nebula and Philip K. Dick awards OR only dated YA blubble? Let's talk about it on Friday!

The Otherland book club always takes place the second Friday of the month and starts at 7.30 pm at the Otherland Bookstore (the branching sub book clubs, Speculative Theory, Mythic Fiction and Horror, take place every three months on any given Friday - so there is some kind of book club every second week). There are snacks and drinks you don't have to pay for, we're happy for every contribution, though. You don't need to sign up to join us, but please read the book if you want to discuss it.

 Next Otherland Speculative Fiction Book Club discussions:

Jan 27, 2020

Final Girls Film Festival February 2020 Program



Horror fans!
In two weeks time (February 6th - 9th) it is the Final Girls Berlin Film Festival again and wow, what a program! NINE shorts blocks, NINE features, international talk guests and, as usual, one self defense workshop! Not only is this the first full packed regular fest taking place at the City Kino in Wedding, it is also the first time that the final girls go full international! I'm all excited and can't wait. The shorts selection looks amazing as always and their features and talks sound really exciting too.
Find below their announcement and see you there maybe!


Jan 20, 2020

Speculative Theory Book Club This Friday

The next Speculative Theory Book Club on Evan Calder Williams' Combined and Uneven Apocalypse, a so-called luciferian marxist analysis of apocalyptic fantasies in capitalism, starts this Friday, January 24th, at 7.30 pm at the Otherland Bookstore.

The book club always takes place the second Friday of the month and starts at 7.30 pm at the Otherland Bookstore (the branching sub book clubs, Speculative Theory, Mythic Fiction and Horror, take place every three months on any given Friday - so there is some kind of book club every second week). There are snacks and drinks you don't have to pay for, we're happy for every contribution, though. You don't need to sign up to join us, but please read the book if you want to discuss it.

Next Otherland Speculative Fiction Book Club discussions:

January 24 - Combined and Uneven Apocalypse by Evan Calder Williams(SPECTHE)
February 14 - Neuromancer by William Gibson
February 28 - Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi (MYTHIC)
March 13 - Armed in Her Fashion by Kate Heartfield
March 27 - At the Mouth of the River of Bees by Kij Johnson (HORROR)
April 17 - Jhereg by Steven Brust

Jan 14, 2020

Book Recommendations January 2020

It sounds almost ironic to wish a happy and healthy new year with a war knocking on our doors, so-called world leaders blustering, mystery diseases spreading and the climate out of joint. Alas, all we can do at the Otherland is offer you Otherlanders an escape in the shape of stories that can make you feel better, or, for the realists among you, stories that can remind you that what once was dystopia, now has moved to the current events section of your local newspaper.
But whatever may happen in the new year, there are many books we know will be published and can’t wait to read and that’s definitely a good reason to look optimistically into the future! Dispersed among sections, some members of the Otherland crew share what books they are especially looking forward to in the new year!
What we are very happy and excited about is that we could in 2019 welcome Lindsay Taylor and Clarence Haynes in our newsletter reviewer team! They are both avid SF/F readers and book clubbers and will continue to regularly share their invaluable opinions and assessments on latest English publications.
Speaking about the book club... There has been some sorting out, so to say, of our appointments. We will continue to hold our main book club meetings on the second Friday of each month, as always. The thematically specialized Speculative Theory Book Club, Mythic Fiction Book Club and Horror Special Book Club though will take place in rotating order every three months and in January we start with the Speculative Theory Book Club. That way, there will be a wider range of events you can choose from.
The next book-club date is for the Speculative Theory Book Club on January 24, where we will take a luciferian marxist look at apocalyptic movies with Evan Calder Williams’ Combined and Uneven Apocalypse.

The book clubs always start at 7.30 pm at the Otherland Bookstore. There are snacks and drinks you don't have to pay for, we're happy for every contribution, though. You don't need to sign up to join us, but please read the book if you want to discuss it.

Next Otherland Speculative Fiction Book Club discussions:

January 24 - Combined and Uneven Apocalypse by Evan Calder Williams
February 14 - Neuromancer by William Gibson
February 28 - Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi 
March 13 - Armed in Her Fashion by Kate Heartfield
March 27 - At the Mouth of the River of Bees by Kij Johnson
April 17 - Jhereg by Steven Brust
Enjoy our recommendations, see you around!

Jan 12, 2020

Unboxing Armed in Her Fashion

Kate Heartfield is GREAT, and let me tell you why:


Happiness in a a box!
As it may have come to your attention, we had selected her fantasy standalone "Armed in Her Fashion" quite a while ago, but had difficulties supplying due to various problems - among other things, internal turmoils going on at publisher ChiZine. We just couldn't find any copies. In a fit of despair, Arne Beutell, List-Master of the Otherland Speculative Fiction Book Club, and Marc started contacting Kate Heartfield to tell her about our situation, to which she answered that she is currently trying to recuperate the rights to this book, but still has copies that she kindly offered to send us. So imagine our joy when we received the package yesterday and unboxed a bunch of SIGNED copies of this wonderful book along with book marks, personalized Kate Heartfield stickers, promotion cards for her upcoming book and finally a super sweet letter to the book club members!

Jan 7, 2020

First Book Club Discussion This Year

... takes place this Friday, January 10th, at 7.30 pm at the Otherland Bookshop.

Hopefully all of you survived the festive season without much damage and had much time to read "Always Coming Home" by Ursula K. Le Guin, because this slow read required time above all!
The unusual 1985 work is a pseudo-textbook and pseudo-anthropologist's record about a future people, the Kesh. Le Guin has thrown a lot in there from Indigenous American, anarchist and Taoist themes. A great accomplishment and an interesting read to say the least, so the discussion is surely bound to be interesting too.

Next Otherland Speculative Fiction Book Club discussions: