May 19, 2019

Horror, Horror and Even More Horror

Looking for a new apartment in Berlin, my life right now is pretty much a psychological horror movie itself, but that does not prevent me from craving for more, more, more horror, especially in the form of written fiction - or a real life haunted house I can move into, if I must!
And speaking of haunted houses, I am especially excited that it is time for the horror book club again where we will discuss Michael McDowell's The Elementals, a haunted house-Southern Gothic merger. Meeting is on Friday, May 24th, at 7.30 pm at the Otherland Bookshop as usual.
I must say it is a pity there are so few other books available from McDowell; apparently he has co-written Beetlejuice as well as Nightmare Before Christmas and an intriguing book series titled "Blackwater", which is, unfortunately, out of stock... Hope Valancourt takes notice!

On a further note; the votings for the horror books have been somewhat monopolistic with the only source of suggestions being me. And having decided to go by classic horror tropes (we will discuss haunted houses and terrible places on our next meeting), I prepared a short list sorted by tropes that you can expand according to your own taste and which can serve as a basis for our votings. I bet there are many more good books out there, so please help me improve it in terms of books as well as categories! (List has been edited)

May 13, 2019

Book Recommendations May 2019

Folks, there is so much going on right now in our private lives (side jobs, vacations, flat hunts, sick children…) that it was a slog to prepare the newsletter for May, but done at last! A little late and a little paltrier than usual, but here we are.
So as you know we had Cory Doctorow here and that was awesome. We have one more international event coming our way, and that one is with Brandon Sanderson on Tuesday May 14th (reading starts at 7 pm at Lettrétage - Mehringdamm 61). Since presumably it will be packed and we strongly suspect that Lettrétage will be bursting at the seams, Brandon and Heyne-Verlag decided to make a little signing at the bookstore before the event, so everybody interested gets the chance to meet him. If you have not had the opportunity to get a reservation or you cannot come in the evening, you can drop by the shop in the afternoon, where Brandon Sanderson and his marker will be waiting for you from 3.30 pm on.
Next Otherland Book Club session deals with horror again; we will be talking about Michael McDowell’s The Elementals, a haunted house-southern gothic merger that will not only scare you, but will often will make you smile and ponder. Meeting is Friday May 24th, begins as usual at 7.30 pm at the Otherland Bookshop. There's always snacks and drinks that you don't have to pay for, contributions are welcome. You never need to sign up to join us, but we appreciate it greatly that you do read the book if you're coming.
Enjoy our recommendations for May!

May 4, 2019

Next Regular OBC Meeting

Next Friday, May 10th, the Otherland Speculative Fiction Book Club is meeting to discuss Octavia Butler's Kindred; the story of Dana, a black woman who time-travels between 1976 and the slavery-infested 1815 to prevent one of her ancestors from dying. It is also one of the few books that we have read whose impact has reached beyond the community of speculative fiction. There are still copies left at the store, grab them!

The Otherland Speculative Fiction Book Club meetings are always on the second Friday of the month at 7.30 pm at the Otherland Bookstore.
There's always snacks and drinks that you don't have to pay for, contributions are welcome.
You never need to sign up to join us, but we appreciate it greatly that you do read the book if you're coming.

Upcoming OBC meetings are as follows:
May 10 - Kindred by Octavia Butler
May 24 - The Elementals by Michael McDowell (HORROR)
June 7 -  Whipping Star by Frank Herbert
July 12 - Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson

Hope to see you there!

Apr 23, 2019

Folklore Meets the Fantastic in MYTHIC FICTION

by Clarence Haynes

We’re thrilled to announce that Otherland’s first Mythic Fiction Book Club discussion is this Friday, April 26th, 19.30 at the Otherland Bookshop. We’ll be focusing on the novel Circe by Madeline Miller, a 2018 release which chronicles the life of the nymph widely known from Homer’s The Odyssey for her role as a witch with powers of transmutation.
Miller talked about the book last year on National Public Radio in the U.S.; the short interview is here.

Myths are ancient narratives hailing from a wide variety of cultures, presenting fantastic, nonscientific, often allegorical stories that have provided explanations to communities past about who we are and what surrounds us, including the origins of the world and nature’s inherent routines. Myths are also concerned with the stories of various deities—those divine beings who cultivate worship and act as a mirror to humanity—as well as the feats of extraordinary mortals.
In the Western world, the continuing influence of mythology can be seen in contemporary literary offerings that include psychodynamic nonfiction, novels, comics, TV series and films. (I have found myself particularly interested in modern, more progressive interpretations of Greek and Roman myth.)

Apr 19, 2019

A Terrific Evening!

Elizabeth Hand has called him a "literary cult waiting to happen", City Magazine said he is Sweden's new horror king and I had previously claimed he is the man who ruins things for his readers (because he writes them so scarily!).

But Mats Strandberg who visited us for a chatter evening on Tuesday, is above all a genuinely nice and fun guy who might just well be one of the biggest horror fans I have encountered. And when you meet those great horror fans, what you do is sit down with them and pick their brains (which is what we did)! It was an awesome evening where Mats told us about his literary work and we talked about horror movies, books, Stephen King, Twin Peaks, Swedish crime,...

Apr 15, 2019

Guess Who Else Is Back?

Great news: On May 8th, 8.00 pm Cory will be back at the Otherland for a small meet&greet!
Can't wait, he was such a pleasant guest last time he was here in November...
By the way; his newest short story collection Radicalized is now available in harcover at the Otherland; Marc has reviewed it for the last newsletter.
See you folks there!