Dec 18, 2018

Hello, Good Evening, Welcome and Goodbye...

It was such a blast having SFF-author and aquaphile Nate Crowley and his lovely wife Ashleigh here in Berlin!

Particularly the reading (if you thought Schneider was a good book, you will die laughing reading The Best 100 Video Games (That Never Existed) - soon available at Otherland) was so enjoyable and funny, we just might have to repeat it soon.
Thank you very much for this lovely event, for the aquarium visit and for joining our book club discussion on Blindsight!
We hope you come back and don't forget that this city is even better when it's warm!

Dec 17, 2018

Book Recommendations of December 2018

Well well well, looks like we have reached the end of yet another year... And what a year it was! So many great authors have visited our humble little book shop, so many great books were published that we could hardly keep up with reading them, the Otherland got a few exciting new sections and our beloved bookshop turned 20!
We still have three appointments left for this year, then it’s off to sweet sweet tranquility and boredom. For a couple of weeks at least - we’ll talk about fresh events at your favorite local bookstore in our next newsletter in January.
Have a nice fin de l’année, we wish you some peace and quiet and a safe passage to 2019! See you then!

Dec 7, 2018

An Evening with Nate Crowley!

Make a blue fist and join our band to greet NATE CROWLEY at the Otherland Bookshop next Thursday, Dec. 13, at 8.00 pm!

He'll present his awesome Zombie-Klassenkampf novel The Death and Life of Schneider Wrack (find my spoilered review here!) and maybe read a little from his other book, The 100 Best Video Games that Never Existed, too!
Boy, remember all the fun we never had playing those games? Yeah, me neither...

Admission is free as usual, there's snacks and drinks, it's cold outside and warm inside, there's an immensely talented author visiting us, reading and chatting with us, it will be perfect! Come by any means!

Next OBC Discussion

Hey book clubber,

how about meeting next Friday (Dec. 14th), 7.30 pm at the Otherland Bookshop?

Discussion is about this masterpiece on the left!

Blindsight is a veeery eerie and inventively genious first-contact-story that admittedly needs a little getting used to before it carries you away to the heights of fright... and anxiety... and neuroscience...
Peter Watts, who was here in Berlin and visited us a couple of years ago, is one of our favorite Hard SF writers whose new novella The Freeze Frame Revolution was just recently published, don't miss it!

As you probably all know by now:
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, but contributions are welcome.
You never need to sign up to join us, but please do read the book if you're coming.

Next titles are:

Dec 4, 2018

Otherland Bookstore Christmas Special Newsletter Recommendations

I know there are people out there who thoroughly enjoy the so-called “festive season”. They love racing around in the cold weather drinking mulled wine to keep themselves fueled; ignoring the huge waste of energy sources spent on stupid lightings, spending money here and spending money there to buy masses of stuff neither they nor anybody needs, producing huge amounts of waste, rejoicing at the thought of the central-european-black last two weeks of the year when they will be stuck with a bunch of people they happen to be related to in an enclosed space, bore each other to death and give each other, with sparkling eyes, obsolete stuff which the recipient can’t wait to exchange for items they need even less.
I am not one of them, neither is the assumed reader of this introduction. Yet here I am, telling you to buy books for this ghastly time of the year. Not because I want you to go through all the aforementioned procedure, but because I think that books and movies are CRUCIAL FOR YOUR SURVIVAL in these hard times! Stock up on books, movies, music, games, anything you find that will fight depression off and invigorate your spirits during long toilet breaks, afternoon naps, intervals after everybody’s passed out from eating too much and while hiding inside the christmas tree.
For those of us who don’t find any religious meaning in these days: You will find below some of the means that will help you make it through. Some are our personal recommendations and some the subjective best of the ending year 2018.
Persevere my fellow sufferers, my companions in misery; times are difficult but we need to stay strong, keep on reading! [Inci]

Nov 24, 2018

Otherland Speculative Theory Book Club and this and that

Book Clubbers,

We have been seeing each other way too much lately, and I love it!
After last night's great horror session, get ready to catch up on TUESDAY the 27th, 7.30 pm at the Otherland Bookstore for an Otherland Speculative Theory Book Club, to discuss The Weird and the Eerie by Mark Fisher.

Here is an overview of our next discussions (note that some changes have been made):

November 27 - The Weird and the Eerie by Mark Fisher
December 14 - Blindsight by Peter Watts
January 11 -     Autonomous by Annalee Newitz
February  8 -    Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams
March 8 -         Tales of the Dying Earth by Jack Vance

Next Otherland Speculative Fiction Book Club HORROR SPECIAL:

February 22 - Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

Somewhere between our discussions we'll have a movie date to see "Operation:Overlord".
Date will yet be announced.

The Otherland Speculative Fiction Book Club meetings are always on a Friday (except for the upcoming speculative theory session), and always at 7.30 pm at the Otherland Bookstore.
There's always snacks and drinks that you don't have to pay for, but contributions are welcome.
You never need to sign up to join us, but please do read the book if you're coming.

See you Tuesday maybe and keep reading!

Nov 18, 2018

Let's Go to the Movies

We haven't been to the movies for a long time, so let's catch up!
Here's a doodle poll to determine the movie:

After we know which movie we want to see, we can discuss a date. Nominees are:


Operation: Overlord



First Man:

Please vote until Friday, Nov. 23.
Let the voting begin!

Nov 16, 2018

Otherland Speculative Fiction Book Club Horror Special - Part 2

Next Friday, November 23rd! Mark the date horror fans for we’re having another horror special.
7.30 pm at the Otherland Bookshop
Read "A Head Full of Ghosts" by Paul Tremblay and come!

Goodbye Stan Lee.

We’re reading Paul Tremblay’s Bram-Stoker-winning novel A Head Full of Ghosts! I have to admit I’m pretty psyched about this one, I’m a great fan of Tremblay’s and can’t wait to discuss this book with fellow book clubbers.
The Barretts are a fairly normal American family until their lives are turned upside down when their pubescent daughter Marjorie shows signs of acute schizophrenia. While she keeps getting worse, the family’s last straw will be turning to the church… and a reality TV show called "The Possession". Nail biting, fast reading, deconstructing and heart breaking horror that will leave you perturbed, let me tell you that much.

Book Recommendations of October and November 2018 Part 4 - Role Playing

Here are our role playing recommendations and tips issued in our October and November newsletters, enjoy!

Nov 14, 2018

Nov 12, 2018

Nov 8, 2018

Book Recommendations of October and November 2018 Part 1 - Science Fiction

We have a new column, hooray! As you may well know, the Otherland publishes a monthly newsletter in which we announce and review novelties of that particular month. Henceforth I'll be publishing our recommended English books here on the Otherlander's blog and respectively the German books will appear on our website (

Reviewers are:
Fantasy and YA geek, Charleen Figul who firmly believes she is a character made up by Tolkien;
Caroline Kohler, prolific shapeshifter and mastermind behind the Otherland's beautiful showcase is an artistic expert for all genres;
The voice of reason and master of brainy reviews Sarah Binz writes for SF, fantasy and miscellaneous;
Marc, the man who has read them all, excels in SF predominantly;
Humble me, Otherland's scream queen Inci German, write for SF and horror;
Science Fiction fireball Wolf Tress;
The baroque opera singing, comic collecting Simon Weinert reviews everything fantasy, role playing and comic;
and finally
Jakob the omnipotent (Jakob Schmidt) is expert for absolutely everything.

Here are our science fiction recommendations and tips issued in our October and November newsletters, enjoy! 

Nov 3, 2018

Otherland Speculative Fiction Book Club

Book clubbers, Friday is time we meet again!

Philip Pullman's 2017 fantasy novel La Belle Sauvage is the first volume of the planned trilogy The Book of Dust. The story is set about twelve years before the start of "His Dark Materials", in a universe that is governed by the Magisterium, or the Church, who suppresses all heresy. What's adorably characteristic to Pullman's universe are the so-called "soul" daemons, animals who represent the soul of their humans and who swarm around them.
So what would your soul deamon be? And have you finished reading it yet? It's quite the delightful story!!!

AS ALWAYS we'll meet at 19.30 pm at the Otherland Bookshop and there's no registration needed. Please read the book, though!

There's drinks folks, see you there!

Next titles and dates are:

November 9th - The Book of Dust Vol. 1 - La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman

November 23rd - A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay (HORROR SPECIAL)

December 14th - Blindsight by Peter Watts

January 11th - Autonomous by Annalee Newitz

Oct 13, 2018

Addendum to the OBC Discussion on N.K. Jemisin's "The Fifth Season"

by Gisle Martens-Meyer


Dearest Fulcrum filth!!

With greatest sadness I cannot be present tonight, I'm at Frankfurt Buchmesse, tirelessly robbing publishers of their free drinks.

However! Tonight! Be careful what you say about The Fifth Season! My torus is immense! My orogene ears are listening in the Earth!! My army of stone eaters are standing by!! ONE NEGATIVE WORD about this greatest piece of literature ever, and my wrath and punishment will be instantaneous! My Obelisk death-rays are pointing straight to Bergmannstrasse! My lava sharks are circling in the magma under your feet at this very moment!

I give a remote thumbs up. I expect a universal vote. Thank you. Have a pleasant evening.

Blogger's note: No need to say that the book got our Otherland Book Club approval. As to Gisle, we expect to see ten rings on his ten fingers next time we see him. Hope he enjoys the drinks!

Oct 3, 2018

Next Meetings, Titles and Dates for the Otherland Book Club

Dear Book Clubbers,
Our meeting on October 12th is drawing nearer! Are you close to finishing The Fifth Season yet?

N.K. Jemisin's 2015 science fantasy novel is the first book of the groundbreaking Broken Earth Series which sensationally has been winning the Hugo Awards for best novel for the last three years!
In the single supercontinent Stillness, every few centuries comes a so-called "fifth season", a season of extreme climate change. In Stillness the society is divided into many communities ("comms") and species: the Orogenes, energy controlling "freaks"; the warriors and hunters called "Guardians"; the academic Geomests and the sculpture-people Stone-Eaters are only some of them.
In the prologue, an orogene with super powers expresses the sad state of the world and then uses his power to fracture the entire continent, thus causing the worst Fifth Season of all time. The book then follows the stories of three female orogenes: Essun, Damaya, and Syenite.

Meetig is on October 12th, 7.30 pm at the Otherland Bookshop as usual. And as usual there will be snacks and drinks. Just read the book and come over!

Next titles and dates for the Otherland Speculative Fiction Book Club are:

November 9th - The Book of Dust Vol. 1 - La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman

November 23rd - A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay (HORROR SPECIAL)

December 14th - Blindsight by Peter Watts

Meetings are always on a Friday and at 7.30 pm at the Otherland Bookshop. See you there!

Sep 30, 2018

Alastair Reynolds was here!

Alastair Reynolds while signing all his books at the Otherland!
Life can surprise you in pleasant ways sometimes. Sometimes the most renowned and acclaimed author who seems totally out of reach can turn out to be the nicest, coolest, most down-to-earth person ever. That was the case with Alastair Reynolds. We at the Otherland were so fortunate and so happy to be able to welcome him and his wife Josette at our bookshop!

Not only did they agree to make a stop in Berlin and to make a short reading of the next Revenger book and a QA-evening at the Wasserturm for the Otherland, even though they were heading for Elstercon in Leipzig . Alastair also signed all of his books in the shop and enchanted his fanbase in Berlin by taking time for each fan during the event and the signing!

Sep 11, 2018

Charles Stross - third time at the Otherland

A recap of an evening with Charles Stross

by Wolf Tress


Wolf and unimpressed cartoon cat in Otherland
I remember quite well the first time Charlie walked in our Otherland. With a friendly hello he strolled by and entered the english book section. I was thinking: Wow, this guy looks like... and this guy is standing right in front of the books of ... and now he takes one of the books of ... so I walked over and asked: “Are you...” “Yes, I am Charles Stross - do you mind if I sign my books?” Well, yesterday was the third time he came to visit the Otherland and do a reading / Q&A-Session with us.

Aug 29, 2018

What's next at the Otherland Bookshop?

The Otherland is on FIRE... metaphorically speaking of course! We're thrilled to bring you one or two special guest(s) each month from now until the end of the year.

Here a short overview of the incredible events coming up, so mark your calendars:

Monday September 10th, 8 pm; SF author Charles Stross at the Otherland Bookshop
Thursday September 20th, 8 pm; SF author Alastair Reynolds at the DTK Wasserturm (Kopischstr. 7)
Wednesday October 17th, 8 pm; SF author Cixin Liu at the Kreuzkirche-Church (Zossener Str. 65) (This event isn't free unfortunately; please reserve tickets at
Friday October 19th, 8 pm; horror author Tobias O. Meißner at the Otherland Bookshop
Monday November 5th, 8 pm; SF author and activist Cory Doctorow at the DTK Wasserturm (Kopischstr. 7)
Thursday November 29th, 8 pm; Le Guin-translator Karen Nölle at the Otherland Bookshop
Thursday December 13th, 8pm;  horror/SFF author and aquaphile Nate Crowley at the Otherland Bookshop

Whew! On top of that we have our regular meetings - Book club, Gatherland and role playing evenings - going as usual (except for Gatherlands in September and October - those are cancelled).

As to our book club, here are the titles and dates for the next few months:

Friday September 14th, 7.30 pm; Dragon's Egg by Robert L. Forward
Friday October  12th, 7.30 pm;    The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin
Friday November 9th, 7.30 pm;   La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman
Friday November 23th, 7.30 pm;   HORROR SPECIAL - A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

The fall and early winter will be insane at the Otherland!!! See you there, I guess.

Aug 22, 2018

The Zombie Novel You Never Knew You're Desperate to Read

Inci German on Nate Crowley's The Death and Life of Schneider Wrack


Nate Crowley will be visiting the Otherland on December 13th for a reading and QA event! Don't miss it!


This Friday we're breaking new ground with the “Otherland Speculative Fiction Book Club Horror Special”! We're not jumping in at the deep end by starting off with the heavy stuff though, like hardcore sadistic short stories or extreme horror that will give you nightmares. For starters we chose a horror comedy about a Zombie uprising; The Death and Life of Schneider Wrack by Nate Crowley. Exciting!

I didn't really know what to expect when we voted it, had never heard of Nate Crowley before and Zombies aren't exactly my kind of horror. But the premise sounded super interesting and the cover is very very cool (yes, sometimes I do judge a book by its cover). And yes, this book won me over at the drop of a hat.

True, this isn't your typical horror story that makes you piss your pants and leaves you all paranoid and shit scared for days after – but Crowley uses a traditional horror trope in an exceptionally creative way in order to tell a morbidly funny, fairly disgusting, partly horrifying, insanely absurd and yes, towards the end even surprisingly deep and heartwarming tale.

Spoilers from here on

Aug 5, 2018

Otherland Book Club - Fantasy is back baby!

We're finally back at reading fantasy in our book club after a l-o-o-o-ng long time and we'll pick up from where we left with Fonda Lee's kick-ass adult debut Jade City (Green Bone Saga #1).

In a universe where the warrior Green Bones' performance is enhanced by the ever so precious and magical jade, the city of Janloon is divided between two rival clans; No Peak and Mountain. Nothing stays as it is though; not only is the hard earned peace in danger because of increasing unrests between the two groups but also a new drug that allows everyone -not only green bone warriors- to carry the powerful jade stirs up the balance!

It's all here, people: Asian martial art meets high fantasy meets mafia!

Jul 26, 2018

A Gloranthan Night at the Otherland!

Otherland Bookshop is proud to host the release party for the brand-new edition of the role-playing classic RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha! We‘ll have the new edition‘s chief designers Jeff Richard and Jason Durall as guests, and a box or two of print copies of RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha and the accompanying Glorantha Sourcebook, published by Chaosium. This will be your first opportunity to get these in Germany. If all goes well, we will also have a few sets of the new RuneQuest dice sets, designed by Q-Workshop, available.

First released in 1978 by Chaosium, RuneQuest radically widened the scope not only of role-playing games, but also of fantasy world-building. Its setting Glorantha, created by Greg Stafford, owes much more to classic mythology than to the conventions of modern fantasy.

The release party takes place on August 11th, 2018 at 6.30 pm at the Otherland Bookshop. We look forward to seeing you there and chat about imaginary worlds, role-playing games and all kinds of Gloranthan goodness!

Jul 6, 2018

OBC Meeting Next Week

Dear Book Clubbers,

Ready for an extremely political discussion at our next meeting?
It is next week already: Friday, July 13th, 7.30 pm at the Otherland Bookshop. Admission is free as usual and there'll be drinks and snacks.

Infomocracy is a cyberpunk polit-thriller and the first book of Malka Older's "Centenal Cycle" as well as her debut novel.

The Locus Award finalist for Best First Novel is set in a world where the ever present "Information", a powerful search engine monopoly, has pioneered the switch from warring nation-states to global micro-democracy. The story revolves around the lives of three individuals in the wake of elections: Ken from the idealistic Policy1st party, the sceptic Domaine who works to overthrow the system and the Information operative Mishima.

Infomocracy has already propelled to the first place (together with Ben Aaronovitch's latest novella in the Peter Grant Series, The Furthest Station) on our top ten bestseller list! So I guess we are expecting lots of people, very excited about this!

May 25, 2018

OBC Horror Special in August and next meeting

Book Clubbers!

As I previously announced we'll have a horror special in August, so we don't have to wait too long for a horrific discussion at the Otherland. Of course our new (English) horror section comes in super handy at that.

What we'll do is this: Anyone can bring one or more suggestions to the next discussion on June 6th and we'll have a voting (just like a regular OBC voting). We can also settle on a date for the horror special at our next meeting.*
IF nobody comes up with a suggestion, I have a little selection of books I'd like to read and discuss with you, and here they are:

Apr 29, 2018

Updates on the Otherland Speculative Fiction Book Club

So much confusion... First we didn't receive the supply of Infomocracy we were expecting, then we had a tie at the vote for the next book and decided to include both books, add  the summer plans of variuos participants... Too many hurdles, really.
But, after a long discussion, we came to a compromise and this is what our ultimate schedule for the next few months looks like:

Friday May 11th -           Light by M. John Harrison
Friday June 8th -            Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks
Friday July 13th -           Infomocracy by Malka Older
Friday August 10th -      Jade City by Fonda Lee
Friday September 14th - Dragon's Egg by Robert L. Forward

Since horror falls short in this selection, there will be an additional "OBC Horror Special" in August! So start collecting titles of your favorite horror books for the voting, this summer will be SCARY in Otherland!

Our next regular title, M. John Harrison's Light, is the first book of the "Empty Space Trilogy" and won the James Tiptree, Jr. Award in 2002 and a was shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clark Award in 2003. It follows the lives of three odd individuals whose lives are linked to each other in many unlikely ways.
See you at the book club, only two weeks to go!

Apr 23, 2018

Upcoming Event: Reading with Peter V. Brett!

He has just recently concluded his "Demon Cycle" with a breathtaking finale and he's in Berlin again! Dark fantasy fans, Otherlanders, don't miss the opportunity to listen to Peter V. Brett reading from his latest book, The Core, and take all your Demon Cycle books out of your library one last time to get signatures.
The event takes place tomorrow April 24th at the Wasserturm Kreuzberg (Kopischstr. 7, 10965 Kreuzberg) at 8 pm. Admission is free as always.

Mar 14, 2018

Short announcement - NO GATHERLAND THIS MONTH!!

The Gatherland tomorrow evening (15.03.2018) is cancelled due to the Book Fair in Leipzig and the flu that has been going around - and we can't announce it on our website because of technical problems.
But we're anxious to meet you at the reading with Tobias Meissner March 23rd OR at the role playing evening on April 5th OR at the OSF Book Club on April 13th!
Don't worry, there'll be lots of other opportunities to geek around!

Mar 2, 2018

More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon

This month the Otherland Speculative Fiction Book Club is reading the International Fantasy Award and Retro-Hugo winning More Than Human in which Theodore Sturgeon poetically describes the next step in human evolution: the homo gestalt!

Don't forget our meeting: Next Friday, March 9th at 7.30 pm at the Otherland Bookshop!
Admission is free and no sign up needed as usual. See you there!

Next dates and titles:

April 13 - Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor
May 11 - Infomocracy by Malka Older

Feb 24, 2018

Reading with Ben Aaronovitch

The Otherland and Hammett Bookshops proudly present ... Ben Aaronovitch!

We are super happy to welcome the author of the quirky urban fantasy series "Rivers of London" featuring police officer and apprentice wizard Peter Grant!

The reading is this Tuesday, February 27th, at 8 pm, at the Wasserturm Kreuzberg (Kopischstraße 7, 10965 Berlin), admission is free as usual.

Feb 13, 2018

They're Creeping Up Amongst Us

Inci German reviews Tade Thompson's Rosewater

This review is long overdue. Tade Thompson's Rosewater got first nominated for the Campbell Award as best science fiction novel in 2016, then for the African speculative fiction awards, the Nommo Awards, in 2017 and deservedly won the latter. I have been contemplating Thompson's way up - got curious, got the book, read it, loved it, thought I ought to write something about it, and then, as life goes, forgot about it. A few months later the Meetup Berlin Science Fiction Book Club (no, not our Otherland Book Club, but a friendly fellow book club that I occasionally like to join) announced they would be reading it in February and if that wasn't enough signs from the "Universe" for me to write this review, everybody present at the discussion fancied it! Those of you who attend book clubs surely know what a difficult achievement that is. So here I am finally giving in to the universe!

Jan 31, 2018

Next OBC Meeting - I Am Legend

Ready for a tragically scary SF-horror mashup?

Richard Matheson's 1954 novel about the last man on Earth didn't only win the "Vampire Novel of the Century Award" (the only award that truly counts!) but has been adapted into not one, not two, but into three films (and none of them does the book justice), one radio-play, one comic AND has massively influenced hundreds of authors, filmmakers and other modern horror storytellers.

Got your attention?

Our meeting is on Friday, February 9th, at 7.30 pm at the Otherland Bookstore as usual. And again, no registration nor fee needed as usual. Just read I Am Legend and come!

Next dates and titles are:

March 9 - More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon
April 13 - Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor

Jan 7, 2018

Reminder of...

...the Otherland Speculative Fiction Book Club taking place on Friday January 12th at 7.30 pm at the Otherland Bookshop.

Have you finished reading the eerily predictive and dystopic, yet fascinatingly written Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner yet? I hope you did, because I sure haven't! Hurry up, hurry up - only a few days left!

Was your New Year's resolution to read more books too?
No fee or signing up as usual, just read the book and join us!

Next dates and titles:

February 9 - I am  Legend by Richard Matheson
March 9 - More than Human by Theodore Sturgeon.