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!

Apr 13, 2019

Book Recommendations April 2019

Something big is coming! The superstar of contemporary fantasy! Brandon Sanderson...is...coming!! It was hard for us too to believe, but on May 14th, at 7.00 pm he will be here in Berlin, in the beautiful Lettrétage (Mehringdamm 61, 10961 Berlin) chatting with you Otherlanders! IMPORTANT: Admission is free, but there is a little problem ...when announcing the event on our website, we asked people to make reservations. And they did - in fact, they did it so fast that all the seats are already booked out. That doesn't mean that we won't admit anyone else in, of course - but it means that a lot of people may have to stand ...
The doors open at 6.30 for everyone who has already made a reservation; at 6.45, we'll admit all the others - as many as we can - in.
We are deeply sorry, because you, our newsletter reader's, should have had the chance to make a reservation first; we promise that we will manage things more carefully next time.

Before that, on April 26th at 7.30 pm, we’ll meet for the inaugural discussion of the Otherland Mythic Fiction Book Club, where we’ll talk about Madeline Miller’s goodreads Reader’s Choice Award-winning Circe!
The Otherland Speculative Fiction Book Club meetings are always on the second Friday of the month (additional book club sessions, like the Mythic Fiction Book Club, on any given Friday) 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:
April 26 - Circe by Madeline Miller (MYTHIC FICTION)
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

Enjoy our recommendations for April!

Apr 7, 2019

Upcoming Otherland Speculative Fiction Book Club Discussions

We have two book club discussions this month and the first is next week already: we'll meet Friday April 12th, at 7.30 pm at the Otherland Bookshop to discuss Ali Shaw's The Trees.
What would the world be like if the trees took over; growing incontrollably and abundantly, destroying buildings, roads and even people along the way? And how would the survivors get organized? What is nature up to? All questions Shaw tackles in this post-arbocalyptic (term coined by Arne Beutell) fantasy novel.
The second meeting will be the debut discussion of the Otherland Mythic Fiction Book Club on April 26th, first book is Circe by Madeline Miller.

Upcoming meetings are as follows:

Apr 3, 2019

It‘s the X-Men, after all

Not quite a review of Sam J. Miller‘s Blackfish City

Blackfish City looked like THE thing to me – a book about climate change and gentrification, endorsed by Ann Leckie and Daryl Gregory, compared to Kim Stanley Robinson‘s work … I thought I was bound to love this but when I finished reading it, I did not only feel let down, but also slightly angry.
So I won‘t pretend this is a review. It is an opinion piece that is probably of more interest to people who have already read Blackfish City then to those who haven‘t, and it is very much about what I wanted to book to be. I‘d like to ask forgiveness for any inaccuracies: I‘ve read this book about three months ago and initially decided not to review it; but since my anger keeps coming back to haunt me, it must be vented out.

From here on, beware of SPOILERS.