New at Peter White Public Library
Join the Peter White Public Library’s book club, Klava Klub, the third Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m. at Contrast Coffee at 600 N. Third St. to talk about sci-fi novels, old and new. Or just check out some of these new selections.
Misfit characters join together in G. Derek Adams’ “Asteroid Made of Dragons,” putting differences aside to save their world. There is wild mage Rime and her squire Jonas, chased by Linus, knight of Gilead, and his assistant, the assassin Sideways of the crooked horns, joined by goblin archaeologist Xenon, the one who discovers the impending disaster. What ensues is a quirky adventure that will leave you wondering whether these characters will have future adventures together.
“New York 2140” by Kim Stanley Robinson is set in a future altered by climate change, where the oceans have risen so high that New York City is totally submerged. Having lost their steady work, Mutt and Jeff are living on the roof of the Met, complaining about the financial inequities of their world. An anonymous email to the SEC sets off a series of events leading to their disappearance, a mystery that unites other diverse characters: Franklin, a brilliant if somewhat naïve hedge fund trader; Vlade, superintendent of the Met; Charlotte, lawyer for the Householder’s Union; Inspector Gen, NYPD; and Stefan and Roberto, orphans of the drowned city.
Dr. Marianne Jenner has just published a paper announcing her discovery of a new haplogroup of mitochondrial DNA in the genome of Homo sapiens when the FBI whisks her away to New York where an alien vessel has landed in the harbor. Coincidence? Why are these aliens here and what do they want from Dr. Jenner? More importantly, what do they want with humanity? These are questions that Nancy Kress addresses in her novel “Tomorrow’s Kin,” the first in the Yesterday’s Kin Trilogy.
Coop, master thief, resistant to magic, has gone to the dark side. He now works for DOPS (Department of Peculiar Science). On the positive side, this job keeps him out of jail while he can still practice his thieving ways, and he has gotten back together with his old girlfriend, Gisele. On the negative side, he has to contend with a Mook who despises him, a boss who doesn’t worry about sending him into dangerous situations, and numerous shady characters. His latest assignment, to steal the mummy Harkhuf, couldn’t be easier or go smoother, but as usual there are complications in this latest novel “The Wrong Dead Guy” by Richard Kadrey.
In “Every Heart a Doorway,” Seanan McGuire explores what happens to children when they fall down the rabbit hole but are forced to return to their own world. In her latest novel, “Down Among the Sticks and Bones,” she expands upon the backstory of two of her characters, twins Jack and Jill, born of parents who want to mold them in their own image. When they find a secret door leading to the Moors, a place of mad scientists, vampires, and villagers, they are allowed for the first time to choose who they will be. Who will they become and how will they fit into their new world?
“Red Clocks” by Leni Zumas explores a near future scenario where the United States has passed the Person Amendment, outlawing abortion, and the Every Child Needs Two Amendment requiring that children must be adopted in traditional two-parent households. The narrative focuses on four women: Ro, a teacher, writer, and single woman who desires a child of her own; Susan, unhappily married mother of two; Mattie, adopted daughter who finds herself pregnant; and Gin, forest-dwelling healer who helps women with different health needs. All four are significantly impacted by these amendments and must find a way to define their lives with respect to them.
By Carolyn McManis