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A Satirical Dystopian Gem: Glitterati by Oliver K. Langmead

18 May
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Simone seems to have everything.  He is one of the Glitterati, fashionable elites who are so wealthy that their every whims are catered to without even being aware of things like servants and money.  The Glitterati world is one defined by strict codes of fashion and conduct with styles and trends cycling through at a rapid speed.  Memories are wiped any time anything unpleasant happens to prevent frown lines and worry wrinkles.  Simone, his wife Georgie and their Glitterati friends live always in the near future of the next fashion trend they are chasing.  Ugly people are to be avoided and pitied.  Langmead fills the world with creative and whimsical details like water beds filled with living fish and a house that can be any of the seasons its owner chooses.  This helps offset that for much of the novel Simone, Georgie and their friends are thoroughly unsympathetic characters and the novel meanders a bit before forming a plot.  However, humanity (and a plot point) is brought into their lives with the child, a toddler who appears one day in their garden.  Their efforts to understand this new addition bring in humor and caring; I came away appreciating my ugly, messy life more than I had before. Besides Giltterati available from eBCCLS, which was released yesterday, you can read two of Langmead’s previous works Dark Star and Metronome from Hoopla.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Information and Digital Services Manager

Dazzling Diverse Fantasy: Fevered Star and The Gilded Ones

27 Apr

Myth, legends, and traditions have always worked their way into fantasy, but for years much of what was written in English drew from European history or if it looked elsewhere it was through an “exotic” outsider lens. It is exciting to see so many People of Color, especially women, writing and getting published fantasy works inspired by their own cultures. Here are two powerful works I enjoyed recently.

Fevered Star
Fevered Star is alive with strong willed characters that kept me turning the page. I was especially drawn to Xiala a Teek whose voice has power and Serapio who though literally now a powerful god still manages to have the complexity of a lesser man. This is a second book so the various strands of each main character are interwoven together, but they are distanced from one another. The series is set in a Fantasy American Continent drawing from native myths and legends. I would recommend to other readers starting with Black Sun and then reading Fevered Star to better understand the underlying political dynamics at work. The end of Fevered Star definitely left me hungry for the third book in the series. Rebecca Roanhorse is an African American and Indigenous author. I was provided an advanced copy of Fevered Star by Net Galley/SAGA Press.

The Gilded Ones
The Gilded Ones is the first in a series by Namina Forna. The next book, The Merciless Ones, will be coming out at the end of this month. Forna immigrated from West Africa as a child and her experiences there helped to inspire some of the novel’s story. In The Gilded Ones, women are considered impure if they bleed gold when cut. They must choose between death and becoming warriors whose service to the emperor will purify them. But all is not what it seems, in this inspiring work of feminist fantasy. Although it is listed as a Young Adult work, adults will also enjoy this book. We read it as part of our monthly HPL Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Discussion Group.

Both series are available from elibraryNJ and in print from BCCLS Libraries.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Information and Digital Service Manager

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