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With all respect to the Chinese zodiac, 2009 isn’t the Year of the Ox; it’s the Year of the Kat. Kat Richardson, that is. Since the release of her debut novel back in 2006, Richardson has published four novels in her Greywalker saga (Greywalker, Poltergeist, Underground and Vanished, which was just released a few weeks ago) and has done something very few paranormal fantasy authors have accomplished – she has made the jump to hardcover... Read more...
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For many science fiction and fantasy fans – at least those of us firmly entrenched in middle-age – watching episodes of The Twilight Zone was one of our most vivid childhood memories when it came to experiencing thought-provoking, socially relevant speculative fiction. Aside from exploring (allegorically) significant issues of the day – the threat of nuclear war, prejudice, racism, the apocalypse, etc. – The Twilight Zone played a hugely significant role in bringing science fiction and dark fantasy to the masses. Of the 156 episodes that were written during the television show’s original run – from 1959 to 1964 – 92 of those stories were written by Rod Serling himself but many were penned by some genre legends, including Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Charles Beaumont, and Damon Knight... Read more...
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As a lifelong genre fiction fan and a hardcore sports aficionado, I enjoy when the two seemingly divergent pastimes overlap each other. I particularly appreciate sports teams with fantasy or mythology influenced names. So with the start of both college and professional football right around the corner, here are some of my favorite fantasy-influenced teams as well as some interesting ideas for new and improved team names.... like the Cleveland Cthulhus! Read more...
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Our featured title this month in BarnesandNoble.com’s Fantasy/Science Fiction forum is The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss – unarguably one of the best debut fantasy novels to be released in the last decade – and during my research of the singularly brilliant Mr. Rothfuss, I experienced an epiphany of sorts: some of the fantasy genre’s best authors have crazy, “I’ve been living in the woods for the last ten years” beards... Read more...
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In BarnesandNoble.com’s community forums, we’ve recently been discussing books that initially got us not only hooked on the fantasy genre but also motivated us to become lifelong readers – and many of those releases are categorized as children’s or young adult books: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, Deborah Howe’s Bunnicula, The House of Dies Drear by Virginia Hamilton, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps novels, etc. Interesting thing about several of these classic life-changing reads – they’ve been on banned books or challenged books lists! Read more...
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Thus far, 2009 has been a relatively strong year for zombie fiction. Armies of the undead have graced the pages of numerous new releases, most notably The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, Mario Acevedo’s Jailbait Zombie, Road Trip of the Living Dead by Mark Henry, and, of course, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith. But the most interesting – and memorable – zombie fiction release so far this year has to be My Rotten Life by David Lubar... Read more...
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The fantasy genre has been powered by serialized storylines ever since I can remember – Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Moorcock’s Elric novels, Zelazny’s Chronicles of Amber, Le Guin’s Earthsea, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars (categorized as science fiction but replete with fantasy elements), McCaffrey’s Pern, etc. But it seems that over the last decade or so several authors (or publishers, I should say) just don't know when to suitably end a long-running saga – drawing out a series for the sake of more installments, it seems. (I’ve heard it been called “milking it” by a few not-so-politically correct genre fans.) Read more...
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As thousands of you already know, BarnesandNoble.com recently launched its eBooks store and just yesterday sent out a mass email (Free B&N eReader -- Plus 6 eBooks on Us!) offering up a free eReader application for personal computers, iPhones and BlackBerry devices. The Barnes & Noble eReader gives readers access to 700,000 titles! Read more...
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The birth of our second daughter a few months ago has forced my wife and I to “reorganize” the house to make more room – and that means parting ways with lots of miscellaneous stuff. You know, those boxes of old possessions that you have squirreled away in closets or in the attic that you haven’t even thought of in years… Well, over the weekend I unearthed a sizable crate of my parents’ decades-old albums (don’t ask me how they wound up in my basement) and decided to bring them to a local used bookstore that also buys and sells old records. As the bookstore owner was going through my old-time vinyl stash – The Best of Mario Lanza, Christmas with Andy Williams and the Williams Brothers, Here’s Steve Lawrence, Robert Goulet on Broadway, etc. – he laughed and said, “Wow. Another Barry Manilow. When civilization ends and nothing else is left, there will still be Barry Manilow albums out there.” And then he added this: “It’s interesting to see what people bring in – it’s the albums and books they don’t want. All of the really good stuff is back home on their shelves.” Read more...
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There’s a relatively widespread preconception (among admitted nonreaders, I’ve found) that fantasy and particularly science fiction are “male” genres – with testosterone-fueled storylines written predominantly by men and aimed at readers with XY chromosomes. This blog is my humble attempt to debunk that absurd notion... Read more...
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About Unabashedly Bookish: The BN Community Blog
Unabashedly Bookish features new articles every day from the Book Clubs staff, guest authors, and friends on hot topics in the world of books, language, writing, and publishing. From trends in the publishing business to updates on genre fiction fan communities, from fun lessons on grammar to reflections on literature in our personal lives, this blog is the best source for your daily dose of all things bookish.

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