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Blog Posts by Subject: Science Fiction and Fantasy

Are you Ready to See The Hobbit, My Precioussssss?

Okay, you're probably busy putting the finishing touches on your wizard's robe and/or brushing the hair on your furry hobbit's feet so that you will be as stylish as possible when you arrive at the movie theater to catch a midnight showing of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey later this month.

But while you're passing the time getting ready for the new movie, don't forget that you can use the library to read J.R.R. Tolkien's books, books about Tolkien, and other books connected to the LOtR universe. Plus you 

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Reader's Den: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Week 4

The Night Circus, as we've discussed, has a nearly obsessive focus on time; its passing, linearity and infinite nature. This is exemplified in the workings of its magnificent clock and its mechanical operation.

However, within the clockworks resides a nearly infinite number of possibilities to enthrall attendees. For example splashes of color are found throughout the strict black-and-white scheme. The twins' red scarves and the fires lit on the circus's opening night come 

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Stop, Rewind, Play: Every Day by David Levithan

A is sixteen years old, and has never been the same person twice. Every morning, A wakes up in the body of a different sixteen-year-old: a boy, a girl, an athlete, an addict, a star student, a burnout. Then A falls in love, and things get REALLY complicated.

Every Day by David Levithan takes a weird but simple premise — imagine what it would be like to wake up each day in a different person's body — and expands on this 

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Reader's Den: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Week 3

Last week we discussed the passage of time and the clockwork nature of The Night Circus. Time's flow tends to bring a stream of bounty and loss simultaneously.

For example, the myriad performers and founders of the circus are gifted with immortality. Some would say they were subjected to longevity's curse, especially in the case of Chandresh LeFévre.

As we head into the Thanksgiving season, think on this conundrum. Is the immortality the 

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Reader's Den: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Week 2

The Night Circus is crafted in lyrical and elaborate prose. Sometimes it even borders on the ornamental. The language and descriptions are fitting, however, considering the overriding theme of time's passage in the book.

If there is one thing the circus exemplifies, it is clockwork precision. The entertainments may be strange and off-kilter, but they all work together in a harmonious whole.

On its opening night twelve fires of varying hues are lit, one 

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October Reader's Den: "Ready Player One" Wrap-Up

Welcome back to Week 4 of the Reader’s Den for the book Ready Player One. I would like to thank our NYPL readers for waiting for this last installment of the October Readers Den due to Hurricane Sandy and hope that everyone enjoyed this book as much as I did. For November, the book will be the

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Reader's Den: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Week 1

"The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not." Erin Morgenstern's literary debut, The Night Circus, begins with this intoxicating passage before ushering readers inside the tent flaps of Le Circque des Rêves, the Circus of Dreams.

For two young children, Marco and Celia, the dreams may turn to nightmares or fulfill their sweet promise as the two meet in a magical competition 

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October Reader's Den: "Ready Player One" Week 3

Welcome back to Week 3 of the Reader’s Den for the book Ready Player One. Here are a few questions you may have thought about while reading this book. If you think of something I haven’t, please post a comment. See you next week for the wrap-up of this book.

    Do you feel the world of Ready Player One is one that could come to 
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Halloween Reads III: Trick or Treat

This is the third edition of Halloween reads, a sequel to Halloween Reads and Halloween Reads II: The Re-Ordering. I tried to have a theme to my previous posts and the theme of these can best be described mind candy: relaxing treats that you can read to keep you in the Halloween spirit since the holiday falls in the middle of week this year.

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October Reader's Den: "Ready Player One" Week 2

If you haven't heard of Ernest Cline, you may have seen his 2009 movie Fanboys. Fanboys is about four Star Wars-obsessed friends who travel cross-country with their dying friend to sneak into Skywalker Ranch to see the movie Episode I: Phantom Menace before its official release. If you liked that movie you will love this book about '80s pop culture, but even if you haven't (see it! It's cute) you will still love this 

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Robot Dawn: The Stage Origins of a Sci-Fi Idol

Nothing is more strange to man than his own image. —Dr. Alquist, sole survivor of the robot rebellion.

It's standard sci-fi melodrama now: The robots evolve and become indistinguishable from their creators. They rise up and in their revolt decide to eradicate the human race. Sound familiar? Well, before you start looking for Arnold Schwarzenegger, it's not 1984 and we're not in a movie theatre. The year is 1922 and it's all happening live on stage in an Off-Broadway 

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October Reader's Den: "Ready Player One" Week 1

Welcome to October’s Reader's Den! This month’s selection will be Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place of economic and environmental disasters. Like most of 

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September in the Reader's Den: The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde - Wrap-up and Reading List

Welcome back to the Reader's Den for the final post in our discussion of The Eyre Affair by Japer Fforde. Did you enjoy this literary silliness? As mentioned in the earlier posts, this is the first novel in the Thursday Next series.

In The Eyre 

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September in the Reader's Den: The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde - Discussion Questions

"The murders are tragic, obviously," I replied, "but Jane Eyre is the thing here... Jane Eyre is bigger than me and bigger than you."

“Governments and fashions come and go but Jane Eyre is for all time.”

Welcome back to the Reader's Den for the third week of our discussion of Jasper Fforde's romp into fantasy-mystery-alternate history, The Eyre Affair. If you've finished reading, 

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September in the Reader's Den: The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde - Week 2

“Take no heed of her.... She reads a lot of books.” 

And she can handle a gun... She, naturally, is our heroine, the intrepid Crimean War veteran and LiteraTec Thursday Next, and people who have read a lot of books are likely to find her cross-genre adventures highly entertaining. Welcome back to the Reader’s Den for week 2 of our discussion of The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde, the first book in the whimsical

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June Reader's Den: 11/22/63 Week Four

For new and existing fans of Stephen King, here are some things to check out next:

Bag of Bones, recently made into a 2-part TV series starring Pierce Brosnan. The accompanying website, darkscorestories.com is full of easter eggs for the intrepid reader.

The new Dark Tower novel,

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June Reader's Den: 11/22/63 Week Three

TeenLIVE at the NYPL in Retrospect: Dystopias on March 28, 2012

We were lucky enough to have a game show and discussions with teen authors about dystopias and apocalypses and whether or not we would have the strength to survive them. The event was held at the Margaret Berger Forum in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building of the New York Public Library. It was hosted by Chris Shoemaker, Young Adult Programming Specialist for NYPL. Refreshments were served afterwards, and teens signed up to participate in the games ahead of time. Music entertained the audience prior to the event. Many people showed up 

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This Magic Moment: A Magic the Gathering Interview

Wonderfully Odd Movies

My favorite stories are the ones about the ordinary people who, while going about their daily lives, encounter strange and/or inexplicable events. How they behave in the midst of weirdness is more interesting than the phenomenon itself. I've always been a sucker for a well-told vampire tale. (Sorry!) Or an off-center ghost story or strange-baby story... Here, in no particular order, are a few of my favorite, wonderfully odd movies.   Ricky, a film by Francois Ozon based on Rose Tremain's short ... Read More ›
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