Ten Essential Science-Fiction/Fantasy Books by Colorado Authors

Categories: Books

Paolo Bacigalupi, author of the multiple-award-winning The Windup Girl.
From such veterans as Connie Willis and Ed Bryant to newcomers Molly Tanzer and Rob Ziegler to Carrie Vaughn and Warren Hammond, the focus of Westword's current cover story, Colorado's science-fiction/fantasy writers are as wide-ranging as the genres themselves. The books that this state's authors have produced over the decades encompass hard SF -- that is, spaceships, aliens and technology -- as well as Gothic fantasy, and terrifying speculations about the future alongside inventive visions of the here and now. Like all good science fiction and fantasy, though, these ten essential books by Colorado SF/F authors use big ideas to capture and examine what it means to be human -- and, in some cases, non-human.

See also:
Will Warren Hammond and Carrie Vaughn Go Where No Local Sci-Fi Authors Have Gone Before?

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Tonight: Two Colorado Mysteries Converge at Tattered Cover

Categories: Books

Gary Reilly.
Two local authors will be celebrating their just-published novels at the LoDo Tattered Cover tonight -- one in the flesh, one in spirit. And since the authors have an intertwined history and the novels involve the latest exploits of series characters, it's important to keep things straight.

Former Denver Post reporter Mark Stevens will be on hand to introduce Trapline, the third in his series of mysteries featuring intrepid hunting guide Allison Coil. But the gathering will also certainly include some reminiscences about Stevens's buddy Gary Reilly, an incredibly prolific novelist who never made much of an effort to publish any of his work before his death from cancer in 2011, at the age of 61.

See also: Gary Reilly's Posthumous Pre-War Novel Shows Some Life

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Will Warren Hammond and Carrie Vaughn Go Where No Local Sci Fi Writers Have Gone Before?

Categories: Books

Photo: Anthony Camera. Background image: Thinkstock
Carrie Vaughn is missing.

It's a little after ten on a Sunday morning, and this year's MileHiCon -- Colorado's oldest science-fiction and fantasy convention -- is beginning its third and final day. In a Hyatt Regency Tech Center meeting room, a panel titled "Literary Genre or Marketing Label?" is five minutes late getting started. Sitting at a long table at the front facing a few dozen attendees are four local SF/F writers: Lou Berger, Van Aaron Hughes, and Angie Hodapp and her husband, Warren Hammond. Next to Hammond is an empty chair where Vaughn is supposed to be.

Hammond is the last panelist to introduce himself as everyone waits for Vaughn to materialize. Rugged yet unassuming, he's hard to hear over the audience's polite coughs and the rustling pages of their convention schedules. "I'm the author of the novels KOP, Ex-KOP and KOP Killer, which are kind of cross-genre books: mystery, science fiction and noir," Hammond says. "My newest book is a science-fiction spy novel, and it's due in December. It's called Tides of Maritinia."

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Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Noah Van Sciver

#42: Noah Van Sciver

If you read Westword, you're familiar with Noah Van Sciver -- since 2008, when he started inking the 4 Questions feature in Backbeat, the hard-working cartoonist has been making observations about modern society and its many characters in these pages and online at westword.com. But Van Sciver has a professional life beyond the fourth estate -- pumping out comic creations, spreads, sketches and graphic novels like a bat out of comic-book hell, including The Hypo, his acclaimed 2012 Fantagraphics imprint about the darker side of Abraham Lincoln. We asked the rising star what keeps him going in this difficult field; learn more about the artist from his 100CC questionnaire.

See also: Westword's second annual Comics issue: Meet the winners

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Arturo Garcia Talks About Broken: The Forgotten Children of Immigration

Categories: Books

Arturo Garcia
Arturo Garcia is the co-editor of Broken: The Forgotten Children of Immigration.
When mixed-citizenship families hear a knock at the door, they cower. It could be the immigration police coming to take away the parents, splitting them from their children, says Arturo Garcia, co-editor of Broken: The Forgotten Children of Immigration. Garcia, who will be discussing his book tonight at the American Friends Service Committee office, has spent the last few years interviewing youth who are both U.S. citizens and the children of undocumented immigrants, to learn about the trauma these families face. In advance of Garcia's appearance, Westword spoke with him about his book.

See also: Photos: Immigration Activists Deliver Valentines to ICE Detainees

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Carine McCandless's The Wild Truth, a Memoir of Domestic Violence

Categories: Books

Carine McCandless
Carine McCandless will speak at the Tattered Cover tomorrow.
Jon Krakauer's haunting biography Into the Wild tells the story of Chris McCandless, a young man who severed his ties with his family and ventured into the Alaskan wilderness, where he died. The book has become a modern-day classic, widely read in college classrooms and hotly debated by some who see McCandless as fundamentally selfish and ill-prepared for his journey and others who laud him as a contemporary hero, a romantic wanderer killed in pursuit of solitude and enlightenment.

In her recent memoir The Wild Truth, Carine McCandless argues that there is little mystery as to why her brother severed ties with his family: Their mother and father were verbally and physically abusive, and he fled that trauma. She wrote about it, hoping her story would fill in the gaps in Krakauer's book and be a useful tool for other people dealing with domestic violence. In advance of her reading tomorrow at the Tattered Cover, Westword spoke with McCandless about her book and her brother.

See also: Bruce Weber on Bicycling, Mortality and Life Is a Wheel

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Nancy Stohlman Proves You Can Tell a Story in Under 1,000 Words

Categories: Books

Courtesy Nancy Stohlman
Nancy Stoholman works exclusively in flash fiction, stories under a thousand words.
Writer Nancy Stohlman doesn't need a lot of words to make an impact. In fact, she needs fewer than a thousand.

Stohlman has spent the last few years championing flash fiction, stories told in under 1,000 words. She will release her new solo anthology of flash fiction, The Vixen Scream and Other Bible Stories, on Wednesday, December 10 (the event was postponed from that cold, cold November 12) at the Mercury Café as part of the Fbomb Flash Fiction Reading Series.

See also: Author Amy Ferris Talks About George Clooney, Menopause and Midlife Crises

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Ten Missing Library Books That Should Have Taught Their Borrowers Better

Denver Public Library
Denver Public Library is forgiving fees for those with sticky fingers.
Hundreds of people have taken books from the Denver Public Library and never returned them, racking up so many fees that showing their face at the library is embarrassing -- and pointless, since $5 in fines means you can't borrow additional books. But even if all is not forgiven, the DPL is willing to meet its prodigal sons halfway in November, with a fee-forgiveness program that will halve accumulated fines if they pay a portion this month.

See also: Shmuck: Judge Throws the Book at Thomas Pilaar

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William Gibson: "The Digital Is Now Real Enough to Kill You"

Categories: Books, Tech

Courtesy of William Gibson/Putnam
William Gibson
When William Gibson published his first novel, Neuromancer, thirty years ago, he triggered a seismic shift in the landscape of science fiction. With its vision of a gritty near-future populated by cowboy computer hackers and cybernetically-enhanced mercenaries, the book singlehandedly established cyberpunk as a genre, in the process foreshadowing the growth of the Internet and inventing the concept of the "the matrix" that the Wachowskis would later draw from to make their film of the same name. It also won Gibson the Nebula, Hugo and Philip K. Dick awards, and saddled him with a reputation as a kind of prescient prophet of what's to come.

Gibson's latest effort, The Peripheral, is a mystery that spans two very different futures, an economically depressed corner of rural America where high-tech drug manufacturing and professional gaming are some of the only jobs around, and a far-off London where drone technology lets people interact across space and even time. Westword spoke to Gibson, who comes to Tattered Cover Colfax on November 3, about the disappearing lines between the web and the "real world" and technology's scary side; read on for an edited version of our conversation.

See also: Travis Heerman Aims to Put the Fun Back in Speculative Fiction

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Three Book and Poetry Events in Denver for October 27-November 2

Walt Longmire introduces twelve new Longmire tales Wednesday at the Tattered Cover Highlands Ranch.
This week, sit at the feet of an eminent poet, celebrate a rustic sleuth or examine the farm-to-fork experience in a new cookbook with a local twist. Keep reading for details.

See also: Boulder Book Store Presents Chuck Palahniuk

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