Last weekend was pretty exciting for all the self-proclaimed nerds in the city: it was the 2012 return of Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo! This was the biggest year yet, including the entire cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation, cameos by James Marsters of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame and those Weasely twins from the Harry Potter movies. Along with a team of likeminded nerds, I attended the Comic Expo as a representative of Calgary Public Library where we showcased the great collections of sci-fi, horror, fantasy and graphic novels available in our catalogue. We got to meet hundreds of convention goers, most in elaborate costumes and super committed to the characters they were portraying – like Wario, Mario’s evil counterpart, who we managed to photograph at the Calgary Public Library table!
I was super inspired after this comic-book fueled sci-fi weekend that I thought I’d pull together a list of great reads that showcase our collection. If you’re at all interested in exploring our sci-fi/fantasy, horror and graphic novel collection, hopefully this list will get you started!
A startling, seductive literary novel that entwines suspense, science fiction, adventure, romance and history into an intoxicating new genre. 1908: New Venice--"the pearl of the Arctic"--a place of ice palaces and pneumatic tubes, of beautifully ornate carriage-sleds and elegant victorian garb, of long nights and vistas of ice. But as the city prepares for spring, it feels more like qaartsiluni , "the time when something is about to explode in the dark." Local "poletics" are wracked by tensions with the Eskimos circling the city, with suffragette riots led by an underground music star, with drug round-ups by the secret police force known as the Gentlemen of the Night. An ominous black airship hovers over the city, and the Gentlemen are hunting for the author of a radical pamphlet calling for revolt. Their lead suspect is Brentford Orsini, one of the city's most prominent figures. But as the Gentlemen of the Night tighten the net around him, Orsini receives a mysterious message from a long-lost love that compels him to act. What transpires is a literary adventure novel unlike anything you've ever read before. Brilliant in its conception, masterful in its prose, thrilling in its plot twists, and laced with humor, suspense, and intelligence, it marks the beginning of a great new series of books set in New Venice-and the launch of an astonishing new writer. (Syndetics )
The first in Chaz Brenchley's chilling new haunted house series - War widow Ruth Taylor arrives at RAF Morwood, the great house formerly known as D'Esperance, hoping that nursing badly wounded airmen will distract her from her sorrows. But almost as soon as she enters the house, she experiences strange visions and fainting spells, and the almost overwhelming sensation of her late husband's ghostly presence. For D'Esperance is a place of shadows and secrets -- and as the strange occurrences become increasingly menacing and violent, Ruth is forced to confront a terrible possibility: that her dead husband might be the cause... (Syndetics)
Journey to the final frontier of sci-fi zombie horror! Jim Pike was the world's biggest Star Trek fan-until two tours of duty in Afghanistan destroyed his faith in the human race. Now he sleepwalks through life as the assistant manager of a small hotel in downtown Houston. But when hundreds of Trekkies arrive in his lobby for a science-fiction convention, Jim finds himself surrounded by costumed Klingons, Vulcans, and Ferengi-plus a strange virus that transforms its carriers into savage, flesh-eating zombies! As bloody corpses stumble to life and the planet teeters on the brink of total apocalypse, Jim must deliver a ragtag crew of fanboys and fangirls to safety. Dressed in homemade uniforms and armed with prop phasers, their prime directive is to survive. But how long can they last in the ultimate no-win scenario? (Syndetics)
Teen outcast Andy is an orphaned nobody with only one friend, the obnoxious - but loyal - Louie. They roam school halls and city streets, invisible to everyone but bullies and tormentors, until the glorious day when Andy takes his first puff on a cigarette. That night he wakes, heart pounding, soaked in sweat, and finds himself suddenly overcome with the peculiar notion that he can do anything. Indeed, he can, and as he learns the extent of his new powers, he discovers a terrible and seductive gadget - a hideous compliment to his seething rage - that forever changes everything. The Death-Ray utilizes the classic staples of the superhero genre - origin, costume, ray gun, sidekick, fight scene - and reconfigures them in a story that is anything but morally simplistic. With subtle comedy, deft mastery, and an obvious affection for the bold pop-art exuberance of comic book design, Daniel Clowes delivers a contemporary meditation on the darkness of the human psyche. (Syndetics)
For more great reads, head on over to the Readers' Nook homepage and subscribe to our NextReads monthly and bi-monthly newsletters, including genres like Fantasy/Sci-Fi and Horror. These newsletters let you in on what's new in our collection and give you bunch of suggested reads as well.