Margaret Atwood on Dystopias, and Sci-Fi Exploring NYC’s Hispanic Roots…

Margaret Atwood: ‘All dystopias are telling you is to make sure you’ve got a lot of canned goods and a gun’ (The Guardian)


When The Handmaid’s Tale was published, she says, the novel was reviewed by British critics as an enjoyable fantasy, and by the Canadians with a certain anxiety (“Could it happen here?”). In America, though, there was a sense of: “‘How long have we got?’” She sighs. “Apparently, not as long as I thought … With any cultural change there is a push and a pushback.

Cuban Science Fiction Writer Yoss Explores New York City’s Hispanic Roots (NBC News)


“Remembering how Cubans were welcomed to New York [with other immigrants] even before the Statue of Liberty existed teaches us an important lesson about coexistence,” said Yoss. “To be Cuban, like any other nationality, is a state of mind. And to be an immigrant is much more complex than the religions, flags and languages that divide us. Immigrants have to connect with different people to survive.”

Groundbreaking Female Comic Book Store Owner Now Appears on a Marvel Cover (ABC News)


Ariell Johnson has been collecting comic books for more than a decade, but she’ll soon add a very personal one to her collection.

The 33-year-old founder and president of Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse, Inc. in Philadelphia will appear on a variant cover of “Invincible Iron Man #1.”

What the List of Most Banned Books Says About Our Society’s Fears (Time)

Books In Library

The ALA usually learns that a book has been challenged either from librarians at schools or public or academic libraries calling in incidents, or from reports in local newspapers. In recent years there’s actually been a decline in reports—the ALA recorded 311 challenges in 2014 and only 275 in 2015. On the surface, that may seem like a good thing—but it probably indicates that fewer people are speaking up when a book is removed, meaning more banning is going on under the radar, LaRue says. “We have reason to believe that where censorship starts to succeed, there’s less reporting about it,” LaRue says.

The World Reacts to an American Winning the Booker (Electric Literature)


As you likely already know, yesterday Paul Beatty took home the 2016 Man Booker Prize (and $60,000) for The Sellout, making him the first American to win the award and, regardless of nationality, a rare comedic victor.

The controversy surrounding the 2014 decision to extend eligibility to all novels published in English in the UK (i.e. to include Americans, among others) hasn’t exactly dissipated over the past couple years. During the lead-up to last year’s announcement, The Telegraph published an article ominously headlined “American Dominance of Man Booker Prize longlist ‘confirms worst fears.’”

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