Or, "Word After Word: A Feminist Speculative Fiction Book Club" — "Speculative fiction" (science fiction, fantasy, horror) has always been a vehicle for writers to explore identity, social inequality, the strangeness of the world, and the hopes and fears for the future. In this monthly book club we'll be reading works of speculative fiction by women and nonbinary writers, discussing the ways these works make us think, feel, and reflect on reality.

haley-cowans-feminist-sci-fi-bookclub-headshot.jpgHosted by Haley Cowans: an editor, former bookseller, and secret writer of unpublished fiction, essays, and  poems. She has worked on various projects with Two Dollar Radio and also enjoys volunteering at Thurber House. Her lifelong obsessions include Joan of Arc, animated film, and browsing staff recommendations at bookstores. Her most recent obsession is her adopted cat Lulu.

 

 


Tuesday, February 8, 6pm
Earthlings, by Sayaka Murata

As a child, Natsuki doesn’t fit into her family. Her parents favor her sister, and her best friend is a plush toy hedgehog named Piyyut who has explained to her that he has come from the planet Popinpobopia on a special quest to help her save the Earth. Each summer, Natsuki counts down the days until her family drives into the mountains of Nagano to visit her grandparents in their wooden house in the forest, a place that couldn’t be more different from her grey commuter town. One summer, her cousin Yuu confides to Natsuki that he is an extraterrestrial and that every night he searches the sky for the spaceship that might take him back to his home planet. Natsuki wonders if she might be an alien too. Back in her city home, Natsuki is scolded or ignored and even preyed upon by a young teacher at her cram school. As she grows up in a hostile, violent world, she consoles herself with memories of her time with Yuu and discovers a surprisingly potent inner power. Natsuki seems forced to fit into a society she deems a “baby factory” but even as a married woman she wonders if there is more to this world than the mundane reality everyone else seems to accept. The answers are out there, and Natsuki has the power to find them.

Dreamlike, sometimes shocking, and always strange and wonderful, Earthlings asks what it means to be happy in a stifling world, and cements Sayaka Murata’s status as a master chronicler of the outsider experience and our own uncanny universe.

Earthlings by Sayaka Murata


PAST PICKS FOR THE FEMINIST SCI-FI BOOKCLUB,
CURATED BY HALEY COWANS

February 2020: The Deep by Rivers Solomon

The Deep

January 2020: Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea by Sarah Pinsker
 Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea

December 2019: The Power by Naomi Alderman
The Power

November 2019: The Female Man by Joanna Russ
the-female-man.jpg

October 2019: The Complete Stories of Leonora Carrington
 Complete Stories of Leonora Carrington

September 2019: In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan
In Other Lands

August 2019: The Taiga Syndrome by Cristina Rivera Garza
The Taiga Syndrome

July 2019: Mars: Stories by Asja Bakić
Mars stories

June 2019: Radio Iris
Radio Iris

May 2019: The Wilds by Julia Elliott
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April 2019: Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
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February 2019: The Orange Eats Creeps by Grace Krilanovich
BOOK AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE ONLINE HERE, OR IN THE STORE.
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January 2019: Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
BOOK AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE ONLINE HERE, OR IN THE STORE.
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January 2019: The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
BOOK AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE ONLINE HERE, OR IN THE STORE.
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December 2018: Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link, published by Small Beer Press. 
BOOK AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE ONLINE HERE, OR IN THE STORE.
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November 2018: Not Dark Yet by Berit Ellingsen, published by Two Dollar Radio. 
BOOK AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE ONLINE HERE, OR IN THE STORE.
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October 2018: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. 
BOOK AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE ONLINE HERE, OR IN THE STORE.
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September 2018: An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon, published by Akashic. 
BOOK AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE ONLINE HERE, OR IN THE STORE.
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August 28, 2018The Only Ones by Carola Dibbell, published by Two Dollar Radio. 
BOOK AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE ONLINE HERE, OR IN THE STORE.
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July 19, 2018: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.
BOOK AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE ONLINE HERE, OR IN THE STORE.
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