Pop Goes the Library

Using Pop Culture to Make Libraries Better.

by Sophie Brookover, Liz Burns, Melissa Rabey, Susan Quinn, John Klima, Carlie Webber, Karen Corday, and Eli Neiburger. We're librarians. We're pop culture mavens. We're Pop Culture Librarians.


It's Been a While, Let's Talk Science Fiction

Got any science fiction books in your collection? Got any patrons who like science fiction? Ever heard of the Hugo awards?

From this point on, I'm assuming you've answered yes to the above questions. This time of year always gets me thinking about science fiction (ok, I'm thinking about nearly ever day) and particularly the Hugo Awards. The awards are presented at the World Science Fiction convention (AKA Worldcon) and are voted on by the people are attending the convention as well as the people who attended the previous year's convention.

Every year, the Worldcon is held in a different city. Last year it was in Los Angeles, the year before in Glasgow, the year before that in Boston, and so on. (you can go here if you want to see a list of bids for upcoming locations; they also decide future locations of the Worldcon at the current Worldcon) Follow me so far?

I try to go every year if I can, however this year I am not attending. That's because starting tomorrow (actually, perhaps right now) this year's Worldcon is in Yokohama, Japan. It's the first time the Worldcon has ever been in Japan. It was a little outside my budget for this year; next year is in Denver so I should be there.

In a few days, we will know the winner's of the Hugo awards. While no writer I know would turn down any award, the thing that makes the Hugo special for the recipient is that the Hugo is voted on by fans (sure, some of the voters are professional writers, artists, and editors, but a lot of the people who go to the convention are just fans of the genre) so it represents what the people like.

I'm going to replicate a few parts of this year's nominees. What a nice instant display for your science fiction fans!

Best Novel
  • Eifelheim by Michael Flynn (Tor)
  • His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik (Del Rey)
  • Glasshouse by Charles Stross (Ace)
  • Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge (Tor)
  • Blindsight by Peter Watts (Tor)
Best Related Book
  • About Writing: Seven Essays, Four Letters, and Five Interviews by Samuel R Delany (Wesleyan University Press)
  • Heinlein's Children: The Juveniles by Joseph T Major (Advent: Publishing)
  • James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B Sheldon by Julie Phillips (St. Martin's)
  • Cover Story: The Art of John Picacio by John Picacio (MonkeyBrain Books)
  • Worldcon Guest of Honor Speeches by Mike Resnick and Joe Siclari, eds. (ISFiC Press)
And for non-readers:

Best Dramatic Presentation - Long Form
  • Children of Men
  • Pan's Labyrinth
  • The Prestige
  • A Scanner Darkly
  • V for Vendetta
Best Dramatic Presentation - Short Form
  • "Battlestar Galactica" Downloaded
  • "Doctor Who" Army of Ghosts and Doomsday
  • "Doctor Who" Girl in the Fireplace
  • "Doctor Who" School Reunion
  • "Stargate SG-1" 200
It may be that your science fiction patrons will know the winners before you do (but not before I do) but that's ok. Make your display anyway. Perhaps someone won't mind reading an award-winning novel even if it is science fiction. I mean, a lot of people read award-winning novels that they don't know are science fiction, right?

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  • At 9:23 AM, Blogger Kevin Standlee said…

    Actually, the new official web site for the Hugo Awards is http://www.TheHugoAwards.org/. The old web site at WSFS.org still has information, but the new one is more current and will continue to remain more current.

  • At 6:52 PM, Blogger zee said…

    Tell me John, why is there so little sci fi for children and teens? Maybe it's just my perception, but this is the hardest genre to come by for those pesky reader's advisory questions from students. I have the same few titles I can recommend.

  • At 9:25 PM, Blogger John Klima said…

    Zee, there's a lot of science fiction out there for children and teens. There's more than ENDER'S GAME (and the subsequent series) and Steven Gould's JUMPER. (or Verna and Wells, for that matter)

    The Tor Starscape line is for 5th grade and up:

    And Tor Teen is for 13 and up, just to mention one publisher:

    And yes, there's a lot of fantasy in both those lines, but the Pamela Sargent books, and the John Marsden are definitely science fiction. Scott Westerfeld's UGLIES trilogy (even his PEEPS world books and the MIDNIGHTERS trilogy have science fiction elements) is definitely science fiction.

    I'd mention FRANKENSTEIN as one of the earliest (and best written) science fiction novels, but I suspect many of them read it for school. You could steer people towards Manga/Comics like BLEACH, FULL METAL ALCHEMIST, CHOBITS, COWBOY BEBOP, or FRAY.

    YALSA has a decent list as a starting point:


    This list isn't bad, either:



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