Jolabokaflod

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Fantasy, science fiction, myth and legend

parablesowerParable of the Sower
(Parable: book 1)
Octavia E Butler
(UK: Headline, 2014; USA: Grand Central Publishing, 2000)

When unattended environmental and economic crises lead to social breakdown, no one is safe.

In a night of fire and death, Lauren Olamina, the young daughter of a minister, loses her family and home and ventures out from their ravaged gated community into the unprotected American landscape.

But what begins as a fight for survival soon leads to something much more: a startling vision of human destiny … and the birth of a new faith.

Recommended by:
Dr Marika Rose, Research Fellow: TroveCODEC Research Centre for Digital Theology
Marika says: ‘Gripping, moving, incredibly human imagining of what it looks like to struggle to rebuild community in the wake of disaster. All too timely!’

Available in the UK via Amazon Kindle (Parable of the Sower)
Available in the USA via Amazon (Parable of the Sower)

parabletalentsParable of the Talents
(Parable: book 2)
Octavia E Butler
(UK: Headline, 2014; USA: Grand Central Publishing, 2000)

Lauren Olamina’s love is divided among her young daughter, her community, and the revelation that led her to found a new faith that teaches ‘God Is Change’.

But in the wake of environmental and economic chaos, the US government turns a blind eye to the violent bigots who consider the mere existence of a black female leader a threat.

Soon Lauren must either sacrifice her child and her followers – or forsake the religion that can transform human destiny.

Recommended by:
Dr Marika Rose, Research Fellow: TroveCODEC Research Centre for Digital Theology
Marika says: ‘Gripping, moving, incredibly human imagining of what it looks like to struggle to rebuild community in the wake of disaster. All too timely!’

Available in the UK via Amazon Kindle (Parable of the Talents)
Available in the USA via Amazon (Parable of the Talents)

firemanThe Fireman
Joe Hill
(UK: Gollancz, 2016; USA: William Morrow, 2016)

Nobody knew where the virus came from… Fox News said it had been set loose by ISIS, using spores that had been invented by the Russians in the 1980s. MSNBC said sources indicated it might’ve been created by engineers at Halliburton and stolen by culty Christian types fixated on the Book of Revelation. CNN reported both sides… While every TV station debated the cause, the world burnt.

Pregnant school nurse, Harper Grayson, had seen lots of people burn on TV, but the first person she saw burn for real was in the playground behind the school. So begins one woman’s story of survival at the end of the world.

Recommended by:
Hermione Ireland, Worldreader and Byte Consultancy

Available in the UK via ‘My Local Bookshop‘ search engine or Amazon (The Fireman)
Available in the USA via Amazon (The Fireman)

station-elevenStation Eleven
Emily St John Mandel
(UK: Picador, 2015; USA: Vintage, 2015)

One snowy night in Toronto famous actor Arthur Leander dies on stage whilst performing the role of a lifetime. That same evening a deadly virus touches down in North America. The world will never be the same again.

Twenty years later Kirsten, an actress in the Travelling Symphony, performs Shakespeare in the settlements that have grown up since the collapse. But then her newly hopeful world is threatened.

If civilization was lost, what would you preserve? And how far would you go to protect it?

Recommended by:
Hermione IrelandWorldreader and Byte Consultancy

Available in the UK via ‘My Local Bookshop‘ search engine or Amazon (Station Eleven)
Available in the USA via Amazon (Station Eleven)

ishmaelIshmael
Daniel Quinn
(UK: Bantam, 1993; USA: Bantam, 1995)

The narrator of this extraordinary tale is a man in search for truth. He answers an ad in a local newspaper from a teacher looking for serious pupils, only to find himself alone in an abandoned office with a full-grown gorilla who is nibbling delicately on a slender branch. “You are the teacher?” he asks incredulously. “I am the teacher,” the gorilla replies.

Ishmael is a creature of immense wisdom and he has a story to tell, one that no other human being has ever heard. It is a story that extends backward and forward over the lifespan of the earth from the birth of time to a future there is still time to save. Like all great teachers, Ishmael refuses to make the lesson easy; he demands the final illumination to come from within ourselves. Is it man’s destiny to rule the world? Or is it a higher destiny possible for him – one more wonderful than he has ever imagined?

Recommended by:
Ian Winn, Author and Podcaster, Octopus Messiah (author website) and Litopia After Dark (podcast website)

Available in the UK via ‘My Local Bookshop‘ search engine or Amazon (Ishmael)
Available in the USA via Amazon (Ishmael)

Ian’s debut novel will be republished soon (3rd edition)
The Techno Pagan Octopus Messiah

hyperionHyperion
(Hyperion: book 1)
Dan Simmons
(UK: Gollancz, 2011; USA: Bantam Spectra, 1990)

It is the 29th century and the universe of the Human Hegemony is under threat. Invasion by the warlike Ousters looms, and the mysterious schemes of the secessionist AI TechnoCore bring chaos ever closer.

On the eve of disaster, with the entire galaxy at war, seven pilgrims set fourth on a final voyage to the legendary Time Tombs on Hyperion, home to the Shrike, a lethal creature, part god and part killing machine, whose powers transcend the limits of time and space. The pilgrims have resolved to die before discovering anything less than the secrets of the universe itself.

Recommended by:
Ian Winn, Author and Podcaster, Octopus Messiah (author website) and Litopia After Dark (podcast website)

Available in the UK via ‘My Local Bookshop‘ search engine or Amazon (Hyperion)
Available in the USA via Amazon (Hyperion)

Ian’s debut novel will be republished soon (3rd edition)
The Techno Pagan Octopus Messiah

fallofhyperionThe Fall of Hyperion
(Hyperion: book 2)
Dan Simmons
(UK: Gollancz, 2012; USA: Bantam Spectra, 1991)

The mysterious Time Tombs are opening and the Shrike that has risen from them may well control the fate of all mankind. The Ousters are laying seige to the Hegemony of Man and the AIs we created have turned against us to build the Ultimate Intelligence; God. The God of Machines. His genesis could mean annihilation for man… Something is drawing the hegemony, the Ousters, the AIs, the entire universe to the Shrike.

Recommended by:
Ian Winn, Author and Podcaster, Octopus Messiah (author website) and Litopia After Dark (podcast website)

Available in the UK via ‘My Local Bookshop‘ search engine or Amazon (The Fall of Hyperion)
Available in the USA via Amazon (The Fall of Hyperion)

Ian’s debut novel will be republished soon (3rd edition)
The Techno Pagan Octopus Messiah

 

2 Prose Edda; PCThe Prose Edda
(Norse mythology)
Snorri Sturlson
(UK: Penguin Classics, 2005; USA: Penguin Classics, Kindle, 2005)

The inspiration for modern works as diverse as Wagner’s Ring Cycle and Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Snorri Sturlson’s The Prose Edda is a collection of pagan tales that are among the most influential of all myths and legends. The book is the most renowned of all works of Scandinavian literature and our most extensive source for Norse mythology.

Written in Iceland a century after the close of the Viking Age, it tells ancient stories of the Norse creation epic and recounts the battles that follow as gods, giants, dwarves and elves struggle for survival. It also preserves the oral memory of heroes, warrior kings and queens. In clear prose interspersed with powerful verse, the Edda provides unparalleled insight into the gods’ tragic realization that the future holds one final cataclysmic battle, Ragnarok, when the world will be destroyed.

Recommended by:
Christopher NorrisJolabokaflod Book Campaign

Available in the UK via ‘My Local Bookshop‘ search engine or Amazon (The Prose Edda)
Available in the USA via Amazon (The Prose Edda)