The arrival of fall marks the start of the literary awards season. Already Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami is being touted as an odds-on favorite to win the Nobel Prize for Literature next month. But the cynic in me guesses that the always inscrutable Swedish committee of judges will bypass the best-selling author of 1Q84, Kafka […]
Alice Walker wore purple.
It was not the last official day of the American Library Association (ALA) annual conference in Chicago, but the McCormick Center’s auditorium had a kind of concluding air about it. (Perhaps it was the number of librarians carting luggage up and down the halls.) Eva Poole, President of the Public Library Association (PLA), introduced Monday’s midmorning speaker. The audience settled into its seats.
When she arrived at the podium, she sighed. “I’m so glad to see you.”
Sunday morning’s “In Visibility: Race and Libraries” was a crash course in sociology and libraries, taught by Todd Homna, assistant professor of Asian American Studies at Pitzer College and a former ALA Spectrum Scholar. Sponsored by ALA’s Office for Diversity and the Spectrum Scholars Program, asked the question: “Where do we locate race in relation to librarianship?”
“The mixing of factual and counterfactual is not singular to sci fi and fantasy,” Timothy Zahn (“Thrawn Trilogy”) began. Zahn and Brandon Sanderson (“Mistborn”), Cory Doctorow (Homeland), David Brin (“Uplift”), Elizabeth Bear (Shattered Pillars), and John Scalzi (“Old Man’s War”) were charged with talking about the probable and improbable in science fiction (and, to a certain extent, in fantasy too). Organized by the Library and Information Technology Association and with help from Tor, the Saturday, June 28 panel was packed.