Posts contained in the “Fantasy & Science Fiction” category:

The Road to Roswell by Connie Willis

Book cover for The Road to Roswell by Connie Willis

I sometimes wonder if people understand irony. Alanis Morissette wrote a song called “Ironic” in which all of the situations she describes aren’t really ironic. They’re bad timing, bad planning, or just plain bad luck. But irony they ain’t. Francie Driscoll understands irony, though. She’s in Roswell (yes,¬†that Roswell) to save her friend Serena from …read more…

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

Every Heart a Doorway bookcover

The “kids at boarding school” trope is not one that the Harry Potter books invented, although they did revitalize it for another generation or two of young readers. As such, most of these stories involve a new resident, for whom the school serves as a type of liminal space. I’ve always enjoyed these types of …read more…

The Tripods Trilogy by John Christopher

In the not too distant future, Earth has been taken over by aliens (later identified as “Masters”) who travel about in large metal tripods. To control the populace, all humans are “capped” on their fourteenth birthday: their head is shaved and a metallic cap is applied to their head. The cap suppresses curiosity and creativity, …read more…

The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks

Throughout middle and high school my friends and I paid a lot of attention to what the others were reading. We didn’t spend much time talking about books, but we noticed what the others were reading and asked for recommendations, something that we, as boys, never asked a teacher. This was before the internet and …read more…

Stuck on Earth by David Klass

Ketchvar III’s mission is pretty simple: take over the body of an average American teenager and determine if the human race is worth saving. It helps, of course, that Ketchvar is an alien from the planet Sandoval IV and is the same size and shape as a terrestrial snail. It also helps that he is …read more…

The Crowfield Curse by Pat Walsh

It is the darkest of the Dark Ages, and fourteen-year-old William is sent into the forest to gather firewood for Crowfield Abbey, the impoverished monastery where he has lived since becoming an orphan. While there, he hears a plaintive cry for help and investigating, discovers a strange creature caught in a trap. The first thing …read more…

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

Sometime in the future, on the Gulf Coast of whatever is left of the United States, Nailer works light crew breaking ships. His small stature helps him clamber deep into the bowls of the ship, going after wiring and other small bits of metal. It’s dangerous work, and a hardscrabble life where a single slip-up …read more…

My Dad’s A Punk edited by Tony Bradman

Again, this book was another one of those lucky finds as I wandered around in the library: a book of short stories for reluctant readers, and a book about things boys think and wonder about written just for boys (many of whom are reluctant readers). The title story, by Sean Taylor, is probably my favorite, …read more…

Atherton: The House of Power by Patrick Carman

The only world eleven-year-old Edgar has ever known is that of Tabletop. In the center of Tabletop are the cliffs that lead to the Highlands, but climbing those cliffs is strictly forbidden. At the outer edge, sheer cliffs descend to the unknown Flatlands. As an orphan, Edgar has always had to work for Mr. Ratikan, …read more…

Strange Happenings by Avi

At some point in our lives, we all have a desire to become someone or something else. What would you do if that wish became true? The five short tales contained in this book all have transformation as a central plot device: A bored twelve-year-old boy turns into a cat. A young princess in a …read more…