Book Review: Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined

By Ameerah Holliday
twilightAs a recovering “Twi-hard” I was fully aware of the approaching tenth anniversary of Twilight. However, when the novel’s author Stephenie Meyer announced a “surprise” release of a Twilight book I had no doubts as to what it would be. In 2008 Midnight Sun, a retelling of Twilight from Edward’s perspective was illegally leaked onto the internet. Meyer was devastated by the leak and proclaimed that the novel would remain unfinished because of it. However, it seemed as though after seven years she may have finally changed her mind and the Twi-hard fandom rejoiced in the possibility. However, her fans were mistaken.
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Commentary: Finding Refuge

By Breeann Kirby

JORDAN-US-SYRIA-REFUGEES-KERRYThere are now over 3 million Syrian refugees, the video begins. Stark white words on black to state a stark message: 3 million is more than the population of most cities. And all of these people no longer have a home. In the Zaatari Refugee Camp alone, opened in July 2012 outside of Jordan, the current estimation of inhabitants is over 82,000 people—the same population as Santa Fe, New Mexico. Continue reading

Interview: Kelly Creagh

By Ameerah Holliday

Nevermore CoverWhen the typical, popular high school cheerleader teams up with the school’s goth outcast, things are bound be interesting, but when that pair is swept into the chaotic and mysterious world of Edgar Allen Poe then it’s bound to be Kelly Creagh’s Nevermore Trilogy. This Trilogy revolves around cheerleader Isobel Lanley and school outcast Varen Nethers who are paired together in their English class for a project on Edgar Allen Poe. While working together they discover far more about each other and Poe than ever expected, as they are mysteriously transported into the stories and mysteries of Edgar Allen Poe.

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Book Review: Jen Wang and Cory Doctorow’s “In Real Life”

By Breeann Kirby

InRealLifeCoryDoctorow cover
©Jen Wang, used with permission of First Second Books

In the collaborative adaption of his short story “Anda’s Game” (published originally in Salon nearly a decade ago) to a young adult graphic novel (published by First Second,  14 October 2014), Cory Doctorow freely acknowledges that Jen Wang did “all the heavy lifting in the adaptation” and though he “wrote the underlying story and edited her script and […] implementation […] Jen is the true soul of the graphic novel.” In a separate interview with Comics Alliance, Wang adds, “There were about eight or so drafts, with the first one being closest to the original story. With each draft I pushed a little further into new territory […] the details changed, and I added a third Act where we see what happens after Anda decides to help Raymond.” Wang’s adaptive changes make In Real Life an important and compelling read for both the young reader as well as the adult reader who wants to reconnect with hope in humanity and second chances. Continue reading

Book Review: Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep?

By Adam Bicksler

Timothy Verstynen and Bradley Voytek are neuroscience professors at Carnegie Mellon University and UC San Diego, respectively. Recently, they hosted an AMA (“ask me book cover zombiesanything”) on the popular aggregate website reddit. “Together,” they explain, “we wrote Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep[?: A Neuroscientific View of the Zombie Brain], a book that tries to use zombies to teach the complexities of neuroscience and science history in an approachable way (while also poking a bit of fun at our field). In our real research we study motor control… and the role that neural oscillations play in shaping neural network communication, spiking activity, and human cognition.” The tongue-in-cheek title is inspired by Philip K. Dick’s fantastic, quintessential novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Continue reading

Interview: Chris Grano – Zahatar

By Breeann Kirby

zahatar band
photo by Gabriele Woolever

Zahatar is an acoustic string band in the Fort Collins, Colorado area that seeks to bring “modern spice to timeless tunes.” Drawing on themes from diverse traditions such as Celtic, Chinese and Spanish folk tunes, classical compositions, and bluegrass, members arrange all of their own music and compose much of it. Currently, the band consists of founding members Chris Grano (violin, arrangement, composer), Scott Stewart (viola, arrangement, composer), and Sarah Hoskins (cello). They’ve recently expanded the band’s roster for the purposes of The Little Country Project to include Shilo Stroman (percussion), ‘Cille Lutsch (flute, pennywhistle), and Emily Smith (harp). Continue reading