The Actual Star, by Monica Byrne

Staff Pick

The Actual Star is about many things: climate change, the tourist gaze, love, sex, entropy, utopias, the fall of the Maya, whether the Maya ever actually "fell," religious ritual, reincarnation, and caves. It's a big book, demanding and sometimes fussy in its careful construction. But it'll make you think, and the ending feels like putting your hand on a cave wall and feeling the heartbeat of the world through the rock. "Actual star"--indeed.

The Actual Star: A Novel By Monica Byrne Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780063002890
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Voyager - September 14th, 2021

The Membranes, by Chi Ta-Wei

Staff Pick

A Taiwanese science fiction novel published in 1995, The Membranes is both a novel of and outside of its time. It extrapolates a future where humanity retreats underwater not due to the effects of global warning, but to escape deadly holes in the ozone layer. It's a future where the world's most powerful company sells its wares on computer discs. Yet in other respects-- its matter-of-fact approach towards sexuality, its narrative of young adulthood rebelling against parental and corporate control, and its last-minute twist that turns the whole book on its head--this is as modern a novel as you'll find published today. Whether as time capsule or prophecy, this novel holds up.                                                   

The Membranes (Modern Chinese Literature from Taiwan) By Ari Larissa Heinrich (Translator), Ta-Wei Chi Cover Image
By Ari Larissa Heinrich (Translator), Ta-Wei Chi
$17.00
ISBN: 9780231195713
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Columbia University Press - June 1st, 2021

Monsters, by Barry Windsor-Smith

Staff Pick

Another story might end with a genetically engineered man-monster fighting an army led by an evil Nazi scientist, but that's merely where Monsters begins. Windsor-Smith, who cut his teeth drawing fantastically detailed pulp comics decades ago, has bigger fish to fry: what is the nature of human evil? When does trauma take root? Are our lives determined by fate or chance? Windsor-Smith tackles these themes on a grand scale--over three-hundred enormous pages packed with hand-drawn art that took years to produce. The result isn't a masterpiece, but something else--the stone-hewn, uncompromising testament of a statesman artist.

Monsters By Barry Windsor-Smith Cover Image
$39.99
ISBN: 9781683964155
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Fantagraphics - April 27th, 2021

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