Books gone 'meta' and the Chicon 7 Science Fiction Convention

Aug 27, 2012

Science Fiction convention Chicon 7, or "Worldcon," will be at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Chicago this weekend. At the convention, hosts will announce the winners of the 2012 Hugo awards. WMUK’s science fiction and fantasy experts John Wenger and Andrea Johnson talked about a few of the nominee’s latest reads as well as a few others.

Wenger and Johnson say Science-Fiction and Fantasy have gone ‘meta’ or self-referential lately. One example of this would be How to Live Safely in a Science-Fictional Universe by Charles Yu. It’s about a time travel technician who tries to find his missing father in a book title How to Live Safely in a Science-Fictional Universe.

Another example is Michigan author Jim C. Hines’ new novel Libriomancer, his first book of Magic Ex Libris series. Johnson says this book will make you believe that dragons, zombies, wizards, and other things exist. It also draws upon the love of books as a physical object. Libriomancer’s main character, Issac, has been forbidden to use libriomancy—the ability to reach into books and bring out characters and objects within their pages. Now the only magic he has is his pet fire-spider Smudge. Bored, Issac spends his days in a tiny library in northern Michigan, but the boredom doesn’t last long when the library is invaded by vampires.

The last meta read Wenger and Johnson discuss is Redshirts by John Scalzi If you’re a Star Trek fan, you might have noticed how the men in the red shirts always get killed off while the command crew somehow remain unscathed. The main plot of Redshirts is about just that. It follows red shirts like the main character Ensign Andrew Dahl aboard the Intrepid. Along the way the book gives a behind the scenes look at the crew and how they manage to escape death.