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 Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780063002890
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
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) Cover Image
By Ari Larissa Heinrich (Translator), Ta-Wei Chi
$17.00
ISBN: 9780231195713
Availability: Backordered
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 Cover Image
$39.99
ISBN: 9781683964155
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Fantagraphics - April 27th, 2021

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