200 Years of Frankenstein: This Monstrous Thing

Way back on the first of January, 1818, a slim, but riveting novel about a mad scientist and his monstrous creation was released to the public. It was called Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus, and is thought by many to be the first true science fiction novel. By 1823, Mary Wolstencraft Shelley was finally credited as the author, earning her lasting fame and an endless stream of imitators.

Victor Frankenstein and his monster have been adapted into film and television almost as many times as Bram Stoker’s Dracula, iconic cinematic characters that keep Halloween stores stocked and profitable, and Gothic horror fans like me always hunting for more. In honor of Shelley’s contribution to Gothic literature, which turns 200 this year, I decided to look at a remarkable reinvention of the same story: This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee.

Book Cover: This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee

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Staff Recommendation: Doom Patrol

Hello comic book fans! If you’re in the mood for something weird and wonderful, I have the perfect recommendation for you.

Doom Patrol, Vol. 1: Brick By Brick is the flagship comic from DC’s brand new Young Animal imprint. Written by Eisner winner and imprint curator Gerard Way, Brick By Brick is a reboot of the classic Doom Patrol comic from the 1960s. The team was originally created by Arnold Drake, then repopularized for later generations by Grant Morrison in the 1980s. Way’s incarnation is a kaleidescopic fever dream of singing telegrams, sentient robots, a space ambulance that leaves a rainbow jetstream in its wake, time travel, and a missing cat. The main protagonist is Casey Brinke, one of a handful of new characters written for the reboot, who meets up with the scattered members of the original team one by one as their enemies chase them across time, space, and reality.

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2017 FantaSci

Every year wizards, space pirates, the Doctor, and a menagerie of other fantastical creatures come together for one important event: FantaSci. Fantasci, CPL’s annual fantasy and Sci-fi convention, features a fantastic array of vendors, panels, and activities for kids from 1-99. Bring the family and feel free to dress to impress!

What is there to do at FantaSci? I’m glad you asked! Check out these epic adventures:

  • Guest author panel: O Gothic Novel. Leanna Renee Hieber, an actress, playwright and award-winning author of Gothic, Gaslamp Fantasy will give a spirited, passionately entertaining discussion of the history of the Gothic novel, it’s beleaguered place in literary criticism, why we love and hate it, and why it’s a canary in the coal mine of society’s greatest fears. Come on, you know you want to go running away from an eerie mansion out into a thunderstorm in your nightgown. Let’s talk about it.
  • Activities: Doctor Who scavenger hunt, Dragon snot and Unicorn Drool, Bubbling potions, Gumdrop Dragon Building Contest, Fantasy games and more!
  • Vendors, vendors, vendors galore!
  • Various panels from Ghost Hunting 101 to the Jedi Lightsaber Academy.
  • Costume contest- that’s right; it’s time for some cosplay!

Whether you like to fight Daleks or perform magic spells, we’re here to celebrate your favorite fandom with you. Check us out on July 22 from 10AM-4PM.

Dungeon Master, Demon Caster, BS Blaster

 

Recently, during some downtime at the desk, a coworker and I found ourselves in a discussion about reader’s advisory in general, and of certain genres of books in particular. I flat out dismissed the romance genre as being too formulaic and of also perpetuating and idolizing scenarios that just don’t gel with reality, possibly creating false hopes and longings in some of its readers in the process.  My co-worker, however, felt that romance has its place. (Cue The Price is Right losing horn here.)  I also expressed a similar attitude about fantasy and science fiction, although she more vigorously disagreed with me on those.  My problem with said genres, I explained, is that what you’re reading is someone else’s fantasy, and many of these fantasies are very much alike.  I don’t personally dream about wars in outer space or going around slaying dragons, so I really can’t relate.

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