Recommended Reading

'The Accidental Terrorist' by William Shunn

The Accidental Terrorist

“This just may be my favorite true-life amazing-but-true tale—never has threatening an aircraft been funnier or more thought-provoking.”

—Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother and Homeland

“I devoured the more than four hundred pages of this memoir in what was essentially one sitting . . . A welcome addition to the library of Mormon autobiography—educational and highly entertaining.”

—Richard Packham, Dawning of a Brighter Day

1987. A faltering missionary named Bill Shunn lands himself in a Canadian jail, facing charges of hijacking and the prospect of life behind bars.

1844. A frontier prophet named Joseph Smith lands himself in an Illinois jail, facing charges of treason and the prospect of imminent lynching.

What binds these two men together? This riveting memoir—by turns hilarious, provocative and thrilling—answers that question in style, weaving from their stories a spellbinding tapestry of deception, desperation and defiance.  (more)

'Cast a Cold Eye' by Derryl Murphy & William Shunn

Cast a Cold Eye

“A genuinely spooky story that lies somewhere near the place where fantasy, horror, and science fiction meet.”

—Harry Turtledove

From Aurora and Sunburst Award nominee Derryl Murphy and Hugo and Nebula Award nominee William Shunn comes a chilling ghost story set in the aftermath of the worst pandemic the world has ever known.

1921. Rural Nebraska. In a region devastated by Spanish flu, where not a single life has gone unscathed by tragedy, 15-year-old Luke Bryant has lost more than most. Orphaned, Luke toils as a farmhand for his strict uncle and aunt, barely recalling a world not gray, deadening, and oppressive. Worse, he can’t so much as visit the graves of his parents without the statues in the cemetery opening their stony eyes and watching his every move.

Enter Annabelle Tupper, itinerant spirit photographer. Half-blinded by the chemicals of her trade, she travels the countryside in pursuit of the ghost of her dead husband. When a local pastor arranges for Annabelle to take on the boy as an apprentice, both find their every belief turned upside-down.  (more)

'An Alternate History of the 21st Century' by William Shunn

An Alternate History of the 21st Century

“William Shunn is one of those SF writers who, because they specialize in short fiction, are not given quite the recognition they deserve—no novels, no mass-market publication, so only the plaudits of the cognoscenti of the short form. Yet Shunn is a fine writer; ingenious, stylish, closely in touch with current global trends and expert in producing thought-provoking near-future SF, and at last he has a collection to show off that keen ability . . . including two impressive original novelettes.”

—Nick Gevers, Locus Magazine

A presidential inauguration in a fascist America eerily similar to our own. A man who broadcasts his every sense and emotion to a national audience. A space station unequipped to deal with alien visitors. Welcome to an off-kilter 21st century as only Hugo and Nebula Award nominee William Shunn could envision it.  (more)

'Inclination' by William Shunn

Inclination

Nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Awards

“Outstanding. . . . It’s a fascinating future, and Jude’s personal story is involving.”

—Rich Horton, Locus Magazine

Jude Plane is not your typical teenage boy, even among the other kids in his cloistered religious enclave. He belongs to the Machinist Guild, a group that forbids the use of any technology more advanced than a doorknob. But advanced technology can be hard to avoid when you live in an overlooked corner of Netherview Station—a giant wheel in space, twelve light-years from Earth.

Jude wants to live an obedient life, whatever that means, but his resolve is put to the test when his abusive father sends him to work outside the enclave, unloading freight at the station’s hub. There Jude will make friends stranger than any he has ever known and will find himself confronted by choices he never imagined.  (more)

'After the Earthquake a Fire' by William Shunn

After the Earthquake a Fire

Elder Rigby is a young Mormon from Utah serving a mission in northern Idaho, though to him the experience is more like serving a prison sentence. He and his partner, Elder Crews, do their best to fill their days with meaningful work, but there are only so many doorbells to ring in a town as small as Bonners Ferry.

Then, between the boredom and broken rules, they meet Minnie, an elderly Russian Jew scarred by some of the worst atrocities of the early 20th century.  (more)

'Our Dependence on Foreign Keys' by William Shunn

Our Dependence on Foreign Keys

“Shunn is a fine writer; ingenious, stylish, closely in touch with current global trends and expert in producing thought-provoking near-future SF.”

—Nick Gevers, Locus Magazine

When high-tech partycrashers swarm his exclusive soirĂ©e high above the floodways of New York City, billionaire inventor Pell Franziskaner can’t be sure whether it’s a garden-variety annoyance or a prelude to murder. His own.  (more)

Tuesday Funk

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Tuesday Funk is an eclectic monthly reading series showcasing a mix of fiction, poetry and essays. We are currently on hiatus.

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