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The "What If...?" Society Virtual Book Group

The What If Society

The Central Library had just gotten our new adult speculative fiction book group up and running when we needed to suspend our in-person programming. 

So, we are adapting with the times and taking The “What if…” Society online! To ensure everyone has access to the reading material, we are putting aside our novels for now and moving to short stories. 

Book Group Information:

The “What if…” Society 

  • Saturday, April 18, 11:00 am to noon
  • Online via Zoom

Email your host, Adult and Teen Services Librarian, Maria @ to obtain the meeting information or for more information. We hope you will join us!

Reading Material:

Half of the stories we will read and discuss this month are from The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, which can be accessed through the Library’s database, Gale Academic OneFile. How is that for a little-known database gem?  You have full-text access to this print-only magazine from 1993 to the present. Let me take you right to magazine so you can take a look around. You will need a library card to access our databases. Don't have a library card? You can apply for an eLibraryCard.

So! On with our selections for this month’s book group. All of these stories look at the moment when you learn about the cruelties of the world for the first time, whether it is your own or at the hands of others.  Warning: At least one of these may make you cry. 

"Paper Menagerie" By Ken Liu

If you would prefer to listen to the story, you can enjoy Levar Burton reading it.

"Fisher Queen" By Alyssa Wong

"Bread and Bombs" By M. Rickert 

"Ponies" By Kij Johnson

I would be remiss not to mention one of my all-time favorite short stories, on this theme, "The Pelican Bar" which is not available online. Make a note to check out this fantastic collection later.

"The Pelican Bar" by Karen Joy Fowler can be found in her short story collection, What I Didn't See and Other Stories.  

"Wait a minute," you may be saying all about now, "Isn’t this a blog about graphic novels?" Yes, that's true friends, but I'm going to assume there may be a few (or a lot!) graphic novel fans who also enjoy science fiction,  fantasy and horror in non-graphic form. Plus these are complicated times, so let’s roll with it. I’ll be back, on-theme, later in the month to talk about webcomics.