Author: Brian Vander Veen

Science Fiction & Fantasy Go Global

Posted in Explore and Discover on May 31, 2016 at 6:00 am

by Brian Vander Veen Yes, science fiction and fantasy have been global phenomena for a long time, but it feels like the last few years have seen an uptick in the number of foreign SFF novels getting English translations. Last year, The Three-Body Problem by Chinese author Cixin Liu became the first novel in translation […]

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Music and conspiracy theories: a primer

Posted in Explore and Discover on April 28, 2016 at 6:00 am

By Brian Vander Veen Sometime during the tail-end of the 80s, my middle-school youth group made us watch a grainy VHS documentary about the evils of contemporary music. The presenter played samples of music that, slowed down and backwards, might have sounded vaguely like blasphemous utterings. He picked apart various band names and album covers, […]

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Read these graphic novels, you must

Posted in Explore and Discover, For You on April 5, 2016 at 6:00 am

By Brian Vander Veen When I went to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I had prepared myself for disappointment. And sure, much of it was a rehash of a plot we’d already seen twice in the Star Wars franchise, and yes, there were plot holes aplenty, but I’d be lying if I said I […]

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Four indie science fiction films to watch now

Posted in Explore and Discover, For You on March 10, 2016 at 6:00 am

By Brian Vander Veen So Gods of Egypt happened. The film, with an estimated budget of $140 million, ended up being slammed by critics and grossing a mere $14 million in box office sales its opening weekend. I feel bad for the director, who had previously managed to produce two cult classics of 90s speculative […]

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On my coffee table

Posted in Explore and Discover, For You on February 18, 2016 at 6:00 am

By Brian Vander Veen In my head, my home coffee table is something like the platonic archetype of coffee tables, with a few books arranged in a tidy stack, next to a generously sized mug–on a coaster, of course–still steaming with the fragrant, nutty aroma of freshly brewed coffee. And sometimes, for a rare and […]

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7 Cookbooks for your plant-based diet resolutions

Posted in Explore and Discover, For You on January 21, 2016 at 6:00 am

By Brian Vander Veen This year I will have been vegetarian for some 15 years, if memory serves me right, and vegan for roughly the last 10. And yet, there was a time I barely knew how to peel a potato. I had fancied myself pretty decent at grilling steaks or baby back ribs but vegetables were […]

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Sci-Fi and Fantasy books to look forward to in 2016

Posted in Explore and Discover, For You on January 13, 2016 at 6:00 am

By Brian Vander Veen I’m feeling positive about 2016, as though it’s going to be a good year to be a nerd. Despite a glut of click-bait articles arguing that The Force Awakens was actually a terrible film, the fans I saw leaving the theater were in a jovial mood, as though the phantom of […]

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Library Hack: Hidden gems of the Digital Library

Posted in Explore and Discover, For You on December 23, 2015 at 6:00 am

By Brian Vander Veen If you’re a regular reader of this blog, I imagine you probably already use OverDrive for downloadable ebooks and audiobooks. You might also use some of our other popular digital resources, like hoopla to stream music and movies, Zinio to browse popular magazines, or Gale Courses to study up on a […]

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The best sci-fi graphic novels of 2015

Posted in Explore and Discover, For You on December 2, 2015 at 6:00 am

By Brian Vander Veen Years ago, I stumbled into a public library looking for some sort of literary palette cleanser, some light reading to break up the monotony of the weightier academic work I had to trudge through as a graduate student. I hadn’t read comics in some years, but I decided to check out […]

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Library Hack: Get college ready with the Digital Library

Posted in Business and Careers, For You, Parents and Teachers, Teens on November 5, 2015 at 6:00 am

By Brian Vander Veen As a first generation college student, I found the whole process of college planning absurdly confusing. My frustration was compounded by the fact that my peers from college-educated families seemed to navigate the whole process with relative assurance and ease. Many of them ended up going out of state with generous […]

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