A Visit To Powell’s Books In Portland

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I finally managed to make it to the infamous Powell’s in Portland, known as the largest independent bookstore in the world, the mecca of books in the Pacific Northwest and by far one of the coolest bookstores I have visited. The Portland staple even has an entire floor dedicated to science fiction and fantasy (seen below after the jump).

This is a welcome change from the standard Barnes & Noble template that relegates the two genres to sections usually shoved onto the second floor next to the bathrooms and freight elevator. An area, much like a low tide cave, that only has a small window of accessibility in a given day when enough introverted middle schoolers reading manga on the floor clear out and open passage through the narrow connecting aisle. Hasn’t the success of Game of Thrones at least bought speculative fiction some first floor real estate? Or at least placement that doesn’t require you to harass the one Barnes & Noble employee you can actually find (which is usually a barista that only returns blank stares) just to get a ballpark location?

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Shadow Show: All-New Stories In Celebration Of Ray Bradbury

In celebration of Ray Bradbury’s life, I would urge everyone to check out the recently released Shadow Show: All-new Stories In Celebration Of Ray Bradbury. It is a collection of short stories inspired by the late great sci-fi pioneer, along with some words about what he meant to each author contributing to the anthology.

I have already checked out the story by Neil Gaiman and enjoyed it thoroughly. I can’t wait to make my way through the entire collection and hear about how Bradbury influenced great authors like Margaret Atwood, Dave Eggers, Harlan Ellison, Joe Hill and many others. So, be sure to pick up a copy if you are a Bradbury fan or like generally awesome stuff.

Also, in unrelated news, shark attacks are up this year and I’m officially never going in the water again. My irrational fears are becoming less irrational (still pretty irrational though since I don’t live near the ocean).