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When Reality Meets Science Fiction

Bay Area Book Festival Podcast

Release Date: 12/04/2019

Total SF Book Club Live: Urban Hiking in San Francisco with Alexandra Kenin show art Total SF Book Club Live: Urban Hiking in San Francisco with Alexandra Kenin

Bay Area Book Festival Podcast

Alexandra Kenin, Heather Knight, Peter Hartlaub Ever wonder where to find a hiker's rugged dream in the big bad city? Alexandra Kenin (“Urban Trails: San Francisco”) has meticulously tracked all 70 miles of hiking trails and 220 parks in mainland San Francisco, Alcatraz, and the islands. In this special in-person edition of the San Francisco Chronicle’s Total SF Book Club, get the scoop on our city’s best-kept hiking secrets.

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Werewolves and Monster Slayers: Transforming Horror in YA show art Werewolves and Monster Slayers: Transforming Horror in YA

Bay Area Book Festival Podcast

Lily Anderson, Maggie Tokuda-Hall, Rex Horner Read about powerful young women with a side of killer fun. In Maggie Tokuda-Hall’s graphic novel debut “Squad,” Becca longs to be popular at her new school, and winds up finding her place in a group of girls who also happen to be werewolves. Lily Anderson’s “Scout’s Honor” is filled with tons of high-octane action and adventure as protagonist Prudence Perry pursues her legacy as a monster hunter.

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J Dilla: The Beatmaker Who Changed The Way Musicians Play show art J Dilla: The Beatmaker Who Changed The Way Musicians Play

Bay Area Book Festival Podcast

Dan Charnas, Adam Mansbach Discover a hidden genius—a man whom the greatest figures of contemporary pop call a “demigod” of music. J Dilla, who died in 2006 at the age of 32, never had a mainstream pop hit, but he created a new “time-feel” that forever changed the way musicians compose and play, whether they're contemporary jazz composers, hip-hop artists, or rappers. Find out why this unsung visionary is revered everywhere from conservatories to universities, his ideas present in the music of Kendrick Lamar and Robert Glasper. With the recent New York Times bestseller Dilla Time,...

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Crime: True and Imagined show art Crime: True and Imagined

Bay Area Book Festival Podcast

Jessica Garrison, Tod Goldberg, Paul Holes, Megan Cassidy What do crimes, real or fictional, reveal about human nature? Shedding light are legendary cold-case investigator Paul Holes (who helped solve the Golden State Killer case); Los Angeles Times investigative journalist Jessica Garrison (“The Devil’s Harvest”) and bestselling fiction writer Tod Goldberg, with his collection of gangster tales, “The Low Desert.” In a conversation moderated by San Francisco Chronicle crime reporter Megan Cassidy, these authors will show us how scratching the surface of a crime uncovers an...

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Science Fiction: In Search of Hope show art Science Fiction: In Search of Hope

Bay Area Book Festival Podcast

Charlie Jane Anders, Mike Chen, John Scalzi, Danielle Venton These brilliant science fiction writers’ latest works find hope among the stars. In John Scalzi’s “The Kaiju Preservation Society,” a delivery driver gets a chance to escape a COVID-decimated New York City—by caring for giant endangered animals on an alternate Earth. The second volume of Charlie Jane Anders’s Unstoppable series, “Dreams Bigger Than Heartbreak,” finds alien clone Tina and crew on a quest for love and fulfillment. And in Mike Chen’s “Light Years from Home,” earthbound family drama meets alien...

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Historical Fiction: China and California show art Historical Fiction: China and California

Bay Area Book Festival Podcast

Carol Edgarian, Vanessa Hua, Jenny Tinghui Zhang, Jasmin Darznik Chinese immigrants were instrumental in shaping California, despite prejudice and exploitation. The connection between the two places has been fodder for amazing works of art, including the latest novels by authors Jenny Tinghui Zhan (“Four Treasures of the Sky”), Carol Edgarian (“Vera”), and San Francisco Chronicle columnist Vanessa Hua (“Forbidden City”).

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Shine Bright: Black Women in Pop Music show art Shine Bright: Black Women in Pop Music

Bay Area Book Festival Podcast

Danyel Smith, Mariecar Mendoza From formerly enslaved poet Phyllis Wheatley to Mahalia Jackson to Tina Turner, brilliant Black women have been instrumental—indeed, foundational—in creating America’s pop music. Former Billboard editor Danyel Smith’s “Shine Bright” is an ode to the songbird geniuses that have been hidden in plain sight. In this conversation between Smith and the San Francisco Chronicle’s Mariecar Mendoza, we’ll celebrate a musical lineage as life-affirming as it is awe-inspiring.

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Keep Calm and Go Quietly Mad show art Keep Calm and Go Quietly Mad

Bay Area Book Festival Podcast

Molly Giles, Leslie Kirk Campbell, Sarah Moss With book titles like “Wife with Knife: Stories that Cut” (by Molly Giles), “The Man With Eight Pairs of Legs” (by Leslie Kirk Campbell), and “The Fell” (by Sarah Moss), it’s clear you’re not in for a typical reading experience. These fiction writers explore what happens when we’re pushed to extremes. With the support of Culture Ireland.

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Writing a Path Out of Darkness: Writers on Mourning show art Writing a Path Out of Darkness: Writers on Mourning

Bay Area Book Festival Podcast

Pik-Shuen Fung, Kristin Keane, Litt Woon Long, Deirdre English These authors give voice to the unspeakable parts of grief. The protagonist of Pik-Shuen Fung’s “Ghost Forest” navigates her father’s death in a family that doesn’t talk about feelings. In “The Encyclopedia of Bending Time,” memoirist Kristin Keane uses an encyclopedic format to grieve her mother. And Litt Woon Long’s “The Way Through the Woods” wends a path through mushroom-foraging as a way to process loss. With the support of the Consulate General of Canada San Francisco/Silicon Valley, the Norway House...

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Splitting the World Open: An International Roundtable of Dangerous Women Writers show art Splitting the World Open: An International Roundtable of Dangerous Women Writers

Bay Area Book Festival Podcast

Spend an hour with three brilliant female authors, writing from and about multiple corners of the globe—India, the Middle East, North Africa, South America, the United States—with woman-focused stories. Meet Dubai-based Indian author Avni Doshi, Ethiopian-American novelist Maaza Mengiste and Chilean author Alia Trabucco Zerán. The event is co-presented by Words Without Borders and moderated by Karen Phillips, its executive director.

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More Episodes

Large-scale, far-in-the-future stories tend to get most the glory in the sci-fi canon. But what happens when reality already feels like science fiction? Like George Orwell’s ‘1984,’ near-future narratives exploit current technology, politics, and fears to explore what life could be like in 10 years, one year, or even a hour. Our panelists consider how to predict the tantalizing possibility of what might be.