Speculative Fiction Week

Ok, by the time the end of term rolled around, it may have been a fortnight! I couldn’t bear creating a new display when we have the usual last week diminished attendance.

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I love speculative fiction. It is hands down my favourite genre. I love teaching kids about the dozens of sub-genres and how many popular movies are actually spec fic. Sometimes kids roll their eyes when they think sci fi (Star Trek!) and fantasy (dragons!) but I see it as my job to convince them there’s a sub-genre for them. I convinced a student once that alternative history was the way to go and he wrote a short story about Paul Revere and the American Revolution. How an Australian kid in year 9 even knew about Paul Revere is beyond me.

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The good thing about spec fic at the moment is that it is SO HOT RIGHT NOW. Think Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, The Giver, etc. etc. I start the hard sell with dystopic fiction and go from there.

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The other good thing about spec fic is that it’s actually pretty easy to sell. I use the “What if” book chat technique: What if there was a society of all men and everyone could hear each other’s thoughts? (FYI: This is The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. Get it. Get it now). Usually kids are killing each other for the book by the end of the book chat.

What if…

…there was a “solution” to the pro-choice versus pro-life debate? (Unwind by Neal Shusterman)

…everyone 14 & over simply disappeared & kids (some with superpowers) had to fend for themselves? (Gone by Michael Grant)

…your evil mastermind father created a school for you to study world domination? (Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks)

…there were restrictions on how much electricity you could use? (The Carbon Diaries 2015 by Saci Lloyd)

…you didn’t get to choose who you were in a relationship with? (Matched by Ally Condie)

…your “perfectly” ordered community was hiding a huge secret? (The Giver by Lois Lowry)

…you don’t pass the tests for university you disappear? (The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau)

…the earth was destroyed and you were (almost) the only human left? (Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams)

…your mum created evil super-intelligent robots and they escape? (Machine Wars by Michael Pryor)

…you could travel in dreams and were recruited to sell products to people while dreaming? (The Dream Merchant by Isabel Hoving)

These look great as posters with the cover art.

 

So many opportunities! I also played some spec fic films on the library flat screen. Our sci fi/fantasy club discussion for Week 9 was “Superhero, villain or anti-hero” and for Week 10 we played “Would you Rather” (but geek edition- for example: Would you rather go to Camp Half Blood or Hogwarts?- not teenager-slumber-party-awkward-question traditional version).

 

Loved it! Can’t wait for next year!

 

 

 

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