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Saturday Books and Breakfast

In so many fundamental ways, Sirens wouldn’t exist without amazing, popular, controversial fantasy works by women. And yet, between the programming, the author readings, the dance party, and the always-amazing keynote addresses, sometimes we don’t find time to talk about books. Let us help you!

Each year, Sirens selects a variety of books on our theme—and invites attendees to bring their breakfast and have an informal conversation about those books. To be fair, you don’t have to have read the books to come…but we hope you’ll read one or two!

Here are the Books and Breakfast books for Saturday, October 10. Read on, Sirens.

 

AliftheUnseen Alif the Unseen, G. Willow Wilson
Alif the Unseen reads like a tech thriller—at least until it becomes about myth, faith, and politics. Set in the City, an unnamed city in the Middle East, hacker Alif shields his clients (rebels, pornographers, anyone else who can pay) from the prying electronic eye of the state. After being dumped by his lover, Alif designs a program that can identify anyone online, a terrific thing until Alif’s computer—and his program—are seized by the state, endangering the City’s entire underground populace of hackers and dissidents. There it begins, but where it ends is a place where myth, faith, and technology live, logically, magically, hand in hand.
TheGoblinEmperor The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison
If political intrigue—lies, machinations, manipulations, threats unspoken, and alliance murky—is your type of rebellion, look no further. Following a purported accident, Maia, the estranged, half-breed son of the goblin emperor, is thrust onto the throne. Maia finds himself at the center of a court willing to control him at best, kill him at worst. The Goblin Emperor is a chess board of a book, played on a board of intrigue and malice, where Maia wants to be the revolution, but needs to protect himself from rebels in the meantime.
TheInterrogationofAshalaWolf The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf, Ambelin Kwaymullina
Revolutions sometimes turn on the smallest of things: in the case of The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf, the ability of the dissidents’ leader to withstand torture. Betrayed by a friend, captured by the government, at the mercy of a mysteriously compelling machine, can Ashala withstand the onslaught and save her people—or are things not entirely what they seem?
TheMirrorEmpire The Mirror Empire, Kameron Hurley
Sometimes an author writes a book that is, in and of itself, revolutionary. On the eve of a periodic, catastrophic event known to destroy continents, individuals across a variety of cultures jockey for position. Some of these are rebels, some are political opportunists, some are existing leaders, but all of them live in a world where the unknown is about to become known—which might be a very bad thing. Most striking—and most revolutionary—Hurley reconfigures the binary notion of gender in The Mirror Empire, sometimes allowing for gender that changes over time, sometimes allowing for more options along the spectrum.
TheYoungElites The Young Elites, Marie Lu
Magically talented rebels, secret plots, some romance, and a catastrophic conclusion mark the first in Lu’s The Young Elites series. Adelina is a survivor of the blood fever, a disease that left her with white hair and only one eye. When she discovers her father is going to sell her not as a wife, but a mistress, she flees—only to discover that the fever left her with illegal powers she can’t control. Seized by the government, saved by a shadow society, danger at every turn, Adelina has to decide what she wants—and decide if that includes revolution.

For Friday selections, please visit this post.

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