The Hugo nominees for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

“You’re Hell’s Angels, then? What chapter are you from?’ ‘REVELATIONS. CHAPTER SIX.”
― Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett, Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch

The Hugo’s have a long and noble history of recognising dramatic presentations (the first award being made in 1958). It is probably true to say that at that time Science Fiction was more the domain of a smaller, exclusive, forward thinking circle of fans. Nowadays however and thanks in large part to the efforts of these dedicated fans and others, Science fiction is now very much a major element of the mainstream media World and big, big money. And nowhere is this more evident than in the Hugo nominees for this year’s dramatic long form award. To illustrate this point this year’s nominees features not only the largest grossing movie of all time and two of the biggest movie franchises ever, but it is not the success or the money that attracts these fans it’s the wealth of clever, engaging and compelling ideas, characters and worlds that attracts the fans. And this richness of content is really evident in this year’s longlist featuring as it does an Apocalyptical comedy, The final conclusion of the Avengers: Endgame and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker story arcs and ground breaking super hero movies to name but a few. And most are available from our library network as well as a plethora or related items. Enjoy.

Below we list the Hugo nominees for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form and some items currently available within our libraries that directly relate to them.

Avengers: Endgame.

Click here to check the availability of the Avengers: Endgame movie.

Marvel Avengers endgame : the official movie special
A deluxe collector’s edition detailing the follow-up film to the epic cinematic phenomenon Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame. Go behind the scenes on the highly aniticipated Marvel film.” (Catalogue)

Captain Marvel

Click here to check the availability of the Captain Marvel movie.

We also have a fabulous range of Captain Marvel graphic novels. Such as….

Captain Marvel : prelude / Pilgrim, Will Corona
“Follow another adventure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Meet the Marvel Universe’s mightiest hero Carol Danvers, NASA’s youngest head of security – but when an encounter with the Kree soldier Mar-Vell gives her amazing powers, she begins a costumed career…as Ms. Marvel Determined to prove herself the best of the best in a world full of fearsome foes, Carol soon takes on the mantle of Captain Marvel – and the responsibility of protecting the entire planet But what happens when she comes face-to-face with Mar-Vell…who died years before? ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Good Omens.

Click here to check the availability of the Good Omens series.

Good omens : the nice and accurate prophecies of Agnes Nutter, witch / Pratchett, Terry
” The world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Except that a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon are not particularly looking forward to the coming Rapture. They’ve lived amongst Humanity for millennia, and have grown rather fond of the lifestyle. So if Crowley and Aziraphale are going to stop it from happening, they’ve got to find and kill the AntiChrist (which is a shame, really, as he’s a nice kid). There’s just one glitch: someone seems to have misplaced him.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Russian Doll (Season One)

Currently Russian Doll is only available to stream.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Click here to check the availability of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

We also have a vast wide range of Star Wars titles and films available to borrow.
Star Wars, the rise of Skywalker : the visual dictionary / Hidalgo, Pablo
Star Wars- The Rise of Skywalker- The Visual Dictionary is a 200 page definitive guide to Star Wars- The Rise of Skywalker, revealing the characters, creatures, droids, locations, and technology from the new film. Packed with information and 500+ images, plus cross-sections of new vehicles, as penned by Star Wars scribe Pablo Hidalgo, it’s a must-have for all fans who want to go beyond the movie experience.” (Catalogue)

Us, written and directed by Jordan Peele .

Click here to check the availability of Us the movie. .

The 2020 Hugo nominees for Best Graphic Story

Since 2009, the Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story has been given to comics, graphic novels and other illustrated works that best exemplify the possibilities of speculative fiction and the comics medium, and we have all six of the 2020 nominees available for you to catch up with!

The nominations are a stacked field this year. The final volumes of two beloved long-running Image Comics series, The Wicked + The Divine and Paper Girls, were nominated this year, the last chance for either creative team to get the award (Paper Girls having been nominated a previous four times!). Three-time Best Graphic Story Hugo winner Monstress has also been nominated for its fourth volume. But those three veteran series face some strong contenders in new books like the fantasy deconstruction DIE, witchy love story Mooncakes, and the sci-fi immigration tale LaGuardia by previous Hugo winner Nnedi Okorafor.

Who will win the Hugo? We won’t know until the award ceremony on August 1st, but till then, you can catch up on the nominated books below!

Die, Volume 1: Fantasy Heartbreaker, by Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans, letters by Clayton Cowles (Image)

Die. Volume 1, Fantasy heartbreaker / Gillen, Kieron
Pitched as “Jumanji meets Stephen King’s IT”, DIE follows five embittered adults returning the fantasy world they were trapped in as teenagers to rescue their friend who stayed there, only to find he’s gone native and is subjecting them to a deadly adventure campaign. Gillen, a former game journalist, wrote DIE to both critique and celebrate tabletop games and the fantasy genre overall, while Stephanie Hans renders the imaginary worlds of DIE with lush, dream-like detail. This is Hans’ first Hugo nomination, and Gillen is also nominated against himself this year for The Wicked + The Divine. Will DIE roll a nat 20 for the critical win?

Related Reading

DIE Volume 2. Split The Party — If you’re hooked on DIE after the first volume, check out the second volume ‘Split the Party’.

The Wicked + The Divine Volume 3. Commercial Suicide —  Stephanie Hans has also worked with Kieron Gillen on a issue of his series The Wicked + The Divine, collected in this volume.

The Adventure Zone Volume 1. Here there be gerblins — If you’re after more comics about Dungeons and Dragons, check out the first comic adaptation of the beloved roleplaying podcast ‘The Adventure Zone’.

LaGuardia, written by Nnedi Okorafor, art by Tana Ford, colours by James Devlin (Berger Books; Dark Horse)

LaGuardia : a very modern story of immigration / Okorafor, Nnedi
In a world where extraterrestrials regularly emigrate to Earth, a controversial travel ban goes into effect in America and separates a Nigerian-American couple who are expecting their first child. LaGuardia is a refreshingly sensitive science-fiction take on immigration and citizenship; Nnedi Okorafor has thought out every aspect of this all-too-familar sci-fi Earth, and Ford and Devlin depict the world and characters in lovingly dense detail, particularly with the alien designs. This is Ford and Devlin’s first nomination, while Okorafor has already won a Hugo for her novella Binti. Can LaGuardia net Okorafor her second Hugo win?

Related Reading

Black Panther: Long Live the King — Okorafor and Ford also worked together on this Black Panther series for Marvel Comics.

Binti — Check out Okorafor’s Hugo-winning series Binti here or on Overdrive.

The Green Lantern Vol 1. Intergalactic Lawman — This sharp new take on the Green Lantern character sees him as an intergalactic beat cop, where even ordinary crimes happen on intergalactic scales.

Monstress, Volume 4: The Chosen, written by Marjorie Liu, art by Sana Takeda (Image)

Monstress. Volume four, The chosen / Liu, Marjorie M
A fusion of a war diary, a horror manga, and young adult fantasy, Monstress has been a critical and fan-favourite since it began in 2016. Set in a war-torn land inspired by 20th century Asia, Monstress follows the adventures of Maika Halfwolf, a magical ‘Arcanic’ who is hunted by an order of sorceresses who use her species as magical fuel for their spells. Every volume of Monstress has won the Hugo for Best Graphic Story for the past three years running. Will Volume 4 continue Liu and Takeda’s winning streak?

Related Reading

Monstress Volume 1. Awakening — Start reading Monstress from the beginning with the first volume here, or for download it on Overdrive.

The iron hunt — The first book in Marjorie Liu’s urban fantasy series Hunter Kiss, which follows a demon hunter trying to rescue her beloved from a bloodthirsty army.

Calamity Kate — In an urban fantasy world, a monster hunter moves to LA to find the ultimate bounty: the Seven Fabled Beasts of Yore.

Mooncakes, by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker, letters by Joamette Gil (Oni Press; Lion Forge)

Mooncakes / Walker, Suzanne
Young witch Nova and her werewolf friend Tam have reunited after ten years apart, but their reunion brings forth struggles both mundane and magical, including family conflicts, maturing to face new responsibilities, and battling weird horse demons. Originally a webcomic, Mooncakes was published as a a graphic novel by Lion Forge in 2019, earning praise for centering on the romance of its queer Chinese-American protagonists. This is Walker, Gil and Xu’s first Hugo nomination; could Mooncakes cast a spell on the Hugo judges?

Related Reading

For more young adult comics about witches, check out:

The Witch Boy by Molly Ostertag

SuperMutant Magic Academy by Jillian Tamaki

Spell on Wheels by Kate Leth and Megan Levens.

Paper Girls, Volume 6, written by Brian K. Vaughan, drawn by Cliff Chiang, colours by Matt Wilson, letters by Jared K. Fletcher (Image)

Paper Girls. 6 / Vaughan, Brian K
Four paper girls in the 1980s get embroiled in a war between rival factions of time travellers, facing cavemen, mutants, pterodactyls, robots, and their own future selves as they attempts to find a way home. Recently concluding after 30 issues and this sixth collection, Paper Girls has been nominated four times for the Graphic Story Hugo. Will the last volume finally deliver a win for its creative team?

 

Related Reading

Paper Girls Volume 1  — Start Paper Girls from the beginning here or for download on Overdrive

Wonder Woman Volume 1: Blood — Check out the Paper Girls art team’s (Cliff Chiang and Matt Wilson) recent work on Wonder Woman here, or download it on Overdrive.

Saga Volume 1 — Writer Brian K Vaughan won the Best Graphic Story Hugo for Saga‘s first volume in 2013.

The Wicked + The Divine, Volume 9: “Okay”, by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie, colours by Matt Wilson, letters by Clayton Cowles (Image)

The wicked + the divine. Vol. 9, “Okay” / Gillen, Kieron
Every 90 years, twelve gods return to Earth in the form of teenagers to inspire humankind and gain followers, only to die after two years. In 2014, this ‘Pantheon’ of gods return as popstars. The Wicked + The Divine (or WicDiv to its fans) follows Pantheon super-fan Laura as she becomes embroiled in the god’s inner conflicts and tries to attain godhood for herself. Long-time comic collaborators Gillen, McKelvie, Wilson, and Cowles conclude the long-running series in this final volume, which has been a commercial and critical hit for its resonant themes on fame, death, religion, art, and artists. Volume 9 of the Wicked + The Divine is Jamie McKelvie’s first Hugo nomination and Gillen’s second with DIE, also nominated this year. Will this final offering be enough to sway the Hugos in their favour?

Related Reading

The Wicked + The Divine Volume 1. The Faust Act Start WicDiv from the beginning here or for download the first volume on Overdrive.

Young Avengers Volume 1. Style > substance  See how the WicDiv team first got together on the second iteration of Marvel’s teen superteam, the Young Avengers.

God complex: Dogma. Volume one — Another modern comic book take on the gods of antiquity, this cyberpunk thriller sees a forensic investigator meeting the god-like beings that secretly run the world.

Understanding Racial Politics In Aotearoa

As the world becomes increasingly galvinised by the Black Lives Matter and Anti-Racist movements we must remember that New Zealand is not immune to racism. Our history of colonisation and immigration has given us our own struggles that need to be understood and overcome. The books listed below offer a starting point for understanding racial politics in New Zealand from a Māori perspective.

Hīkoi: forty years of Māori protest / Harris, Aroha
Hīkoi provides an overview of the contemporary Māori protest movement, a summary of the rationale behind the actions, and photographs of protests, marches, and the mahi behind the scenes. Results of protest are also discussed including the Waitangi Tribunal; Māori becoming an official language; Māori-medium education; and Māori television.

Imagining decolonisation.
What is decolonisation and why do we need it in New Zealand? This book discusses why it is needed if we are going to build a country that is fair and equal for all who live here, as well as what it could look and feel like.

Ka whawhai tonu mātou: Struggle without end / Walker, Ranginui
A revised edition of this best-selling history of New Zealand from a Māori perspective. Dr Walker discusses the fact that Māori have been involved in an endless struggle for justice, equality and self-determination for the last two centuries. A challenging must-read for all New Zealanders.

Decolonizing methodologies: research and indigenous peoples / Smith, Linda Tuhiwai
This is a revised and updated edition of a landmark work. It explores how imperialism and research interact and how this has had an impact on ‘knowledge’ and ‘tradition’. Social justice and concepts such as ‘discovery’ and ‘claiming’ are discussed and it is argued that it is necessary to decolonise research methods in order to reclaim control over indigenous ways of knowing and being.

Journey towards justice / Workman, Kim
Kim Workman is a central figure in the ongoing discussion of justice and prison policy in New Zealand. This is a powerful first-hand account of struggle, spirituality and questions of cultural identity as well as the state and social forces that have helped shape contemporary New Zealand.

Colonising myths–Māori realities: he rukuruku whakaaro / Mikaere, Annabel
A collection of a series of papers that reflects on the effect of Pākehā law, legal processes, and teaching on Māori legal thought and practice.

Online resources

Bridget William Book Treaty of Waitangi Collection
This amazing collection of ebooks is available on our Wellington City Libraries Online Resources page. You will need your library card and pin number to access these full-text scholarly works.

Bridget Williams Books The NZ History Collection
Provides online access to over thirty years of award-winning history and biography publishing from Bridget Williams Books – includes over 90 New Zealand history titles. You will need your library card and pin number to access these full-text scholarly works.

Te Ara — The Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Te Ara has great information about the history of Anti-racism and Treaty of Waitangi activism, Māori protest movements and the Human Rights Commission.

The Waitangi Collection: NZ On Screen
Includes films about Treaty and activist groups such as Ngā Tamatoa (see below).



Te Tiriti Based Futures And Anti-racism 2020
An online conference, 21-30 March, 2020. Includes Jen Margaret and  Julia Whaipooti.

You can also learn about how other ethnic groups have experienced racism in Aotearoa through the resources below:

Polynesian Panthers : Pacific protest and affirmative action in Aotearoa New Zealand 1971-1981
The Polynesian Panthers sought to raise consciousness and take action in response to the racism and discrimination Pacific peoples faced in New Zealand in the 1970s and 1980s. Interviews, memoirs, poetry, newspaper articles, and critical analysis help create a thought-provoking account of this period in New Zealand history.

Old Asian, new Asian / Ng, K. Emma
Did you know that a 2010 Human Rights Commission report found that Asian people reported higher levels of discrimination than any other minority in New Zealand?  This anecdotal account is based on Ng’s personal experience as a second-generation young Chinese-New Zealand woman and explores the persistence of racism against Asians in New Zealand.

Justice and race: campaigns against racism and abuse in Aotearoa New Zealand / Sutherland, O. R. W.
“This is the story of ACORD – the Auckland Committee on Racism And Discrimination. For 15 years ACORD exposed and campaigned against the institutional racism of police, justice and social welfare systems. It laid the groundwork for a national duty solicitor scheme and gained protections for children incarcerated by the state.” (From our catalogue)

Black Lives Matter: Fiction & Film Resources

Omaha, Nebraska, 1915. A young postal worker named George Johnson quits his job to found the Lincoln Motion Picture Company with his brother Noble. Just over a year later the brothers have moved to L.A., where they go on to make six films before winding down in 1923. Today, the Lincoln Motion Picture Company is recognised as not only America’s first all-black movie production unit, but the first to “showcase African-American talent in the full sphere of cinema.

Two years after the closure of the Lincoln Motion Picture Company, another series of stories exploring the black experience in America is being assembled, this time in print. They emerge not from the Midwest but New York, in the pages of The New Negro: An Interpretation, under the editorship of Howard University professor Alain Locke. The New Negro will go on to become the key text of the Harlem Renaissance.

Film and fiction have been two particularly powerful mediums for exploring the black experience in America since the work of the Johnson brothers over one hundred years ago. Below you’ll find a selection of contemporary films and novels that continue this exploration, including the award-winning works of Spike Lee, the genre-expanding novels of M.K. Jemisin and the experimental movie-making of Cheryl Dunye. For equally powerful non-fiction examples, visit our Black Lives Matter: Non-Fiction Resources blog.


FICTION

Sing, unburied, sing : a novel / Ward, Jesmyn
“Jojo is thirteen years old and trying to understand what it means to be a man. He doesn’t lack in fathers to study, chief among them his Black grandfather, Pop. But there are other men who complicate his understanding: his absent White father who is being released from prison; his absent White grandfather, Big Joseph, who won’t acknowledge his existence; and the memories of his dead uncle, Given…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The Nickel boys : a novel / Whitehead, Colson
“Elwood Curtis has taken the words of Dr Martin Luther King to heart: he is as good as anyone. But one innocent mistake is enough to destroy his future, and so Elwood arrives at The Nickel Academy, where physical, emotional and sexual abuse is rife. Stunned to find himself in this vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold on to Dr King’s assertion, ‘Throw us in jail, and we will still love you.’ But fellow inmate Turner thinks Elwood is naive and worse.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Such a fun age / Reid, Kiley
“Alix is a woman who gets what she wants. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains’ toddler in their local supermarket. The store’s security guard, seeing a young black woman out with a white child, accuses Emira of kidnapping. Alix resolves to make things right, but both women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about each other.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The fifth season / Jemisin, N. K
“This is the way the world ends…for the last time. It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world’s sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun. It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter. It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester. This is the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where the power of the earth is wielded as a weapon. And where there is no mercy.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Red at the bone / Woodson, Jacqueline
Red at the Bone opens with Melody celebrating her 16th birthday at her grandparents’ Brooklyn brownstone. Melody’s mother never did get her own 16th birthday party, and therein lies a tale of two families separated by class, ambition, gentrification, sexual desire, and unexpected parenthood.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

 


FILMS

The Watermelon Woman
Year: 1996
Director: Cheryl Dunye

Watch the full film here.

“Cheryl Dunye plays a version of herself in this witty, nimble landmark of New Queer Cinema. A video store clerk and fledgling filmmaker, Cheryl becomes obsessed with the “most beautiful mammy,” a character she sees in a 1930s movie. Determined to find out who the actress she knows only as the “Watermelon Woman” was and make her the subject of a documentary, she starts researching and is bowled over to discover that not only was Fae Richards (Lisa Marie Bronson) a fellow Philadelphian but also a lesbian.” (Kanopy)

Fig
Year: 2010
Director: Ryan Coogler

Watch the full film here.

“Directed by Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Black Panther), Fig is a this sympathetic look at the life of a working class mother, a prostitute named Candice wants nothing more than to provide a good life for her daughter Kyla. One night that she is unable to find a babysitter for Kyla, Candice takes her to the corner where she picks up johns and leaves her in the car. When Candice is with a john, Kyla is found alone by the police and is taken into emergency foster care. When she finds out, Candice does everything in her power to convince the social worker in charge of Kyla’s case that she really does love her daughter very much.” (Kanopy)

Da Sweet Blood of Jesus
Year: 2014
Director: Spike Lee

Watch the full film here.

“Spike Lee’s stylized thriller Da Sweet Blood of Jesus is a new kind of love story. Dr. Hess Green becomes cursed by a mysterious ancient African artifact and is overwhelmed with a newfound thirst for blood. He, however, is not a vampire. Soon after his transformation he enters into a dangerous romance with Ganja Hightower that questions the very nature of love, addiction, sex, and status in our seemingly sophisticated society.” (Kanopy)

Black Lives Matter: Non-Fiction Resources

Libraries are places where we can find resources to help us learn about the experiences of others. We can then take what we have learnt and use our understanding of people and situations to make the world a better place. It might sound cliched, but knowledge and truth do educate and empower us.

We have many excellent non-fiction resources at Wellington City Libraries that can give an insight into the Black Lives Matter and #GiveNothingToRacism movements and the current racial and political situation in the United States of America.

Step outside of your comfort zone and confront some harsh realities with the resources listed below.

How to be an antiracist / Kendi, Ibram X
Following on from his National Book Award-winning and New York Times best-selling Stamped from the Beginning Kendi considers here what an antiracist society might look like. Founding director of the Antiracism Research and Policy Center, Kendi shows that neutrality on racism is not an option and that until we become part of the solution, we will only be part of the problem. He helps us recognise that everyone is, at times, complicit in racism whether they realise it or not and shows us how instead to be a force for good. Ebook but also available as an audiobook.

Between the world and me / Coates, Ta-Nehisi
Ta-Nehisi Coates examines the USA’s ‘long war on black people’ not only to understand himself but to also clarify the continuing role race plays in the US today. Toni Morrison called this book ‘required reading’ and it is a strong, and perceptive examination of race relations in the United States. Also available as an ebook. You can also check out Coates’ other powerful works about race in the USA:  The Beautiful Struggle: A Memoir, and We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy

I’m still here: black dignity in a world made for whiteness / Brown, Austin Channing
Growing up in majority-white schools, organisations, and churches, Brown had to learn ‘what it means to love blackness’ and how to navigate the racial divide in the USA as a writer, speaker and expert who helps organisations practice inclusion. This is a powerful account of how and why our actions often fall short of our words and a look at how white, middle-class, evangelicalism has participated in an era of rising racial hostility. Also available as an audiobook.

Eloquent rage: a black feminist discovers her superpower/Cooper, Brittney C.
Black feminist Brittney Cooper explores the theory that that anger is a powerful source of energy that can give us the strength to keep on fighting. Rather than seeing black women’s anger as a destructive force that threatens the civility and social fabric of the USA, Cooper shows us that black women’s eloquent rage is what makes Serena Williams a powerful tennis player, what makes Beyoncé’s anthems resonate, and what makes Michelle Obama an icon. Eloquent rage reminds women that they don’t have to settle for less. A positive, uplifting exploration of black feminism. Ebook, but also available as an audiobook.

The new Jim Crow: mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness / Alexander, Michelle
Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, has called this book a ‘call to action’, as it challenges the notion that the election of Barack Obama signaled a new era of colorblindness. Legal scholar Michelle Alexander argues that ‘we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it’. She further asserts that by targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control—relegating millions to a permanent second-class status—even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness. Also available as an ebook, and an audiobook.

What doesn’t kill you makes you blacker: a memoir in essays / Young, Damon
What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker explores Damon Young’s efforts to survive while battling and making sense of the various neuroses his country has given him as a black man. Provocative, humorous, poignant and challenging. (ebook)

 

 

You can also find documentaries such as I Am Not Your Negro on our free movie streaming platform Beamafilm, or docos like Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement on YouTube.

For teens, you can check out our curated Give Nothing to Racism ebook list here.

Hugo Awards: Best Novel Shortlist

Like many major cultural events across the globe, this year’s World Science Fiction Convention (aka CoNZealand) has decided to go virtual. The convention was due to be held in Wellington, but this change hasn’t dampened the excitement and buzz around it–or its associated awards, the Hugos. To get you ready for this science fiction bonanza we are doing a series of blogs looking at shortlists from some of the various Hugo Award categories.

For this particular blog we are going to look at the shortlist for this year’s Best Novel category, which excitingly includes New Zealand writer Tamsyn Muir. Enjoy!

Best Novel Award Shortlist:

The city in the middle of the night / Anders, Charlie
“January is a dying planet–divided between a permanently frozen darkness on one side, and blazing endless sunshine on the other. Humanity clings to life, spread across two archaic cities built in the sliver of habitable dusk. And living inside the cities, one flush with anarchy and the other buckling under the stricture of the ruling body, is increasingly just as dangerous as the uninhabitable wastelands outside.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

Gideon the ninth / Muir, Tamsyn
“Muir’s Gideon the Ninth unveils a solar system of swordplay, cutthroat politics, and lesbian necromancers. Her characters leap off the page, as skillfully animated as arcane revenants. The result is a heart-pounding epic science fantasy.” (Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

The light brigade / Hurley, Kameron
The Light Brigade: it’s what soldiers fighting the war against Mars call the ones who come back…different. Grunts in the corporate corps get busted down into light to travel to and from interplanetary battlefronts. Everyone is changed by what the corps must do in order to break them down into light. Those who survive learn to stick to the mission brief–no matter what actually happens during combat.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

A memory called empire / Martine, Arkady
“Ambassador Mahit Dzmare travels to the Teixcalaanli Empire’s interstellar capital, eager to take up her new post. Yet when she arrives, she discovers her predecessor was murdered. But no one will admit his death wasn’t accidental – and she might be next. Now Mahit must navigate the capital’s enticing yet deadly halls of power, to discover dangerous truths.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

Middlegame / McGuire, Seanan
“Meet Roger. Skilled with words, he instinctively understands how the world works through the power of story. Meet Dodger, his twin. Numbers are her world, her obsession, her everything. Roger and Dodger aren’t exactly human, though they don’t realise it. They aren’t exactly gods, either. Not entirely. Not yet. Meet Reed, skilled in the alchemical arts like his progenitor before him. Reed created Dodger and her brother. He has a plan: to raise the twins to the highest power…” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

The ten thousand doors of January / Harrow, Alix E
“In the early 1900s, a young woman embarks on a fantastical journey of self-discovery after finding a mysterious book. In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place. Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Discover More:

New to the Hugos–or indeed the wondrous delights of science fiction? Never fear, we have the perfect introduction for you on our free film streaming service, Kanopy. How Great Science Fiction Works is a 24 episode series by twice Hugo-nominated Dr Gary K. Wolfe. This exhaustive overview is both rigorous and deeply informative and covers every aspect of science fiction, from cyberpunk to Mary Shelley and all points in between. And as an added bonus it doesn’t count as one of your monthly borrows!

New Zealand music month a selection of recommended books

The first thing that people say is where do these sounds come from, where would they think of these sounds? Well of course the teacher [says], it’s ‘te reo o te whenua’, it’s the voice of the land. We’ve always said that it’s the voice of Tangaroa, it’s the voice of Tāne, it’s the voice of Hine-nui-te-pō. It’s a multitude of voices that are there. They’re the carriers of those voices. The manu, the insects … Tāne and so on. Your ears are attuned … they replicate those sounds.
– Richard Nunns

Continuing our celebration of New Zealand music month, we made a selection with some of the many books we have in our various libraries that cover the rich diversity of New Zealand’s music and musicians.

We start with with Nick Bollinger’s 100 essential New Zealand albums,  and continue with Ian Chapman’s The Dunedin sound: some disenchanted evening an overview of the now world-famous Dunedin sound.

Taonga Pūoro Singing treasures: the musical instruments of the Māori by Brian Flintoff is a superb introduction to the rebirth of the now vibrant world of Taonga Pūoro and includes a great sampler CD.

New Zealand also has many talented classical composers like Gillian Karawe Whitehead and Douglas Lilburn and we have selected a few titles to illustrate this.

100 essential New Zealand albums / Bollinger, Nick
“Compiled by one of New Zealand s most popular music columnists, this listing will delight pop music fans everywhere. The choices included cover a broad range and present an eclectic taste. Eachentry is accompanied by some of the most entertaining writing about music and musicians, ranging from personal accounts of youthful encounters with music legends as well as passionate responses to renowned albums. Guaranteed to surprise and intrigue, thisreference is a must-have for all music lovers.” (Catalogue)

The Dunedin sound : some disenchanted evening / Chapman, Ian
“There are very few geographical locations in the world that are privileged enough to have an internationally acknowledged ‘sound’ attributed to them. Remarkably, New Zealand has just such a location in Dunedin. For more than three and a half decades now, the cultural identity of this modestly-sized southern university city has been bound to music, and it surely will be ad infinitum. Within the ever-evolving history of popular music, the Dunedin Sound continues to sit proudly alongside the the likes of Liverpool’s Mersey Sound, the Nashville Sound, and the Seattle Sound.”  (Adapted from Catalogue)

Taonga pūoro = Singing treasures : the musical instruments of the Māori / Flintoff, Brian
“Comprehensively covers the world of Maori musical instruments, a fascinating and little-known area of traditional Maori culture. Illustrated throughout with colour photographs of exquisite contemporary instruments as well as ancient taonga held in museums around the world. It comes with a CD sampler, compiled from recent releases of contemporary Maori music and the natural sounds which inspires it. And to further breathe life into this book, the technical information about each instrument is interwoven with the stories and myths that belong to each instrument. In addition, instructions are given for making and playing these singing treasures, and there is an explanation of the art forms used in Maori carving.” (Catalogue)

Moon, tides & shoreline : Gillian Karawe Whitehead, a life in music / Sanders, Noel
“One of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most distinguished classical composers, Gillian Whitehead has produced a substantial and lasting body of work that includes operas, orchestral and choral pieces, vocal and instrumental chamber compositions and solo works. They are often in collaboration with poets and other artists, and many incorporate traditional Ma-ori musical instruments and themes.” (Catalogue)

I’m with the band : how to make a career in popular music in New Zealand / Chunn, Mike
“Whether you want to make a living from music or play for fun, this is the essential guide to the New Zealand music industry. I’M WITH THE BAND explains everything you need to know from recording demos to signing contracts, from hiring a manager to protecting your music. Key figures in the New Zealand industry share their inside knowledge and experiences to help everyone from the hobby band to the performer on the brink of discovery.” (Catalogue)

Backstage passes : the untold story of New Zealand’s live music venues, 1960-1990 / Mathers, Joanna
“New Zealand music was made on beer-stained stages, in grimy toilets and smoky back rooms. Venues like Dunedin’s Empire Tavern and the Gladstone Hotel in Christchuch were the cradle for scenes that won worldwide acclaim, where idiosyncratic styles were forged and local legends made. From the late 1950s until the early 1990s, live music ruled the night. Backstage Passes charts the stories of the country’s most celebrated live music venues. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Dead people I have known / Carter, Shayne
” In Dead People I Have Known, the legendary New Zealand musician Shayne Carter tells the story of a life in music, taking us deep behind the scenes and songs of his riotous teenage bands Bored Games and the Doublehappys and his best-known bands Straitjacket Fits and Dimmer. He traces an intimate history of the Dunedin Sound–that distinctive jangly indie sound that emerged in the seventies, heavily influenced by punk–and the record label Flying Nun.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Blue smoke : the lost dawn of New Zealand popular music, 1918-1964 / Bourke, Chris
“Bringing to life the musical worlds of New Zealanders both at home and out on the town, this history chronicles the evolution of popular music in New Zealand during the 20th century. From the kiwi concert parties during World War I and the arrival of jazz to the rise of swing, country, the Hawaiian sound, and then rock’n’roll, this musical investigation brings to life the people, places, and sounds of a world that has disappeared and uncovers how music from the rest of the world was shaped by Maori and Pakeha New Zealanders into a melody, rhythm, and voice that made sense on these islands. “(Adapted from Catalogue)

New Zealand Music Month: Quarantunes Part Two

During lockdown several of our hugely talented librarians have been creating and sharing music via the Johnsonville Library Facebook page to provide a pleasant distraction from the rigours of lockdown. The music is as diverse as you can imagine, covering numerous genres and worlds. So we thought New Zealand Music Month is a perfect time to revisit just a few of these musical creations and take the opportunity to ask their creators to pick a favourite New Zealand album and tell us why they love that particular piece of music.

(This is Part Two of our New Zealand Music Month Quarantunes blog–for Part One click here!)


Sue: performing Prelude In C Major by Johann Sebastian Bach

QUARANTUNES with Sue #2

This evening's beautiful and reflective QUARANTUNE comes to you from the talented fingers of Brooklyn Library's own one-woman orchestra, Sue, and from the pen of Gabriel Fauré. We hope you enjoy.#quarantunes

Posted by Johnsonville Library on Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Gosh, where do I start re: fav NZ album? That’s like asking what your fav book or movie is… different sounds and genres are snapshots and reminders of different experiences. BUT there are a few NZ artists that jump out – I love Listening to Bic Runga and Anika Moa. I know Beautiful Collision (Bic) and In Swings the Tide (Anika) got a fair hammering in my old car’s CD player! I think the combo of awesome melodies, poetic lyrics and crystal clear voices are the clincher for me. But then we’ve also got so many amazing classical artists – Ross Harris’ Requiem for the Fallen in memory of  soldiers who died in the First World War, is pretty humbling and awe-inspiring too.


Justin: performing his own music (Mow the Lawn)

QUARANTUNES 17 April 2020

Welcome back to Quarantunes, where tonight we are joined by Justin, Team Leader for Northern Libraries & Community Spaces. He’ll be singing an original song called “Mow The Lawn”. Have a nice weekend. Stay safe and stay home! #quarantunes

Posted by Johnsonville Library on Friday, 17 April 2020

I have to be very honest… as an American and having spent most of my life in America we are not very well versed in New Zealand music past Crowded House! But that band definitely made an impact on me because they have such great songs. It’s all about the great songs for me! I did some digging once I learned about Crowded House and I really just fell in love with this album. It brings me a sense of peace, calm, and hope. “Six Months in a Leaky Boat” is the song that does it for me. It has everything I want in a good song: amazing melodies, great rhythm, and a wonderful and soaring blippy synthesizer.


Reece: performing his own music

apologies to my new flatmates who have only known me for like two weeks but will shortly be very familiar with every single riff I have left to record on the Glassblower album

Posted by Reece Davies on Monday, 23 March 2020

Wellington’s post-rock/metal scene has been one of the more active areas in the city over the past decade, and People Used to Live Here by Spook the Horses is the pinnacle of what the genre attempts to achieve in its quieter moments. Haunting and lonely, the album takes you on a journey through abandoned places courtesy of restrained instrumentation, occasional vocals and rich textures. The accompanying videos, available on YouTube, showcase the group’s dedication to the atmosphere of the album and are all vital viewing, especially the final track “Following Trails”.


Discover More:

Wellington Music at WCL: Want to keep up with the latest gigs and releases throughout Wellington? Then look no further than the Wellington Music at WCL Facebook page, run by our very own music specialist Mark!

Wellington Music Past and Present: This site is a tribute to the decades of music that have contributed to Wellington’s sound, as well as a browsable portal to our physical CD collection.

Music eResources: With half a million tracks between them, Naxos Music Library and Naxos Jazz Library will have your lockdown listening covered. Discover them via our Digital Library.

Lockdown Goals – Kickstart learning te reo Māori

Resources to learn the Māori Language

We have these two amazing books in our catalogue that would be just perfect to get you started in learning te reo Māori but, before you race to the catalogue to download them and get started, I need to let you know that just one of them is available as an ebook, the link is below.

The amazing author, Hēmi Kelly, wanted to help everyone out and he has started a Facebook group called  “A Māori Phrase a Day”.  He has selected phrases from the book that everyone can learn as a helpful resource during the level 4 Rāhui (lockdown).

It’s a public group so just click here to go directly there.  If you just want to watch the videos in order (as the feed is full of positive feedback and questions for Hēmi so may be hard to find), you can just click on the video tab to find all the videos together.

Now to his titles here on our catalogue:

A Māori phrase a day : 365 phrases to kickstart your reo / Kelly, Hēmi
Also available as an ebook now, check it on Overdrive.
“A Maori Phrase a Day offers a simple, fun and practical entry into the Maori language. Through its 365 Maori phrases, you will learn the following: Everyday uses English translations Factoids and memory device Handy word lists Presenting the most common, relevant and useful phrases today, A Maori Phrase a Day is the perfect way to kickstart your te reo journey!” (Catalogue)

A Māori word a day : 365 words to kickstart your reo / Kelly, Hēmi
A Maori Word a Day offers an easy, instant and motivating entry into the Maori language. Through its 365 Maori words, you will learn the following
– English translations
– Word category, notes and background information
– Sample sentences, in both te reo Maori and English
Exploring the most common, modern and contemporary words in use today,  A Maori Word a Day is the perfect way to kickstart your te reo journey!” (Catalogue)


Okay so now you can go and put one of these titles on your reserve list and, just in case you hadn’t heard the good news, reserves are free and you can choose any of our library branches (once we reopen) to collect them from.  Actually just before you do that, read on and check out a couple of apps I’ve listed below that you can use on your phone to learn Māori kupu as well.

Apps to learn Māori Language Vocabulary

Here are two apps, Tipu and Kupu that you can use on your phone to learn te reo Māori vocabulary.  If you would like to make some labels to learn the words for everyday items around your house then I suggest you take a look at the app ‘Kupu’. It’s lots of fun taking photos and learning the te reo Māori translations of many of the objects in your own home bubble.

Tipu will help you to learn Te Reo Māori quickly!

Koi is your teacher and she has an innovative Personalised Progression Memory which allows her to remember what words and phrases you know and which ones you need a little extra testing on. This ensures that you are learning as quickly as possible.

Download Tipu here 

Kupu is really easy to use and of course, lots of Wellingtonians will need the kupu for coffee!   Simply take a picture and Kupu will then use image recognition to identify what the object is in the picture and provide Te Reo Māori translations for the object(s). 

Perfect to label things in your bubble! 

Download Kupu here

 

 

You might be surprised to discover you already know quite a few of the kupu when you start watching the Facebook videos or using these apps.  Philip Matthews in a Stuff article published on the 8th Sept 2018 titled ‘The borrowers: Why you are speaking more Māori than you think’  says that;

There will be around seven Māori words in every 1000 words of New Zealand English, including the names of places and people. That may not sound like a lot, but it is relatively high and it makes New Zealand unique among post-settler societies, historians say. You do not see similar borrowing at work in Australia and North America.

So you may know more than you think!  If learning te reo Māori is one of your lockdown goals and a way to make the most of some the free time you might have during the lockdown period or you could use it as a break from work, if you are working from home, then give it a go! Or to say it in te reo Māori,  karawhiua!

That’s all from me for now, so yes, you can go and put one of Hēmi’s titles on your reserve list now!

Staff Picks – The Best Of 2019: CDs Part 1

While we are looking forward to presenting a larger collection of AV material at our next Pop-up Library, here are some of our Library Staff’s favourite picks from lat year – all of which can be found at our Arapaki Branch on Manners Street.


Neil J’s Picks:
Songs from the bardo / Anderson, Laurie
A deeply Meditative and gorgeous album with Laurie Anderson reading excepts from The Tibetan Book of the Dead over minimalism musical backgrounds some of which are provided by Patti Smith’s daughter Jesse Paris Smith .

Ghosteen / Cave, Nick
On lots of peoples best of 2019 list and rightly so. This is their / his most personal album subtle , carefully crafted and in some aspects experimental without the joyous veneer of drama found in some of the bands previous albums.

Anima. / Yorke, Thom
His third solo album Anima is another interior electro acoustic work. It is one of his most fully realised works one in which he has totally escaped the long shadow of his Radiohead work. Ever since Radiohead’s giant leap into new musical territory with Kid A, Yorke has been exploring the world of what is loosely described as electro acoustic music Anima continues this trend. This album feels like he has fully found his solo voice free from any Radiohead influences.

Flamagra. / Flying Lotus
This album has a lot of everything guest musicians, styles, approaches to the sound. And in some cases this could sound confused and muddled. Where it really comes together is its creative free formed explosion of sounds it is so immersed in pushing the contributor’s creative boundaries that it is impossible to leave out of any best of 2010 list.

Rainford. / Perry, Lee
U Sound’s the legendary dub outfit are behind the latest release from maverick reggae legend Lee “Scratch” Perry. Rainford contains all of Lee Perry’s unique stylings his wonderful iconic unmistakable vocal drawl and his trade mark free form lyrical style superbly combined with U Sounds musical production. The later dub remixed version Heavy rain is also worth a mention it is weirder and warmer and arguably an even better version of the material in Rainford.

Shinji’s Picks:
Jaime. / Howard, Brittany
Dedicated to her sister Jaime, who taught her piano and poetry but died young, Alabama Shakes’ lead singer Brittany Howard’s solo effort is a triumph. She presents a very personal, deeply emotional world, touching complex subjects such as mixed-race, sexual minority and religion. However, her remarkable voice and the edgy arrangements make it standout pop music of today.

The gospel according to water. / Henry, Joe
Joe Henry found out that he had stage 4 Prostate cancer late 2018, but only a year down the line, he released this marvellous album. This intimate and compelling collection of songs show that he still has a lot of stories to tell, and will be remembered as his masterpiece. Sublime.

Love will find a way. / Bailey, Philip
What a pleasant surprise! One of the founders of Earth, Wind and Fire, Philip Baily’s first solo release in 17 years is a superb jazz soul album. Employing accomplished jazz musicians on the scene, including Robert Glasper and Kamasi Washington, seems to rejuvenate him and he is leading the charge with his signature falsetto voice. Younger than yesterday.

Kiwanuka. / Kiwanuka, Michael
In his music, there are a lot of retro feelings and the shadows of the likes of Marvin Gaye, Terry Callier, Curtis Mayfield, Bob Dylan and above all Bill Withers. The London soul singer excellently updates the musical essences of these legends and makes it organic yet emotional modern music.

Characters on a wall. / Sclavis, Louis
French clarinetist Louis Sclavis has a long association with ECM records, which celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2019. His 13th album for the label is inspired by the paintings of urban artist Ernest Pignon-Eenest. It’s one of the ESM’s most low-key albums in 2019 but exquisitely executed chamber jazz and gets better with every listen, which is very ECM.

Circuits. / Potter, Chris
One of the most prominent jazz musicians of today, the saxophonist Chris Potter’s new album is not from ECM, where he made his home for last few albums, but a brilliant one. Infusing funk, electronica etc., the album abounds in ample creative energy and features vibrant grooves and intense improvisations. Superb.

The undivided five / Winged Victory for the Sullen
Moving to Ninja Tune was surprising but this ambient duo deepened their well-established cinematic, dream-like music world. From the simple yet intricate compositions, they create the soundscape of shimmering beauty, somewhere between post-classical, drone and ambient.

All encores. / Frahm, Nils
German post-classical, electronica artist Nils Frahm nicely compiles his three EP releases; ‘Encores 1’ (featuring solo piano and harmonium),’Encores 2’ (ambient) and ‘Encores 3’ (dub, house-ish). It makes a great pair with the brilliant 2018 album ‘All Melody’, and showcases his exceptional talent as a sound creator.

Drift series 1 : sampler edition. / Underworld
In November 2018, Underworld set out on a project called ‘Drift’ and released music, videos, essays etc. every week for a year. Now this ambitious project has been completed and published in various mediums. This sampler shows that this veteran duo is still in a top form and offers a joyous listen.

Losst and founnd. / Nilsson, Harry
The wait is over. Harry Nilsson died in 1994 at the age of 52 just after finishing recording new materials, which was never released. This lost gem has finally come out thanks to producer Mark Hudson who did a great job to make it a complete album. The result is a wonderful pop album showcasing ‘classic’ Nilsson world; strong melodies and unique humour. Wish you were here, Harry!

Jonathan’s Picks:
Ghosteen / Cave, Nick
All mirrors. / Olsen, Angel
Designer. / Harding, Aldous
Magdalene. / FKA twigs
Anima. / Yorke, Thom