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profile-icon Dr. Brittnee Fisher

I know I'm not alone when I say that the post-COVID world has me drowning in virtual professional development opportunities. Don't get me wrong, I do love it and appreciate the ease with which I can consume great amounts of information from the comfort of my office but it can be a bit overwhelming. On to my point, which is that I heard about this book, The Dark Fantastic​​​​​​, very briefly during a webinar that I attended at some point in the last six months (don't ask me which one because I have no idea) and after the brief description I knew I just had to read it.  

One of the hot topics for which this book is pretty popular is the issue of Rue's race in the Hunger Games books and movies. As a lover of young adult literature, I have OF COURSE read that series. Not counting The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes which I'll get around to *soon*. The issue explained in this book was that of Rue's race, which became a very heated subject online once the cast of the movies became public knowledge. Apparently, book/movie fandom on internet fan sites and Twitter can get pretty ugly and abruptly racist. I have not participated in book fandom online so I had no idea what a truly ugly place it could be until reading this book. Although, I have recently gotten more of a taste of this behavior having delved into #booktok on the app everyone loves to hate- TikTok. 

This book addresses the treatment of race and dark-skinned characters from a variety of media, including books and television. Some of the issues were completely new to me and others I only had cursory knowledge about. I was fascinated to read more about the issues addressed in this book but particularly how the author reframed the experience of dark characters in media to highlight the reflection of our social norms. I was also blown away by the information she provided about internet fandom. I had no idea how toxic and influential that scene could be. I'm very glad I never got involved! 

On a positive note, the author does explain how fan fiction can be used to break free from the dark fantastic cycle and our collective imagination gap allowing readers of color access to fantasy and power within it. I appreciate this book for opening my eyes, not only to the issues discussed but also to an assortment of new authors to read. Octavia Butler is now on my TBR. 

Now, I'll mention that this is a book written by an academic scholar and it absolutely reads that way. Consider this your warning that this is by no means a "leisure read". It's a book that explores race in our imaginations and fantasy worlds. 



Cover ArtThe Dark Fantastic by Ebony Elizabeth Thomas
Call Number: Palatka Circulation PS374.F27 T475 2019
ISBN: 9781479800650
Publication Date: 2019-05-21
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profile-icon Dr. Brittnee Fisher

Hi readers!

A library book club has been on my radar for a long while. Throughout the years many students and staff have expressed interest in a club. Now, interest is great and all, but designing a club for a three-campus college with a very diverse student body was a big challenge! Oddly enough, the forced move online due to COVID19 offered an opportunity that I've never had before. I couldn't think of a better time to try an online book club now that almost everyone has acclimated to the virtual meeting environment. 

I have never been a big fan of the traditional book club model- mostly because I don't like someone else picking my book- so I knew if I were to do this I needed to make flexibility and readers' choice the priorities. I'm also not a big fan of the formal book discussions that often come with the traditional book club. Where is the fun in that? I don't know about you but I'd much rather chat with my friends about cool books than try to answer predetermined questions about a book that I probably didn't enjoy in the first place. 

Well, let me assure you, this book club will be nothing like that! The first rule of book club is that the READER picks the book. You can absolutely pick a book that aligns with the monthly challenge theme BUT you don't have to. The challenge is meant more for motivation and guidance. Some people dig it and some people don't- whatever you choose is fine by me. 

The bi-monthly Zoom meetings are an informal meeting place for us to get together and chat about books and bookish topics. So, whether you are a hardcore reader or not, this is a welcome environment to grow. Come when you can but don't feel burdened by it. This club was designed by a very busy person looking to accommodate all types of people with all sorts of schedules. 

I look forward to meeting all the readers around SJR State. I can't wait to get together on Zoom and grow this awesome community. Register for the Fall Book Club kick-off meeting on October 15th at noon or visit the "How to get involved" page to see the full list of fall and spring semester meetings.

If you like this blog and want more, make sure to subscribe! When you do, my blog updates will be sent directly to your inbox. I'll be posting book reviews, book news, and other fun book-related content! 

Happy Reading!


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