A visit to the ‘envisionist’

Aug. 08, 2014 @ 03:21 PM

Gregory Sherl’s debut novel “The Future for Curious People” (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, $14.95), combines speculative fiction with two love stories. The love stories center on Evelyn and Adrian, who at the beginning of the novel are breaking up, and Godfrey and Madge, who are discussing marriage.

Godfrey proposes to Madge, who suggests they go to separate “envisioning” doctors before tying the knot. Evelyn and Adrian’s visit to an “envisionist” seals their breakup. This ability to see one’s future makes up the speculative part of his novel.
Sherl’s novel will be published Sept. 2. (For information, visit www.algonquin.com.)
Here are some other readings and events:

-- Cary author Scott Blumenthal’s novel “The Kiss” (Loose Leaves Publishing, $18.95) follows young musician Aron Beckman, who is learning to play the harp, as the Nazis sweep across Europe. Blumenthal tells this story through different narrators and viewpoints, interspersing interviews of Holocaust survivors with historical commentary to provide context. The novel received the Independent Publisher Book Awards’ gold medal for historical fiction.
Blumenthal will read and sign copies of “The Kiss” at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Barnes & Noble Booksellers in New Hope Commons in Durham. (The book is available at www.LooseLeavesPublishing.com.)

-- Durham author Michele Andrea Bowen (“Church Folk,” “Up at the College”) will read and sign copies of  her new novel, “Pastor Needs a Boo” (St. Martin’s Griffin, $15.99) at 7 p.m. Monday at Stanford L. Warren Library, 1201 Fayetteville St.
“Pastor Needs a Boo” takes place in the author’s adopted hometown of Durham. Unlike a “wife” or the more biblical term, a “help meet,” a “boo” means girlfriend, boyfriend or significant other. In Bowen’s novel, the church ladies in pursuit of the single the Rev. Denzell Flowers show readers the underbelly of the Christian church and ultimate redemption – with a comical twist.
This program is free and open to the public.

-- Durham author Mur Lafferty’s novel “The Shambling Guide to New York City” (Orbit Books, $15), has received the 2014 Manly Wade Wellman Award for North Carolina Science Fiction and Fantasy. The North Carolina Speculative Fiction Foundation gives out the award. Lafferty’s latest novel follows Zoe, a travel writer trying to rebuild her writing career in New York, who is given the assignment of writing a travel guide for the undead. Lafferty also is the author of “Ghost Train to New Orleans.”
The Manly Wade Wellman Award was founded to recognize outstanding achievement in science fiction and fantasy novels written by North Carolina authors. The 2014 award, voted on by the combined membership of North Carolina science fiction and fantasy conventions, covers novels published in 2013. (To purchase this book, visit www.orbitbooks.net.)

Send notices of readings and other events to cbellamy@heraldsun.com.