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Rage and Radioactivity: Brooke Bolander’s ‘The Only Harmless Great Thing’- Housing Works Bookstore & Cafe

By Housing Works Bookstore & Cafe

Cultural Events from a Soho Nonprofit – Housing Works

Bookstore Cafe hosts the New York launch of Brooke Bolander‘s new novella The Only Harmless Great Thing, published by Tor.com. Bolander will discuss what went into creating this stunning blend of science fiction and history with Maria Dahvana Headley (The Mere Wife, Magonia) and Amal El-Mohtar (The Honey Month).

The Only Harmless Great Thing is a heart-wrenching alternative history by Brooke Bolander that imagines an intersection between the Radium Girls and noble, sentient elephants.

In the early years of the 20th century, a group of female factory workers in Newark, New Jersey slowly died of radiation poisoning. Around the same time, an Indian elephant was deliberately put to death by electricity in Coney Island.

These are the facts.

Now these two tragedies are intertwined in a dark alternate history of rage, radioactivity, and injustice crying out to be righted. Prepare yourself for a wrenching journey that crosses eras, chronicling histories of cruelty both grand and petty in search of meaning and justice.

Brooke Bolander writes weird things of indeterminate genre, most of them leaning rather heavily towards fantasy or general all-around weirdness. She attended the University of Leicester 2004-2007 studying History and Archaeology and is an alum of the 2011 Clarion Writers’ Workshop at UCSD. Her stories have been featured in Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, NightmareUncanny, and various other fine purveyors of the fantastic. She has been a finalist for the Nebula, the Hugo, the Locus, the Theodore Sturgeon, and the World Fantasy awards, much to her unending bafflement. She tweets from @BBolander

Maria Dahvana Headley is a New York Times-bestselling novelist, memoirist and editor, most recently of the novels Magonia, Aerie, and Queen of Kings, and the anthology Unnatural Creatures (co-editor with Neil Gaiman). Upcoming are The Mere Wife, a contemporary adaptation of Beowulf from FSG/MCD Books, in May ’18, and The Combustible, a queer YA superhero novel from HarperCollins. She tweets from @MARIADAHVANA

Amal El-Mohtar is an award-winning writer of prose, poetry, and criticism. Her stories and poems have appeared in magazines including Lightspeed, Uncanny, Strange Horizons, Apex, Stone Telling, and Mythic Delirium. Anthologies including The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales (2016), Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories (2014), and The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities (2011)and in her own collection, The Honey Month.

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126 Crosby St, Bookstore Cafe
New York, NY 10012


Event Date: Jan 25, 2018
Event Time: 7:00PM
Event Duration: 1.5 hours

Admission Policy:


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