fiction | KCUR

fiction

Macmillan Children's Publishing Group

"A Blade So Black," a new young adult novel, is a modern twist on the children's classic, "Alice in Wonderland." This Alice faces the challenges of growing up a black teen in urban Atlanta while also fighting the nightmares in Wonderland. Author L. L. McKinney spoke with us about the novel and how she wrote the female protagonist so her niece could read books with characters that look like her. 

Courtney Bierman / KCUR 89.3

Vampires and transgender people are similar in a number of ways, says anthology editor Bogi Takács. Members of each group are often outcasts on the fringe of society, have atypical bodies, and attract the fascination of the mainstream.

Segment 1: South Kansas City is changing.

A revamped Red Bridge Shopping Center, a new Cerner campus, Wonderscope Children's Museum moving in ... the southern part of the metro is changing. What exactly is South Kansas City and what's going on there?

Segment 2, beginning at 24:45: A novelist on writing cross-cultural romances.

georgesaundersbooks.com

A recent high-profile deportation case in Lawrence has spurred local discussions about immigration law. Today, attorney Jonathan Willmoth explains why many immigrants to America overstay their visas, and what options those individuals have.

Public Domain

Few people bring Kansas City's history to life like Monroe Dodd. But in light of our resident chronicler's move to Colorado, we indulge on one more journey through the great folklore of our town. Then, Kansas City Ballet's lead dancer, Lamin Pereira, shares his experience performing in The Nutcracker. ​Also, learn about a crisis rural America is facing through the lens of a novelist.

Guests:

On this December arts show: the story behind "Uplift," a new exhibit that's inspired by ladders, and a local science fiction writer on her book, which takes place in the aftermath of the second civil war in the United States.

Plus: pajamas and punk rock at the museum? The Nelson hosts a pj party for grown-ups, featuring the music of The Architects. We catch up with drummer Adam Phillips ... and talk about fuzzy onesies.

Guests:

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

John Grisham's career has taken him from attorney, to Mississippi state representative, to best-selling author. Today, we speak with the acclaimed writer about his latest legal thriller, The Rooster Bar, which explores the underbelly tactics of for-profit law schools.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

This is the final season for the popular Netflix series Longmire, but not for the books that inspired it. Today, their author, Craig Johnson, reveals the inspiration for his latest novel about the fictional sheriff of Wyoming's Absaroka County, and relates what it felt like when his character came to life on screen. Then, learn what a Prairie Village husband and wife team did when their passion for amassing memorabilia about Kansas City left them with a collection too big to fit under one roof.

End-of-the-world scenarios have always been a popular fiction trope. Now, there's one scenario that doesn't seem so fictional, at least not anymore: climate change. Our Bibliofiles join us to talk about climate-fiction, or "cli-fi," and recommend their favorites in the genre.

Guests:

Universal Pictures

How many times has terrible science kept you from enjoying a sci-fi movie? From hits like I Am Legend to the classic Soylent Green, we explore the science behind these (and other) movies, and how they relate to real life.

While Whitney Terrell was writing The King of Kings County, a novel based in 1950s Kansas, America was invading Iraq. His strong feelings about the war drove him to embed with reporters in Iraq, and the result is his latest novel about war, companionship and the folly of combat. 

Cody Newill / KCUR 89.3

Any errant Star Trek commander you see this weekend strolling downtown was not beamed down from the Starship Enterprise. Chances are better that they're taking part in Planet Comicon Kansas City. KCUR's resident sci-fi aficionados, Cody Newill and Mike Russo, went down to Bartle Hall to soak up the scene and talk to attendees.

Novelist Richard Russo isn’t known for sequels. So he’s broken new ground with his latest, Everybody’s Fool, in which he returns to North Bath, the fictional upstate New York setting of his 1993 novel, Nobody’s Fool. We talk with the author about his writing process and why he like to write about "ordinary" people.

The great writer Pat Conroy died March 4 at the age of 70. The author of “The Great Santini,” among many others, spoke with Steve Kraske on Up To Date in November of 2013. In remembrance of the late author, we bring you that conversation. 

She’s written 21 books which have been translated into 35 languages. Her list of awards — which includes a Presidential Medal of Honor — could practically fill a book itself. Chilean-American author Isabel Allende joins Steve Kraske to talk about her latest book, her inspirations and her eventful life.

KU Gunn Center For The Study Of Science Fiction

Every year at the University of Kansas, the faithful and talented gather at the intersection of reality and imagination. What brings the most outstanding in their field to Lawrence? The study and writing of science fiction. On Friday's Up To Date, guest host Suzanne Hogan looks at The Campbell Conference, a local conference which brings writers and fans together.

Writer Ray Bradbury was an American icon. His work straddled genres, uniting the seemingly-disparate worlds of science fiction and high literature, haunting readers' imaginations with side shows, skeletons, bright stars, the dark skies of space, solitary front porches and late night train whistles. 

KCUR

Science fiction conventions can feel like an alien world for newcomers.

People can speak differently at them, often invoking insider references about their favorite shows and comics.

And it’s a world where die-hard fans dress differently.

For instance, this weekend’s Planet Comicon in Kansas City  is expected to attract droves of costumed convention-goers, dressed up like their favorite protagonists and antagonists from sci-fi novels and cinema.

The Book Doctors: Adventure Tales

Mar 10, 2014

Follow the adventures of a boy as he swaps toys for grown-up pursuits and childhood tales of Lenin for the American Dream. And if you like a little adventure, join a pizza hotline operator as he tries to figure out how to deal with a time traveler.

On Monday's Up to Date, the Book Doctors return to share these tales and more as they tell us about the books that have been keeping them warm this winter.

Guests:

Talking Text With Michael Chabon

Sep 18, 2013
Portrait: Ulf Andersen/Getty

Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Chabon’s novels have taken readers to a world of comics in World War II-era New York and posed an alternative history where Jews fleeing the Holocaust settle in Alaska.

In the first part of Thursday's Up to Date, we discuss his latest story, Telegraph Avenue,and find out how he gets his inspiration and what keeps him writing at all hours of the night.

Guest:

A Heist At The Museum

Jul 23, 2013
Rainy Day Books

Forgery and a slick art theft frame a the story of a new novel set in the museum world.

"First, I'll tell about the robbery our parents committed. Then the murders, which happened later."  With these words Richard Ford begins his latest novel, Canada.

New Adventure For Wimpy Kid

Nov 12, 2012
Rainy Day Books

Do you remember getting teased by other kids, running from cooties and hoping for snow days? The memories and the ink are still fresh in the latest installment of Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  

genniferalbin.com

It's November, and you've hit rock bottom. If you're a creative sort of person, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) could help you out. It worked for one local author.

The dark streets of Kansas City hold many secrets.

ReShonda Tate Billingsley: The Secret She Kept

Jul 11, 2012

Tia Giles is pregnant, she’s also suffering from a mental illness and her husband Lance must make the difficult decision of committing her to a mental institution to save the baby, his wife and their marriage.

Shiloh stands as one of the bloodiest clashes in American history, one sealed the fate of the Civil War and cemented the long, drawn out conflict that followed the 1862 battle.

There's no debating that a good non-fiction book can bring life to overlooked history.  But when everything's been told about that event....or you have an idea for an "alternative" history, where to turn? Historical fiction.

Novelist John Grisham has churned out a novel a year since 1988. But believe it or not, he still has his moments of doubt.

Becoming American In Missouri

Feb 22, 2012

In 2003 he left his life working as an attorney in London and Paris and moved to the much smaller community of Columbia, Missouri. Last week, he made it official. Alex George is a U.S. citizen.

Pages