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Sundays@4: Spaceman's Paradise: The Southern-Fried Sci-Fi Showcase Festival

On Sunday, December 16, Baton Rouge Gallery closes out the 2018 Sundays@4 series with a trio of South Louisiana writers of quirky sci-fi reading from their recently published novels (via Spaceboy Books).

The free event will feature authors Zach Bartlett (To Another Abyss!), Sarah Colombo (Subterranean), and Angus Woodward (Oily).

Angus Woodward

Angus Woodward

Angus Woodward’s Oily

A playful, experimental novel on heroism, absurdity, and life from other worlds, Oily follows one New Orleans couple in the wake of a deep-water oil rig explosion as they attempt to save the human race from extinction with a little help from a pair of aliens. Couched as a terms-of-use agreement, those ever-present post-modern texts that no one reads, it has been referred to as “more than slightly hallucinatory, very inventive meta-science fiction.”

“Angus Woodward has invented a sly and funny new literary form all his own: the novel as a ‘Terms of Use’ agreement,” says George Bishop, author of The Night Comet. “Add space aliens, oil spills, and a touchingly effective modern-day love story, and you’ll get some idea of what he’s up to in Oily. Highly recommended for fans of Vonnegut, Warner Bros., and anyone who’s ever wondered what’s really included in those user contracts.”

Sarah Colombo

Sarah Colombo

Sarah Colombo’s Subterranean

Hil Mills is missing. Worse, her boyfriend Ronnie can’t find out anything about her because she’s been living off-the-grid since childhood, and doesn’t even have an online profile. In a world loaded with Screens, where robots do almost every job, Ronnie and a team of misfits try to solve the mystery of Hil’s disappearance. Through warehouse raves, transcendentalism-obsessed communes, and bougie corporate parties, Ronnie digs for answers. Meanwhile, Hil’s busy saving herself from her past, and a future she never wanted. Is it a conspiracy, a terror plot, or just a bad break-up? Spoiler alert: it’s all that and more.

“In Subterranean, Sarah Colombo creates a rich and unsettling world of ubiquitous screens and surveillance, snarky robots and tech-resistant cults,” explains playwright Bridget Erin. “The themes of struggle for human connection and establishing one’s identity in an over-documented and ego-obsessed culture are both surprising and familiar. Subterranean is a sci-fi adventure with humor and heart.”

Zach Bartlett

Zach Bartlett’s To Another Abyss!

Greg Withers, an idle rich twentysomething, has decided to lend a philanthropic hand to the Pioneer Valley arts scene and his punk friend Decca is more than happy to help him redistribute his wealth. Unfortunately, the indie filmmaker they’re working with accidentally summons an Ancient Unspeakable Eldritch Horror on the first day of filming. And the creature seems to have artistic ambitions of its own!

As their art gallery begins to fill with monstrous fish-people who certainly aren’t going to buy anything, Greg and Decca need to figure out how to stop an Elder God with poor taste before it costs them their lives. Or (arguably) even worse, their reputations.

To Another Abyss! is a hilarious send-up of the post-post-modern art scene set in the eldritch world of Lovecraft’s New England,” says British Fantasy Award-winning author Erica L. Satifka. “Bartlett’s debut crackles with smart-ass dialogue and lefty politics galore, as well as an unlikely set of characters you’ll quickly grow attached to.” 

Copies of each of these books will be available following the reading. As with all Sundays@4 events, this special presentation is open to the public and free to attend.