Critical Era’s March 2013 Selection: LoveStar by Andri Snaer Magnason


We’re pleased to announce that our March 2013 read will be author Andri Snaer Magnason’s Philip K. Dick Award nominated novel LoveStar (translated from the Icelandic by Victoria Cribb):

LoveStar, the enigmatic and obsessively driven founder of the LoveStar corporation, has unlocked the key to transmitting data via birdwaves, thus freeing mankind from wires and devices, and allowing consumerism, technology, and science to run rampant over all aspects of daily life. Cordless modern men and women are paid to howl advertisements at unsuspecting passers-by, REGRET machines eliminate doubt over roads not taken, soul mates are identified and brought together (while existing, unscientifically validated relationships are driven remorselessly asunder), and rocketing the dead into the sky becomes both a status symbol and a beautiful, cathartic show for those left behind.

Indridi and Sigrid, two blissfully happy young lovers, have their perfect worlds threatened (along with Indridi’s sanity) when they are “calculated apart” and are forced to go to extreme lengths to prove their love. Their journey ultimately puts them on a collision course with LoveStar, who is on his own mission to find what might become the last idea in the world.

Steeped in influences ranging from Italo Calvino, Jorge Luis Borges, and Kurt Vonnegut to George Orwell, Douglas Adams, and Monty Python, Andri Snær Magnason has created a surreal yet uncomfortably familiar world, where the honey embrace of love does its utmost to survive amid relentless and overpowering controls. (from the paperback edition)

More about Andri Snaer Magnason:

ANDRI SNÆR MAGNASON is one of Iceland’s most celebrated young writers. He has written poetry, plays, fiction, and non-fiction, and in 2009 he co-directed the documentary Dreamland, which was based on his book Dreamland: A Self-Help Manual for a Frightened Nation. In 2002 LoveStar was named “Novel of the Year” by Icelandic booksellers and received the DV Literary Award and a nomination for the Icelandic Literary Prize. His children’s book, The Story of the Blue Planet—now published or performed in twenty-six countries—was the first children’s book to receive the Icelandic Literary Prize, and was also the recipient of the Janusz Korczak Honorary Award and the West Nordic Children’s Book Prize. Andri is the winner of the 2010 Kairos Award. (from the publisher)

We recently conducted an interview with Mr. Magnason about his recently translated children’s book titled The Story of the Blue Planet, which you can read here.

Best of all Mr. Magnason will be joining Critical Era online via Skype to discuss his award nominated novel with the group on the evening of Tuesday, March 26th at 8PM Eastern.

Not a member? Sign up is a quick, easy, and free via the Goodreads website. All you need in order to participate is a computer and a microphone. Come join us!

What is Critical Era?

Critical Era is a free to join, online, contemporary fiction book club maintained and operated by Typographical Era through Goodreads. Official selections are announced on a monthly basis. All you need to do is grab yourself a copy of the book, read it, and then join us online for a healthy discussion about its contents. From time to time, and whenever possible, the author of the novel will make his or herself available to the group during our live discussion to answer questions as well.

We only have one rule: Be nice to one another. It is okay to not like a book. It is NOT okay not to like a person because they did not like a book.

As a member of the club you’re not required to attend every meeting. You’re free to read whatever titles that interest you and participate in whichever conversations that you’d like to be a part of.

Live discussions are facilitated by Typographical Era via Skype audio chat and are generally scheduled on the last Tuesday of each month at 9PM Eastern time. You can download and install Skype here. The basic application is free of charge and the paid premium services they provide are not required to take part in the monthly discussions. In addition, communication throughout the month is encouraged through the club’s Goodreads forum.

Therefore, it doesn’t matter if you’re in England, Finland, or the United States, as long as you speak English (sorry, it’s the only language we’re fluent in!) and enjoying reading contemporary fiction, there’s a place for you here.

If you’ve got additional questions about Critical Era or you need assistance with using our Goodreads forums or with setting up Skype, please use the comment form below to contact us.

About Aaron Westerman

Aaron Westerman is the Manager of Web Architecture for a national human services organization. When he's not busy tearing sites apart and rebuilding them, he spends his ever shrinking free time trying to keep up with his twins, reading works of translated literature, and watching far too many Oscar nominated movies.