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Future Tense: Mat Johnson & Jon Raymond

Sat, Nov 5, 2022 from 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm PDT
1111 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97205

General Admission Pass required for entry

Two novels that explore our current moment through imagined futures: one on a moon colony populated by alien abductees, and one here on our home planet as the climate collapse accelerates. Moderated by OPB’s John Notarianni.

Mat Johnson‘s latest, Invisible Things, is a sharp allegorical novel about a hidden human civilization, a crucial election, and a mysterious invisible force that must not be named, by one of our most imaginative comic novelists. When sociologist Nalini Jackson joins the SS Delany for the first manned mission to Jupiter, she discovers an entire city encased in a bubble on Europa. New Roanoke is a city riven by wealth inequality and governed by a feckless, predatory elite, its economy run on heedless consumption and income inequality. But in other ways it’s different from the cities we already know: it’s covered by an enormous dome, it’s populated by alien abductees, and it happens to be terrorized by an invisible entity so disturbing that no one even dares acknowledge its existence. This is a madcap, surreal adventure into a Jovian mirror world, one grappling with the same polarized politics, existential crises, and mass denialism that obsess and divide our own. Will New Roanoke survive? Will we?

 


Portland Book Festival General Admission Passes are required for entry into all events. Passes are $15 in advance and $25 day of Festival. Youth 17 & under, or with a valid high school ID get in FREE. All full-priced General Admission Passes include a $5 book fair voucher and entry into Portland Art Museum. Passes admit attendees to the Festival; individual events are first-come, first-served. More info here.

Mat Johnson

Mat Johnson is a Philip H. Knight Chair of the Humanities at the University of Oregon. His publications include the novels Loving Day and Pym, the nonfiction novella The Great Negro Plot, and the graphic novel Incognegro. Johnson is the recipient of the American Book Award, the United States Artists James Baldwin Fellowship, The Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature.
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Jon Raymond

Jon Raymond is the author of the novels The Half-LifeRain Dragon, and Freebird, and the story collection Livability, winner of the Oregon Book Award. He has collaborated on six films with the director Kelly Reichardt, including Old JoyWendy and LucyMeek’s CutoffNight MovesFirst Cow, and the forthcoming Showing Up, numerous of which have been based on his fiction. He also received an Emmy Award nomination for his screenwriting on the HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce directed by Todd Haynes and starring Kate Winslet. He was the editor of Plazm Magazine, associate and contributing editor at Tin House magazine, and a member of the Board of Directors at Literary Arts. His writing has appeared in ZoetropePlayboyTin HouseThe Village VoiceArtforumBookforum, and other places. He lives in Portland, Oregon.
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John Notarianni

John Notarianni is the host of “Weekend Edition” at Oregon Public Broadcasting. Before joining OPB, John worked as a radio producer, reporter and host at WDET in Detroit and WYPR in Baltimore, and had stints at WBEZ in Chicago and WUOM in Ann Arbor. Along the way he’s worked as the Michigan editorial director for an urban development news startup, served as business development director for several Detroit-based social entrepreneurial companies, founded a brass band that toured Europe and honed his craft cocktail skills. John graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in English and Global Media Studies.
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