What makes the genre of science fiction (sci-fi) different from the genre of fantasy? Sci-fi uses true or partially true theories of science in the story, and is usually time sensitive. It speculates on how life would be different with a technological change generally in the future, but time travel is allowed.

The benefits of reading sci-fi include those listed for reading fantasy — stimulate imagination, creativity, problem solving and coping skills, but we have to add vocabulary, analytical skills, and memory and mental stimulation. Here are a few selections to get you started.

“The Stars We Steal,” by Alexa Donne.

“The Stars We Steal,” by Alexa Donne, is one of several science fiction books available at the Detroit Lakes Public Library. (Courtesy photo)
“The Stars We Steal,” by Alexa Donne, is one of several science fiction books available at the Detroit Lakes Public Library. (Courtesy photo)

Engagement season is in the air. Eighteen-year-old Princess Leonie “Leo” Kolburg, heir to a faded European spaceship, has only one thing on her mind: which lucky bachelor can save her family from financial ruin? But when Leo’s childhood friend and first love, Elliot, returns as the captain of a successful whiskey ship, everything changes. Elliot was the one who got away, the boy Leo’s family deemed to be unsuitable for marriage. Now he’s the biggest catch of the season and he seems determined to make Leo’s life miserable. But old habits die hard, and as Leo navigates the glittering balls of the Valg Season, she finds herself falling for her first love in a game of love, lies, and past regrets.

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“The Spaceship Next Door,” by Gene Doucette.

“The Spaceship Next Door,” by Gene Doucette, is one of several science fiction books available at the Detroit Lakes Public Library. (Courtesy photo)
“The Spaceship Next Door,” by Gene Doucette, is one of several science fiction books available at the Detroit Lakes Public Library. (Courtesy photo)

Three years ago, a spaceship landed in an open field in the quiet mill town of Sorrow Falls, Mass. It never opened its doors, and for all that time, the townspeople have wondered why the ship landed there, and what — or who — could be inside. Then one day a government operative — posing as a journalist — arrives in town, asking questions. He discovers 16-year-old Annie Collins, one of the ship’s closest neighbors and a local fixture known throughout the town, who has some of the answers. As a matter of fact, Annie Collins might be the most important person on the planet. She just doesn’t know it.

Library Happenings

Storytime: Preschoolers and their caregivers are invited to come to the library for Storytime on Thursday, Jan. 16 and Saturday, Jan. 18 at 10:30 a.m. A different theme is explored each week. Daycares and other large groups are asked to call ahead.

All Lake Agassiz Regional Library (LARL) branches and LINK sites, including Detroit Lakes, will be closed on Monday, Jan. 20, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, with regular hours resuming on Tuesday, Jan. 21.

The library's annual Blind Date with a Book is scheduled to start Tuesday, Jan. 21 and continue through Saturday, Feb. 15. Here's a chance to have a mystery date with a book you might never have checked out on your own. Choose a wrapped book at the library, bring it home, read it, then rate it for a chance to win a prize.

Library Hours

The library’s regular hours are as follows: Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. It is closed on Sundays and all national holidays.

Lake Agassiz Regional Library (LARL) is a consolidated public library system comprised of 13 branch libraries and nine LINK sites serving the residents of seven counties in northwest Minnesota. Besides Detroit Lakes, LARL’s other branch libraries are located in Ada, Bagley, Barnesville, Breckenridge, Climax, Crookston, Fertile, Fosston, Hawley, Mahnomen, McIntosh and Moorhead. LARL’s LINK sites are found in Cormorant, Frazee, Gonvick, Halstad, Hendrum, Lake Park, Rothsay, Twin Valley and Ulen.

For more information on local library services and programs, call 218-847-2168 or visit the Detroit Lakes Public Library at 1000 Washington Ave. Information can also be found online at www.larl.org, as well as via the library’s app, LARL Mobile, available in the iTunes and Google Play stores for free download.