Author Archives: Sue Vazakas

About Sue Vazakas

Science/Engineering Librarian and devoted reader.

Science Fiction and Fantasy in Fall Classes

Hello again from your Sci Fi Librarian, with some tips about expressing your love of sci fi  and/or fantasy — reading *or* writing —  in classes being offered this Fall. (Read the full class description to see any restrictions.) In … Continue reading

Stories from Turkey

Once there was a white elephant, an Indian boy who was his friend, an architect, several sultans, and a mystery. My introduction to Turkish fiction was the beautifully written The Architect’s Apprentice (2015). The author, Elif Shafak (sometimes spelled “Safak”), … Continue reading

Scientists, Communicating, Doing Science

How does science get done? In many ways — experimenting, theorizing, testing, observing. But good science also comes from lots and lots of talking. At conferences, in journals, in hallways, at seminars, with patients, in classrooms and labs, over coffee, … Continue reading

“Very Short Introductions” — Quick Overviews about Lots of Things

POP QUIZ — You need a quick overview about a topic. Where do you look? Your answer is partly right but could be better. You said “Wikipedia,” which never hurts. But you’ll always need a few more sources, whose trustworthiness … Continue reading

Patents — Amaze Your Friends!

Patents are historical, technical, artistic, ground-breaking, legally binding, creative, and revealing. Patents are incredibly cool, and extremely useful. What’s a patent? A patent is the right to keep other people from making or selling YOUR invention (unless you give them … Continue reading

JohnCon Has It All

Paintball, magic, tournaments, laser tag, comedy — where can you get all of this at the same event? That would be JohnCon (April 14-16)! JohnCon is the annual convention of JHU’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Association (HopSFA). It’s held in … Continue reading

Watership Down – Book, Film, and Music

“Do tell me how I can help you,” said the Chief Rabbit. “Well sir,’ said Hazel rather hesitantly, ‘it’s because of my brother — Fiver here. He can often tell when there’s anything bad about, and I’ve found him right … Continue reading

Fun Bad Science Fiction

Hi, everyone! Sci Fi Librarian is here to look ahead to when you’ll be finished with exams and have some time to watch science fiction movies again. My brain will be fried by then. Modern sci fi movies make me … Continue reading

A Secret Weapon for You

Your librarians know a lot of things. A lot of things. That knowledge comes from many sources, including our widely differing kinds of experience; the kind of books and shows and music we like; and our various academic degrees, including … Continue reading

Unconventional Medicine (and the Baltimore Marathon)

The intriguing topic of “unconventional medicine” is the theme of this year’s Conversations in Medicine speaker series. Today’s medical field is incredibly interdisciplinary. Fascinating and non-traditional careers, related to healthcare but not necessarily requiring an MD, are everywhere. For example: … Continue reading