A&E Briefs

Local novelist discusses writing science fiction and other works

Alaska author David Marusek gave a signing and discussion of his first novel, “Counting Heads,” in the UAA Campus Bookstore on Oct. 26. Marusek has been named one of the best sci-fi authors to date. He discussed how he became a writer and how he got his first novel published.

“Counting Heads” took seven years to write. Although that book is science fiction, Marusek also discussed his other book, “Getting to Know You,” a collection of short stories.

He taught graphic design at the University of Fairbanks, but now he devotes his time to writing. Marusek also talked about international sci-fi conferences that he attends annually. The discussion wrapped up with questions from the audience, and refreshments were served.

Weekend music festival strikes a chord with percussion enthusiasts

UAA percussion instructor John Damberg hosted a two-day percussion-related festival on Oct. 26-27 at the Fine Arts Building. The festival featured clinics, workshops and performances by Alaska percussionists and the UAA Percussion Ensemble. Guest percussionist Valerie Dee Naranjo, known for her West African keyboard percussion, performed during the festival.

Sponsors for the event included the Alaska Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society and the UAA Department of Music. The festival was an all-ages event and open to the public.

Connecting the past and present of Islamic faith through film

The film “Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet” will be screened on Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. in Rasmuson Hall Room 101. The film documents the life of Muhammad, who proclaimed he was the prophet of God and established Islam as a religion. According to Michael Schwarz, the film’s director, Islam is the world’s fastest-growing religion, with 1.2 billion followers.

“Muhammad” also includes interviews with American Muslims, who discuss how their Islamic beliefs shape their lives. The film, which is open to the public, will be followed by a discussion that will include practicing Muslims.

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For more information on the film, visit www.pbs.org/muhammad.