Cherie Priest blows up Seattle real good in her new sci-fi novel, Boneshaker. It's a steampunk alternate-reality thriller. (Nerd-to-English translation: While our fair city is festooned with blimps in Boneshaker—which is, of course, totally fucking awesome—we are also plagued by air pirates and zombielike creatures named Rotters.) Local author Priest knows how to bring the fun to science fiction, and Boneshaker zips along like a smart, seductive summer blockbuster. That the main character is the kind of smart, ass-kicking heroine you rarely see anchoring such an adventure is merely a happy bonus. (Third Place Books, 17171 Bothell Way NE, 366-3333. 7 pm, free.)