Jonathan Lethem's best novels superimpose genre fiction onto what we might otherwise recognize as something like real life. In The Fortress of Solitude, a coming-of-age story passes through the panels of a superhero comic (and through the cocktail-party dilemma: flight or invisibility?); in As She Climbed Across the Table, a wry breakup story crawls into a sci-fi wormhole. Lethem's latest novel, Chronic City, sounds promisingly like more of the same: In an almost-real Manhattan, a former child star longs for a fiancée stranded in the international space station. Hosted by Stranger books editor Paul Constant. (Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave NW, 634-3400. 7 pm, $5/free with book purchase at University Book Store, 21+.)