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Armada Will Make a Great Movie, But the Book Is Disappointing

Ernie Cline’s Ready Player One is one of my favorite books. I’ve read it multiple times and the first time I devoured it in a single sitting. So it goes without saying I was very excited about his follow-up, Armada. Unfortunately, while I think it’ll make a great movie, I was ultimately left disappointed. » 7/14/15 12:00pm 7/14/15 12:00pm

How to Bake Pi Uses Math to Solve the Cookbook Paradox

There is a lie running through your cookbooks. No, it’s not that you can substitute crackers for apples in your pie and no one will know the difference (though, come on, let’s be decent to each other, folks: Knock that off.) The lie goes much deeper than all that, and is the source of what I call the Cookbook Paradox.
» 7/10/15 2:20pm 7/10/15 2:20pm

How We'll Live on Mars: A Manifesto for Colonizing the Red Planet

For more than century, humans have imagined building colonies on Mars, and now settling the Red Planet is no longer a pipe dream—it’s something we might achieve in little over a decade. And many people, including the author of the new book How We’ll Live on Mars, believe our very survival as a species hinges on it.… » 7/07/15 12:40pm 7/07/15 12:40pm

Global Politics Are A Deadly Game In Genevieve Valentine's Persona

In Genevieve’ Valentine’s novel Persona, international politics are a sort of game played on an international level: diplomats are carefully chosen for their charisma, and follow a detailed script. When a C-level diplomat, Suyana Sapaki is almost killed, she finds herself involved in a desperate chase for survival. » 7/05/15 3:31pm 7/05/15 3:31pm

Pigs Are Much, Much Weirder Than You Ever Realized

Did you know that in the Old West, people used to have pig drives, the same way they had cattle drives? They marched huge herds of pigs across the country to be slaughtered. Also, pigs attack and kill people every year, including one man who was pinned to his tractor. We have a very strange relationship with pigs. A… » 6/26/15 11:59am 6/26/15 11:59am

How Ghost Fleet Nails The Perfect Vision of World War III

Set in the near future, Ghost Fleet dares to imagine what the next global war might actually look like. We talked to P.W. Singer to learn how he and his co-author August Cole managed to produce a futuristic techno-thriller that’s as plausible as it is entertaining. We were also given an exclusive excerpt from the… » 6/25/15 2:40pm 6/25/15 2:40pm

Nemesis Games is James S.A. Corey’s Empire Strikes Back

There comes a point in any long running book series when things start to get stale. But that’s not the case with the latest entry in James S.A. Corey’s Expanse series, Nemesis Games. In it, the gloves come off and the balance of power in the solar system is turned upside down. This is Corey’s Empire Strikes Back. » 6/02/15 11:07am 6/02/15 11:07am

This Action-Packed Book About A Female Ghostbuster Will Blow Your Mind

In Molly Tanzer’s excellent debut novel Vermilion, Elouise ‘Lou’ Merriweather works the dead of San Francisco: she’s a psychopomp, helping souls find eternal rest. When Chinese immigrants begin vanishing, she sets off to discover what happened to them, only to discover a larger plot that places her in mortal peril. » 5/31/15 12:45pm 5/31/15 12:45pm

The Mechanical Is One Of The Coolest Books About Free Will Ever Written

On its surface, The Mechanical by Ian Tregillis is a fun alt-history about a world where the Dutch conquered everyone with the help of alchemy and clockwork robots. But a lot of the most mind-blowing stuff in this book is actually about the nature, and theology, of free will. Spoilers ahead... » 4/24/15 2:40pm 4/24/15 2:40pm

Castle Hangnail Is A Perfectly Wicked Bedtime Story For Kids Of All Ages

Ursula Vernon’s latest book, Castle Hangnail, may be aimed at middle-schoolers, but it’s a delightful story for anyone who has wondered about the practicalities of running an evil castle. In this case, a young wicked witch must protect her new home from real estate developers, magical bureaucracy, and a truly evil… » 4/23/15 11:45am 4/23/15 11:45am

Ken Liu's Grace Of Kings Is The Bold Epic Fantasy We've Been Waiting For

Ken Liu has plenty of awards for his short stories, and with his debut novel, he's likely to earn acclaim as a novelist as well. The Grace of Kings is an ambitious, astonishing, and sublime work, one that both exemplifies and diverges from what one might think of when it comes to epic fantasy. It should rank… » 4/14/15 4:00pm 4/14/15 4:00pm

An Eye-Opening Look At The Sudden Rise Of Private Armies

When you hear the name Blackwater, you think of gung-ho, well paid, trigger-happy military contractors who cause international incidents. This isn't entirely inaccurate, but it's not the full story, which is told through a new book by Sean McFate: The Modern Mercenary: Private Armies and What They Mean for World Order. » 4/01/15 4:16pm 4/01/15 4:16pm

You've Never Read A Book About Magic And Loss Like Signal To Noise

Plenty of books use magic to talk about coming-of-age stories and the secrets that people bury... but few of them are as sad, or as evocative, as Silvia Moreno-Garcia's new novel Signal to Noise. Her story of three friends in Mexico City and their musical obsessions feels true, as well as truly sad. » 3/30/15 7:00pm 3/30/15 7:00pm

Kazuo Ishiguro's New Novel Is A Weird Mess, But It Still Moved Me

Kazuo Ishiguro's brand new novel, The Buried Giant, is a puzzling departure. It's not just that the author of The Remains of the Day is writing an epic fantasy about ogres and a dragon. It's also that it's written in a weird, pseudo-fancy style, and it's hard to love. But I did end up kind of haunted by this book,… » 3/10/15 4:33pm 3/10/15 4:33pm