Posts Tagged ‘philosophical’

Vlad: A Novel

October 31, 2012

AuthVlad: A Novel by Carlos Fuentesor: Carlos Fuentes

Title: Vlad: A Novel

Genre: Horror; Mexican Fiction

Publication Date: 2012

Number of Pages: 122

Geographical Setting: Mexico City

Time Period: Present Day

Series: Not part of a series, but a reimagining of Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Plot Summary: Yves Navarro, an attorney, is ordered by his boss, the enigmatic Don Eloy Zurinaga, to find and secure a house for an old school friend of his from Europe, a certain Count Vladimir Radu, who tiring of constant unrest in the Balkans has recently decided to move to Mexico City. At first, Navarro is merely puzzled by some of Radu’s eccentric requests: the home must admit no light and a large tunnel is to be excavated beneath the premises. But after an unsettling dinner with the count, a repulsive, pale-skinned and bulbous-headed figure clumsily disguised with a wig, false mustache, and dark glasses, Navarro becomes anxious for his own safety. A sense of foreboding and menace come sharply into focus as the attorney begins to suspect Radu may be a vampire. But when Navarro discovers a photograph of his own wife and daughter taped inside an armoire in the count’s chambers—a sense of panic grips him, as he realizes too late that he has become ensnared in a web, the contours of which he is only dimly aware. Fuentes’ reimagining of the Dracula story is filled with vivid and darkly disturbing scenes, and punctuated by moments of humor, mostly in the form of roman à clef references to the Bram Stoker’s original. Beneath the tragic horror is a philosophical meditation on the meaning of mortality and what it is to be human.

Subject Headings: Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia, 1430 or 31-1476 or 7; Stoker, Bram, 1847-1912; Dracula — Sequels; Vampires; Lawyers; Real estate agents; Grief; Aging; Mortality

Appeal: compelling, fast paced, dramatic, eccentric, intriguing secondary characters, quirky, vivid, character centered, layered, some elements of humor, literary references, historical references, mystical, mythic, open-ended, tragic, bleak, dark, foreboding, menacing, philosophical, sensual, suspenseful, classic, concise, elegant, sophisticated

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: character centered, dark, philosophical

Similar Authors and Works:

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead (2010) by J. Gordon Melton

Vlad: A Novel weaves familiar tropes of vampire fiction into its narrative and playfully references Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Readers who want to delve further into the lore and literature of the vampire will enjoy perusing this exhaustively detailed collection of some 500 essays on the subject.

The Philosophy of Horror (2012) by Thomas Fahy

Carlos Fuentes’ characters rhapsodize with philosophical musings about the nature of God, the fear of dying, and grief and loss. Fahy’s thought-provoking and persuasive guide to the philosophical subtexts of horror stories will resonate with readers who responded to the thematic underpinnings of Vlad: A Novel.

The Routledge Companion to Latino/a Literature (2012) edited by Suzanne Bost and Frances R. Aparicio

Carlos Fuentes is a much-admired author and critic in his native Mexico. Readers taken with Fuentes style and subject matter, and who want to learn more about the broader landscape of Latin American Literature, will find here a collection of forty scholarly but accessible essays that describe the most significant Latino and Latina authors and their work.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Three Messages and a Warning: Contemporary Mexican Short Stories of the Fantastic (2012) edited by Eduardo Jimenez Mayo and Chris Brown

Three Messages and a Warning will appeal to readers who enjoyed Vlad: A Novel and want to read more tales of the supernatural and the macabre told from a uniquely Mexican perspective. Thematically serious, like Fuentes’ work, the short stories found in this anthology similarly offer a sense of the vibrant Mexican literary scene. The creepy but stylistically complex tales include: a pact with the devil, an apocalyptic ghost story, and an encounter with a doppelganger.

Anno Dracula (New Edition; 2011) by Kim Newman

Fans of Bram Stoker’s Dracula who enjoyed seeing the character revisited in Vlad: A Novel may appreciate Newman’s offbeat and compelling spin on the venerable vampire. In the alternate history of Anno Dracula, Count Dracula has not only not been vanquished, but is married to Queen Victoria and rules over England with an iron fist. Fuentes’ story is filled with references to characters and moments from the original Dracula; Newman goes one further and presents a supporting cast of familiar literary and historical characters, including Jack the Ripper, Dr. Jeckyll, and Sherlock Holmes.

The New Annotated Dracula (2008) by Bram Stoker; edited by Leslie S. Klinger

After reading Fuentes’ interpretation of Dracula, those who wish to revisit Bram Stoker’s atmospheric and menacing gothic tale will find a treasure trove of history and lore along with the original story in Klinger’s lushly illustrated and comprehensively annotated edition. Along with Stoker’s original manuscript, this edition also includes an alternate ending penned by the author sure to surprise readers who think they already know the story well.

Name: John Rimer

Redshirts

October 17, 2012

John Scalzi's RedshirtsAuthor: John Scalzi

Title: Redshirts

Genre: Science Fiction

Publication Date: 2012

Number of Pages: 317

Geographical Setting: Aboard the Universal Union starship Intrepid; Los Angeles, CA

Time Period: The distant future; 2010

Series: N/A

Plot Summary: Redshirts builds an entire novel around the premise that on the television series Star Trek, the actors known as extras—usually wearing red shirts—who accompany the main cast members on away missions, invariably die a horrible death at the hands of whatever space monster is threatening the crew that episode. In a Star Trek-like universe aboard the starship Intrepid, Scalzi relates the exploits of red shirt-wearing junior officers determined to discover why their kind is being killed at such an alarming rate. Led by Ensign Andy Dahl, the redshirts follow the trail of a mysterious rogue officer, Lt. Jenkins, who lives a hermit-like existence in the bowels of the ship. Once cornered, the disheveled and wild-eyed Jenkins reveals the truth: that their reality is somehow being shaped by a poorly-written television program from Earth’s distant past. Although incredulous at first, Dahl and his fellow redshirts steal a shuttle craft and time travel to Hollywood in the year 2010 to confront the creators of the basic cable science fiction show, Chronicles of the Intrepid. With an irreverent, witty tone, and filled with eccentric characters, Redshirts satirizes familiar science fiction tropes in a fast paced story filled with enough plot twists to keep the reader guessing through the action-packed mayhem that ensues.

Subject Headings: Space warfare, Aliens (Humanoid), Interplanetary relations, Betrayal, Interstellar relations, Futurism, Human-alien encounters

Appeal: fast paced, eccentric, intriguing secondary characters, quirky, action oriented, television references, plot twists, strong language, humorous, philosophical, suspenseful, colorful, conversational, jargon, unusual

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: quirky, plot twists, humorous

Similar Authors and Works:

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

The Life of Super-Earths: How the Hunt for Alien Worlds and Artificial Cells Will Revolutionize Life on Our Planet (2012) by Dimitar D. Sasselov

Redshirts protagonist Andy Dahl is a xenobiologist aboard the starship Intrepid, an expert in alien biology. For those readers who want to know more about the very real field of xenobiology, Sasselov’s work is a fast paced and thought provoking exploration of the blending of synthetic biology and extra-planetary astronomy that seeks to expand our knowledge of life in the universe.

The Physics of Star Trek (2007) by Lawrence Krauss

Theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss has made his reputation as a popular author translating the frontiers of scientific thought for a mass audience. In this work Krauss discusses many of the dramatic devices of the classic television series Star Trek, such as warp speed and time travel, and demonstrates their connection with the very real ideas of scientists like Einstein and Stephen Hawking. Readers who enjoy the discussions of the plausibility of the science of Star Trek in Redshirts will appreciate Krauss’s unique brand of scholarly but accessible science writing.

So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel (2012) by Phil Hornshaw

Hornshaw’s humorous, offbeat study of the theory of time travel will appeal to readers of Redshirts who were taken with Scalzi’s descriptions of black holes, alternate timelines, and time paradoxes. Descriptive and engaging, this book uses real science as the basis for a handy guide for would-be time travelers.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Lost and Found (2004) by Alan Dean Foster

In this first volume of the Taken trilogy, Foster tells an atmospheric tale of Marc Walker, who while camping is abducted by seven foot-tall aliens known as the Vilenjji. From his cage aboard an interstellar slave ship, he learns from a fellow abductee, a talking dog named George, that they are to be auctioned off to collectors of interstellar life forms. Readers who responded to Scalzi’s blend of humor and suspense will appreciate a similar tone found here in Dean’s writing.

Night of the Living Trekkies (2010) by Kevin David Anderson

Fans of Star Trek who delighted in seeing that show parodied in Redshirts—if they are willing to swap science fiction for horror with a humorous tone—will be amused by this book. Richly detailed in the lore of all things Trek, Anderson’s novel follows the exploits of Jim Pike, who is forced to lead a small band of survivors when a strange virus transforms most of the attendees at a Star Trek convention into flesh-eating zombies.

How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe (2010) by Charles Yu

Time travel was central to the storyline of Redshirts, as it is in this novel, which depicts a future where time travel is commonplace, and about a young man’s quest through time to find his missing father—the very first time traveler. Both Redshirts and How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe share a tongue-in-cheek meta-perspective about the genre of science fiction, are witty in tone and similarly filled with eccentric and interesting characters.

Name: John Rimer

The Alchemist

August 13, 2012

Author: Paulo Coehlo; audiobook narrated by Jeremy Irons

Title: The Alchemist

Genre: Inspirational; Spiritual Fiction; Literary Fiction; Fables

Publication Date: 1993

Number of Pages: 177

Geographical Setting: Spain; Egypt

Time Period: Not specified

Series: Not applicable

Plot Summary: Santiago’s reoccurring dream leads him on a quest to Egypt to find treasure and to also discover his personal legend or destiny. Along his journey, Santiago’s commitment to his personal legend is tested on multiple occasions, but he continues to keep choosing his quest. The Alchemist becomes Santiago’s guide through the dessert and his teacher about how to follow his heart and his dreams in the hope that, unlike so many people, Santiago will fulfill his destiny. This is a philosophical and spiritual journey for Santiago and his readers. The Alchemist is a thought-provoking and powerful novel that will cause you to question how your life and actions can impact and change yours and other peoples lives. This book will draw literary fiction, inspirational, and folk tale readers and undoubtedly, will cause all who read it to feel inspired to seek out their own personal legends.

Subject Headings: Alchemists — Fiction. Shepherds — Spain — Andalusia — Fiction. Andalusia (Spain) — Fiction. Fables.

Appeal: mystical, character-centered, gentle, thought-provoking, exotic, detailed setting, literary, thoughtful, lyrical

3 terms that best describes this book: relaxed, philosophical, inspiring

3 Nonfiction Read-a-likes:

The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz.

Don Miguel Ruiz discusses and explicates the paths and steps to take to personal freedom, peace, and unconditional love. A great read-a-like for readers who were inspired by themes in The Alchemist of filling your life with love and peace that will help readers know spiritual enlightenment.

The Awakening Course: the Secret to Solving All Problems, Joe Vitale

This book offers a step-by-step approach to changing your personal and professional transcendence. A thought-provoking, spiritual transformation that will help readers of The Alchemist be able to take their own inspirational journey to help achieve their lives goals.

Andalusia, Eliane Faure

 Andalusia is an illustrated guide to this part of Spain. This book offers a visual understanding to one of the exotic landscape of The Alchemist. You can explore Andalusia customs, the landscape, the major regions, and more.

 3 Fiction Read-a-likes:

Siddhartha, Herman Hesse.

Brahmin or Siddhartha abandons his aristocratic life to embark on a spiritual journey to better understand Indian spirituality. Siddhartha is another inspirational, mystical, though-provoking piece of literary fiction for the reader who enjoys spiritual journeys like in The Alchemist.

The Five People You Will Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom

After Eddie dies in a tragic accident, Eddie reflects upon his life in heaven feeling that his life was uninspired, but five people he knew in life explains the meaning of his life.  The Five People You Will Meet in Heaven is an inspiring, philosophical tale about appreciating and realizing ones purpose in life.

The Tale of the Unknown Island, Jose Saramago

A philosophical fable about a man who knocks on a king’s petitioner’s door to ask him for a boat to use on his voyage. Like the king, the man sparks curiosity and desire in the reader to find out where it is he is journeying too. The Tale of the Unknown Island is a spiritual journey similar to The Alchemist in the sense that both stories are character centered, literary, and inspires readers to explore their relationship to the world.

Name: Alison Kulczak

Tina’s Mouth: An Existential Comic Diary

August 8, 2012

Author: Keshni Kashyap   Illustrator: Mari Araki

Title: Tina’s Mouth: An Existential Comic Diary

Genre: Coming of Age Stories; Multicultural; Graphic Novel (format)

Publication Date: 2011

Number of Pages: 242

Geographical Setting: Southern California

Time Period: Modern

Plot Summary: This engaging graphic novel tells the coming of age story of an East Indian American teenager named Tina as she struggles with the bigger questions in life. As an English honors assignment on existentialism, Tina begins to keep a diary of letters she writes to philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre. Keshni Kashyap, an East-Indian-American herself who struggled with her own racial identity as a teen, is the author of this novel. The black and white illustrations by Araki help to convey the charming and mellow tone of the story. The writing is amusing yet realistic and authentic. The diaries are candid thoughts on growing up and philosophy that are cleverly intertwined.

Subject Headings: Teenage girls-Southern California; Individuality; Diaries; East Indian-Americans; High schools

Appeal: leisurely-paced, candid, humorous, philosophical, thoughtful, engaging, quirky, realistic, authentic, diaries, clever, smart, charming, amusing, mellow

3 terms that best describe this book: engaging, philosophical, authentic

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

1.      Tete-aTete: Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre by Hazel Rowley – If you’d like to learn more about Jean-Paul Sartre’s philosophies as well as more about his personal and unusual relationship with Simone de Beauvoir, you may want to read this book.

2.    Leaving India: My Family’s Journey From Villages to Five Continents by Minal Hajratwala – If after reading Tina’s Mouth, you would like to find out more about East Indian culture, immigration, and history this may be a book you would enjoy.

3.    Being and Time by Martin Heidegger – If after reading Tina’s Mouth you would like to learn more about existentialism as a philosophy, you may enjoy reading this book about human existence.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

1.      Too Cool to be Forgotten by Alex Robinson – If you enjoy coming of age graphic novels that are reflective in nature like Tina’s Mouth, you may also enjoy this.

2.      Action Philosophers! by Fred Van Lente – You may enjoy this book if you like reading graphic novels about philosophy like Tina’s Mouth. This graphic novel that is part of the Action Philosophers Series (Book 2) takes a humorous approach to the expansive field of philosophy.

3.      The Village Bride of Beverly Hills by Kavita Daswani –If you would like to read another fiction book about East Indian culture and racial struggles in the United States, this book about an arranged marriage might appeal to you.

Name: Patty Prodanich

The Vampire Lestat

August 8, 2012

The Vampire Lestat

Author: Anne Rice

Title: The Vampire Lestat

Genre: Horror

Publication Date: 1985

Number of Pages: 496

Geographical Setting: Louisiana, France

Time Period: Modern Era/ Pre-Revolutionary France

Series: Part Two of the Vampire Chronicles

Plot Summary: This story follows the vampire Lestat, going from his mortal years through his transformation and present day. Lestat awakens after fifty years of being asleep and decides not to lead a secretive vampire existence, but to become a rock star! He also tries to find the origin of his vampire species and to waken those who are still asleep. Lestat was originally introduced in the first book of the Vampire Chronicles, Interview with a Vampire.

Subject Headings: France – Fiction; Rock — Fiction; Vampire– Fiction; Super-Natural – Fiction; Horror – Fiction

Appeal: Super-natural, Psychological, Thrilling, Action, Adventure, Dangerous, Dark, Creepy, Suspenseful, Character-Driven, Even-Paced, Philosophical

Three appeal terms:  Super-Natural, Creepy, Dark

Three fiction read-alikes:

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

This story is book one in The Twilight Saga. It follows Belle Swan when she moves to Forks to live with her father. There she meets Edward Cullen, a vampire. He has kept his identity as a secret till he reveals himself to Bella, and now she is in danger and he must protect her.

Helsing by Kohta Hirano

This is a Japanese manga focusing on Helsing. Helsing is part of a secret organization in England tasked with taking on monsters and vampires. It doesn’t hurt that Helsing himself is a vampire with a special pistol with silver bullets.

Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

This story follows Ben Mears, a writer, who returns home after twenty-five years to write about the old Marsten House. When all of a sudden it seems there is a vampire outbreak in the town. A very gripping and suspenseful horror story told by the master of horror Stephen King.

Three related non-fiction titles:

Dracula the Price with Many Faces: His Life and Times by Radu R Florescu and Raymond T. McNally

This book is the true account of Vlad Dracula king of Romania. He was nicknamed the Impaler, because he would impale his enemies alive and leave them as a warning to other would-be enemies. One of the cruelest rulers ever to be king in Europe, but honored by his country-men.

The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of The Undead by J. Gordon Melton

This encyclopedia of Vampires covers the lore of the legendary creature. It goes in depth on the Vampire’s history, as well as, its influence in literature, and modern incarnations of the Vampire myth.

Vampire God: The Allure of the Undead in Western Culture by Mary Y. Hallab

This book looks at the enduring popularity of the Vampire myth and why it is so. It also looks at the original Vampire legends and myths, as well as, literature and movies created from it.

Charles Ford

The Shack

April 11, 2012

Author: Wm. Paul Young

Title: The Shack         

Genre: Inspirational fiction

Publication Date: 2007

Number of pages: 252

Geographical Setting: Oregon

Time Period: Present day

Series (if applicable): N/A

Plot Summary: Wm. Paul Young’s The Shack is a novel that takes readers on a journey from heartache and despair through metamorphosis into acceptance and joy. Mackenzie Allen Phillips, a family man who makes his home in the state of Oregon, has a faith in God that is nearly obliterated beyond recognition because of a great and unexpected tragedy in his immediate family. However, by going into and through his worst fears, both figuratively and literally, he is able to finally find peace and an infinitely more satisfying and wonderful life than he had ever dreamed possible. His faith in God thus becomes a living, growing relationship between the Savior and the saved.

Subject Headings: God, Christianity – The Trinity, Serial murderers, Faith, Family relationships, Friendship, Oregon

Appeal: compelling, engrossing, detailed (characters), introspective (characters), well-developed characters, familiar (characters), inspirational, issue-oriented, resolved ending, thought-provoking, tragic, bittersweet, detailed setting, mystical, philosophical, suspenseful, graceful, metaphorical, thoughtful

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: inspirational, thought-provoking, bittersweet

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

1.) Christianity: the First Three Thousand Years by Diarmaid MacCulloch – MacCulloch takes a long and detailed look at Christianity from its beginnings to modern times. Includes influences that helped it to develop as well as discusses differences among today’s Christian sects or denomination.

2.) Founding Faith: the Birth of Religious Freedom in America by Steven Waldman – This text explores the beginnings of faith from the founding fathers on into early America. Waldman debunks popular myths as well as largely discussing what America is most famous for regarding religion – freedom of belief and faith.

3.) Lasso the Wind: Away to the New West by Timothy Egan – Egan takes us on a journey into the rich history of the pacific northwestern United States and carries us on into today’s struggles, adventures and possibilities for the future of the area and its inhabitants. This text is at once moving and depressing, but always realistic.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

.) For One More Day by Mitch Albom – Charles Benetto, a grief-stricken alcoholic, comes to terms with himself and the loss of his mother in this moving, inspirational novel. The author takes us on a journey back into time to truly repair Benetto’s relationship with his deceased mother.

.) Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed stranger: New and Selected Stories by Lee Smith – A collection of bittersweet short stories with a distinctly southern feel, these tales are ones of love, forgiveness, adaptation, and redemption. Smith includes both new tales and old favorites here also.

.) Where No Storms Come by John F. Deane – This Christian love story is at once a poet’s delight and a thought-provoking romance. It tells the tale of two individuals who each pursue a life in religious vocations – lives filled with brutal awakenings and other eye-opening spiritual revelations.

Name: Melissa

Tuesdays with Morrie

April 11, 2012

Author: Albom, Mitch

Title: Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson

Genre: Non-fiction

Publication Date: 2002

Number of Pages: 192

Geographical Setting: United Stated (Detroit and Boston)

Time Period: Current

Series (If applicable): N/A

Plot Summary:  Mitch Albom is a sports journalist in Detroit. He coincidentally catches a glimpse of his old professor, Morrie Schwartz, while watching TV and learns that he is battling Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Having made a promise 16 years ago to keep in touch, he finally goes to visit him. Through his visits with Morrie every Tuesday, whom he calls coach, he begins his final lesson in life. He puts everything on hold as he begins to organize his own life first. This book is very deep and moving, full of inspiration and many thought provoking subjects. It’s a book that will leave everyone in tears from beginning to end.

Subject Headings: Schwartz, Morrie S.
Brandeis University Faculty Biography.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis Patients United States Biography.
Teacher-student relationships United States Case studies.
Death Psychological aspects Case studies. Life lesson.

Appeal: fast-paced, passionate, gentle, heartwarming, moving, philosophical, inspiring, sympathetic, intimate, thought-provoking, deep, enlightening, and conclusive

3 appeal terms that best describe this book:  moving, inspirational, and heartwarming

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

Pausch, Randy and Jeffrey Zaslow – The Last Lecture (Randy Pausch is a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon who was disagnosed with terminal cancer and he decides to give a last lesson about living)

Callanan, Maggie – Final Gifts: understanding the special awareness, needs, and communications of the dying (Story of two nurses, Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley, sharing their intimate experience of tending to terminally ill patients)

Canfield, Jack, et al. – Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teacher Tales: 101 Inspirational stories from great teachers and appreciative students (Stories from both students and teachers with their memories and lessons in and out of school)

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Coelho, Paulo – The Alchemist (A journey by a shepherd boy name Santiago. He travels from Spain to Egypt and teaches the readers about the wisdom of listening to our hearts as he reads the omens and teaches us to follow our dreams)

Hesse, Hermann – The Journey to the East (A journey of a man in search of enlightenment while struggling with spiritualism)

Gaines, Ernest J. – A Lesson Before Dying (Jefferson was sent to prison for a crime he did not commit. There, he is visited by a teacher names Grant Wiggins. Through the visits, both men rediscover themselves.)

Name: Jun Yoon

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

March 21, 2012

Author: Philip K. Dick

Title: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Genre: Science Fiction

Publication Date: 1968

Number of pages: 244

Geographical Setting: San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA

Time Period: 2021 A.D.

Series (if applicable): N/A

Plot Summary: In the year 2021, two of the few human beings left on earth struggle to find peace, belonging, and satisfying relationships. Rick Deckard, bounty hunter, and John Isidore, a “special” human being, are fervently seeking the aforementioned human needs. Deckard and Isidore both live and work in San Francisco. 2021, in Dick’s text, is a place devoid of most life forms, and covered with dust and mounds of useless items. Deckard is a bounty hunter of androids – machines that most convincingly pose as true humans. In Dick’s science fiction classic, the lines become effectively blurred between the real and true, and the unreal or machine. Obviously, life as we know it is much altered. Deckard seeks to destroy androids, while Isidore is seeking to protect them. In the end, the reader may question who or what he or she is capable of truly loving and why.

Subject Headings: San Francisco, CA – future; Seattle, WA – future; androids; robots; love; relationships; extinction; Planets – Mars; bounty hunters

Appeal: compelling, engrossing, multiple points of view, introspective, eccentric, layered, plot twists, thought-provoking, bleak, darker (tone), philosophical, suspenseful, complex, conversational

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: engrossing, introspective, thought-provoking

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

The Planets by Dava Sobel – Sobel has created a poetic view of all of the planets in this book as she discusses their individual histories. She also masterfully weaves the subjects of art, music, history, poetry and more into their past and present “lives” as well. Readers will especially enjoy Sobel’s stories of Mars and science fiction’s writers regarding life on the planet.

Under a green sky: global warming, the mass extinctions of the past and what they can tell us about our future by Peter Douglas Ward – This scientific text discusses extinctions of creatures of the distant and recent past and what will happen if our climate continues to change as it has already been. Ward, a NASA astrobiologist, presents us with a factual account of one of nature’s most devastating patterns.

We, robot: Skywalker’s hand, blade runners, Iron Man, slutbots, and how fiction became fact by Mark Stephen Meadows – Meadow’s compares fact with fiction when it comes to robots in today’s world. He draws very detailed connections between what the science fiction visionaries of the past thought would become of robots today, and how far they have come in actuality. The results may or may not be shocking, but will most definitely interest many science fiction aficionados.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Dead Iron: The Age of Steam by Devon Monk – Bounty Hunter Cedar Hunt lives in Monk’s view of a different America – it is an America that is wholly gritty and darkly apocalyptic. Hunt can save his long lost brother if only he can locate the Holder, a mysterious mechanical device that is currently being held captive somewhere on earth.

Foundation’s Triumph by David Brin – Brin’s story of two worlds in collision is also the third in a series of novels written by different well-known science fiction authors. This book, however, depicts the battles of two groups of robots, which ultimately also threatens to destroy human civilization as they know it.

I, Robot by Isaac Asimov – Asimov, one of science fiction’s most renowned authors, has here created a compilation of nine stories depicting robots in their varied roles/forms. Readers will enjoy the author’s imaginative extension and explanation of the “jobs” that robots can fathomably perform in their personal “lifetimes.”

Name: Melissa

Ilium

October 11, 2011

IliumAuthor: Dan Simmons

Title:  Ilium

Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy Fiction

Publication Date: 2003

Number of Pages: 592

Geographical Setting: Mars, Earth in the far furture

Time Period: The 40th Century

Plot Summary:  High atop Olympus Mons on Mars the Gods of ancient Greece watch the battle of Troy play out over and over again for their amusement.  The reader first meets the main hero Thomas Hockenberry on the battle field as an invisible observer.  Raised from the dead he is forced to work for the gods or risk being sent back to the grave.  When he gets caught up in the machinations of Aphrodite he sets off a series of event that threaten to take down the gods themselves.  Meanwhile down on Earth life is far different since the post-humans have disappeared.  Humans have all of their needs taken care of but their knowledge of the world is limited to the borders of the few cities still populated.  Harman, a man living his “last twenty”, is determined to search beyond the walls to find out what really happened to the post humans.  At the same time in deep space sentient robots speed towards our Mars on a mission to hopefully prevent a catastrophe that could potentially destroy the galaxy.

Subject Headings: Homer. Iliad. – Influence; Trojan War; Mythology, Greek ; Artificial intelligence; Genetic engineering; Gods and goddesses, Greek; Warriors; Wanderers and wandering; Robots; Space flight; Imaginary wars and battles

Appeal: Intricately plotted, Dramatic, thought-provoking, stylistically complex, Experimental, measured pacing, philosophical, suspenseful, detailed, engaging, character-centered, layered, multiple plot lines,

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: intricately plotted, thought-provoking, engaging

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

The Trojan War by Carol G. Thomas

The Trojan War is an event that stands at the very foundation of the Western and the epic tradition, and this volume provides readers with an opportunity to experience it in as direct and as varied a manner as is possible.

Genetic Engineering: Principles and Methods by Jane K. Setlow

Genetic Engineering: Principles and Methods presents state-of-the-art discussions in modern genetics and genetic engineering. This series covers gene therapy research, genetic mapping, plant science and technology, transport protein biochemistry, and viral vectors in gene therapy, among many other topics.

100 Characters from Classical Mythology: Discover the Fascinating Stories of the Greek and Roman Deities by Malcolm Day

This book charts 100 of the most important characters from Greco-Roman mythology. Beginning with the primordial deities, the author goes on to describe the great gods of Olympus and the shadowy inhabitants of Hades. Addressing universal themes such as love, jealousy, anger, ambition, deceit, and beauty, these stories are as relevant today as they were in ancient times.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Voyage by Stephen Baxter

This book creates a recent past in which President Kennedy survives an assassination attempt to set in motion the next great NASA mission, a manned voyage to Mars, in a story of NASA’s detailed plans to visit the red planet.

The Iliad by Homer

The story of the darkest episode of the Trojan War. At its center is Achilles, the greatest warrior-champion of the Greeks, and his conflict with his leader Agamemnon. Interwoven in the tragic sequence of events are powerfully moving descriptions of the ebb and flow of battle, the besieged city of Ilium, the feud between the gods, and the fate of mortals.

Ender’s game by
Orson Scott Card

A veteran of years of simulated war games, Ender believes he is engaged in one more computer war game when in truth he is commanding the last fleet of Earth against an alien race seeking the complete destruction of Earth.

Name: Jason Rock

Star Wars: Legacy

August 10, 2011

Author: Ostrander, John

Title: Star Wars Legacy – Broken

Genre: Graphic Novel – Science Fiction

Publication Date: 2007 – (Last issue of original series published August  2010, series continued with a new story arc with the last issue being published May 2011.)

Number of Pages: Broken is 144 p.

Geographical Setting: A galaxy far, far away …

Time Period: @ 137 years after the Battle of Yavin (The events of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope)

Series: Star Wars: Legacy

Plot Summary: In this graphic novel iteration of the Star Wars saga, much has changed in the 137 years since those plucky rebels blew up the Death Star. The Empire and the Sith have risen again and now vie for control the galaxy. The Jedi have been defeated and are once again hunted as enemies of the state. Additionally, the last f the legendary Skywalker blood line, Cade Skywalker has not only rejected his Jedi heritage but is also addicted to the illicit drugs he uses to cut himself off from the Force. On top of everything else Cade makes his way in the galaxy with his companions, Blue and Jariah,  as bounty hunter often specializing in tracking Jedi. However the Force will not be denied Cade Skywalker is force to reckon with his heritage and embrace his considerable power, when he becomes the prime focus of the powers that be in this newly chaotic galaxy. Broken is the opening chapter of a new story in a newly expanded and re-imagined Star Wars Universe.

Subject Headings: Star Wars, the Force, George Lucas, Expanded Universe,

Appeal: Quick pace, action packed, mature content, accessible, humorous, witty, colorful characters, plot driven, stunning illustrations, political intrigue, philosophical.

3 terms that best describe this book: Space warfare, Jedi saga, slightly grimy space opera.

3 Relevant Non Fiction Works and Authors

Star Wars: The New Essential Chronology by Daniel Wallace, with Kevin J. Anderson

 

Star Wars: The New Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels by W. Haden Blackman

Star Wars: The New Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology by W. Haden Blackman

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Dark Empire by Tom Veitch (Illustrated by Cam Kennedy): The familiar cast of characters in action set jus after Return of the Jedi chronicling Luke Skywalker’s turn to the Dark Side of the Force and the return of the Emperor.

Dark Empire II by Tom Veitch (Illustrated by Cam Kennedy): Continuation of the first Dark Empire Series.

Tales of the Jedi: Golden Age of the Sith by Kevin J. Anderson: Set over 3,000 years before the events of the original Star Wars trilogy. This series has more of a fantasy feel similar to Martin’s Game of Thrones, with intrigue and feudal infighting.

Morgan