Genre Friday – Rampant Technology Horror

Toaster

Like this except, you know, evil.

It’s late, the wind is howling outside, you’re all alone in the house… and then your computer comes to life with malevolent intelligence and takes over all your appliances. Next thing you know your chased screaming from your home with sinister kitchen appliances and a surprisingly angry vacuum cleaner close on your heels only to find your lawn mower and snow blower waiting to ambush you in the front yard. Through the creative and unrestrained use of a shovel and framing hammer (thank goodness the simple tools haven’t turned against you) and running, lots of running, you manage to barely survive the night.

We’ve all been there.

Rampant Technology Horror (aka “The machines are alive and killing everyone!”) is a small but memorable horror subgenre dealing with exactly what it sounds like – technology and machines that have either taken on a life of their own or are being controlled by some mysterious outside force and subsequently turned on their erstwhile masters. It all exploits the fear that man has gone too far and dared too much, creating machines and technology that we can no longer understand (who knows how an iPad works? *crickets*), let alone control. The best (read most ridiculous and therefore entertaining) of the subgenre, in my humble opinion, comes from the late 70s to early 90s when it was all evil automobiles (see Stephen King’s film Maximum Overdrive, based on his short story Trucks) and horrifying home appliances (again, Stephen King provides an example with his story The Mangle about a violent washing machine). Once the digital age was upon us and computers became a household item though they stole the limelight and it all became frighteningly plausible.

The Better Angels of Our Nature

The New York Times/Sketchbook/Graphic Review/By Anders NilsenJune 22, 2017

A graphic review of Steven Pinker’s book about the dramatic decline of violence in human affairs over history.

Better AngelsAnders Nilsen is the author of the graphic novels Big Questions, Rage of Poseidon and the forthcoming Tongues.

A List of Books that Sold the Most Copies

If only there was a shorter way of writing that. Oh yeah…

NYT Best Sellers List

  1. CAMINO ISLAND by John Grisham

Camino IslandAfter a gang of thieves stage a daring heist from a secure vault deep below Princeton University’s Firestone Library, Mercer Mann, a young novelist with a severe case of writer’s block who has recently been laid off from her teaching position, is approached by a mysterious woman working for an even more mysterious company. The woman offers a generous amount of money in exchange for a job. All Mercer has to do is go undercover and infiltrate the circle of literary friends that surround Bruce Cable, a prominent rare book dealer that occasionally dabbles in the black market of stolen books and manuscripts, and learn what she can. But eventually Mercer learns far too much, and there’s trouble in paradise.

  1. THE IDENTICALS by Elin Hilderbrand (NEW THIS WEEK)
  2. TOM CLANCY: POINT OF CONTACT by Mike Maden (NEW THIS WEEK)
  3. COME SUNDOWN by Nora Roberts
  4. THE HANDMAID’S TALE by Margaret Atwood
  5. THE FIX by David Baldacci
  6. INTO THE WATER by Paula Hawkins
  7. THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10 by Ruth Ware
  8. MILK AND HONEY by Rupi Kaur
  9. DRAGON TEETH by Michael Crichton

Genre Friday – Pulp Fiction

Actually, it has surprisingly little to do with Quentin Tarantino.

Pulp

Pub. January 1952

Initially more a format than a genre, Pulp Fiction was a general term used to describe the stories published in pulp magazines – cheap magazines printed on rough, wood pulp paper (magazines printed on smooth, high-quality paper were called “glossies”). It was not a complimentary description.

Pulp fiction was synonymous with run-of-the-mill, low-quality literature that got by more on its cheap thrills and lurid details than on any merit.

It was, of course, wildly popular.

At least until WWII, when paper shortages and rising production costs spelled the end for many pulp publications.

Pulp_modern

Pub. June 2017

Today pulp fiction lives on mostly as an homage to those early 20th century writers and short stories. Pulp fiction, whether it be sci-fi, adventure, crime fiction, etc., had a certain sensationalist feel and many common themes and elements that developed over the decades of their popularity and some modern authors (especially hard-boiled crime authors) have taken those elements and brought them to their books and stories today. Or movies (there’s your Tarantino-tie-in).

 

 

 

 

Learn Your Library Resources – Novelist Plus

Novelist LogoNoveList Plus is a comprehensive readers’ advisory resource for fiction and nonfiction. With an intuitive interface and extensive proprietary content, NoveList Plus answers the question: What should I read next?

Novelist

To get to Novelist Plus just click on the “Catalogs & Databases” tab at the top left of the Moline Library website and find it on the list. Once you click on the link you will need to enter your 14 digit library card number (if you are accessing Novelist from outside the library) and then you should be all set to begin searching and browsing for your next read.

So… What is everyone else reading?

NYT Combined Print & E-Book Fiction

  1. COME SUNDOWN by Nora Roberts (NEW THIS WEEK)

Come Sundown

When Alice, the long lost aunt of Bodine Longbow, owner and boss of a large Montana ranch and resort, is discovered battered and lying in the snow one night it’s the first sign that danger lurks in the mountains that surround the ranch and the Longbow family. The local police suspect the ranch hands, but Bo isn’t so sure. The twisted story Alice has to tell about the past—and the threat that follows in her wake—will test the bonds of this strong family, and thrust Bodine into a darkness she could never have imagined.

  1. NIGHTHAWK by Clive Cussler and Graham Brown (NEW THIS WEEK)
  2. SHADOW REAPER by Christine Feehan (NEW THIS WEEK)
  3. INTO THE WATER by Paula Hawkins
  4. THE GIRL WITH THE MAKE-BELIEVE HUSBAND by Julia Quinn (NEW THIS WEEK)
  5. WHITE HOT by Ilona Andrews (NEW THIS WEEK)
  6. THE HANDMAID’S TALE by Margaret Atwood
  7. CURIOUS MINDS by Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton
  8. DRAGON TEETH by Michael Crichton
  9. THE FIX by David Baldacci