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.

Are we there yet? It’s been July forever!

July, aka NATIONAL ANTI-BOREDOM MONTH, is more than half-way over!

Fun Fact: It’s also NATIONAL READ AN ALMANAC MONTH. How those go together, we couldn’t tell you.

So, how are your boredom levels? Feeling listless? Weary? Have you recently made a sound something like this, “Uuuuuuuuu,’mso bored.”?

Bored

You should come to the library.

As my mother-in-law used to say, “Smart people don’t get bored.” I always took this as more of a challenge than a statement of literal fact, but, either way, we can help you with that.

Find a book, a video game, a movie, an audio book, anything. If you can’t pick one yourself fill out a Library Concierge form and we will pick some for you based on what you like. If that doesn’t work, surf the Internet on the public computers or grab something from our language section and start brushing up on your foreign languages. Even if everything else fails and you decide you don’t want that book or movie, have seen everything worthwhile on the Internet and decide that you don’t need to know conversational Swahili after all, then at least you got out of the house for a bit.

 

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.

Author Birthdays – Father’s Day Edition

People have gotta come from somewhere and authors are no exception – special shout-out to the fathers of this week’s authors! And all the other fathers too. Hi, dad!

Salman Rushdie (b. June 19, 1947, Mumbai, India)

Rushdie“A purpose of our lives is to broaden what we can understand and say and therefore be.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: The Satanic Verses 

For more information on Salman Rushdie, click here.

 

Joseph Kesselring (b. July 21, 1902, New York, NY; d. November 5, 1967, Kingston, NY)

Kesselring“You see, insanity runs in my family. It practically gallops.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Arsenic and Old Lace

For more information on Joseph Kesselring, click here.

 

Jean-Paul Sartre (b. June 21, 1905, Paris, France; d. April 15, 1980, Paris, France)

Sartre“If you are lonely when you’re alone, you are in bad company.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Nausea

For more information on Jean-Paul Sartre, click here.

 

Octavia Butler (b. June 22, 1947, Pasadena, CA; d. February 24, 2006, Lake Forest Park, WA)

Butler“Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it’s all over.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Kindred

For more information on Octavia Butler, click here.

 

Michael Shaara (b. June 23, 1928, Jersey City, NJ; d. May 5, 1988, Tallahassee, FL)

Shaara“A man who has been shot at is a new realist, and what do you say to a realist when the war is a war of ideals?” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: The Killer Angels

For more information on Michael Shaara, click here.

 

Richard Bach (b. June 23, 1936, Oak Park, IL)

Bach“If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they’re yours; if they don’t they never were.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Jonathan Livingston Seagull

For more information on Richard Bach, click here.