The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip – creepy multi-eyed creatures torment a village


See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Gappers are creepy little orange, multi-eyed, round creatures that love nothing more than to hang out on or near goats, shrieking all the while. As you might imagine, this is very stressful to the goats. They stop eating; they stop giving milk. If your family gets its livelihood from that milk, you’re in bad shape when the gappers are around. They emerge from the ocean, find the goats, and wreak their shrieking havoc.

The village of Frip is made up of three ocean-side shacks. The girl Capable and her widowed father live in one. Mrs. Romo and her sons live in the second. Sid and Carol Ronson and their daughters (who “sometimes stood completely motionless in order to look somewhat pretty”) lived in the third. In Frip, the children must check on the goats eight times per day in order to remove the gappers and return them to the sea (from which they will reemerge again and again).

The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip is a fable about the perils of putting oneself before the community and the ultimate merits of sharing amongst a community. The gappers have bothered the three families’ goats equally for ages, until one of the smarter gappers realizes that Capable’s goats are slightly closer than the others. Once the gappers converge, Capable is unable to keep them away. She asks for help, but she is refused:

“We feel strongly that, once you rid your goats of gappers, as we have, you will feel better about yourself, and also, we will feel better about you. Read the rest

Captured: a book of prison inmate drawings of CEOs and other too-big-to-jail criminals


Jeff Greenspan and Andrew Tider are two artists who spent more than a year working with prisoners to identify CEOs who presided over terrible crimes without any personal penalties, and paired convicts with CEOs, commissioning portraits of the rich people whose impunity protected them from the inmates' fate. Read the rest

Barnes & Noble wipes out Nook ebook, replaces it with off-brand "study guide"


Chris writes, "I bought my first e-book in 1998, before my e-reading hardware had even arrived yet. Yesterday I discovered that Barnes & Noble has effectively stolen that book from me, mistakenly replacing it it in my Nook library with another title I never bought." Read the rest

James Gleick's next book is about time travel


James Gleick, the science writer who established himself with classics like Chaos: Making a New Science but whose later books, like the important and brilliant The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood were even better, has announced his next book: Time Travel, due on Sept 27. Read the rest

Timeline: a visual history of our world


See sample pages from this book at Wink.

I love the tidbits of history, the unique visual style, the subtle humor, and the breadth of coverage in Timeline: A Visual History of Our World. On each 10x29-inch page spread are whimsical curved text blocks filled with simply written – yet intriguing – historical facts. And each spread addresses one era of time. The book, which targets children 7 to 12-years old, starts with The Beginning of Life and includes a miniature image-based timeline of stromatolites, trilobites, ammonites and more. The author offers spreads dedicated to the major geological periods, as well as more brief and recent timespans. Our current decade is the last timeline covered, concluding with “As time goes by. . .” along with a person spreading black paint across the page.

The illustrations are fabulous. Goes uses a minimalist color palette that differs for each of his timelines. The Dinosaurs are on a wheat-toned page with black silhouettes accented by red and gold. The Ming Dynasty appears on a dusty rose background with dark pink and white accents, again using black as the major illustrative color. Goes' technique of black with two accent colors artfully draws the eye to visual vignettes on the page, while the curving text leads you to the next image. Wonderful. Engaging. Amusing.

This book makes for great conversational fodder. Did you know that, according to the page spread on 18th Century in Europe, “Mont Blanc was called Mon Maudit, or ‘cursed mountain,’ until the Enlightenment, when people stopped believing in curses”? Read the rest

The Car Hacker's Handbook: a Guide for Penetration Testers


The 2016 Car Hacker's Handbook expands on the hugely successful 2014 edition, in which the Open Garages movement boiled down all they'd learned running makerspaces for people interested in understanding, improving, penetration testing and security-hardening modern cars, which are computers encrusted in tons of metal that you strap your body into.

No Starch Press has taken on the task of turning The Car Hacker's Handbook into a beautifully produced, professional book, in a new edition that builds on the original, vastly expanding the material while simultaneously improving the organization and updating it to encompass the otherwise-bewildering array of new developments in car automation and hacking.

Author Craig Smith founded Open Garages and now has years of experience with community development of tools and practices for investigating how manufacturers are adding computers to cars, the mistakes they're making, and the opportunities they're creating.

The Handbook is an excellent mix of general background on how to do threat-modelling, penetration testing, reverse engineering, etc, and highly specific code examples, model numbers, recipes and advice on how to put a car up on a bench, figure out how it works, figure out how to make it do cool things the manufacturer never intended, and figure out how to understand the risks you face from people doing the same thing without your best interests at heart.

A lot of the advice is theoretical, but there are a bunch of highly practical projects, from improving and customizing your in-car satnav and entertainment system to tuning your engine performance. Read the rest

Get inside Kathe Koja's Christopher Marlowe novel with a "bespoke edition" like no other


Kathe Koja is one of literature's most versatile writers -- once the doyenne of "splatterpunk"; then the author a run of brilliant, touching YA novels; then the author of a darkly erotic war-trilogy -- and now she's doing something new and amazing. Read the rest

Cycle and Recycle: gorgeous photos of the European recycling process


Paul Bulteel's forthcoming art book, Cycle & Recycle, collects the Belgian photographer's series of images from Europe's massive, advanced recycling program, which captures 43% of the region's waste (the EU is shooting for 65% of municipal waste by 2030). Read the rest

Great moments in the history of black science fiction


Nisi "Writing the Other" (previously) Shawl has assembled a fantastic (in more ways than one) reading list for people interested in the history of science fiction written by black writers. Read the rest

MOS: Selected Works – A collection of the playful architect company's unusual and eccentric work


See sample pages from this book at Wink.

If the enormous hairy solar chimneys that these architects once built in the middle of Long Island City don’t make you smile, then your sense of play might need renovation. The fun-loving, aggressively eccentric work of MOS Architects includes some recurring motifs: canopies, unusual materials, solar chimneys, shaft lighting, and buildings that look like blocks tumbled to earth. Engaging for architects and non-architects alike, this is a book that I keep picking up: to look through the illustrations, to wonder at, to think about how to work creatively, to show something weird and wild to a friend. While there is some discussion of theory in the included essays, this is a book refreshingly light on architectural jargon.

The architectural historian Lucia Allais suggests in an included essay that one of the primary questions that the work of MOS poses is, “Is this simple or complex?” While the works presented are often simple, the reactions they provoked for me were complex, ranging from confusion to glee to disbelief. Crammed with 300 images, the just-released MOS: Selected Works demonstrates the firm’s unusual range of having produced buildings, installations, furniture, software, films, and pavilions, along with smaller works (like this book).

MOS, as a firm, is on a very serious mission to advance the limits of architecture, but without taking themselves too seriously. Their hilarious office manual is included in the book and will inspire glee in anyone who has ever worked in a corporate office, advising, “You will arrive at the Office when you are awake and ready to work. Read the rest

Anti-censorship coalition urges Virginia governor to veto "Beloved" bill


Peter from the National Coalition Against Cenorship sez, "A bill requiring schools to notify parents if any 'sexually explicit content' is being taught would undermine First Amendment principles and the freedom to read." Read the rest

Coming in November: Pirate Utopia, a novella by Bruce Sterling with an intro by Warren Ellis


Pre-orders now being taken, ships Nov 2016. Sterling sez, "A new novella of mine set in an alternate Europe just after the Great War." I know what I'm doing next Nov. What. A. Cover. Read the rest

A collection of James P. Blaylock's short stories


I love reading James Blaylock's novels. His take on humanity, and the super natural, always thrill me. This collection of short stories made my rainy weekend.

This collection of 16 stories is wonderful. Blaylock often tells tales where hope is covered in a dark sheen of barely contained evil, hiding in everyday California. I'm addicted!

Included in this, his only collection of shorts, is Blaylock's award winning 13 Phantasms, the story of a man who follows an ad back into the golden age of science fiction. Steampunk, classic sci-fi, and a few new Langdon St. Ives adventures (one of Blaylock's best known characters,) are gripping!

Thirteen Phantasms and Other Stories by James P. Blaylock via Amazon Read the rest

To understand Trump, read Transmet


Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson's Transmetropolitan is nearly 20 years old, and the science fiction story of a journalist who wages truth-war on scumbag politicians 200 years from now could not be more relevant than it is today. Read the rest

Campbell Award anthology: a million words of free fiction from tomorrow's SFF superstars


The Campbell Award for best new writer is voted on and presented with the Hugo Awards -- to be eligible, you must have made your first professional sale in the previous two years. Read the rest

Gorgeous new covers for 100 great public domain books


The New York Public Library's spectacular Digital Public Library challenged designers to create new covers for some of the public domain's greatest books, which had been previously doomed to an undeserved dullness thanks to the auto-generated covers that book-scanning projects stuck them with. Read the rest

World Book Week RPG: let's play Frankfurt Book Fair!


The Book Fair Game is a new open/free title from Matt Finch, a game designer with a residency at the State Library of Queensland, Australia. Read the rest

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