My Sister Rosa: disquieting YA novel about loving an adorable psychopath

Che Taylor is 17 and his little sister, Rosa, is 10 -- and she's a psychopath. His itinerant parents are relocating the family -- again -- to start (another) social enterprise, this one in New York, and Che knows that when the plane from Bangkok touches down, Rosa will resume her secret campaigns of psychological torture and ghastly cruelty, and that he'll be the only one who can see through the cherubic, charismatic, ringleted facade to the monster underneath. If only he didn't love her so much...

Pirate Utopia: Bruce Sterling's novella of Dieselpunk, weird politics, and fascism

Between 1920 and 1924, the Free State of Fiume was a real-world "pirate utopia," an ungoverned place of blazing futurism, military triumphalism, transgression, sex, art, dada, and high weirdness. In Bruce Sterling's equally blazing dieselpunk novella Pirate Utopia, the author turns the same wry and gimlet eye that found the keen edges for steampunk's seminal The Difference Engine to the strange business of futurism.

Kickstarting "Bears vs Babies," a new game from the Exploding Kittens team

Elan Lee writes, "Bears vs Babies is a monster-building card game from the creators of Exploding Kittens, Elan Lee and Matthew Inman (The Oatmeal). Described as a game of 'strategic benevolent betrayal' it has already raised more than $2.5 million in funding on Kickstarter from 67,000 backers. Bears vs Babies completed the original $10,000 funding goal in less than 10 minutes after its launch. The game is set to join the ranks as one of the most successful crowdfunded gaming campaigns in history." Read the rest

Messy: a celebration of improvisation and disorder as the keys to creativity, play, and work

Tim Harford's Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives plays to Harford's prodigious strengths: the ability to tell engrossing human stories, and the ability to use those stories to convey complex, statistical ideas that make your life better.

A beautifully machined spinning top

Machinist/sculptor Chris Bathgate (previously) teamed up with Richard Stadler, who machines beautiful spinning tops, to create "sculpture TP53335144462," a gorgeous piece of work. Read the rest

Eyeball nipple tassles

Just the thing to pair with a Cthulhu ski-mask and a studded skull/eyeball bowtie for a bit of trypophic dress-up fun! It's $28 from Etsy seller Talulahblueburlesque of Leicester, England. (Thanks, Alice!) Read the rest

The Millennium Falcon makes a great quadcopter

The Millennium Falcon is pretty well shaped to fly as an RC quadcopter!

I'm a huge fan of Air Hogs RC toys, and have been destroying their boats in salt water for years and years. I was thrilled to see someone flying this giant 27" Millennium Falcon XL around the beach this weekend, and even happier to find out there is a smaller, 10" version that don't cost an arm and a leg.

The fine person flying the XL model on the beach said the big guy a little rough to control, however the smaller unit is a great indoor flyer. It doesn't surprise me, the XL model is pretty ambitious.

I know which nephew of mine is getting the smaller one for Hanukkah!

Air Hogs - Star Wars Remote Control Millennium Falcon XL Flying Drone 2.4GHz 4-Channel with Gyro via Amazon

Air Hogs Star Wars Remote Control Millennium Falcon Quad via Amazon (10" model)

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The Klok: a lovely, concentric, crowdfunded slide-rule-esque watch

The 44mm Klok watch started life as a crowdfunding campaign and has now graduated to full-fledged article of commerce, priced between €400-430. Read the rest

Cthulhu ski masks

With more than a hundred positive reviews, Amurleopard's $4.23 Cthulhu ski mask seems to represent a kind of triumph in a narrow but important niche. Order now and get it in time to wear to the post-election unrest! (via Interesting Finds) Read the rest

Eleanor & Park: a terrifying YA romance that has rescued its readers and frightened their parents

Last week, the National Coalition Against Censorship honored Rainbow Rowell for her refusal to be back down on the frequent challenges to her multiple-award-winning, bestselling 2013 novel Eleanor & Park. I was there, and got a copy of the novel, and have read nothing since, and now that I've finished it, I find myself profoundly moved.

Kids explain how banned and challenged books helped them and even saved their lives

Banned Books Week has come and gone but we can be sure of one thing: the coming year will be marked by challenges to the same kinds of books that were controversial this year, and in years past.

Rebecca Solnit's open letter to Trump: You should really visit New York some time

Rebecca Solnit (previously), one of my favorite writers, has published an open letter to Donald Trump, "New York City Is a Book Conservatives Should Read," which celebrates the city's teeming, messy, multicultural vigor -- something she delves into deeply with Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas, a book about the "innumerable unbound experiences of New York City [with] twenty-six imaginative maps and informative essays" (just ordered mine). Read the rest

Lin-Manuel Miranda made a Hamilton mixtape

...and it drops on Dec 2, with a $14.49 pre-order option: featuring tracks that didn't make the stage play, as well as Busta Rhymes' remix of "My Shot" and other guest appearances from Queen Latifah, Ben Folds, Kelly Clarkson, Jimmy Fallon, Ashanti, Wiz Khalifa, Chance the Rapper, Usher... I ordered this so hard it broke my mouse. (via Kottke) Read the rest

I signed 2,800 copies of Walkaway, my next novel, and you can pre-order now!

It took most of a week to sign all 2,800 "tip-in" sheets that are being bound into a special, limited-edition version of Walkaway, my first novel for adults since 2009, but it was worth it! You can pre-order one from the good fellows at Barnes and Noble (hey, indie booksellers: there's some left over for you -- talk to your Macmillan rep!) Read the rest

Kickstarting Reflectacles: super-reflective glasses-frames that look amazing

Scott Urban's new Reflectacles glasses are Ray Ban-style frames that are embedded with the kind of retroreflective cat-eye materials used for highway markers, making them reflective at 500 yards at night, and nearly that visible by day. He's kickstarting them at an astoundingly cheap $85/pair, in seven colors.

Teasmade: the classic British bedside tea-brewing alarm-clock, now available in the USA

A decade ago, I made note of the fact that the iconic UK Teasmade alarm-clocks (which automatically brew a cup of tea using an improbable, Wallace-and-Grommity/Heath Robinson set of mechanical actions) were to be reissued, and today I come to find that they now exist and can be purchased in a model that runs on US electrical current. Read the rest

Draw like an artist: go from "I can't draw" to "handmade art for sale"

Boing Boing-beloved artist Chris Locke (previously) writes, "World-famous artist and middle-school art teacher Christopher Locke has published a new drawing tutorial book, packed with lessons from his own classroom. Whether you're a 10-year-old aspiring artist, or an octogenarian with an art degree, you'll find exercises and activities that will help you build your skill and refine the way you see the world." Read the rest

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