The Paradox: a secret history of magical London worthy of Tim Powers

In The Oversight, Charlie Fletcher introduced us to a secret history of London and the ancient order that defended it from the creatures of the dark. Now, with The Paradox, a sequel, Fletcher plunges the bedraggled heroes of the Oversight into danger that they may not be able to best.

Randall "XCKD" Munroe's Thing Explainer: delightful exploded diagrams labelled with simple words

Randall "XKCD" Munroe's Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words arrives in stores today: it combines technical diagrams and wordplay in pure display of everything that makes XKCD brilliant and wonderful in every way.

Blankets: New edition of Craig Thompson's graphic masterpiece

Craig Thompson's second graphic novel, the 582-page mammoth Blankets, swept the field's awards, taking three Harveys, two Eisners, and two Ignatzes. More than a decade later, and buoyed by his later successes (such as 2011's seminal Habibi), Drawn and Quarterly has produced a beautiful new edition.

The Qwerkywriter: a delightful Bluetooth keyboard based on a manual typewriter


I blogged the announcement of the Qwerkywriter more than a year ago, when the company was retooling from its successful kickstarter to full retail production. I've had one of the production models in my office for a couple of months now and I've been very impressed! (I wrote this review on it). Read the rest

The final Pratchett: The Shepherd's Crown

I really tried to make this book last. It's the last Discworld novel, written by Terry Pratchett in the last days of his life, as his death from a tragic, unfair, ghastly early onset Alzheimer's stole up on him. But I couldn't help myself. I read it, read it all. I wept. Then I read it again.

At least Turkey's tragic politics gives material to comics artists

Today, Firstsecond publishes Ozge Samanci's Dare to Disappoint, a graphic novel memoir of growing up in Turkey. Ms Samanci has favored us with an essay describing the tumultuous relationship between Turkey's authoritarian, thin-skinned president and her fellow cartoonists.

Made to Kill: 1960s killer-robot noir detective novel

In Made to Kill, Adam Christopher presents us with a mashup of Raymond Chandler and Philip K Dick: the world's last robot (all the others were destroyed after they stole everyone's jobs) and his boss, a building-sized computer, who operate a private detective agency that's a front for an assassination business. And business is good.

Kim Stanley Robinson's "Aurora": space is bigger than you think

Kim Stanley Robinson's Aurora is the best book I read in 2015, and by "best" I mean, "most poetic" and "most thought provoking" and "most scientific," a triple-crown in science fiction that's practically unheard of. I wouldn't have believed it possible, even from Robinson, had I not read it for myself.

Ta-Nehisi Coates's "Between the World and Me" is the next book you should read

Between the World and Me is the memoir of Ta-Nehisi Coates -- certified genius and author of many seminal essays on race in America. It is a work of rage and beauty, and it should be the very next thing you read.

Fable Comics: anthology of great comics artists telling fables from around the world

Firstsecond's new Fable Comics is the third knockout anthology in which amazing, hugely varied comics creators recreate some of the world's best loved stories. As with Nursery Rhyme Comics and Fairy Tale Comics, Fable Comics draws from diverse source material and presents it in varied, fresh ways that have something for everyone.

The Welcome to Night Vale novel dances a tightrope between weird humor and real pathos

Welcome to Night Vale is the spookiest, funniest podcast on the net and now it's a book that manages the near impossible: balancing precisely on the single-molecule-thick line separating weird humor and real pathos.

Secret Coders: kids' comic awesomely teaches the fundamentals of computer science

Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes's Secret Coders is volume one in a new series of ingenious graphic novels for young kids that teach the fundamentals of computer science.

Zeroes: it sucks to be a teen, even with powers

Scott Westerfeld's YA canon is huge and varied, from the Uglies books to the excellent vampire parasitology book Peeps to the dieselpunk Clankers trilogy, and the new one, Zeroes, breaks new ground still: it's a collaboration with Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti about teens with powers.

How does the iPhone 6s camera compare to every Apple smartphone before it?


Thinking of buying an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus? If photographic quality matters to you, check this out first. Read the rest

Hilo: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth, a fantastic middle-grade adventure comic

Daniel Jackson Lim is the youngest kid in a huge family of overachievers, and he hardly surfaces in his family's consciousness -- which is a good thing, because he's just found a kid in silver underwear who can't remember anything before the moment he hurtled through a hole in space and hit the ground so hard he made a crater, but didn't hurt himself.

Ian McDonald's "Luna: New Moon" - the moon is a much, much harsher mistress

We've projected our political and spiritual longings on the Moon since antiquity, and it's been a talismanic home to science fiction's most ambitious dreams for generations. But no one writes like Ian McDonald, and no one's Moon is nearly so beautiful and terrible as Luna: New Moon.

Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future

Economist Paul Mason's blockbuster manifesto Postcapitalism suggests that markets just can't organize products whose major input isn't labor or material, but information, and that means that, for the first time in history, it's conceivable that we can have a society based on abundance.

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