May the 4th Be With You! — Star Wars Books

Hey! There’s a new Star Wars trailer out! Check it out, along with all the Star Wars books that you can find at the Prairie State College Library.

My favorite is Luke Skywalker can’t read : and other geeky truths.


Star Wars : Dark empire trilogy
by Veitch, Tom
GN VEI

Six years after the fall of the Empire in Return of the Jedi, the battle for the galaxy’s freedom rages on. The Empire has been mysteriously reborn under an unknown leader, wielding a new weapon of great power. Princess Leia and Han Solo struggle to hold together the New Republic while the galaxy’s savior, Luke Skywalker, fights an inner battle as he is drawn to the dark side, just as his father…


Star wars: aftermath
by Wendig, Chuck
FIC WEN

As the Empire reels from its critical defeats at the Battle of Endor, the Rebel Alliance–now a fledgling New Republic–presses its advantage by hunting down the enemy’s scattered forces before they can regroup and retaliate. But above the remote planet Akiva, an ominous show of the enemy’s strength is unfolding. Out on a lone reconnaissance mission, pilot Wedge Antilles watches Imperial Star Destroyers gather like birds of prey circling for a kill, but he’s taken captive before he can report back to the New Republic leaders.

Meanwhile, on the planet’s surface, former rebel fighter Norra Wexley has returned to her native world–war weary, ready to reunite with her estranged son, and eager to build a new life in some distant place. But when Norra intercepts Wedge Antilles’s urgent distress call, she realizes her time as a freedom fighter is not yet over. What she doesn’t know is just how close the enemy is–or how decisive and dangerous her new mission will be.

Determined to preserve the Empire’s power, the surviving Imperial elite are converging on Akiva for a top-secret emergency summit–to consolidate their forces and rally for a counterstrike. But they haven’t reckoned on Norra and her newfound allies–her technical-genius son, a Zabrak bounty hunter, and a reprobate Imperial defector–who are prepared to do whatever they must to end the Empire’s oppressive reign once and for all. Continue reading “May the 4th Be With You! — Star Wars Books”

March Book Display: Earth and Beyond

The book display for March explores the search for life outside of Earth, as well as the strangeness of life on our planet.

NASA recently discovered seven Earth-like planets, 40 light-years away. While a long distance for us, it is, cosmically, only a hop, skip, and jump away. As our technology improves and our science advances, we continue to discover more and more planets outside our solar system. And with each new discovery, we wonder whether they could be life on those distant worlds and how we can get to those worlds. Closer to home, Curiosity, the Mars rover, is on the search for evidence of alien life on the Red Planet. How would the discovery of life outside Earth change your perspective?

However, we can stay on our blue dot to explore high strangeness and alien worlds. In our oceans is the largest creature to ever exist: the blue whale, a mammal species known for its intelligence, unique language, and development of culture. Cephalopods (squids, octopuses, and cuttlefishes) have unique, identifying personalities.  We cannot forget the oddness of all the creatures: the poisonous, egg-laying mammal, the platypus.

Take some time to read about the odd and wonderful life on our planet. Consider the possibility of alien life and our continued, scientific search for worlds outside our own. And if you desire, read about alien abductions and UFOs.


The Last Unicorn

by William DeBuys

Call QL737.U53 D434 2015

“In 1992, in a remote mountain range, a team of scientists discovered the remains of an unusual animal with beautiful long horns. It turned out to be a living species new to western science — a saola, the first large land mammal discovered in 50 years. Rare then and rarer now, no westerner had glimpsed a live saola before Pulitzer Prize finalist and nature writer William deBuys and conservation biologist William Robichaud set off to search for it in the wilds of central Laos. The team endured a punishing trek, up and down whitewater rivers and through mountainous terrain ribboned with the snare lines of armed poachers. In the tradition of Bruce Chatwin, Colin Thubron, and Peter Matthiessen, THE LAST UNICORN is deBuys’s look deep into one of the world’s most remote places. As in the pursuit of the unicorn, the journey ultimately becomes a quest for the essence of wildness in nature, and an encounter with beauty”


Beyond the Stars: Our Origins and the Search for Life in The Universe

by Paolo Saraceno

Call GQ982 .S2713 2012

“What is the origin of the universe? Are we alone in the Universe? Using clear and plain language, the author explores these two interesting scientific-philosophical themes with a broad range of studies, including astronomy, cosmology, chemistry, biology, geology and planet science.The first part discusses the origins of everything, from the Big Bang to humankind. It follows the long course of evolution — from original matter to the formation of more complex structures, from the furthest galaxies to the nearest stars, from planets to organic molecules, from the first and most elementary forms of life through to the reptiles, the dinosaurs and the advent of man.The second part traces the history of the Earth and evaluates the risks of extinction in the future as predicted by scientists. Is the Earth the only habitable planet in the Universe? This question initiates the discussion on the importance of the Earth’s position in the solar system and the significance of our geologically alive planet.The final part is dedicated to the search for extraterrestrial beings with identifiable life forms. It also describes attempts for searching, from the past to the near future.This remarkable book provides the best answers we have to the epic questions about us and our place in the universe.” Continue reading “March Book Display: Earth and Beyond”

Westworld: 15 Books and Movies for the Western Android Fan

HBO’s new series, Westworld, is a big sprawling story set in a future where humans have begun imbuing robots with sentience in order to make a large, corporately owned theme park, more immersive for its rich clientele. It is based on the 1970s Michael Crichton movie of the same name where Androids in a Western based theme park become murderous and start to terrorize its patrons. Unlike the movie, the show seems to be developing some bigger questions, such as how is consciousness developed and what is a creators ethical responsibility for its creation as well as examining what is entertainment and what will immersive game playing experiences look like in the future. Overall, it is a great viewing experience, that balances a fun story while still letting its audience delve into references such as Shakespeare, Da VinciAlice in Wonderland, Hieronymus Bosch, and Julian Jaynes’ theory of the Bicameral Mind.

If you have been enjoying the show or are just interested in some some of the themes or genres it presents, then try out some of these titles we have at the Prairie State College Library.

Blood meridian: or, The evening redness in the West
by Cormac McCarthy
FIC MCC

Based on incidents that took place in the southwestern United States and Mexico around 1850, this novel chronicles the crimes of a band of desperados, with a particular focus on one, “the kid,” a boy of fourteen. An epic novel of the violence and depravity that attended America’s westward expansion, Blood Meridian brilliantly subverts the conventions of the Western novel and the mythology of the “wild west.” Based on historical events that took place on the Texas-Mexico border in the 1850s, it traces the fortunes of the Kid, a fourteen-year-old Tennesseean who stumbles into the nightmarish world where Indians are being murdered and the market for their scalps is thriving.


Do androids dream of electric sheep?
by Philip K. Dick
FIC DIC

It was January 2021, and Rick Deckard had a license to kill. Somewhere among the hordes of humans out there, lurked several rogue androids. Deckard’s assignment–find them and then…”retire” them. Trouble was, the androids all looked exactly like humans, and they didn’t want to be found!


What to think about machines that think : today’s leading thinkers on the age of machine intelligence
Q335 .W445 2015

Weighing in from the cutting-edge frontiers of science, today’s most forward-thinking minds explore the rise of “machines that think.”
Stephen Hawking recently made headlines by noting, “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.” Others, conversely, have trumpeted a new age of “superintelligence” in which smart devices will exponentially extend human capacities. No longer just a matter of science-fiction fantasy (2001, Blade Runner, The Terminator, Her, etc.), it is time to seriously consider the reality of intelligent technology, many forms of which are already being integrated into our daily lives. In that spirit, John Brockman, publisher of Edge. org (“the world’s smartest website” – The Guardian), asked the world’s most influential scientists, philosophers, and artists one of today’s most consequential questions: What do you think about machines that think?


The Ox-bow Incident
by Walter Van Tilburg Clark
FIC CLA

Set in 1885, The Ox-Bow Incident is a searing and realistic portrait of frontier life and mob violence in the American West. First published in 1940, it focuses on the lynching of three innocent men and the tragedy that ensues when law and order are abandoned. The result is an emotionally powerful, vivid, and unforgettable re-creation of the Western novel, which Clark transmuted into a universal story about good and evil, individual and community, justice and human nature.


The complete stories of J.G. Ballard
by J.G. Ballard
FIC BAL

Short story, ‘The Largest Theme Park in the World’, describes a Europe of the near future, ‘the first totalitarian system based on leisure’. Former pilot Paul Sinclair drives his young doctor wife Jane to the French Riviera when she takes up a post at the exclusive high-tech community of Eden-Olympia. The multinational corporations behind the business park are conducting a psychological laboratory there, a huge experiment in how to ‘hot-house the future’. They become aware of the violence and paranoia under the project’s glossy surfaces and its increasingly sinister undercurrents: sado-masochistic sex, robberies and racist attacks, unexplained murders. Jane falls into promiscuity and drug addiction, while Paul investigates the death of the former medical director of this ‘Alcatraz-sur-Mer’ in a deranged shooting spree.


Continue reading “Westworld: 15 Books and Movies for the Western Android Fan”

Stranger Things @ PSC Library

In a small Indiana town, a boy, Will Byers, vanishes. The search for Will pulls together his friends and family and the town sheriff. They find themselves up against a secret corporation, sinister government scientists, and a girl with other-worldly powers. This is Stranger Things, Netflix’s newest original series.

Rooted in nostalgia for the 1980s, Stranger Things also finds kinship with government conspiracies and a truth that may be hard to believe. (Very minor spoilers ahead.) Our series heroes find themselves up against a government scientist, who was principle investigator in Project MKULTRA before working at Hawkins National Laboratory (the secret corporation). This is where fiction fades into reality. Launched in 1953, during the early stages of Cold War, Project MKULTRA was a CIA-led investigation into mind control. The intelligence agency concern was on the ability to manipulate and extract information from subjects through the use of drug and physical influences. The CIA wanted control and tap into the minds of Soviet agents and were worried about the Russians doing the same. Over the course of MKULTRA, the CIA gave LSD to college students without consent, attempted to hypnosis subjects, and experimented with electro-shock therapy. Ultimately, Project MKULTRA provided no conclusive medical advancement and continues to be a black mark for the US government.

Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), a federal law “establishing the right of access to government information and agency records as essential to a free and open society,” the wrong doings of the government agency were made public. In 2001, all remaining MKULTRA records were made public. These can be freely accessed through archive.org.

What are the stranger things you can find at the Prairie State Library?

New Movies to Check Out and Borrow!

Stop by the Library this semester and check out some of the new movies we got in this semester. One of my personal favorite movies this year was Mad Max: Fury Road but you may also want to check out Dope, where a chance encounter at an underground party leads high school senior, Malcolm and his friends on an adventure in Los Angeles. Other notable movies include the HBO documentaries The Jinx, which reexamined the  strange life of Robert Durst or Going Clear which scrutinized the organization of Scientology. If these aren’t enough for you, you might want to try out some of their book companions listed below.

Movies

Books

Getting Ahead: 5 Books to Read Before You See the Movie

We live in an age where movie studios and TV networks love to adapt new shows and movies from previously established books. From big blockbuster ratings smashes, such as Game of Thrones to smaller Indie flicks like The Fault in Stars, books have found their way into the mainstream of the industry. The good news is that you can find a lot of these books and movies for free using the library!

Snowpiercer vol 1 & 2
written by Jacques Lob and Ben LeGrand
illustrated by Jean-Marc RochetteCoursing through an eternal winter, on an icy track wrapped around the frozen planet Earth, there travels a train that never stops. This is Snowpiercer: one thousand and one carriages long. From fearsome engine to final car, all surviving human life is here: a complete hierarchy of the society we lost. The elite, as ever, travel in luxury at the front of the train – but for those in the rear coaches, life is squalid, miserable and short. Now the poor have had enough: it’s time to seize control of the engine – and their future!

Basis for the movie:

Snowpiercer

Get the Books (vol 1 & 2)
Get the Movie

All You Need is Kill
by Hiroshi SakurazakaWhen the alien Mimics invade, Keiji Kiriya is just one of many recruits shoved into a suit of battle armor called a Jacket and sent out to kill. Keiji dies on the battlefield, only to be reborn each morning to fight and die again and again. On his 158th iteration, he gets a message from a mysterious ally–the female soldier known as the Full Metal Bitch. Is she the key to Keiji’s escape or his final death?

Basis for the movie:

Live, Die, repeat: The Edge of Tomorrow

Get the Book
Get the Graphic Novel
Get the Movie

  Divergent
by Veronica Roth In a future Chicago, sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.

Basis for the movie:

Divergent

Get the Book
Get the ebook
Get the Movie

The Maze Runner
by James Dashner Thomas wakes up in an elevator, remembering nothing but his own name. He emerges into a world of about 60 teen boys who have learned to survive in a completely enclosed environment, subsisting on their own agriculture and supplies from below. A new boy arrives every 30 days. The original group has been in “the glade” for two years, trying to find a way to escape through a maze that surrounds their living space. Then a comatose girl arrives with a strange note, and their world begins to change.

Basis for the movie:

the maze runner

Get the Book
Get the ebook
get the movie

Hunger Games: MockingJay
by Suzanne CollinsAgainst all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol wants revenge … and President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe!

Basis for the movie:

Hunger Games: Mockingjay pt 1 & 2

Get the Book
get the first two movies

Staff Favorite: Putting the Marvel Back in Miracleman

Miracleman: A Dream of Flying (Book 1)
Written by: The Original Author (Alan Moore)
Illustrated by: Gary Leach
Located in the Graphic Novel Section (GN MOO)

Summary: KIMOTA! With one magic word, a long forgotten legend lives again! Freelance reporter Michael Moran always knew he was meant for something more-now, an unexpected series of events leads him to reclaim his destiny as Miracleman! The ground-breaking graphic novel that heralded a literary revolution begins here in A DREAM OF FLYING. After nearly two decades away, Miracleman uncovers his origins and their connection to the British military’s ‘Project Zarathustra’ – while his alter ego, Michael Moran, must reconcile his life as the lesser half of a god.


After 30 years of on-going legal battles, Marvel Comics, finally has the right to release the original Alan Moore run of Miracleman. The series began back in 1982 and was published in a black and white British magazine called WarriorWarrior, at the time, decided to hire a young up-and-coming writer, named Alan Moore to revive a 1950s comic book, called Marvelman, which featured a superhero who received powers by uttering the word Kimota (at the time the most popular superhero in the world was Captain Marvel, so many companies would blatantly rip off his origin). After a brief run, Warrior ran out of money and was forced to cease publication of the book (it was also publishing Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta at the time). After that an American company, Eclipse Comics, began re-issuing the series in color, but had to change the name to Miracleman because of on-going legal disputes with Marvel Comics. Moore would continue writing Miracleman until 1989, when his protege Neil Gaiman took over the series. In 1989, Eclipse went bankrupt and the series was never finished. From that point on, Miracleman, became a sources of legal contention, unresolved until 2011. Because there was no clear indication of who owned the series, re-releases of the Miracleman was not allowed. It was such a rare item that older issues of it would go for up to $1000 on ebay. Eventually, Neil Gaiman created a mini-series called 1602 for Marvel, and used all of the proceeds to wrest legal control of the book away from Image Comics founder, Todd McFarlane. Gaiman even dedicated 1602 to McFarlane by saying “To Todd, for making me do this!”

If you are familiar with an of Alan Moore’s work, then Miracleman should be right up you alley. In it Moore begins his deconstruction of the superhero that he would go on to explore in books like, The Watchmen and V for VendettaIt would also pave the way for the gritty realistic superhero, that would show up in things like Frank Miller’s, The Dark Knight Returns or Warren Ellis’, The Authority.

You can find Miralceman on the New Book Shelf for the next three months or you can learn more about its history and themes in the following articles.

Books by Alan Moore

Don’t Get Left Behind: Check Out These Movie and TV Tie-ins Ebooks with 3M

BannerWe live in an age where movie studios and TV networks love to adapt new shows and movies from previously established books. From big blockbuster ratings smashes, such as Game of Thrones to smaller Indie flicks like The Fault in Stars, books have found their way into the mainstream of the industry. The good news is that you can find a lot of these books, like last years Oscar Nominees, American Hustle (The Sting Man) and 12 Years a Slave, to upcoming releases like FX’s The Strain and the David Fincher directed, Gone Girl all for free using the Library’s eBook service 3M Cloud Library.

If you are new to using 3M you can find a detailed description on how to use it here, in our article 5 Steps to Checking Out Ebooks. After you download the App you can read any of the books on your PC, Tablet, or E-Reader with the simple touch of a button. So go on and say, “yeah, that show was okay, but you should check out the book”, there is nothing stopping you.

You can also find more Movie and TV Show Tie-Ins in 3M or if you want see what else we have in the collection you browse our shelves here.

 

Game of Thrones: A Song of Research and Science

Recently, the fantastic website, It’s Okay to Be Smart, put together a YouTube video on “The Science Behind Game of Thrones”. In it they discuss the world created by George R.R. Martian and how it relates to science as we know it on Earth. You can find in the academic theories behind the seasonal changes, Valayrian Steel, how Wildfire works, and who are the historical personas that characters are roughly based on. So, if you have any interest in Game of Thrones or on science, check out the video below and then find out how you can a hold of a copy of any of the 5 Game of Thrones books, either in print, graphic novel form, or eBook.

The Book Series

Side Stories

Check This Book Out! Jungleland by Christopher Stewart

Check out the NEW BOOKS SHELF in the Library for some titles that have recently been added to our collection. Featured this week is Jungleland: a mysterious lost city, a WWII spy, and a true story of deadly adventure, a tale of a rollicking adventure through Honduras by Wall Street Journal editor Christopher Stewart.  In this harrowing tale of the search for the “cursed” White City, Stewart traces the footsteps of American spy Theodore Morde by following his journal down the Rio Patuca. Stewart tests not only the jungle, but himself. If you liked The Lost City of Z  or Lost in Shangri-La then this tale will captivate you as well.

You can find Jungleland along with any of these other titles listed below on the NEW BOOKS SHELF this month.