Horizon Zero Dawn: 12 Books for the Wilderness Wanderer

Guerilla Games newest release, Horizon Zero Dawn, is a RPG that places the protagonist as a hunter and archer who is living in a world has been overrun by robotic technologies. Many years after the fall of civilization, the remaining humans have regressed to primitive tribal societies. The tribe that your character belongs to, The Nora,  is a society of hunter gathers, similar in many ways to Native Americans, who worship nature and shun the “old technologies” left behind by the Old Ones.

If you’ve played Horizon Zero Dawn, or just are really interested in topics like, the customs of tribal societies, earth post-civilization, artificial intelligence, and hunting, then you should check out some of these books at the Prairie State College Library to see if they are for you!

The world without us
by Alan Weisman
GF75.W4 S5 2007

In The World Without Us, Alan Weisman offers an utterly original approach to questions of humanity’s impact on the planet: he asks us to envision our Earth, without us.In this far-reaching narrative, Weisman explains how our massive infrastructure would collapse and finally vanish without human presence; which everyday items may become immortalized as fossils; how copper pipes and wiring would be crushed into mere seams of reddish rock; why some of our earliest buildings might be the last architecture left; and how plastic, bronze sculpture, radio waves, and some man-made molecules may be our most lasting gifts to the universe.

The World Without Us reveals how, just days after humans disappear, floods in New York’s subways would start eroding the city’s foundations, and how, as the world’s cities crumble, asphalt jungles would give way to real ones. It describes the distinct ways that organic and chemically treated farms would revert to wild, how billions more birds would flourish, and how cockroaches in unheated cities would perish without us. Drawing on the expertise of engineers, atmospheric scientists, art conservators, zoologists, oil refiners, marine biologists, astrophysicists, religious leaders from rabbis to the Dali Lama, and paleontologists—who describe a prehuman world inhabited by megafauna like giant sloths that stood taller than mammoths—Weisman illustrates what the planet might be like today, if not for us.

The hunt for the golden mole : all creatures great and small, and why they matter
by Girling, Richard
QL737.A352 G57 2014

Taking as its narrative engine the hunt for an animal that is legendarily rare, Richard Girling writes an engaging and highly informative history of humankind’s interest in hunting and collecting – what prompts us to do this? what good might come of our need to catalog all the living things of the natural world? Girling, named Environmental Journalist of the Years 2008 and 2009, has here chronicled – through the hunt for the Somali golden mole – the development of the conservation movement, the importance of diversity in the animal kingdom, including humankind within this realm, as well as a hard look at extinction.The Somali mole of the title, first described in print in a text book published in 1964, had as sole evidence of its existence only the fragment of a jaw bone found in an owl pellet, a specimen that seemed to have vanished as Girling began his exploration. Intrigued by the elusiveness of this creature and what the hunt for the facts of its existence might tell us about extinction, he was drawn to the dusty vaults of museums of natural history where the most rare artifacts are stored and catalogued, as he found himself caught up in the need to track it down.Part quest, part travelog, the book that results not only offers an important voice to the scientific debate about extinction and biodiversity it becomes an environmental call to arms.

Voices of the winds : native American legends
by Edmonds, Margot
E98.F6 E26

This wonderfully colorful and appealing anthology gathers more than 130 Native American legends, many told to the authors by elder storytellers and tribal historians. Traditional stories from 60 native cultures of North America are prefaced by brief head notes. Sources include government documents, periodicals, histories, and field research (some conducted by Clark). Native American cultures value an end to isolation and the individual’s return to family and tribe, but there are some striking analogs to Western myths; one Pima story neatly parallels the Noah’s ark tale. Curiosities include “She-Who-Changeth” for the more common “Changing Woman,” gender-exclusive language (” . . . man first appeared . . . “), and a claim that Navajos live today in prosperity. Continue reading “Horizon Zero Dawn: 12 Books for the Wilderness Wanderer”


No Man’s Sky: 12 Books for the Space Traveler

The new video game No Man’s Sky allow players to traverse the galaxy and explore algorithmically generated planets teaming with various environments, lifeforms and materials. For the people who are interested in space travel check out any of these 12 books on the topic. If it is not enough to quell your exploration wants, stop by and talk to a librarian who will happily help you find more materials on the topic.

Space chronicles : facing the ultimate frontier by Neil deGrasse Tyson
TL789.8.U5 T97 2012

Neil deGrasse Tyson is a rare breed of astrophysicist, one who can speak as easily and brilliantly with popular audiences as with professional scientists. This book represents the best of Tyson’s commentary, including a candid new introductory essay on NASA and partisan politics, giving us an eye-opening manifesto on the importance of space exploration for America’s economy, security, and morale. Thanks to Tyson’s fresh voice and trademark humor, his insights are as delightful as they are provocative, on topics that range from the missteps that shaped our recent history of space travel to how aliens, if they existed, might go about finding us.

Beyond : our future in space by Chris Impey
TL793 .I468 2015

A dazzling and propulsive voyage through space and time, Beyond reveals how centuries of space explorers–from the earliest stargazers to today’s cutting-edge researchers–all draw inspiration from an innate human emotion: wanderlust. This urge to explore led us to multiply around the globe, and it can be traced in our DNA.

Combining expert knowledge of astronomy and avant-garde technology, Chris Impey guides us through the heady possibilities for the next century of exploration. In twenty years, a vibrant commercial space industry will be operating. In thirty years, there will be small but viable colonies on the Moon and Mars. In fifty years, mining technology will have advanced enough to harvest resources from asteroids. In a hundred years, a cohort of humans born off-Earth will come of age without ever visiting humanity’s home planet. This is not the stuff of science fiction but rather the logical extension of already available technologies.

Time travel and warp drives : a scientific guide to shortcuts through time and space by Allen Everett and Thomas A. Roman
QC173.59.S65 E94 2012

In Time Travel and Warp Drives , Allen Everett and Thomas A. Roman take readers on a clear, concise tour of our current understanding of the nature of time and space–and whether or not we might be able to bend them to our will. Using no math beyond high school algebra, the authors lay out an approachable explanation of Einstein’s special relativity, then move through the fundamental differences between traveling forward and backward in time and the surprising theoretical connection between going back in time and traveling faster than the speed of light. They survey a variety of possible time machines and warp drives, including wormholes and warp bubbles, and, in a dizzyingly creative chapter, imagine the paradoxes that could plague a world where time travel was possible–killing your own grandfather is only one of them!

Continue reading “No Man’s Sky: 12 Books for the Space Traveler”

Video Game Month at The PSC Library


video-controlleDid you know that close to sixty percent of all Americans play video games?  (Entertainment Software Association 2-3).

      This month Prairie State College Library is celebrating video games, by highlighting some of the interesting books that are available for students to check out. We have many books on game design and production, the history video games, as well as books on specific game franchises.



       The origin of video games can be traced back to the mid 1940’s and early 1950’s. In the early 1950’s, the first games were created at military and research institutions, including a chess and card game, a war defense simulation, as well as a game called “Tennis for Two,” which was created at the Brookhaven National Laboratory  (The Strong; Brookhaven National Laboratory). Starting in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, the first game consoles known as the “Brown Box” and the “Odyssey” were released, allowing people for the first time to play games  within the comfort of their home (Time Inc; The Strong). This trend continued into the late 1970’s and 1980’s with the release of the Atari console in 1977, and the first Nintendo system in 1985 (The Strong).  Today, video games can be played on numerous platforms, and the video game industry has grown exponentially, generating an estimated 21.5 billion dollars in 2013 (Entertainment Software Association 13). In addition, it is estimated that today close to sixty percent of the U.S. population plays video games, with the average total number of years someone playing being 14 (Entertainment Software Association 2-3). But have you ever considered the industry itself, and how video games are made? Did you know that Prairie State College offers a certificate in “Game Design and Development” ?


       There are many career paths you can take to working in the game industry. This includes working as a game designer, game artist, programmer, among other things. (Creative Uncut). Those that are interested in the video game industry will be surprised to know that games are not created as quickly as you may think, and can take years to develop (TheArtCareerProject). There are many things that go into the process, and it can be a difficult career ((TheArtCareerProject). Nevertheless, it is predicted that in the next ten years, job growth for video game designers is expected to increase some 27 percent (CNN Money). Those interested in pursing such a career, should check out Prairie State College’s  certificate in “Game Design and Development.”

Want to learn more about the history of video games, how to make games, or a career in the game industry?  Check out the “Video Games Display” near the Library Classroom to find the books listed below, as well as other interesting books on the subject!

referenced works

“A History of Video Game Consoles.” Time. Time Inc., n.d. Web. 10 Sept. 2014. <http://content.time.com/time/interactive/0%2C31813%2C2029221%2C00.html&gt;.

Essential Facts About The Computer and Video Game Industry. Entertainment Software Association, 2014. Web. 10 Sept. 2014. pdfs/esa_ef_2014.pdf>.

“The First Video Game?” Brookhaven National Laboratory. U.S. Department of Energy, n.d. Web. 10 Sept. 2014. <http://www.bnl.gov/about/history/firstvideo.php&gt;.

“Video Game Designer.” CNN Money. Cable News Network, 12 Nov. 2013. Web. 8 Sept. 2014. <http://money.cnn.com/pf/best-jobs/2013/snapshots/15.html&gt;.

“Video Game Design Careers.” TheArtCareerProject. TheArtCareerProject , n.d. Web. 10 Sept. 2014. .

“VIDEO GAME DESIGN CAREER PATHS.” Creative Uncut. Creative Uncut, n.d. Web. 10 Sept. 2014. <http://www.creativeuncut.com/video-game-design-career-paths.html&gt;.

“Video Game History Timeline.” The Strong. The Strong, n.d. Web. 8 Sept. 2014. <http://www.museumofplay.org/icheg-game-history/timeline/&gt;.

If you enjoyed The Last Us: Try Cormac McCarthy’s The Road

Last of US Road

Recently, long time video game developer, Naughty Dog, released, The Last of Us for the Playstation 3. The story follows two characters, Joel (Troy Baker) and Ellie (Ashley Johnson), as they sojourn through a post-apocalyptic North East America, on their way to get Ellie to an underground, anti-military group called, the Fireflies. The game is set two decades after a extinction level event occurred due to a mutation of the Cordyceps fungus (an actual parasitic fungus that has been shown to turn insects into zombies, don’t believe it, read the linked article) which has mutates humans into zombies. Ellie, a teenage girl, whom has survived getting bit, may hold the cure to disease. As Joel, your goal is to escort Ellie to the Fireflies. However the road is a perilous, resource-depraved, nightmarish landscape where you not only have to battle with the infected, but also with human factions. The way to the end is brutal, and the characters have to undertake actions, that would seem psychotic in our time, but is necessary in theirs. Now, while I won’t spoil the ending of the game, I will say that if you enjoyed, not only playing the game, but also the story attached to it, you may want to try out one of my favorite books of recent memory, Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, about an unnamed father and son, who similar to Ellie and Joel, find themselves traversing a devastated world reclaimed by nature. Like the game, The Road, explores themes of hope in a hopeless world, the need for to form connection with others versus the instinct to survive, and the brutal nature of the human race when civilization is taken out of the equation. It is a highly recommend read, and you can find it anytime by stopping by the Library.