Friday, August 12, 2011
At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, READY PLAYER ONE is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.
It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.
Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.
And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them.
For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved—that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.
And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.
Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt—among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life—and love—in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.
Ready Player One will be available August 16 from Random House. More information is available at the publisher's website.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Scientist Charles Neumann loses a leg in an industrial accident. It's not a tragedy. It's an opportunity. Charlie always thought his body could be better. He begins to explore a few ideas. To build parts. Better parts.
Prosthetist Lola Shanks loves a good artificial limb. In Charlie, she sees a man on his way to becoming artificial everything. But others see a madman. Or a product. Or a weapon.
A story for the age of pervasive technology, Machine Man is a gruesomely funny unraveling of one man's quest for ultimate self-improvement.
Machine Man is now available.
Friday, August 5, 2011
The sequel to the award-winning novel The Ghosts of Belfast.
When Detective Inspector Jack Lennon tries to track down his former lover, Marie McKenna, and their daughter, his superiors tell him to back off. But now an assassin stalks Belfast, tying up loose ends for a vengeance-driven old man. As Lennon unravels a conspiracy that links his daughter to a killer named Fegan, the line between friend and enemy blurs.
Collusion is now available from Soho Press. More information available at the publisher's website.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
What if there were a computer that could answer virtually any question? IBM engineers are developing such a machine, teaching it to compete on the quiz show Jeopardy. In February 2011, it will face off in a nationally televised game against two of the game’s greatest all-time winners, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. Final Jeopardy tells the riveting story behind the match.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
"People have abandoned their loved ones for much less than you've been through," Mira BartÓk is told at her mother's memorial service. It is a poignant observation about the relationship between Mira, her sister, and their mentally ill mother. Before she was struck with schizophrenia at the age of nineteen, beautiful piano protÉgÉ Norma Herr had been the most vibrant personality in the room. She loved her daughters and did her best to raise them well, but as her mental state deteriorated, Norma spoke less about Chopin and more about Nazis and her fear that her daughters would be kidnapped, murdered, or raped.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Octavia is a former bestselling novelist who wants to do the forbidden—change the endings to all her old books. Though her fans might object, she longs to revisit the fates of her beloved characters. But before she can hand off her manuscript to her publisher, the one story she really wants to rewrite stares her in the face when a headline announces that her estranged son has been arrested for murder.
The latest from Carolyn Parkhurst, The Nobodies Album follows Octavia as she flies to L.A. to make sense of her family’s troubled past. Interspersed with Octavia’s “last chapters,” it’s a dazzling Russian doll of a story in which clues are hidden within clues…and a murder mystery is wrapped inside a gripping family drama.
The Nobodies Album is now available in paperback from Doubleday. More information is available at the publisher's website.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
"The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
He believed the dog was immortal.
So begins Susan Orlean’s sweeping, powerfully moving story of Rin Tin Tin’s journey from orphaned puppy to movie star and international icon. From the moment in 1918 when Corporal Lee Duncan discovers Rin Tin Tin on a World War I battlefield, he recognizes something in the pup that he needs to share with the world. Rin Tin Tin’s improbable introduction to Hollywood leads to the dog’s first blockbuster film and over time, the many radio programs, movies, and television shows that follow. The canine hero’s legacy is cemented by Duncan and a small group of others who devote their lives to keeping him and his descendants alive.
Martin Anderson has a racehorse, a deep-sea fishing boat, a vacation home in Tahoe, and a Caddy in the garage. But his life is in freefall. It’s the 1970s, and with the arrival of the oil crisis and gas rationing, his small aircraft business is tanking, as is his extravagant suburban lifestyle. Martin keeps many secrets from his wife, such as his mounting debt and his penchant for sneaking into neighborhood homes and making off with small keepsakes. So when he’s given the opportunity to clear his debt by using one of his planes to make a few drug runs between California and Mexico, Martin doesn’t think twice . . . or at all, for that matter.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
But the not-so-public face of J.P. is the life he’s led as a Big Brother to Michael Mattocks. As a curious, driven, and emotionally wounded twenty-year-old, J.P. made the life-changing decision to form a “Big Brother/Little Brother” relationship with then seven-year-old Michael, who was living out of plastic bags and drifting from one homeless shelter to the next with his mother and siblings. Lacking a connection with his own brother and distancing himself from a disastrous relationship with his father, J.P. formed a unique bond with Michael the moment they met. Michael and J.P. became like family, with Michael and some of his siblings even living with J.P. one summer. In the years that followed, J.P. took Michael and his brothers on outings, whether it was fishing, playing basketball, patronizing cheap restaurants, or going on road trips. This friendship would continue for over twenty-five years as the two coped with varying degrees of violence, instability, and trauma in their own lives.
Unlikely Brothers is available now from Random House.
Look who’s making dinner! Twenty-one of our favorite writers and chefs expound upon the joys—and perils—of feeding their families.
Mario Batali’s kids gobble up monkfish liver and foie gras. Peter Kaminsky’s youngest daughter won’t eat anything at all. Mark Bittman reveals the four stages of learning to cook. Stephen King offers tips about what to cook when you don’t feel like cooking. And Jim Harrison shows how good food and wine trump expensive cars and houses.
This book celebrates those who toil behind the stove, trying to nourish and please. Their tales are accompanied by more than sixty family-tested recipes, time-saving tips, and cookbook recommendations, as well as New Yorkercartoons. Plus there are interviews with homestyle heroes from all across America—a fireman in Brooklyn, a football coach in Atlanta, and a bond trader in Los Angeles, among others.
What emerges is a book not just about food but about our changing families. It offers a newfound community for any man who proudly dons an apron and inspiration for those who have yet to pick up the spatula.
Man with a Pan is now available from Algonquin Books.
Monday, May 9, 2011
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Have you ever been kissed by a dog? Ever had to eat Vegemite off your sister's big toe? Have you had a job delivering teeth? Has a bloodthirsty magpie ever been out to get you? Ever woken up to discover that everything hovers? And have you eaten 67 hot dogs in ten minutes?
I have. I'm Tom Weekly. This book is full of my stories, jokes, cartoon characters, ideas for theme park rides and other stuff I've made up. It's where I pour out whatever's inside my head. It gets a bit weird sometimes but that’s how I roll.
For more information, visit the publisher's site.
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Friday, May 6, 2011
From the Publisher's Description:
A celebration of parenthood; an ingathering of children, through birth and out of loss and bereavement; a relishing of moments hilarious and enlightening—No Biking in the House Without a Helmet is a loving portrait of a unique twenty first-century family as it wobbles between disaster and joy.
No Biking in the House without a Helmet is now available. Read more at the publisher's website.