Which Dystopian Future Is Right For You?

by Chelsea Bauch at Flavorwire
Call it society’s weirdest guilty pleasure, but lately it seems like there are more apocalyptic fantasies than those of the fairytale variety. From zombies to pandemics, tyrannical dictatorships to machine takeovers — and plenty of foreboding real world disasters to color in the cracks — there’s no shortage of dystopian futures to choose from. With Gary Shteyngart’s newest contribution to the genre, Super Sad True Love Story, out later this month, we got to thinking about the doomsday options we have to look forward to. So take control of humanity’s bleak horizon by figuring out which hellish future is best for you — because if there’s anything we’ve learned from dystopian literature, it’s that your preferences matter. Or, not.

Take the Quiz here

Barnes & Noble offers free e-classics

By Mae Anderson at Bloomberg Businessweek
Bookseller Barnes & Noble Inc. is offering free classic books to owners of its Nook e-reader or its free e-book reader software, the latest freebie in the electronic book reader wars.

The company said it will offer 10 different classics — from its own publishing label — weekly for a limited time only through the summer, as free downloads.

This week’s theme is “Books That Made Us Love Reading” and offerings include Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland,” “Grimm’s Fairy Tales” and Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women,” among others.

Books will vary by theme each week, including fantasy, romance and books that inspired movies.

Read More here
See the e-Books here

Making ‘Tattoo’ Indelible

By Lauren Fedor at The Wall Street Journal
The bright yellow cover of Stieg Larsson’s “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” featuring a swirling dragon design, has become one of the most instantly recognizable and iconic book covers in contemporary fiction in the U.S. But the path to this design—like the thriller—has been full of twists, red herrings and wrong turns.

For three months, Peter Mendelsund, a senior designer at Knopf, prepared nearly 50 distinct designs. Mr. Mendelsund, age 42, graduated from Columbia University in 1990 with a degree in philosophy and worked as a professional musician for more than a decade before embarking on a design career. With no formal graphic design experience, he began drafting CD album covers for an indie label. Less than six months later, a family friend introduced him to Chip Kidd, Knopf’s associate art director. Mr. Mendelsund showed Mr. Kidd his portfolio; he had a full-time job at Vintage Books, a Random House label, within the week. Eight months later he was at Knopf, his home for the last eight years.

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War of the words – About Science Fiction Books

via Svartling
Science fiction was once driven by a faith in human ability to change the world. These days, the genre seeks to expose the illusions of everyday life.

“We are all philosophers here where I am, and we debate among other things the question of where it is that we live. On that issue I am a liberal. I live in the interstice yes, but I live in both the city and the city.” The closing lines of China Miéville’s The City and the City (2009) could serve as a summary of the present state of what used to be called science fiction.

During much of the 20th century, speculative fiction served an impulse of world transformation. Fantasy was understood as an exercise in which alternative worlds were imagined in order to create new possibilities of action. Today fantasy has the role of enabling us to see more clearly the elusive actualities. The question of action is left open. We debate what can be done to change the world, but no one expects an answer.

Read More here

I took the dystopian quiz, and I liked it, but I want to read all of the books suggested! I’ve read a few on the list, and I own at list one from every possible answer, even if I haven’t read it yet. And I love that Barnes and Noble has free e-books! Their PC e-reader is free too, so I’m excited! I love reading about the publishing process, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has such a cool cover.

Which dystopian books did you get? Do you have a Nook or an e-reader? What is your favorite book cover?