John Gaines

10/31/2016 - 9:05am

Although zombies have a long history of appearances in religion and folklore, interest in them as villains in horror films is largely confined to the second half of the 20th century. The explosion in zombie popularity is based on a characterization established by a single film and the fact that the original characterization of the zombi in African folklore and religion, as well as in earlier films, is dramatically different from that of the popular characterization from the 1960s onward. To understand zombies in both their original context and in the role they have come to take in popular culture requires an understanding of two divergent traditions.

10/31/2016 - 9:09am

The image of a cursed soul doomed to become a werewolf at the rising of a full moon is one of the most iconic concepts in horror. Unlike Dracula or the Mummy, the notion of a “wolf man” or “werewolf” was not cemented by one single actor, author, book, or horror series. It is instead a truly ancient concept dating back to the pre-literate sagas and legends told by Europeans centuries ago. 

10/31/2016 - 9:16am

There are many monsters associated with Halloween. Besides Dracula and his kind, mummies are among the most fascinating of these. The mummies appearing in horror films and literature have many differences, but one thing remains constant: they are cursed to remain alive forever. They also have a doomed romantic attraction to at least one mortal woman and a burning hatred of all other mortals that has endured for centuries.

10/31/2016 - 9:04am

The period of time from the late 1930s to the end of the 1950s is commonly known as the "Golden Age" of science fiction.  The Golden Age was noted for the volume of science fiction produced due to the large number of science fiction-oriented pulp magazines and the depth of the creative talent involved.  Many of the writers working in this period established concepts that would have a tremendous cultural impact on their readers. Many ideas integral to modern science fiction frequently originated in this period. Two of the writers responsible for such ideas were A.E. Van Vogt and E.E. "Doc" Smith.

10/31/2016 - 9:03am

Over the course of the twentieth century, many authors have emerged to define the popular perception of science fiction. These authors have created some of the most-read science fiction works and continue to have an enormous influence on the science fiction world to this day. It is the work of these authors that has made the genre into a more diverse and critically respected field.

10/11/2016 - 9:37am
If you like Zero History by William Gibson

This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids.  You can browse the book matches here.

Zero History by William Gibson
Former rock singer Hollis Henry and ex-addict Milgrim, an accomplished linguist, are at the front line of a sinister proprietor's attempts to get a slice of the military budget. When a Department of Defense contract for combat-wear turns out to be the gateway drug for arms dealers, they gradually realize their employer has some very dangerous competitors—including Garreth, a ruthless ex-military officer with lots of friends. Set largely in London after our post-Crash times. (catalog summary)

If you enjoyed this book's depiction of a plausible near future and integration of philosophy into the narrative, here are some other titles you may enjoy:



Blood Music by Greg Bear
The Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of Moving Mars presents the book that mixed genomics with nanotechnology, featuring a scientist who conducts an experiment in cell restructuring that takes on a threatening life of its own. (catalog summary)

 




 


The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon
The highly original satire about Oedipa Maas, a woman who finds herself enmeshed in a worldwide conspiracy, meets some extremely interesting characters, and attains a not inconsiderable amount of self knowledge. (catalog summary)

 

 

10/31/2016 - 9:02am

The most famed and prolific area of science fiction is the planetary adventure, featuring strange environments, exotic alien races, and massive battle scenes. Many of the most popular science fiction universes, such as Star Wars, Star Trek, and Avatar, take place in these environments. Most of these universes owe their existence to the adventure fiction of one author.

10/05/2016 - 11:25am
If you like Raven Black by Ann Cleeves

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse other book matches here.

Raven Black by Ann Cleeves
It is a cold January morning and Shetland lies beneath a deep layer of snow. Trudging home, Fran Hunter's eye is drawn to a splash of color on the frozen ground, ravens circling above. It is the strangled body of her teenage neighbor, Catherine Ross. The locals on the quiet island stubbornly focus their gaze on one man—loner and simpleton Magnus Tait. But when detective Jimmy Perez and his colleagues from the mainland insist on opening out the investigation, a veil of suspicion and fear is thrown over the entire community. For the first time in years, Catherine's neighbors nervously lock their doors, while a killer lives on in their midst. (catalog summary)

If you enjoyed the unique rural British Isles settings of these books, here are some other titles you may enjoy:
 

 

 

The Anatomy of Ghosts by Andrew Taylor
A tale set in eighteenth-century Cambridge finds bookseller John Holdsworth commissioned to investigate Lady Anne Oldershaw's son's mental illness, a deep melancholy tied to a woman's mysterious death and a secret society. (catalog summary)

 

 


 

The Arsenic Labyrinth by Martin Edwards
Ten years after the disappearance of a Lake District woman, Detective Chief Inspector Hannah Scarlett re-opens the case when a stranger's tip leads to clues that could solve the mystery. Once again, Scarlett's mystery and historian Daniel Kind's research intersect at the Arsenic Labyrinth, a group of mining tunnels. (catalog sumary)

 

10/31/2016 - 9:24am

Many people find one of the most enjoyable aspects of Halloween to be the myriad creatures associated with it. Legendary villains such as Dracula, the Wolf Man, Frankenstein, and zombies of all stripes emerge on or about October 31st in the forms of costumes, films, and books. America’s tendency to associate such creatures with Halloween is so embedded in our culture that we frequently forget that most of these creatures—or at least the versions of them we best remember—are relatively recent creations that are often less than two centuries old. This series explores the origins and evolution of Halloween’s and Hollywood's best-loved ghouls and beasts.

09/07/2016 - 1:33pm
If you like The Kill Artist by Daniel Silva
This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids.  You can browse the book matches here.
 
The Kill Artist by Daniel Silva

Immersed in the quiet, meticulous life of an art restorer, former Israeli intelligence operative Gabriel Allon keeps his past well behind him. But now he is being called back into the game--and teamed with an agent who hides behind her own mask...as a beautiful fashion model. Their target: a cunning terrorist on one last killing spree, a Palestinian zealot who played a dark part in Gabriel's past. And what begins as a manhunt turns into a globe-spanning duel fueled by both political intrigue and deep personal passions...(catalog summary)

 
If you liked The Kill Artist, you may also like these titles:
 


Duplicity
by Newt Gingrich
When President Sally Allworth decides to reestablish America's Mogadishu embassy in Somalia before Election Day, her challenger says she's playing politics with American lives. That turns out to be true when the embassy is attacked and hostages are taken. Embassy station chief Gunter Connor and Marine Capt. Brooke Grant end up the unlikely survivors of this Benghazi-style attack. Suddenly, they are the only hope for saving their captured colleagues. (catalog summary)

 
 



The Faithful Spy
by Alex Berenson
John Wells is the only CIA agent to ever penetrate al Qaeda. While living in the mountains of Pakistan, he became a Muslim, convinced of the decadence and shallowness of the United States. (catalog summary)
 
 
 
 

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