Science Fiction

09/29/2016 - 11:24am
A History of Classic Monsters: The Invisible Man

H.G. Wells, author of the The Time Machine (1895) and The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), released his fourth novel, The Invisible Man, in 1897.

Many of his readers were surprised to discover that Wells had adopted a third person narrative instead of first person for this particular novel. The protagonist, Dr. Griffin, is a scientist who is interested in optics. He learns how to invent a way to change a body’s refractive index to that of air. Thus, the body neither absorbs nor reflects light, allowing for invisibility. The ambitious Griffin successfully completes the procedure on himself, but he can’t seem to figure out how to reverse it.

09/28/2016 - 10:10am
A History of Classic Monsters: Creature from the Black Lagoon

To date, humans have explored less than 5% of the world’s oceans. Whatever is lying in wait beneath the cavernous dark water is something yet to be discovered. Many scientists speculate that there are creatures such as the giant squid, which live in deep, seemingly endless trenches, hiding in the dark. Can there be other creatures as well—possibly from the Black Lagoon?

In 1941, producer William Alland was attending a dinner party for the classic Citizen Kane, when Mexican cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa told him about a myth that involved a half-fish, half-human creature on the Amazon River. Ten years later, Alland wrote a screenplay dubbed The Sea Monster, partially based on the French fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast. Following the success of the 3D House of Wax in 1953, Jack Arnold was hired to direct the rewrite of Sea Monster which was now Creature from the Black Lagoon.

09/28/2016 - 10:31am
Frankenstein’s creature has many differences from other popular monsters associated with Halloween. Rather than being based off an ancient legend, religious concept, or historical figure, his origin is solely literary in nature, being confined to one book. Despite this, public perception of the creature has changed greatly since the publication of the original novel, leading to wildly divergent styles and plotlines in its various film adaptations.
 
People’s perceptions of the creature have become so warped by time and decades of misleading film posters and article titles that most use the name “Frankenstein” to refer to the creature itself, rather than the scientist who created him!  An understanding of literary history is necessary to understand the truth of the creature’s tragic history and how decades of film adaptations changed him into the lumbering brute most know him as today.
 
09/09/2016 - 12:16am
If you like The Fireman by Joe Hill

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.

The Fireman: A Novel by Joe Hill
The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton: a highly contagious spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies before causing them to burst into flames. There is no antidote. Harper Grayson was a nurse who treated hundreds of infected patients; now the telltale gold-flecked marks are on her skin. But Harper wants to live at least until the fetus she is carrying comes to term. Her husband Jakob becomes unhinged and abandons her. And a man in a dirty yellow fire fighter's jacket straddles the abyss between insanity and death. Known as The Fireman, he has learned to control the fire within himself, using it as a shield to protect the hunted-- and as a weapon to avenge the wronged. (catalog summary)

If you like The Fireman, read Joe Hill's other terrifying novels:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft is the first volume of a 6-vol. graphic novel series (Illustrations by Gabriel Rodriguez)

 

09/06/2016 - 2:02pm
If you like Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

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.
 

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
The narrator of Atwood's riveting novel calls himself Snowman. When the story opens, he is sleeping in a tree, wearing an old bedsheet, mourning the loss of his beloved Oryx and his best friend Crake, and slowly starving to death. He searches for supplies in a wasteland where insects proliferate and pigoons and wolvogs ravage the pleeblands, where ordinary people once lived, and the Compounds that sheltered the extraordinary. As he tries to piece together what has taken place, the narrative shifts to decades earlier. How did everything fall apart so quickly? Why is he left with nothing but his haunting memories? Alone except for the green-eyed Children of Crake, who think of him as a kind of monster, he explores the answers to these questions in the double journey he takes - into his own past, and back to Crake's high-tech bubble-dome, where the Paradice Project unfolded and the world came to grief. (catalog summary)

Other books in the Maddadam trilogy: The Year of the Flood and Maddadam

 

If you like Oryx and Crake, you may also enjoy some of the following novels:

 

 

The Children of Men by P.D. James
The human race has become infertile, and the last generation to be born is now adult. Civilization itself is crumbling as suicide and despair become commonplace. Oxford historian Theodore Faron, apathetic toward a future without a future, spends most of his time reminiscing. Then he is approached by Julian, a bright, attractive woman who wants him to help get her an audience with his cousin, the powerful Warden of England. She and her band of unlikely revolutionaries may just awaken his desire to live...and they may also hold the key to survival for the human race. (catalog summary)


 

 

The Chrysalids by John Wyndham
The Chyrsalids is set in the future after a devastating global nuclear war. David, the young hero of the novel, lives in a tight-knit community of religious and genetic fundamentalists, always on the alert for any deviation from the norm of God's creation. Abnormal plants are publicly burned, with much singing of hymns. Abnormal humans (who are not really human) are also condemned to destruction--unless they succeed in fleeing to the Fringes, that Wild Country where, as the authorities say, nothing is reliable and the devil does his work. (catalog summary)

 

 

08/30/2016 - 12:00pm
If You Like Dune by Frank Herbert

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.
 

Dune by Frank Herbert
Follows the adventures of Paul Atreides, the son of a betrayed duke given up for dead on a treacherous desert planet and adopted by its fierce, nomadic people, who help him unravel his most unexpected destiny. (catalog summary)
Other books in the Dune series include: Dune Messiah, Children of Dune, God Emperor of Dune, Heretics of Dune, Chapterhouse Dune

 

If you enjoyed Dune, you may enjoy these titles because of the detailed world-building, complex politics, and fascinating characters.


Artemis Awakening
by Jane M. Lindskold
The distant world Artemis is a pleasure planet created out of bare rock by a technologically advanced human empire that provided its richest citizens with a veritable Eden to play in. All tech was concealed and the animals (and the humans brought to live there) were bioengineered to help the guests enjoy their stay. But the Empire was shattered in a horrific war; centuries later humanity has lost much of their advanced technology, and Artemis is a fable told to children. Until young archeologist Griffin Dane finds intriguing hints that send him on a quest to find the lost world. Stranded on Artemis after crashing his ship, he encounters the Huntress Adara and her psych-linked companion, the puma Sand Shadow. Their journey with her will lead Dane to discover the planet's secrets...and perhaps provide a key to give unimagined power back to mankind. (catalog summary)
 

 


A Canticle for Leibowitz
by Walter M. Miller
In a nightmarish ruined world slowly awakening to the light after sleeping in darkness, the infant rediscoveries of science are secretly nourished by cloistered monks dedicated to the study and preservation of the relics and writings of the blessed Saint Isaac Leibowitz. From here the story spans centuries of ignorance, violence, and barbarism, viewing through a sharp, satirical eye the relentless progression of a human race damned by its inherent humanness to recelebrate its grand foibles and repeat its grievous mistakes. Seriously funny, stunning, and tragic, eternally fresh, imaginative, and altogether remarkable, A Canticle for Leibowitz retains its ability to enthrall and amaze. It is now, as it always has been, a masterpiece. (catalog summary)

 

 

08/29/2016 - 10:28am
If you like The Passage by Justin Cronin

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.

The Passage by Justin Cronin
A human-created virus has infected humankind, mutating most into superstrong, near-immortal vampiric creatures. The "virals"--also called "jumpers"--and "dracs" (after Dracula, of course)--can leap 20 feet through the air at a bound and split a human (or a horse, or a cow) in half with their bare hands. A small band of men and women embark on a cross-country trek, looking for a way to protect the few remaining uninfected humans from extinction. With them travels an enigmatic prepubescent girl who talks to the virals with her mind and seems to have been born 100 years before. (Library Journal)

The other two books in The Passage trilogy:


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you like the intensity and terror of The Passage trilogy, check out these intriguing titles:

 

 


Cell by Stephen King
Civilization doesn't end with a bang or a whimper. It ends with a call on your cell phone. What happens on the afternoon of October 1 came to be known as the Pulse, a signal sent though every operating cell phone that turns its user into something...well, something less than human. (catalog summary)

 

 

08/23/2016 - 11:32am
If you like books by Terry Goodkind

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.

Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind
The protective barrier that separates Westland from its neighbors to the east is about to fall, letting loose a monstrous evil upon the world. Only the combined efforts of a young man dedicated to finding the truth, an enigmatic woman intent on concealing her past, and a crusty old hermit resigned to his inevitable destiny can prevent the opening of the three boxes of Orden-an event with the potential to destroy existence itself. The inclusion of graphic scenes of sado-eroticism, though integral to the story, may deter purchase by some libraries. Nevertheless, this first novel offers an intriguing variant on the standard fantasy quest. The richly detailed world and complex characters will appeal to mature fantasy aficionados. (Library Journal)

 

If you like Terry Goodkind books, these titles might peak your interest:




The Crystal Cave
by Mary Stewart
Mary Stewart tells the Arthurian legend in her own unique way, bringing to life one of the world's greatest legends and mysteries, shedding a fascinating new light on the turbulence and mystery of fifth-century Britain. (catalog summary)

 
 
 



The House of Daniel
by Harry Turtledove
In a Depression-era America that is woven with magic, zombies, and flying carpets, a down-and-out man escapes a local thug by joining a barnstorming minor league baseball team. (catalog summary)
 
 
 
 


The Oversight
by Charlie Fletcher
Once there were hundreds of members of the Oversight, the brave souls who guard the borders between the mundane and the magic. Now there are only five. When a vagabond brings a screaming girl to the Oversight's London headquarters, she could answer their hopes for new recruits, or she could be the instrument of their downfall. (catalog summary)
 

 
 
 
 
Proven Guilty: A Novel of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
Harry, the only wizard in the Chicago phone book, is drafted to look into rumors of black magic in the Windy City. And if that wasn't enough, he must help the daughter of an old friend, whose boyfriend was the only one in a room where an old man was attacked. He insists he didn't do it. And what looks like a supernatural assault straight out of a horror film turns out to be-well, something quite close to that, as Harry discovers that malevolent entities that feed on fear are loose in Chicago. (catalog summary)

 
 
08/22/2016 - 12:07pm
If you like Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

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.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Aldous Huxley is rightly considered a prophetic genius and one of the most important literary and philosophical voices of the 20th Century, and Brave New World is his masterpiece. From the author of The Doors of Perception, Island, and countless other works of fiction, non-fiction, philosophy, and poetry, comes this powerful work of speculative fiction that has enthralled and terrified readers for generations. Brave New World remains absolutely relevant to this day as both a cautionary dystopian tale in the vein of the George Orwell classic 1984, and as thought-provoking, thoroughly satisfying entertainment. (catalog summary)

 

If you like Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, here are some other titles you may enjoy:

 

 

Animal Farm by George Orwell
Animal Farm is the most famous by far of all twentieth-century political allegories. Its account of a group of barnyard animals who revolt against their vicious human master, only to submit to a tyranny erected by their own kind, can fairly be said to have become a universal drama. Orwell is one of the very few modern satirists comparable to Jonathan Swift in power, artistry, and moral authority; in animal farm his spare prose and the logic of his dark comedy brilliantly highlight his stark message. (catalog summary)

 

 

 

 

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
After his youthful adventures of raping and pillaging, Alex finds himself in prison. When he volunteers for an experiment, his sentence is commuted to two weeks. The experiment leaves him physically incapable of doing wrong and releases him back into the world. However, when he repeatedly runs into people he has wronged in the past, his real suffering begins. (catalog summary)
 

 

 

08/17/2016 - 1:24pm
If you like Zombie movies

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.


Are you a Zombie-movie fiend and you're just tired of the same ole same ole Zombie flicks? Why not try a book, filled with plenty of guts and gore? Check out these unique and undead book titles, and curl up with a zombie--I mean, a good book. This is the ultimate zombie book match! [Titles range from Teen-Adult fiction.]

Alice In Zombieland by Gena Showalter
Alice Bell must learn to fight the undead to avenge her family and learn to trust Cole Holland who has secrets of his own. (catalog summary)
Other books in the series: Through the Zombie Glass, The Queen of Zombie Hearts, A Mad Zombie Party
 


This Book is Full of Spiders (Seriously Dude, Don't Touch It)
by David Wong [sequel to Jon Dies at the End]
David and John, are embroiled in a series of horrifying yet mind-bogglingly ridiculous events caused primarily by their own gross incompetence. The guys find that books and movies about zombies may have triggered a zombie apocalypse, despite a complete lack of zombies in the world. As they race against the clock to protect humanity from its own paranoia, they must ask themselves, who are the real monsters? Actually, that would be the shape-shifting horrors secretly taking over the world behind the scenes that, in the end, make John and Dave kind of wish it had been zombies after all. Hilarious, terrifying, engaging and wrenching, This Book Is Full of Spiders, the next thrilling installment, takes us for a wild ride with two slackers from the midwest who really have better things to do with their time than prevent the apocalypse. (catalog summary)


 


 

Cemetary Dance by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child [A book from the Agent Pendergast series]
After New York Times reporter William Smithback and his wife Nora Kelly, a Museum of Natural History archaeologist, are brutally attacked in their apartment on Manhattan's Upper West Side, Pendergast--the world's most enigmatic FBI Special Agent--returns to New York City to investigate a murderous Obeah cult. (catalog summary)



 

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