Tech press: The 5 most exciting ways tech has revolutionized reading

It’s hard to believe that it’s nearly a hundred years since the German press Albatross hit the bookselling jackpot by inventing the mass-market paperback. Yet today, in our interconnected world, even the humble pocket-sized softcover sometimes feels ungainly to the e-book aficionado.

booktechnology

And size certainly counts for the tech-savvy reader: the average e-reader holds about 1500 books, but weighs considerably less than that tattered old copy of Anna Karenina you’ve had knocking about unread since college. With wifi and 3G downloads, battery-life to make the Duracell bunny droop, apps to let you read on your phone, and a growing library of available titles, there’s never been a better time in history to be a book lover.

Read more

10 sci-fi novels that’ll change how you look at the world forever

Call it SF, call it speculative fiction, call it slipstream – hey, we hear you can even call it structural fabulation. We’re not going to quibble on the nitty-gritty of nomenclature. What we do know is that these texts, however diverse, are yoked together by their reimaginings of reality – think parallel and sinister sister societies, alien worlds, or our own Earth, subtly altered. And the power of SF is that by lifting us into an alienating place or time, it allows us to see our own world differently. Below is a brief selection of our particular SF mind-blowing favourites. Feel free, as ever, to add more in the comments…

Read more

7 timeless life tips from Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is arguably the greatest chronicle of drug-soaked, addle-brained, rollicking good times ever written. The novel first appeared as a two-part series in Rolling Stone magazine in 1971, was printed as a book in 1972. Unsurprisingly, this tale of a long weekend road trip has gone down in the annals of American pop culture as one of the strangest journeys ever undertaken.

Read more

15 powerful insights from Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five

There aren’t many writers who witnessed a 20th century apocalypse at first hand. But of those who have Kurt Vonnegut’s response, Slaughterhouse-Five, is arguably the most memorable. It was published in 1969, twenty-four years after Vonnegut, a 23 year-old American prisoner of war, survived the Allied firebombing of Dresden. This massive air attack, which killed 130,000 people and destroyed a city of no military significance was probably the most important thing, besides getting married and having children, which ever happened to him.

Read more

10 war novels that will turn you into a pacifist

There’s a great tradition of dissent expressed in literature, perhaps most obviously exemplified in the WWI poetry of Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon and their contemporaries, whose ambivalence about wartime sacrifice and the demands of nationalism made them famous. War is great fodder for art, after all – it’s visual and visceral and morally weighty. In fiction, particularly since WWII, the novel has been put to great use as an anti-war satirical device. Here are ten that we reckon ought to put anybody off the smell of napalm in the morning.

Read more

15 timeless observations from history’s greatest dystopian novels

The dystopian novel has a long, dark and intriguing history. Kicking off in 1726 with Jonathan Swift’s rip-roaring satire Gulliver’s Travels, it’s gone through numerous transformations in the last three centuries. One thing all these books share, though, is that they make us think long and hard about the societies we live in.

Read more

The 10 greatest Stephen King horror novels according to Goodreads

Although dismissed by critics for much of his career—one New York Times review called him “a writer of fairly engaging and preposterous claptrap” — Stephen King is by any measure one of the greatest horror writers of all time. The author of fifty novels, nearly two hundred short stories and nine collections of short fiction, he is as productive as he is versatile. With so much fiction to choose from, it can be difficult to decide where to begin.

Read more

7 reasons why Isaac Asimov is the greatest science fiction writer ever

asimov620

Science fiction is one of those literary genres that is both loved and hated in equal measure. For its detractors, it’s all silly silver suits and bug-eyed monsters, for its enthusiasts, it provides a fascinating insight into humanity and a myriad of potential tech fuelled futures. We fall firmly into the second category and one very big reason for that is Isaac Asimov, a man who opened our eyes to the wonders of science and space at a very young age. This is one reason we believe, that despite being up against a legion of fantastic sci-fi writers including the legendary Arthur C. Clarke and Robert Heinlein, Asimov is the greatest ever.

Read more