November 2012 Mobile Read Book Club 1st Vote
Help us choose a book as the November 2012 eBook for the Mobile Read Book Club. The poll will be open for 4 days, followed by a 3 day run-off poll between the two*
most popular choices. The vote this month will be hidden
We will start the discussion thread for this book on November 20th. Select from the following Official Choices with three nominations each
(1) Cloud Atlas
by David Mitchell
/ Amazon (US)
/ Barnes & Noble
A postmodern visionary who is also a master of styles of genres, David Mitchell combines flat-out adventure, a Nabokovian lore of puzzles, a keen eye for character, and a taste for mind-bending philosophical and scientific speculation in the tradition of Umberto Eco and Philip K. Dick. The result is brilliantly original fiction that reveals how disparate people connect, how their fates intertwine, and how their souls drift across time like clouds across the sky.
“[David] Mitchell is, clearly, a genius. He writes as though at the helm of some perpetual dream machine, can evidently do anything, and his ambition is written in magma across this novel’s every page.”—The New York Times Book Review
“One of those how-the-holy-hell-did-he-do-it? modern classics that no doubt is—and should be—read by any student of contemporary literature.”—Dave Eggers
“Wildly entertaining . . . a head rush, both action-packed and chillingly ruminative.”—People
“The novel as series of nested dolls or Chinese boxes, a puzzle-book, and yet—not just dazzling, amusing, or clever but heartbreaking and passionate, too. I’ve never read anything quite like it, and I’m grateful to have lived, for a while, in all its many worlds.”—Michael Chabon
From Publishers Weekly:
At once audacious, dazzling, pretentious and infuriating, Mitchell's third novel weaves history, science, suspense, humor and pathos through six separate but loosely related narratives. Like Mitchell's previous works, Ghostwritten and number9dream (which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize), this latest foray relies on a kaleidoscopic plot structure that showcases the author's stylistic virtuosity. Each of the narratives is set in a different time and place, each is written in a different prose style, each is broken off mid-action and brought to conclusion in the second half of the book. Among the volume's most engaging story lines is a witty 1930s-era chronicle, via letters, of a young musician's effort to become an amanuensis for a renowned, blind composer and a hilarious account of a modern-day vanity publisher who is institutionalized by a stroke and plans a madcap escape in order to return to his literary empire (such as it is). Mitchell's ability to throw his voice may remind some readers of David Foster Wallace, though the intermittent hollowness of his ventriloquism frustrates. Still, readers who enjoy the "novel as puzzle" will find much to savor in this original and occasionally very entertaining work.
by Philip K. Dick
/ Barnes & Noble
/ Kobo Books
(3) Beggars in Spain
by Nancy Kress
(4) The Quantum Thief
by Hannu Rajaniemi
/ Barnes & Noble
(5) The Day of the Triffids
by John Wyndham
/ Barnes & Noble
/ Google eBook
eBook Description: "All the reality of a vividly realized nightmare," The Times of London wrote of John Wyndham's terrifying post-apocalyptic thriller Day of the Triffids, published in 1951. The novel is often labeled science fiction, but it might best be described as a completely unnerving fantasy, even at the distance of half a century- for nothing dates this story of a world rendered helpless by a frightening, unearthly phenomenon. Triffids are odd but interesting plants that seem to appear in everyone's garden. They are curiosities, but little more, until an event occurs that alters human life--what appears to be a meteor shower, spectacular at first, turns into a bizarre green inferno that has blinded virtually everyone and rendered humankind helpless. Even stranger, spores from the inferno have caused triffids to suddenly take on lives of their own--large, crawling vegetation that uproot themselves and roam about, attacking humans and inflicting agony. William Masen happened to escape being blinded in the green inferno--he was hospitalized with his eyes bandaged following surgery--and he is now one of the few humans left who can see, who can avoid being attacked by triffids, who might be able to save mankind from the chaos and possible extinction threatened by this cataclysm. Day of the Triffids is generally held to be John Wyndham's finest novel, and it was his first significant work. His style has been described aptly as "speculative fiction." The real power of Day of the Triffids is not in its pure invention but in its matter-of-fact depiction of bizarre phenomena occurring in the midst of day-to-day life. The narrative voice of William Masen is calm and reasoned throughout as he describes the ongoing nightmare and his attempt to prevail, recalling the struggle from an almost historical perspective. Wyndham tells a mesmerizing story in Day of the Triffids, one that has lost none of its quiet terror. (from Fictionwise)
by Harry Harrison
Patricia Clark Memorial Library (files contains offsite links): ePub
(7) Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
by Philip K. Dick
(8) Summer of Love, A Time Travel
by Lisa Mason
/ Barnes & Noble
(9) Armageddon 2419 AD
Publication Date: May 28, 2010
A Philip K. Dick Award Finalist. A San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book of the Year.
The year is 1967 and something new is sweeping across America: good vibes, bad vibes, psychedelic music, psychedelic drugs, anti-war protests, racial tension, free love, bikers, dropouts, flower children. An age of innocence, a time of danger. The Summer of Love.
San Francisco is the Summer of Love, where runaway flower children flock to join the hip elite and squares cruise the streets to view the human zoo.
Lost in these strange and wondrous days, teenager Susan Bell, alias Starbright, has run away from the straight suburbs of Cleveland to find her troubled best friend. Her path will cross with Chiron Cat’s Eye in Draco, a strange and beautiful young man who has journeyed farther than she could ever imagine.
With the help of Ruby A. Maverick, a feisty half-black, half-white hip merchant, Susan and Chi discover a love that spans five centuries. But can they save the world from demons threatening to destroy all space and time?
A harrowing coming of age. A friendship ending in tragedy. A terrifying far future. A love spanning five centuries. And a gritty portrait of a unique time in history--the Summer of Love.
From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (A New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book). (from Amazon)
by Philip Francis Nowlan
/ Patricia Clark Memorial Library: ePub
by Thea von Harbou
The fine print:
*Should the first vote produce a 3-way or more tie for first place, or 2-way or more tie for second, the second poll will have more than two choices.
Thea von Harbou's book is the indispensable companion to Fritz Lang's immortal film. As most people know, Lang's film was butchered by German and American editors-we have lost about 25% of the film. Essential scenes and many of the subplots were deleted to make it fit within a small time frame. Reality Check: The shorter the film, the more times they can show it, and the more money they collect. Consequently, with the best of restorations, we are seeing a film with as many gaps as a hockey player's smile.
This book, which was serially published before the film's release, fills in the gaps. You get a better sense of the story that Lang and von Harbou are trying the tell. The book allows you to get inside the heads of Freder and co. in a way that the film does not allow. You get a stronger feel for the dystopic milieu that Freder fixes.
This story is essentially mythic, so devotees of Joseph Campbell, George Lucas, and James N. Frey will devour the book and the film. You see the messianic and redemptive elements that makes this story so enduring. This story is one of my favorites, and rates with anything C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkein wrote, although not with the same level of craftsmanship. (from Amazon)