January 2010 MobileRead Book Club Vote
Help up choose a book as the January 2010 ebook for the Mobile Read Book Club. The poll will be open for 4 days. We will start the discussion thread for this book on January 6th.
Select from the following books:
The Machine Stops by E. M. Forster
Imagine a world in which almost all humans have lost the ability to live on the surface of the Earth, and most of the human population lives below ground. Each individual lives in isolation in a standard 'cell', with all bodily and spiritual needs met by the omnipotent, global Machine. Travel is permitted but unpopular and rarely necessary. The entire population communicates through a kind of instant messaging/video conferencing machine called the speaking apparatus, with which they conduct their only activity, the sharing of ideas and knowledge with each other.
Anathem by Neal Stephenson
Stephenson conjures a far-future Earth-like planet, Arbre, where scientists, philosophers and mathematicians—a religious order unto themselves—have been cloistered behind concent (convent) walls. Their role is to nurture all knowledge while safeguarding it from the vagaries of the irrational saecular outside world. Among the monastic scholars is 19-year-old Raz, collected into the concent at age eight and now a decenarian, or tenner (someone allowed contact with the world beyond the stronghold walls only once a decade). But millennia-old rules are cataclysmically shattered when extraterrestrial catastrophe looms, and Raz and his teenage companions—engaging in intense intellectual debate one moment, wrestling like rambunctious adolescents the next—are summoned to save the world.
Under the Dome by Stephen King
The town of Chesters Mill (pop. approximately 2000) is suddenly cut off from the rest of the world by an invisible barrier, preventing anything other than a small amount of air from passing through. What follows is mostly told from the perspective of Dale "Barbie" Barbara, a former Army lieutenant. After "Dome Day" as it comes to be called, the town quickly collapses into anarchy, as a small war breaks out between the power-hungry second selectman James "Big Jim" Rennie, and a portion of the townsfolk. Resources quickly begin to dwindle, and many begin to resort to monstrous acts of violence to survive.
Inherit the Stars by James P. Hogan
The man on the moon was dead. They called him Charlie. He had big eyes, abundant body hair and fairly long nostrils. His skeletal body was found clad in a bright red spacesuit, hidden in a rocky grave. They didn't know who he was, how he got there, or what had killed him. All they knew was that his corpse was 50,000 years old—and that meant that this man had somehow lived long before he ever could have existed!
A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge
After a spaceship crashes on an unfamiliar world, a rescue ship races against time to rescue the downed ship's only survivors - two children - and retrieve the weapon required to prevent the destruction of the universe. This special eBook edition adds hundreds of annotations from Vinge which were written during the time of his original composition of this groundbreaking Hugo Award winning novel. A Fire Upon the Deep won the prestigious Hugo Award when it was first published.
Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow
Jules is a young man barely a century old. He's lived long enough to see the cure for death and the end of scarcity, to learn ten languages and compose three symphonies…and to realize his boyhood dream of taking up residence in Disney World. Disney World! The greatest artistic achievement of the long ago twentieth century. Now in the care of a network of volunteer "ad hocs" who keep the classic attractions running as they always have, enhanced with only the smallest hightech touches. Now, though, it seems the "ad hocs" are under attack. A new group has taken over the Hall of the Presidents and is replacing its venerable audioanimatronics with new, immersive direct-to-brain interfaces that give guests the illusion of being Washington, Lincoln, and all the others. For Jules, this is an attack on the artistic purity of Disney World itself. Worse: it appears this new group has had Jules killed. This upsets him. (It's only his fourth death and revival, after all.) Now it's war: war for the soul of the Magic Kingdom, a war of ever shifting reputations, technical wizardry, and entirely unpredictable outcomes. Bursting with cutting-edge speculation and human insight, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom reads like Neal Stephenson meets Nick Hornby: a coming of age romantic comedy and a kick butt cybernetic tour de force.