True Review
Current Issue Number 79 Vol. 22 January 2012
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Future Media

FUTURE MEDIA:

FUTURE MEDIA, ed. by Rick Wilber. Tachyon Publications (www.tachyonpublications.com), 2011, 431 pp., $16.95. ISBN 978-1-61696-020-9

In FUTURE MEDIA, Editor Rick Wilber asks the question: could Google, or the Internet itself and the way we use it, be “rewiring” our minds? If we have come to depend on the Internet as our primary resource for knowledge, does the very act of using search engines on the Internet give us less time and energy to actually organize our thoughts, to think things through, to reflect on what is presented to us despite the way information is delivered, in the form of raw, unexpurgated pop-ups, banners, and social network links?

If our attention spans wane, if we constantly seek new ways to distract ourselves, if we are already attention and focus challenged has the Internet thus sent us over the edge?

In the essay, “Introduction to the Twentieth Anniversary Edition of Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman,” the author, Neil’s son Andrew Postman, talks about his father’s book and the ways in which TV dumbs us down, making us more addicted to it. (I wonder if Neil read Harlan Ellison’s “Glass Teat” essays?) Having to rely on “reality shows” and “infotainment newscasts” can’t be good for our society.

FUTURE MEDIA is a compilation of essays and fiction from a variety of what many people used to consider “futurists.” MEDIA contains an “Excerpt from Bug Jack Barron” by Norman Spinrad and Spinrad’s near-prophetic look at cable TV hosts and how they’ve come to rule the airways. In this case, Barron interviews a man whose company freezes dead people until a cure for aging – thus granting them immortality – is found. Barron has a way of putting his guests on the hot spot.

“As We May Think” by Vannevar Bush was written at the close of World War II for The Atlantic Monthly and predicted the home computer, what Bush calls the “memex,” as well as credit card purchases.

Technology will shrink into more compact places, as “The Future of the World Wide Web” predicts by essayist Timothy Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Web. Berners-Lee speaks about the Web’s ubiquitous nature (which predicted several breakthroughs such as Internet on your cell phone, your refrigerator, everywhere). Sadly, in a way, the Web will creep into every aspect of our lives as technology “shrinks.” Scary thoughts.

Andrew Andrews

 

In This Issue

SUPERVOLCANO ERUPTION FLASHBACK Click on book cover for review. The Astounding, The Amazing, By Malmont FUTURE MEDIA

Urban Fantasy Blood and Other Cravings The Haunting of 20th Century America Ghosts by Gaslight A Pleasure to Burn

The Gift A Dublin Student Doctor   The Price of Civilization The Deception at Lyme

Next Time In True Review
Realms of Fantasy - Aug. 2011

REALMS OF FANTASY:

REALMS OF FANTASY, August 2011. Damnation Books (www.rofmag.com), $5.99.

There’s a great essay in here about “Women in Fantasy: The Images, the Artists” with illustrations of some of the best. The essay looks into the “urban fantasy babe” and her predecessor, the “woman warrior.” A sexist image? Some of the best illustrators are included, with Virginia Lee and Stephanie Pui-Mun Law.

Andrew M. Andrews
Realms of Fantasy - Oct. 2011

REALMS OF FANTASY:

REALMS OF FANTASY, October 2011. Damnation Books (www.rofmag.com), $5.99.

Another great illustrator interview with (and profusely illustrated by) Ruth Sanderson, conducted by Karen Haber. Check this out!

Andrew M. Andrews
Deed To Death - cover

SAINTS ASTRAY:

SAINTS ASTRAY, by Jacqueline Carey. Grand Central Publishing (www.HachetteBookGroup.com), 2011, 356 pp., $14.99. ISBN 978-0-446-57142-5

Loup and girlfriend Pilar escape from military custody to be high-priced bodyguards for a British rock band. But they can’t leave their past behind – including their chance to stay in Outpost 12, a Texas border town, and bring out those they have abandoned.

Andrew M. Andrews
No Rest for The Dead - cover

THE PENGUIN BOOK OF VICTORIAN WOMEN IN CRIME:

THE PENGUIN BOOK OF VICTORIAN WOMEN IN CRIME, ed. by Michael Sims. Penguin (us.penguingroup.com), 2011, 340 pp., $16.00. ISBN 978-0-14-310621-0

Michael Sims, editor of the PENGUIN BOOK OF GASLIGHT CRIME, brings together a wealth of authors to showcase the work of some great crime-fighters that could compete with Holmes and other classic sleuths.

Andrew M. Andrews
Promises To Keep - cover

MIRROR MAZE:

MIRROR MAZE, by Michaele Jordan. Pyr/Prometheus (www.pyrsf.com), 2011, 368 pp., $16.00. ISBN 978-1-61614-529-3

Jacob Aldridge is the victim of a curse, beginning with the death of his fiancée, encountering her doppelganger, all the while a demon stalks him, and draws others close to him into the dangers that await.

Andrew M. Andrews
Eyes to See

EYES TO SEE:

EYES TO SEE, by Joseph Nassise. Tor (www.tor-forge.com), 2011, 319 pp., $22.99. ISBN 978-0-7653-2718-5

The story of a classics professor who, desperate to find out why his young daughter disappears, performs an arcane ritual that robs him of his eyesight in order to “see that which is unseen.” His new powers allow him to do some great things for people but also send him up against a terrible force that could cost him his own life, as well as that of others.

Andrew M. Andrews
Thomas World

THOMAS WORLD:

THOMAS WORLD, by Richard Cox. Night Shade Books (www.nightshadebooks.com), 2011, 396 pp., $14.99. ISBN 978-1-59780-308-3

Almost Philip K. Dick-like, the protagonist in this book, Thomas, sees his life spinning out of control. He believes that his life has been scripted, perhaps by his own doppelganger-like soul, watching him . . . why?

Andrew M. Andrews

Next Time In True Review

THE MAGNIFICIENT MEDILLS, by Megan McKinney. HarperCollins (www.harpercollins.com), 2011, 456 pp., $27.99. ISBN 978-0-06-178223-7

NEWSPAPER TITAN: THE INFAMOUS LIFE AND MONUMENTAL TIMES OF CISSY PATTERSON, by Amanda Smith. Borzoi/Alfred A. Knopf (www.aaknopf.com),
2011, 716 pp., $37.50.

KAFKAESQUE, Stories Inspired by Franz Kafka, ed. by John Kessel and James Patrick Kelly. Tachyon (www.tachyonpublications.com), 2011, 284 pp., $15.95.
ISBN 978-1-61696-049-0