When the World Ends, You’ll Need The Knowledge

The Knowledge

I’m not a sky-is-falling kind of guy. I don’t have a bunker behind my house and a decade’s worth of food stocked away for my family (although I do sometimes think about it). Every generation has had its concerns about the world ending, but I’m one of those optimists that hopes we’ll be able to solve our problems — water shortages, global warming, pandemics — and not be despised by our great-great-grandkids.

But who really knows? Asteroids are flying around our universe with sufficient mass and speed. New and scarier viruses seem to pop up every few years. So many countries seem to want their own nuclear bombs these days. Experts seem to think a major financial collapse lurks around the corner. Just how prepared are we if the world we know it stopped functioning normally for an extended period of time? How long would we last without the modern conveniences of electricity, medicine, clothing, food, and clean water? Continue reading

Second Chance: Austin Grossman’s YOU — Paperback Edition

YOU Hardback

On April 8, 2014, Austin Grossman’s novel, YOU, will be released in paperback. I’m very excited about this news because I’m such a fan of the book, and now many more readers will be able to enjoy Grossman’s fictional account of Black Arts Games and its Realms of Gold computer game series (with major nods to Ultima and other famous 90s titles). For anyone who grew up in the 80s and 90s when computers and computer games were making some incredible strides in music, graphics, and storytelling, the book is likely to fire up some fun memories of a dozen or more games that you likely played or encountered. It’s a fictional tale, yes, but the games and characters in the story could easily have been as real as Zork or Rogue or Ultima and the game designers behind those famous titles. Continue reading

The Curiosity Cycle: Keep Your Kids Learning and Growing

Image: Mugan Publishing

One of our jobs as parents is to keep our kids learning, keeping them curious about the world and
adapting to changes in society. This is actually not difficult to do, but it does take effort, and
learning about how kids learn is extremely helpful for this task. The Curiosity Cycle will help you accomplish this. Continue reading

Out With the Old: The Detainee by Peter Liney


I always enjoy finding a good surprise read, especially debut novels. I just finished The Detainee by Peter Liney, and I’m already anxious to read the next book in the series. If I had to place its theme and concept, it’d be a mix of Logan’s Run with Lord of the Flies… with a hint of Battle Royale’s oppressiveness. Continue reading

Win a Copy of Lemony Snicket’s File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents


Lemony Snicket is at it again. File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents is a collection of mysteries happening around the town of Stain’d-By-The-Sea. To celebrate the book’s release today, Little, Brown Books is providing two copies for us to give away, one print book and one audio book. Continue reading

Which is Better for Reading? An E-Reader or a Small Tablet?

tablets and e-readers

Only five years ago this wasn’t a question anyone would ask. Pre iPad, the Kindle and Sony Reader were pretty much the only game in town for digital reading devices. The iPad changed things in 2010, but those early tablets were big and expensive. The real competition between traditional E Ink e-readers and and tablets for consuming the “printed” word didn’t happen until Android tablets went to 7-inches to do an end run around Apple’s domination. Suddenly tablets were roughly the same size as e-readers and not a whole lot more expensive. That resulted in predictions that tablets would doom the the dedicated e-reader the same way smartphones were killing the point-and-shoot pocket camera. The e-reader isn’t dead yet, but should it be? Which is better for digital reading, an e-reader or a small tablet? Continue reading

Get a Glimpse of Amazing Steampunk Style

Steampunk Style Cover

I’ve got a number of steampunk-related artwork books on my shelves full of paintings, sketches, jewelry, sculptures, clothing, weapons, and goggles… lots of goggles. But most of them have a decidedly British or American style running behind the scenes, probably due to the fact that I’m an English speaker and tend to collect books that I can actually read and don’t require any translation. This means that I’m most assuredly missing out on a number of foreign books that focus on steampunk, and that’s a real shame. Continue reading

Dungeons & Dreamers — A Book Review

I’m very nostalgic when it comes to my inner-geek. At least once a year I read Neuromancer. I enjoy playing the original Infocom games on my iPad. I still get a wide grin on my face when I pull my copy of Tomb of Horrors (S1) off the shelf to occasionally read it through and remember the first time I ran this most hated module as a DM. I never tire of trying to get my almost-7-year-old to sit down and play a few of the Atari 2600 games with me (and he does actually enjoy both Adventure and Yars Revenge — he flipped out when I showed him the Easter Egg in Adventure, something I discovered all on my own before there were ever walkthroughs or bulletin boards to share the info.) Continue reading

Randall Munroe Announces What If? Book

What If?

Randall Munroe, creator of the brilliant xkcd webcomic, also answers hypothetical scientific questions on his What If? site. Munroe announced earlier today that he will be publishing a book based on the site. The book will include some revised versions of his favorites from the site, plus questions that he has collected over the years of “particularly neat questions.” Continue reading

Exclusive Cover Reveal: Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads

Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads

Drywater Gulch has a toad problem—the Toad brothers are a gang of ruffians who just don’t appreciate a good chili, and they’re terrorizing the town. Thank goodness for Sheriff Ryan, who knows a lot about… dinosaurs. Continue reading