Non-Fiction Catalogue: June 2018
All the books in this catalogue are new books due for release in June 2018.
Because they are new books, we are at the whim of the publishers and, to some extent, the shipping companies – books can sometimes arrive later (or earlier) than, or occasionally be a different retail price, than originally quoted. Because space is a luxury, we bring in limited quantities of books. Prices are subject to change without notice.
Please reserve copies of anything you want, so you don’t miss out – ASAP! If a book has sold out by the time we receive your order, we will back-order and supply, when available. Pulp Fiction has access to thousands of books not shown in our monthly catalogues. We are only too happy to order anything, if we don’t have it on the shelves.
If you can’t make it into the shop, you can post, phone, or e-mail your order. We accept Mastercard, Visa, AMEX, cheques, and Australia Post Money Orders. Approximate current postage, within Australia, is:
- 1–2 paperbacks (up to 500g), $7.95
- 2–10 paperbacks or any trade paperbacks or hardcovers, within Brisbane, is $10.70
- outside Brisbane metro area (over 500g up to 3kg), $13.40
- anything above 3kg charged at Australia Post rates.
Abbreviations used in this catalogue: PBK = ‘A’ or ‘B’ format (standard size) paperback;TP = ‘B+’ or ‘C’ format (oversize) trade paperback;HC = hardcover or cloth binding.
Until next time, good reading!
New Osprey military history titles
Snapdragon: The World War II Exploits of Darby’s Ranger and Combat Photographer Phil Stern (General military)
Bradner, Liesl & Stern, Phil
Prior to Phil Stern’s death on December 13, 2014, his original, unfinished, tattered wartime memoir was discovered, stashed away in an old folio box in his cluttered Hollywood bungalow. Best remembered for his iconic images of James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, and JFK’s inauguration, his remarkable service during World War II as a combat photographer with Darby’s Rangers has remained largely unknown. Until now. Stern’s catchy 1940s lingo, honest and intimate observations, and humour, paired with his striking combat photography, transport the reader 70 years back in time to meet the hardscrabble Rangers and experience some of the key battles of the Mediterranean Theatre. Snapdragon is an artefact of that time, told not by a man reminiscing in his twilight years, but by a young soldier fresh from the battlefields.
Military history/photography | HC | $39.99
Tidal Wave: From Leyte Gulf to Tokyo Bay (General military)
Cleaver, Thomas McKelvey
The United States Navy won such overwhelming victories in 1944 that, had the navy faced a different enemy, the war would have been over at the conclusion of the Battle of Leyte Gulf. However, in the moment of victory on 25 October 1944, the US Navy found itself confronting an enemy that had been inconceivable until it appeared. The kamikaze – ‘divine wind’ in Japanese – was something Americans were totally unprepared for; a violation of every belief held in the West. The attacks were terrifying: regardless of the damage inflicted on an attacking airplane, there was no certainty of safety aboard the ship until that airplane was completely destroyed. Based on first-person accounts, Tidal Wave is the story of the naval campaigns in the Pacific from the victory at Leyte Gulf to the end of the war, in which the US Navy would fight harder for survival than ever before.
Military/naval history | HC | $39.99
US Navy F-4 Phantom II Units of the Vietnam War 1969–73 (Combat Aircraft 125)
Davies, Peter E & Laurier, Jim (illustrator)
Although the F-4 Phantom II was the most important fighter-bomber to see action with all three American services during the Vietnam War, it was essentially a US Navy design, and the carrier-borne squadron crews were its main operators in combat. The aircraft pioneered the use of long-range, radar-guided missiles in combat, although the majority of its Vietnam missions involved ground attack with a variety of innovative ordnance. From 1968 to 1973, the Phantom II was the standard US Navy fighter in Southeast Asia, having replaced several other types. Its performance and versatility enabled it to perform a variety of different missions, and switch roles as necessary, in the assault on some of the world’s most heavily defended territory. Including detailed colour profiles and first-person commentary from active participants in the F-4’s naval combat history, this is a detailed study of the US armed services’ most famous post-war fighter.
Military aviation history | PBK | $27.99
American Tanks and AFVs of World War II (General military)
The entry of the US into World War II provided the Allies with the industrial might to finally take the war to German and Japanese forces across the world. Central to this was the focus of the American military industrial complex on the manufacture of tanks and armoured fighting vehicles. Between 1939 and 1945, 88,140 tanks and 18,620 other armoured vehicles were built – almost twice the number that Germany and Great Britain combined were able to supply. In this lavishly illustrated volume, armour expert Michael Green examines the dizzying array of machinery fielded by the US Army, from the famed M4 Sherman, M3 Stuart and M3 Lee through to the half-tracks, armoured cars, self-propelled artillery, tank destroyers, armoured recovery vehicles and tracked landing vehicles that provided the armoured fist that the Allies needed to break Axis resistance in Europe and the Pacific. Published in paperback for the first time, and packed with historical and contemporary colour photography, this encyclopaedic new study details the design, development, and construction of these vehicles, their deployment in battle and the impact that they had on the outcome of the war.
Military history | PBK | $39.99
Cromwell vs Jagdpanzer IV: Normandy 1944 (Duel 86)
Higgins, David R; Shumate, Johnny (illustrator); Gilliland, Alan (illustrator)
By 1944, the evolution of armoured doctrine had produced very different outcomes in Britain and Germany. Offering a good balance of speed, protection and firepower, the British Cromwell tank was much faster than its German opponent, but the Jagdpanzer IV tank destroyer had a high-velocity main gun and a lower profile that made it formidable on the defensive, especially in ambush situations. The two types would fight in a series of bloody encounters, from the initial days of the struggle for Normandy through to its climax as the Allies sought to trap their opponents in the Falaise Pocket. Using archive photographs, specially-commissioned artwork and battle reports, this fascinating study expertly assesses the realities of tactical armoured combat during the desperate battles after D-Day.
Military history | PBK | $24.99
What is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics
Every physicist agrees quantum mechanics is among humanity’s finest scientific achievements. But ask what it means, and the result will be a brawl. For a century, most physicists have followed Niels Bohr’s Copenhagen interpretation and dismissed questions about the reality underlying quantum physics as meaningless. A mishmash of solipsism and poor reasoning, Copenhagen endured, as Bohr’s students vigorously protected his legacy, and the physics community favoured practical experiments over philosophical arguments. As a result, questioning the status quo long meant professional ruin. And, yet, from the 1920s to today, physicists like John Bell, David Bohm, and Hugh Everett persisted in seeking the true meaning of quantum mechanics. What is Real? is the gripping story of this battle of ideas and the courageous scientists, who dared to stand up for truth.
Science | TP | $32.99
We Have No Idea: A Guide to the Unknown Universe
Cham, Jorge & Whiteson, Daniel
In our small corner of the universe, we know how some matter behaves most of the time and what even less of it looks like, and we have some good guesses about where it all came from. But we really have no clue what’s going on. In fact, we don’t know what about 95% of the universe is made of. So, what happens when a cartoonist and a physicist walk into this strange, mostly unknown universe? Jorge Cham and Daniel Whiteson gleefully explore the biggest unknowns, why these things are still mysteries, and what a lot of smart people are doing to figure out the answers (or at least ask the right questions). While they’re at it, they helpfully demystify many complicated things we do know about, from quarks and neutrinos to gravitational waves and exploding black holes. With equal doses of humour and delight, they invite us to see the universe as a vast expanse of mostly uncharted territory that’s still ours to explore. This is a book for fans of Brian Cox and What If. This highly-entertaining, highly-illustrated book is perfect for anyone who’s curious about all the great mysteries physicists are going to solve next.
Science | PBK | $22.99
Consciousness (Ladybird Expert)
Consciousness is a clear, simple and entertaining introduction to one of life’s most interesting questions: what does it mean to be conscious? Written by celebrated neurologist and neuropsychologist Dr Hannah Critchlow, Consciousness will take you on a voyage to discover what allows the grey matter in our skulls to produce such complex emotions, personality traits, thoughts and memories. Inside you’ll learn what held neuroscientists back for so long, how the complex circuit board of the brain could one day be recreated on a computer, and that we do indeed use more than 10% of our brains. Additionally, you’ll discover how much energy is consumed by the brain, why left-handed people are more creative and that ‘internet hats’ might one day be on the head of every pupil.
Neuroscience | HC | $19.99
The Space Barons: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the Quest to Colonise the Cosmos
The visionary quest to rekindle the human exploration and colonisation of space led by two rivals and their vast fortunes, egos, concern about the future of humanity, and visions of space as the next entrepreneurial frontier. For years, space enthusiasts have imagined people in spaceships colonising the cosmos, and for more than four decades, US presidents have been predicting a real-life journey to Mars. Little progress, however, has been made since the halcyon days of the Mercury and Apollo programs – until now. Chris Davenport tells the story of the ‘Space Barons’ – notably Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, but also Richard Branson and Paul Allen – and their unbelievably big ambitions to revive the US manned space program and reignite ancient dreams. These tycoons, with deep imaginations and deeper wallets, have ambitions to go far into space, well beyond the lower Earth orbit of the International Space Station. They are the founders of some of the biggest brands in the world – Amazon, Tesla, PayPal, Microsoft, Virgin – and have poured hundreds of millions of their own money into their new companies, betting that space tourism, asteroid mining, CubeSats (satellites the size of shoe boxes), and other new ventures will prove to be the next great technological revolution. For them, this is about more than monetising space and space travel; it’s exploration for exploration’s sake: striking out with one destination in mind, but finding something else entirely. ‘Do we want,’ Elon Musk asks, ‘a future where we are forever confined to one planet until some eventual extinction event – however far in the future that might occur? Or do we want to become a multi-planet species, ultimately out there among the stars?’ With an inside track on the businesses, rivalries, and rocketry that are fuelling the new space race, The Space Barons is the story of how these billionaires plan to open the space frontier, extending humanity’s reach and fulfilling the dreams of a generation.
Business innovation | HC | $39.99
Science in the Soul: Selected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist
This anthology of more than forty pieces is a kaleidoscopic argument for the power and the glory of science. Breathtaking, brilliant and passionate, these essays, journalism, lectures and letters make an unanswerable case for the wonder of scientific discovery and its power to stir the imagination; for the practical necessity of scientific endeavour to society; and for the importance of the scientific way of thinking – particularly in today’s ‘post-truth’ world. With an introduction and new commentary by the author, subjects range from evolution and Darwinian natural selection to the role of scientist as prophet, whether science is itself a religion, the probability of alien life in other worlds, and the beauties, cruelties and oddities of earthly life in this one. Alongside the explications, the celebrations and the controversies are wonderfully funny ventures into satire and parody and moving personal reflections in memory and honour of others. Science in the Soul is a sparkling showcase for Professor Dawkins’ rapier wit, the clarity, precision and vigour he brings to an argument, the beauty of his prose, the depth of his feeling and his capacity for joy.
Science | PBK | $22.99
Shapeshifters: On Medicine and Human Change
Our minds and bodies change constantly – we dream and laugh, wax and wane, distort and repair, grow taller and shrink, flourish and decay as we make our way through life. Some of these changes we have little choice about – we can’t avoid puberty, the menopause, or even death. Others are specific to the individual, inhabiting that strange hinterland between mind and body, imposed by the savage perfectionism of anorexia or the internal pressures of plastic surgery addicts. And still others are rare, almost magical in their manifestations, such as the sun-sensitivity and facial hair that characterises Porphyria suffers and led to them, once upon a time, to be suspected as werewolves. Mixing case studies with observations about history, art, literature, myth and magic, and viewing with a humane and sensitive eye, Gavin Francis, author of the international bestseller Adventures in Human Being, explores the various ways in which change is the very essence of being human. ‘Stylish and exhilarating… from a wide-ranging mind and a profound humanity. With warmth and wit, Gavin Francis examines the body’s strategies for survival and change, embedding his thoughts in a broad frame of reference from across human culture and history. Each piece is a pleasure to read, and in sum they are inspiring.’ – Hilary Mantel.
Biology/medicine/society and culture | HC | $32.99
Nuclear Deterrence (Ladybird Expert)
Freedman, Sir Lawrence
Nuclear Deterrence is a clear, simple and entertaining introduction to the deterrent tactics employed to prevent war, drawing on the unprecedented power of nuclear weapons. Written by celebrated historian and professor of War Studies Sir Lawrence Freedman, Nuclear Deterrence explores the history behind the world’s most lethal weapon. You’ll learn the criticism against the development of nuclear weapons, how the shift in global political power from the Cold War to the current arms crisis has shaped defensive strategies, and what implications nuclear weapons bear on the future of warfare.
Nuclear weapons | HC | $19.99
Money (Vintage Minis)
Harari, Yuval Noah
How did money come to be invented? Why does it now have such significance in our lives? Does it make us happier or unhappier? And what does the future hold for it? With brilliant clarity and insight, Yuval Noah Harari takes the reader on a journey from the very first coins through to 21st century economics and shows us how we are all on the brink of a revolution, whether we like it or not. Vintage Minis bring you the world’s greatest writers on the experiences that make us human.
Economics | PBK | $7.99
Battle of the Atlantic (Ladybird Expert)
Battle of the Atlantic is an accessible, insightful and authoritative account of WWII’s longest battle, the naval campaign to keep supply lines open and enable Britain to continue to fight. Historian, author and broadcaster James Holland draws on the latest research and interviews with participants to bring colour, detail and a fresh perspective to the story of how the siege of Europe was broken. Inside, you’ll discover how tactics, organisation and new technologies were brought to bear, about the different challenges faced by both the Allies and the Axis, and, above all, the skill, bravery and endurance of the sailors and pilots engaged in a contest that was of critical importance to the outcome of the war.
Military/naval history | HC | $19.99
Blitzkrieg (Ladybird Expert)
Blitzkrieg is an accessible, insightful and authoritative account of the fall of Europe, through the use of one of the most successful military strategies in modern warfare. Historian, author and broadcaster James Holland draws on the latest research and interviews with participants to bring colour, detail and a fresh perspective to the story. Inside, you’ll discover how tactics, organisation and new technologies were brought to bear, about the different challenges faced by both the Axis and the Allies, and, above all, the skill, bravery and endurance of those engaged in a contest that was of critical importance to the outcome of the war.
Military history | HC | $19.99
Dictator Literature: A History of Despots Through their Writing
Few may realise that the leader of Turkmenistan – a man who once renamed bread after his own mother – wrote his own holy book, which is required reading before taking a driving test. It is a book of such time-quaking importance that the month of September was renamed in its honour. Countless historians have dedicated decades of their lives to minutely detailing the atrocities perpetrated by the twentieth century’s most notorious dictators. And, yet, one area of tyrannical infamy has been shockingly neglected… these men’s crimes against literature. Between them, they produced theoretical works, spiritual manifestos, poetry collections, memoirs, and even the occasional romance novel; establishing a literary tradition of soul-crushing tedium that continues to this day. What do these books reveal about the dictatorial soul? How did the production of literature become central to the running of their regimes? A journey to the end of the literary night, combining mind-bending explorations of the avant-garde of boredom with history, politics and biography – and leavened, with a darkly-humorous wit – Dictator Literature is the true story of the worst books in the world.
History of literature/history of tyranny | HC | $34.99
On the Edge of Infinity: Encounters with the Beauty of the Universe
How a rose blossom can demonstrate that nothing and nobody exists on their own… How a hurricane can reveal the world’s unpredictability… How the exploits of burglars in New York and London can demonstrate how everything can be in two places at once… How a DIY accident can prompt debate on whether the void can exist… How a greying beard might demonstrate the irreversibility of time. Award-winning, bestselling German science author Stefan Klein employs stories about simple everyday items or occurrences as analogies to illuminate counterintuitive realities behind the visible world, revealing the astonishing beauty of the universe. This book transforms a simple everyday thing such as a rose blossom, or a day of stormy weather, into a key to understanding the most complex ideas and theories in 21st century physics. Through clever use of analogy, Klein renders the complexities and intricacies of physics accessible to a reader with no previous knowledge of the subject. In doing so, he demonstrates that scientific progress is as much, if not more, about the unanswered questions, the dark corners, as it is about what we have discovered; our knowledge constitutes merely ‘an island in an ocean of ignorance’. A thought-provoking and original way in to the most intriguing scientific theories and ideas, designed to be accessible to anyone who has ever been curious about the workings of our universe.
Science | HC | $19.99
Apollo 8: The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon
In August 1968, NASA made a bold decision: in just sixteen weeks, the United States would launch humankind’s first flight to the moon. Only the year before, three astronauts had burned to death in their spacecraft, and since then the Apollo program had suffered one setback after another. Meanwhile, the Russians were winning the space race, the Cold War was getting hotter by the month, and President Kennedy’s promise to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade seemed sure to be broken. But when Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders were summoned to a secret meeting and told of the dangerous mission, they instantly signed on. Apollo 8 takes us from Mission Control to the astronaut’s homes, and the race to prepare an untested rocket for an unprecedented journey paves the way for the hair-raising trip to the moon. And when the mission is over – after the first view of the far side of the moon, the first earth-rise, and the first re-entry through the earth’s atmosphere following a flight to deep space – the impossible dream of walking on the moon suddenly seems within reach.
Space science | PBK | $24.99
Karl, the Universe and Everything
Kruszelnicki, Dr Karl
Grab your towel and hitchhike across the galaxy with Australia’s most popular scientist, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki. Learn about Dr Karl, the universe and everything, and discover how air-conditioning is sexist, how you can kill a spinning hard drive by shouting at it and how space junk is threatening our future capabilities for space travel. Could there be life on one of Saturn’s moons? How much power could you collect from all the lightning on Earth? Why do books have book-smell? Why is ten per cent of the Earth’s land area prone to sinkholes? Why are some people chronically late? What would happen if the Earth stopped spinning? Why do most people hardly remember anything from the first half-a-dozen years of their life? How close are we to the Artificial Uterus? Why do some songs turn into ‘earworms’ and stick inside your brain? Why does your hotel room access card get wiped, so easily? And is your home WiFi really spying on you?
Popular science | TP | $19.99
Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History Without the Fairy-Tale Endings
McRobbie, Linda Rodriguez
You think you know her story. You’ve read the Brothers Grimm, you’ve watched the Disney cartoons, and you cheered as these virtuous women lived happily ever after. But real princesses didn’t always get happy endings. Sure, plenty were graceful and benevolent leaders, but just as many were ruthless in their quest for power – and all of them had skeletons rattling in their royal closets. Princess Stephanie von Hohenlohe was a Nazi spy. Empress Elisabeth of the Austro-Hungarian empire slept wearing a mask of raw veal. Princess Olga of Kiev slaughtered her way to sainthood while Princess Lakshmibai waged war on the battlefield, charging into combat with her toddler son strapped to her back. Princesses Behaving Badly offers true tales of all these princesses and dozens more in a fascinating read that’s perfect for history buffs, feminists, and anyone seeking a different kind of bedtime story.
History/biography | PBK | $24.99
Twentieth-Century Classical Music (Ladybird Expert)
20th Century Classical Music is a clear, simple and entertaining introduction to the music that encapsulated the defining moments of the contemporary world. Written by The Observer’s classical music critic Fiona Maddocks, 20th Century Classical Music will take you on an acoustic journey through history with a curated playlist on each page. At the turn of the century, Schoenberg pioneered ‘atonality’, a new breed of classical music aimed to challenge rather than soothe. Next came Stravinsky’s riotous Rite of Spring written on the eve of WWI, evoking the barbaric and obscene. From the influence of the jazz age and the sounds of cities, the nationalism of folk revival, Russian revolutions from the Bolsheviks to Stalin, to the fall of the Berlin Wall, you’ll learn how composers painted with a full orchestral palette to capture the sentiments of their time.
Music history | HC | $19.99
The Lost Pilots: The Spectacular Rise and Scandalous Fall of Aviation’s Golden Couple
The Sahara Desert, February 1962: the wreckage of a plane emerges from the sands revealing, too, the body of the plane’s long-dead pilot. But who was he? And what had happened to him? Baker Street, London, June 1927: twenty-five-year-old Jessie Miller had fled a loveless marriage in Australia, longing for adventure in the London of the Bright Young Things. At a gin-soaked party, she met Bill Lancaster, fresh from the Royal Air force, his head full of a scheme that would make him as famous as Charles Lindbergh, who has just crossed the Atlantic. Lancaster wanted to fly three times as far – from London to Melbourne – and in Jessie Miller he knew he had found the perfect co-pilot. By the time they landed in Melbourne, the daring aviators were a global sensation – and, despite still being married to other people, deeply in love. Keeping their affair a secret, they toured the world until the Wall Street Crash changed everything; Bill and Jessie – like so many others – were broke. And it was then, holed up in a run-down mansion on the outskirts of Miami and desperate for cash, that Jessie agreed to write a memoir. When a dashing ghost-writer, Haden Clark, was despatched from New York, the toxic combination of the handsome interloper, bootleg booze and jealousy led to a shocking crime. The trial that followed put Jessie and Bill back on the front pages and drove him to a reckless act of abandon to win it all back.
Aviation history | TP | $32.99
WTF? What’s the Future and Why It’s Up to Us
Renowned as ‘the Oracle of Silicon Valley’, Tim O’Reilly has spent three decades exploring the world-transforming power of information technology. Now, the leading thinker of the internet age turns his eye to the future – and asks the questions that will frame the next stage of the digital revolution: Will increased automation destroy jobs or create new opportunities? What will the company of tomorrow look like? Is a world dominated by algorithms to be welcomed or feared? How can we ensure that technology serves people, rather than the other way around? How can we all become better at mapping future trends? Tim O’Reilly’s insights create an authoritative, compelling and often surprising portrait of the world we will soon inhabit, highlighting both the many pitfalls and the enormous opportunities that lie ahead.
Impact of information technology | PBK | $19.99
How to Change Your Mind: The New Science of Psychedelics
‘It’s as if we made entering gothic cathedrals illegal, or museums, or sunsets!’ When LSD was first discovered in the 1940s, it seemed to researchers, scientists and doctors as if the world might be on the cusp of psychological revolution. It promised to shed light on the deep mysteries of consciousness, as well as offer relief to addicts and the mentally ill. But in the 1960s, with the vicious backlash against the counter-culture, all further research was banned. In recent years, however, work has quietly begun again on the amazing potential of LSD, psilocybin, and DMT. Could these drugs in fact improve the lives of many people? Diving deep into this extraordinary world and putting himself forward as a guinea-pig, Michael Pollan has written a remarkable history of psychedelics and a compelling portrait of the new generation of scientists fascinated by the implications of these drugs. How to Change Your Mind is a report from what could very well be the future of human consciousness.
Pharmacology/psychology | HC | $49.99
The Neuroscience of Mindfulness: The astonishing science behind why everyday hobbies are good for your brain
Neuroscientific studies are finding that our brain circuits for emotions are just as tangible as circuits for our other five senses. Advanced imaging techniques can now observe this. Recent fascination with colouring in, for adults, joins a long list of techniques that have been employed by humans to calm the brain and help us with our emotions. Our ways of dealing with this intuitively have included tasks with some return for our time and effort. Tasks such as knitting and gardening. However, we now enter a world where these tasks are redundant for many of us. We employ gardeners and buy scarves. The discoveries of focused activities which take our minds away from the emotions of day to day living are returning again but in new formats such as colouring-in books and even Lego building blocks for adults. In this book, Dr Rodski explores the science behind these activities and many others which we humans crave for to help us through our emotional world. The world of mindfulness, the world of our sixth sense.
Neuroscience | TP | $29.99
Genetics (Ladybird Expert)
Genetics is a clear, simple and entertaining introduction to the code that determines the fate of all living things – DNA. Written by broadcaster and geneticist Adam Rutherford, Genetics breaks down the DNA code – an alphabet of four letters and twenty-one words – that has been passed down from cell to cell for four billion years. You’ll learn how, in the 150 years since DNA was first discovered, we are beginning to understand, and even radically rewrite, the code of life on Earth.
Science | HC | $19.99
Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst
Sapolsky, Robert M
Why do human beings behave as they do? We are capable of savage acts of violence but also spectacular feats of kindness: is one side of our nature destined to win out over the other? Every act of human behaviour has multiple layers of causation, spiralling back seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years, even centuries, right back to the dawn of time and the origins of our species. In the epic sweep of history, how does our biology affect the arc of war and peace, justice and persecution? How have our brains evolved alongside our cultures? This is the exhilarating story of human morality and the science underpinning the biggest question of all: what makes us human?
Science | PBK | $24.99
The Digital Ape: How to Live (in peace) with Smart Machines
Shadbolt, Nigel & Hampson, Roger
How smart machines are transforming us all – and what we should do about it. The smart machines revolution is reshaping our lives and our societies. Here, Shadbolt and Hampson – Britain’s pre-eminent authorities on AI – dispel terror, confusion, and misconception by demonstrating that we are not about to be elbowed aside by a rebel army of super-intelligent robots of our own creation. The much-vaunted Transcendence moment is not coming any time soon. The Digital Ape prefers to talk of Augmented Intelligence (ours) rather than Artificial Intelligence (theirs). It argues that when it comes to our technological future we can retain control, but how we exercise that control – in employment matters, in privacy matters, in political matters, etc – is the crux of our collective future wellbeing. Lucid, well-informed, and deeply human, The Digital Ape offers a unique approach to the subject of web science and the ethics of intelligent systems.
Society and culture/Technolgy and AI | TP | $32.99
War Stories: Gripping Tales of Courage, Cunning and Compassion
Snow, Peter & MacMillan, Ann
These are the stories – many untold until now – of thirty-four individuals who have pushed the boundaries of love, bravery, suffering and terror beyond the imaginable. They span three centuries and five continents. There is the courage of Edward Seager who survived the Charge of the Light Brigade; the cunning of Krystyna Skarbek, quick-thinking spy and saboteur during the Second World War; the skulduggery of Benedict Arnold, who switched sides in the American War of Independence and the compassion of Magdalene de Lancey who tenderly nursed her dying husband at Waterloo. Told with vivid narrative flair and full of unexpected insights, War Stories moves effortlessly from tales of spies, escapes and innovation to uplifting acts of humanity, celebrating men and women whose wartime experiences are beyond compare. A point of interest: this husband-and-wife author pair are the parents of historian/TV presenter Dan Snow.
Military history | PBK | $22.99
Plate Tectonics (Lady Expert)
Plate Tectonics is a clear, simple and entertaining introduction to what really goes on under the ground beneath our feet. Written by the celebrated geologist, lecturer and scientific presenter Iain Stewart, it explores Earth’s building blocks and the theory that changed the way we look at the world. You’ll learn about the puzzle pieces that make up the Earth today, monsoon-like currents in our planet’s radioactive core, magnetic currents and how the ocean would look without water. Vintage Minis bring you the world’s greatest writers on the experiences that make us human.
Geology | HC | $19.99
Austerity (Vintage Minis)
How do we choose between what is fair and just, and what our debtors demand of us? Yanis Varoufakis was put in such a dilemma in 2015 when he became the finance minister of Greece. In this rousing book, he charts the absurdities that underpin calls for austerity, as well as his own battles with a bureaucracy bent on ignoring the human cost of its every action. Passionately outspoken and tuned to the voices of the oppressed, Varoufakis presents a guide to modern economics, and its threat to democracy, like no other.
Economics | PBK | $7.99
The Spanish Armada (Ladybird Expert)
The Spanish Armada is a clear, simple and entertaining introduction to King Philip II’s attempt to overthrow Protestant Queen Elizabeth I and restore Catholic rule over England. Written by award-winning British historian, archaeologist, and broadcaster Sam Willis, The Spanish Armada explores the battle that erupted up the English Channel when a Spanish fleet of 130 ships attempted to invade England. You’ll learn how religious tensions between two powerful monarchs came to a head, the innovative tactical planning of British defences, and the humanitarian disaster the conflict wrought.
Naval history | HC | $19.99
She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity
She Has Her Mother’s Laugh presents a profoundly original perspective on what we pass along from generation to generation. Charles Darwin played a crucial part in turning heredity into a scientific question, and yet he failed spectacularly to answer it. Zimmer writes, ‘Each of us carries an amalgam of fragments of DNA, stitched together from some of our many ancestors. Each piece has its own ancestry, traveling a different path back through human history. A particular fragment may sometimes be cause for worry, but most of our DNA influences who we are – our appearance, our height, our penchants – in inconceivably subtle ways.’ Heredity isn’t just about genes that pass from parent to child. Heredity continues within our own bodies, as a single cell gives rise to trillions of cells that make up our bodies. We say we inherit genes from our ancestors – using a word that once referred to kingdoms and estates – but we inherit other things that matter as much or more to our lives, from microbes to technologies we use to make life more comfortable. We need a new definition of what heredity is and, through Carl Zimmer’s lucid exposition and storytelling, this resounding tour de force delivers it.
Science | TP | $34.99