Non-Fiction Catalogue: May 2020
All the books in this catalogue are new books due for release in May 2020.
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.
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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!
Hubble Legacy: 30 Years of Discoveries and Images
The Hubble Telescope has done more to chronicle the origin and evolution of the universe than any other instrument ever created. It has taught us that the universe is 13.8 billion years old, that just about every large galaxy features a black hole at its centre, and that we can create 3-D maps of dark matter. Hubble Legacy features the most stunning imagery captured by the telescope – from geysers of solar light to exploding stars, solar flares, and galaxies colliding – and also explains how Hubble has advanced our understanding of our very creation.
Science | HC | $39.99
Manual for Survival: A Chernobyl Guide to the Future
An astonishing historical detective story, Manual for Survival makes clear the irreversible impact of nuclear energy on every living thing, not just from Chernobyl, but from eight decades of radioactive fallout from weapons development. The official death toll of the 1986 Chernobyl accident, ‘the worst nuclear disaster in history’, is only 54, and stories today commonly suggest that nature is thriving there. Yet, award-winning historian Kate Brown uncovers a much more disturbing story, one in which radioactive isotopes caused hundreds of thousands of casualties, and the magnitude of this human and ecological catastrophe has been actively suppressed. Based on a decade of archival and on-the-ground research, Manual for Survival is a gripping exposé of the consequences of nuclear radiation in the wake of Chernobyl and a wider plot to cover up the truth, in which scientists and diplomats from international organisations, including the UN, tried to bury or discredit evidence of the health consequences of radiation during the Cold War. An astonishing historical detective story, Manual for Survival makes clear the irreversible impact of nuclear energy on every living thing, not just from Chernobyl, but from eight decades of radioactive fallout from weapons development.
History/Science | PBK | $22.99
The Idea of the Brain: A History
The brain is the most complicated object in the universe. Here’s how we found out what we know, so far. We’ve been trying to make sense of the link between our minds and our bodies since the very dawn of civilisation. Now, the pace is hotting up. Join the biologist and historian Matthew Cobb to explore the weird theories, blasphemous experiments, and terrifying operating theatres that got us here, to the cusp of revelation. Written with ambition and verve and rooted in a solid scientific explanation of the issues, The Idea of the Brain spans the centuries to reveal how the lives and works of a parade of philosophers, surgeons, mystics, and neuroscientists have shaped the way we understand ourselves at the most profound level. From primitive dissections to the latest complex computational models of brain function, Cobb charts the course of this continuing quest, and prepares us for the astonishing discoveries to come.
Science/History | HC | $59.99
Anaesthesia: The Gift of Oblivion and the Mystery of Consciousness
You know how it is when you go under. The jab, the countdown, the – and then you wake. This book is about what happens, in between. Until a hundred and seventy years ago many people chose death, over the ordeal of surgery. Now, hundreds of thousands undergo operations every day. Anaesthesia has made it possible. But how much do we really know about what happens to us on the operating table? Can we hear what’s going on around us? Is pain still pain, if we are not awake to feel it, or don’t remember it afterwards? How does the unconscious mind deal with the body’s experience of being cut open and ransacked? And how can we help ourselves through it? Haunting, lyrical, sometimes shattering, Anaesthesia leavens science with personal experience to bring an intensely human curiosity to the unknowable realm beyond consciousness.
Medicine/Science | PBK | $24.99
The Science of Fate: The New Science of Who We Are – And How to Shape our Best Future
So many of us believe that we are free to shape our own destiny. But what if free will doesn’t exist? What if our lives are largely predetermined, hardwired in our brains – and our choices over what we eat, who we fall in love with, even what we believe are not real choices, at all? Neuroscience is challenging everything we think we know about ourselves, revealing how we make decisions and form our own reality, unaware of the role of our unconscious minds. Leading neuroscientist Hannah Critchlow draws vividly from everyday life and other experts in their field to show the extraordinary potential, as well as dangers, which come with being able to predict our likely futures – and looking at how we can alter what’s in store for us. Lucid, illuminating, awe-inspiring The Science of Fate revolutionises our understanding of who we are – and empowers us to help shape a better future for ourselves and the wider world.
Science | PBK | $22.99
The Curious History of the Riddle
Solve over 250 riddles, from the Riddle of the Sphinx to Harry Potter… The Curious History of the Riddle investigates the fascinating origin and history of the riddle, from the very first riddle (the Riddle of the Sphinx) to the twenty-first century, with riddles found in pop culture, including movies, books, and video games. Riddles are ageless, timeless, and so common that we hardly ever reflect upon what they are and how they originated. Riddles come in all languages and from all eras of human history, making them a truly ‘curious’ history. In The Curious History of the Riddle, puzzle expert Marcel Danesi delves deep into the riddle’s origin and offers a concise snapshot of riddles throughout time – from the Riddle of the Sphinx, to the riddles in Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack and Lewis Carroll’s Alice books, to those found in the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings book series, and much more – covering these fascinating topics: ancient riddles; medieval riddles; riddles in the Renaissance; riddles as part of leisure culture; riddles in literature; riddles in popular culture; and, rebuses as visual riddles. Part history book, part puzzle book, The Curious History of the Riddle is fully illustrated, with over 250 riddles interspersed throughout the text for solving.
Puzzles | PBK | $24.99
The Persecution of the Templars: Scandal, Torture, Trial
A striking account of the relentless persecution, and the oft-underestimated resistance, of the once-mighty Knights Templar. The trial of the Knights Templar is one of the most infamous in history. Accused of heresy by the king of France, the Templars were arrested and imprisoned, had their goods seized and their monasteries ransacked. Under brutal interrogation and torture, many made shocking confessions: denial of Christ, desecration of the Cross, sex acts, and more. This book follows the everyday reality of the trial, from the early days of scandal and scheming in 1305, via torture, imprisonment, and the dissolution of the order, to 1314 – when leaders Jacques de Molay and Geoffroy de Charnay were burned at the stake. Through first-hand testimony and written records of the interrogations of 231 French Templars, this book illuminates the stories of hundreds of ordinary members, some of whom testified at the trial, as well as the many others who denied the charges, or retracted their confessions. A deeply researched and immersive account that gives a striking vision of the relentless persecution, and the oft-underestimated resistance, of the once-mighty Knights Templar.
History | PBK | $24.99
Turned On: Science, Sex and Robots
The idea of the seductive sex robot is the stuff of myth, legend and science fiction. From the ancient Greeks to twenty-first century movies, robots in human form have captured our imagination, our hopes and our fears. But beyond the fantasies there are real and fundamental questions about our relationship with technology as it moves into the realm of robotics. Should we form intimate relationships with machines? Should robots be provided with a sexuality? How will it affect our everyday lives? Can we use them for therapy? Do they breach our laws on obscenity? Could they ever feel love? Sexual activity is central to our very existence; it shapes how we think, how we act, and how we live. It is deeply embedded in our society. With advances in technology come machines that may, one day, think independently. What will happen to us when we form close relationships with these intelligent systems? What, ultimately, does it mean to be human, in a future of machines? Sex robots are here, and here to stay, and more are coming. This book explores how the emerging and future development of sexual companion robots might affect us, and the society in which we live. It explores the social changes arising from emerging technologies, and our relationships with the machines that may someday care for us and about us. Chapter by chapter, this book will build on the science and the philosophy surrounding our most intimate relationship with technology. The scene is set with the history of the artificial sexual companion, then goes on to explore the ‘modern’ robot and the twentieth century sci-fi that promised us our own robot slaves. This is followed by an explanation of artificial intelligence and the urge to create sentient machines. It delves into our own psychology: how does desire affect our own behaviour, and can we become attached to an inanimate object? This then leads to a discussion of the good (robots making society a better place) and the bad (the potential for all to go wrong).
Impact of technology | PBK | $22.99
Upheaval: How Nations Cope with Crisis and Change
In his landmark international bestsellers Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse, Jared Diamond transformed our understanding of what makes civilisations rise and fall. Now, in the third book in this monumental trilogy, he reveals how successful nations recover from crisis. Diamond shows us how seven countries have survived defining upheavals in the recent past – from the forced opening up of Japan and the Soviet invasion of Finland to the Pinochet regime in Chile – through selective change, a process of painful self-appraisal and adaptation, more commonly associated with personal trauma. Looking ahead to the future, he investigates whether the United States, and the world, are squandering their natural advantages and are on a devastating path toward catastrophe. Is this fate inevitable? Or can we still learn from the lessons of the past? Exhibiting the awe-inspiring grasp of history, geography, economics and anthropology that marks all Diamond’s work, Upheaval reveals how both nations and individuals can become more resilient. The result is a book epic in scope, but also his most personal, yet.
Society and culture/History | PBK | $24.99
Radio Girl: The story of the extraordinary Mrs Mac, pioneering engineer and wartime legend
All around Australia, former WRANs and navy men regard the woman they know as Mrs Mac with a level of reverence, usually reserved for saints. Yet, today, no one has any idea of who she was and how she rescued Australia’s communication systems in World War II. As you climbed the rickety stairs of an old woolshed at Sydney harbour in 1944, you would hear the thrum of clicks and buzzes. Rows of men and women in uniforms and headsets would be tapping away vigorously at small machines, under the careful watch of their young female trainers. Presiding over the cacophony was a tiny woman, known to everyone as ‘Mrs Mac’, one of Australia’s wartime legends. A smart girl from a poor mining town – who loved to play with her father’s tools – Violet McKenzie became an electrical engineer, a pioneer of radio, and a successful businesswoman. As the clouds of war gathered in the 1930s, she defied convention and trained young women in Morse code, foreseeing that their services would soon be sorely needed. Always a champion of women, she was instrumental in getting Australian women into the armed forces. Mrs Mac was adored by the thousands of young women and men she trained, and came to be respected by the defence forces and the public, too, for her vision and contribution to the war effort. David Dufty brings her story to life in this heart-warming and captivating biography. ‘[An] incredible and inspiring life… Dufty’s new biography captures her unwavering dedication in the face of adversity.’ – Professor Genevieve Bell, Australian National University.
History | TP | $29.99
Choked: The Age of Air Pollution and the Fight for a Cleaner Future
The landmark book on air pollution: a major threat to the health and longevity of each and every one of us… Every year, air pollution prematurely kills seven million people around the world, in rich countries and poor ones. It is strongly linked to strokes, heart attacks, many kinds of cancer, premature birth, and dementia, among other ailments. In Choked, Beth Gardiner travels the world to meet the scientists who have transformed our understanding of pollution’s effects on the human body, and to trace the economic forces and political decisions that have allowed it to remain at life-threatening levels. But she also focuses on real-world solutions, and on inspiring stories of people fighting for a healthier future. Compellingly written, and alive with the personalities of the people who study, breathe and fight bad air, Choked is a vital contribution on one of the most important – but too often ignored – issues of our time.
Science | PBK | $22.99
Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know
A powerful and provocative exploration of why we so often misread other people. The routine traffic stop that ends in tragedy. The spy who spends years undetected at the highest levels of the Pentagon. The false conviction of Amanda Knox. Why do we so often get other people wrong? Why is it so hard to detect a lie, read a face, or judge a stranger’s motives? Through a series of encounters and misunderstandings – from history, psychology and infamous legal cases – Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual adventure into the darker side of human nature, where strangers are never simple and misreading them can have disastrous consequences. No one challenges our shared assumptions like Malcolm Gladwell. Here he uses stories of deceit and fatal errors to cast doubt on our strategies for dealing with the unknown, inviting us to rethink our thinking in these troubled times.
Psychology | PBK | $22.99
The Year 1000: When Explorers Connected the World – and Globalisation Began
An authoritative rethinking of global history by a leading Yale professor. When did globalisation begin? Most observers have settled on 1492, the year Columbus discovered America. But as celebrated Yale professor Valerie Hansen shows, it was the year 1000, when – for the first time – new trade routes linked the entire globe, so an object could in theory circumnavigate the world. This was the ‘big bang’ of globalisation, which ushered in a new era of exploration and trade, and which paved the way for Europeans to dominate, after Columbus reached America. Drawing on a wide range of new historical sources and cutting-edge archaeology, Hansen shows, for example, that the Maya began to trade with the native peoples of modern New Mexico from traces of theobromine – the chemical signature of chocolate – and that frozen textiles found in Greenland contain hairs from animals that could only have come from North America. Introducing players from Europe, the Islamic world, Asia, the Indian Ocean maritime world, the Pacific, and the Mayan world – who were connecting the major landmasses, for the first time – this compelling revisionist argument shows how these encounters set the stage for the globalisation that would dominate the world for centuries to come.
History | HC | $39.99
A Human’s Guide to Machine Intelligence:
How Algorithms Are Shaping Our Lives and How We Can Stay in Control
A Wharton professor and tech entrepreneur examines how algorithms and artificial intelligence are starting to run every aspect of our lives, and how we can shape the way they impact us… Through the technology embedded in almost every major tech platform and every web-enabled device, algorithms and the artificial intelligence that underlies them make a staggering number of everyday decisions for us, from what products we buy, to where we decide to eat, to how we consume our news, to whom we date, and how we find a job. We’ve even delegated life-and-death decisions to algorithms – decisions, once, made by doctors, pilots, and judges. In his new book, Kartik Hosanagar surveys the brave new world of algorithmic decision-making and reveals the potentially dangerous biases they can give rise to as they increasingly run our lives. He makes the compelling case that we need to arm ourselves with a better, deeper, more nuanced understanding of the phenomenon of algorithmic thinking. And he gives us a route in, pointing out that algorithms often think a lot like their creators – that is, like you and me. Hosanagar draws on his experiences designing algorithms, professionally – as well as on history, computer science, and psychology – to explore how algorithms work and why they occasionally go rogue, what drives our trust in them, and the many ramifications of algorithmic decision-making. He examines episodes like Microsoft’s chatbot Tay, which was designed to converse on social media like a teenage girl, but instead turned sexist and racist; the fatal accidents of self-driving cars; and even our own common, and often frustrating, experiences on services like Netflix and Amazon. A Human’s Guide to Machine Intelligence is an entertaining and provocative look at one of the most important developments of our time and a practical user’s guide to this first wave of practical artificial intelligence.
Impact of technology | TP | $29.99
Merlin: The Power Behind the Spitfire, Mosquito and Lancaster
The most iconic planes of WWII, the Supermarine Spitfire, Hawker Hurricane, DeHavilland Mosquito, and the Avro Lancaster, were all powered by one engine, the Rolls-Royce Merlin. The story of the Merlin is one of British ingenuity at its height, of artistry and problem-solving that resulted in a war-winning design. Published to coincide with the 75th anniversary of VE Day and the 80th anniversary of the start of the Battle of Britain, Merlin is the extraordinary story of the development of the Rolls-Royce engine that would stop Hitler from invading Britain and carry the war to the very heart of Germany. The story of the Merlin engine encompasses the history of powered flight, from the ingenuity of the Wright Brothers to the horrors of World War I, and from the first crossing of the Atlantic to the heady days of flying in the 1920s. There is also the extraordinary story of the Schneider Trophy – an international contest wherein nations poised on the precipice of war competed for engineering excellence in the name of progress. And at the heart of this story are the glamourous lives of the pilots, many of whom died in their pursuit of speed; the engineers, like Henry Royce of Rolls-Royce, who sketched the engine that would win WWII in the sand of his local beach; and perhaps most importantly the Lady Lucy Houston – who, after the Wall Street Crash, singlehandedly funded the development of the engine and the iconic Spitfire. Never was so much owed by so many to so few – and without the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine, the few would have been powerless.
Aviation history | TP | $27.99
Enemy of All Mankind: A True Story of Piracy, Power, and History’s First Global Manhunt
‘Most confrontations, viewed from the wide angle of history, are minor disputes, sparks that quickly die out. But every now and then, someone strikes a match that lights up the whole planet.’ Henry Every was the seventeenth century’s most notorious pirate. The press published wildly popular – and wildly inaccurate – reports of his nefarious adventures. The British government offered enormous bounties for his capture, alive or (preferably) dead. But Steven Johnson argues that Every’s most lasting legacy was his inadvertent triggering of a major shift in the global economy. Enemy of All Mankind focuses on one key event – the attack on an Indian treasure ship by Every and his crew – and its surprising repercussions across time and space. It’s the gripping tale of one of the most lucrative crimes in history, the first international manhunt, and the trial of the seventeenth century. Johnson uses the extraordinary story of Henry Every and his crimes to explore the emergence of the East India Company, the British Empire, and the modern global marketplace: a densely interconnected planet ruled by nations and corporations. How did this unlikely pirate and his notorious crime end up playing a key role in the birth of multinational capitalism? In the same mode as Johnson’s classic historical thriller The Ghost Map, Enemy of All Mankind deftly traces the path from a single struck match to a global conflagration.
True crime | HC | $47.99
The Rules of Contagion: Why Things Spread – and Why They Stop
The new science of contagion, and the surprising ways it shapes our lives and behaviour. Why do some ideas take off – and others fail to spread? Why are some diseases predictable, and others swamped in uncertainty? And what about the outbreaks that never happen at all? We live in a world that’s more connected than ever before. But even as we see our lives being shaped by the spread of ideas, trends – and even diseases – we sometimes struggle to grasp how it actually works. Outbreaks seem to be driven by randomness and hidden laws, and in order to understand them, we need to start thinking like mathematicians. Here, epidemiologist Adam Kucharski reveals how new mathematical approaches are transforming what we know about contagion – from the revolutionary initiatives that helped tackle gun violence in Chicago, to the truth behind the spread of fake news. And along the way, he’ll explain how innovations and emotions can spread through our friendship networks, what STDs can tell us about banking, and why some outbreak predictions go badly wrong.
Science | HC | $29.99
The SS Officer’s Armchair: In Search of a Hidden Life
A historical detective story and a gripping account of one historian’s hunt for answers, as he delves into the surprising life of an ordinary Nazi officer. It began with an armchair. It began with the surprise discovery of a stash of personal documents covered in swastikas that had been sewn into its cushion. The SS Officer’s Armchair is the story of what happened next, as historian Daniel Lee follows the trail of cold calls, documents, coincidences, and family secrets, to uncover the life of one Dr Robert Griesinger from Stuttgart. Who was he? What had his life been – and how had it ended? Lee reveals the strange life of a man whose ambition propelled him to become part of the Nazi machinery of terror. He discovers unexpected ancestors in New Orleans, untold stories of SS life, and family fragmentation. As Lee delves deeper, Griesinger’s responsibility as an active participant in Nazi crimes becomes clearer. Dr Robert Griesinger’s name is not infamous. But to understand the inner workings of the Third Reich, we need to know not just its leaders, but the ordinary Nazis who made up its ranks. Revealing how Griesinger’s choices reverberate into present-day Germany, and among descendants of perpetrators, Lee raises potent questions about blame, manipulation, and responsibility. A historical detective story and a gripping account of one historian’s hunt for answers, The SS Officer’s Armchair is at once a unique addition to our understanding of Nazi Germany and a chilling reminder of how such regimes are made not by monsters, but by ordinary people.
History | TP | $35.00
The Address Book: What Our Street Addresses Reveal about Identity, Race, Wealth and Power
An exuberant work of popular history: why something as seemingly mundane as an address can save lives, or serve the powerful. Starting with a simple question, ‘what do street addresses do?’, Deirdre Mask travels the world and back in time to work out how we describe where we live and what that says about us. From the chronological numbers of Tokyo to the naming of Bobby Sands Street in Iran, she explores how our address – or lack of one – expresses our politics, culture and technology. It affects our health and wealth, and it can even affect the working of our brains. From Ancient Rome to Kolkata today, from cholera epidemics to tax hungry monarchs, Mask discovers the different ways street names are created, celebrated, and in some cases, banned. Filled with fascinating people and histories, this incisive, entertaining book shows how addresses are about identity, class and race. But most of all they are about power: the power to name, to hide, to decide who counts, who doesn’t, and why.
Social history | HC | $34.99
An Impeccable Spy: Richard Sorge, Stalin’s Master Agent
Born of a German father and a Russian mother, Richard Sorge moved in a world of shifting alliances and infinite possibility. In the years leading up to and during the Second World War, he became a fanatical communist – and the Soviet Union’s most formidable spy. Combining charm with ruthless manipulation, he infiltrated and influenced the highest echelons of German, Chinese and Japanese society. His intelligence proved pivotal to the Soviet counter-offensive in the Battle of Moscow, which in turn determined the outcome of the war itself. Drawing on a wealth of declassified Soviet archives, this is a major biography of one of the greatest spies who ever lived.
Espionage history | PBK | $22.99
The Better Half: On the Genetic Superiority of Women
An award-winning scientist-doctor makes the game-changing case that genetic females are stronger than males at every stage of life. Here are some facts: Women live longer than men. Women have stronger immune systems. They are less likely to suffer from learning and developmental disabilities, and are better at fighting cancer and surviving famine. Women are simply stronger than men at every stage of life, though we are taught the opposite. But why? This question haunted Dr Sharon Moalem throughout his career – when he was treating premature babies in the neonatal intensive care unit; when he was recruiting the elderly for neurogenetic studies; when he was tending to HIV-positive orphans in Thailand. He couldn’t understand why men were consistently less likely to thrive. And then it all clicked into place: two X chromosomes offer a survival advantage. With clear, captivating prose that weaves together eye-opening research, case studies, and diverse examples – from the behaviour of honeybees to the fate of the Donner party – and experiences from his personal life and his own patients, The Better Half explains why genetic females triumph over males when it comes to resiliency, intellect, stamina, immunity and much more. It also calls for a reconsideration of our male-centric, one-size-fits-all view of medical studies and even how we prescribe medications – a view that still sees women through the lens of men. Revolutionary and utterly convincing, The Better Half will make you see humanity and the survival of our species anew.
Science | TP | $29.99
The Moth Presents: Occasional Magic – True Stories of Defying the Impossible
Moth, The & Burns, Catherine
Before television and radio, people would gather on porches, on the steps outside their homes, and tell stories. Their bewitched listeners would sit and listen long into the night as moths flitted around overhead. Storytelling phenomenon The Moth recaptures this lost each week in cities across America, Britain, Australia and beyond, playing to packed crowds at sold-out live events. Occasional Magic is a selection of 50 of the finest Moth stories from recent shows, from storytellers who found the courage to face their deepest fears. The stories feature voices familiar and new. Alongside Neil Gaiman, Adam Gopnik, Andrew Solomon, Rosanne Cash, and Cristina Lamb, there are stories from around the world – describing moments of strength, passion, courage, and humour… and when a little magic happened. In finest Moth tradition, Occasional Magic encourages us all to be more open, vulnerable and alive. Now in paperback.
Memoirs | PBK | $22.99
Greek to Me: Adventures of the Comma Queen
Mary Norris has had a lifelong love affair with words. In Greek to Me, she delivers a delightful paean to the art of self-expression through accounts of her solo adventures in the land of olive trees and ouzo. Along the way, Norris explains how the alphabet originated in Greece, makes the case for Athena as a feminist icon, and reveals the surprising ways in which Greek helped form English. Greek to Me is filled with Norris’ memorable encounters with Greek words, Greek gods, Greek wine – and more than a few Greek men.
Language/Travellogue | PBK | $22.99
Notes from an Apocalypse: A Personal Journey to the End of the World and Back
Veteran worrier, author of To Be a Machine and father of two, Mark O’Connell, meets the anarchists, environmentalists, far-right nut-jobs, and super-rich who are preparing for the end of days. In the remote mountains of Scotland, in high-tech bunkers in South Dakota, and in the lush valleys of New Zealand, small groups of determined men and women are getting ready. They are environmentalists, who fear the ravages of climate change; billionaire entrepreneurs, dreaming of life on Mars; and right-wing conspiracists, yearning for a lost American idyll. One thing unites them: their certainty that we are only years away from the end of civilisation, as we know it. Not unconcerned, himself, by the possibility of the end of days, Mark O’Connell set out to meet them.
Preppers | TP | $29.99
To Be a Machine: Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers,
and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death
What is transhumanism? Simply put, it is a movement whose aim is to use technology to fundamentally change the human condition, to improve our bodies and minds – to the point where we become something other, and better, than the animals we are. It’s a philosophy that, depending on how you look at it, can seem hopeful, or terrifying, or absurd. In To Be a Machine, Mark O’Connell presents us with the first full-length exploration of transhumanism: its philosophical and scientific roots, its key players and possible futures. From charismatic techies seeking to enhance the body to immortalists – who believe in the possibility of ‘solving’ death; from computer programmers quietly redesigning the world to vast competitive robotics conventions; To Be a Machine is an Adventure in Wonderland for our time. To Be a Machine paints a vivid portrait of an international movement driven by strange and frequently disturbing ideas and practices, but whose obsession with transcending human limitations can be seen as a kind of cultural microcosm, a radical intensification of our broader faith in the power of technology as an engine of human progress. It is a character study of human eccentricity, and a meditation on the immemorial desire to transcend the basic facts of our animal existence – a desire as primal as the oldest religions, a story as old as the earliest literary texts. A stunning new non-fiction voice tackles an urgent question… what next for mankind?
Transhumanism | PBK | $22.99
Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth
on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Climate Change
Oreskes, Naomi & Conway, Erik M
Merchants of Doubt has been praised – and attacked – around the world, for reasons easy to understand. This book tells, with ‘brutal clarity’ (Huffington Post), the disquieting story of how a loose-knit group of high-level scientists and scientific advisers, with deep connections in politics and industry, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades. The same individuals who claim the science of global warming is ‘not settled’ have also denied the truth about studies linking smoking to lung cancer, coal smoke to acid rain, and CFCs to the ozone hole. ‘Doubt is our product,’ wrote one tobacco executive. These ‘experts’ supplied it. Merchants of Doubt rolls back the rug on this dark corner of American science. Now, with a new foreword by former Vice President Al Gore, and with a new postscript by the authors.
Science | PBK | $19.99
The Battle of Britain: The pilots and planes that made history
Pearson, Simon & Gorman, Ed
An original, 360-degree retelling of the Battle of Britain through 18 of the iconic (and some less well known) aircraft and the pilots who flew them – British, Polish, New Zealander, German, Danish. While the Battle of Britain and the iconic Spitfire remain a source of great pride to the average Briton, it is remarkable how little is known and understood about this episode in our history. In The Battle of Britain, Ed Gorman and Simon Pearson paint a vivid picture of the men and their machines as the battle for air superiority over Britain is played out across the skies of Europe from western Ireland to the German capital. They tell remarkable stories involving hitherto unknown airmen from across the world who flew aircraft that will be new to many readers: the New Zealander who ‘borrowed’ a seaplane from the Royal Navy to set up a freelance air-sea rescue service that saved the lives of dozens of British and German pilots; the Swiss baron who destroyed nine British fighters in a day; the vainglorious Dane whose RAF squadron was wiped out trying to disrupt Nazi invasion plans; and the German bomber pilot who fought the last battle involving foreign troops on British soil, since Culloden – before repairing to a pub in Kent for a pint in with soldiers from the Irish Rifle, who had taken him prisoner. Illustrated with contemporary photographs of the pilots and their aircraft, and in-depth technical drawings, these are stories from both sides of a conflict that shaped the outcome of the Second World War and which continue to fascinate people in Britain and all over the world. They are full of courage, endeavour and above all, humanity.
Aviation history | TP | $32.99
The Big Activity Book for Digital Detox
Reid, Jordan & Williams, Erin
A hilarious, relatable twist on how to disconnect from our devices, with illustrated laugh-out-loud activities and journaling prompts. Deep down, you know it’s true: you could benefit from disconnecting from the internet and reconnecting with the world around you. Part journal, part colouring book, part advice on how to take a break, The Big Activity Book for Digital Detox will be an outlet for anyone who wants to laugh through the ridiculousness of the digital age and remember how to be a human – because it’s definitely not going to happen when you’re awake at one am, reading yet another listicle. Activities include: craft with your obsolete iPhone cords; ten things to do outside, right now; colour in the influencer who is so grateful for you guys; lies the internet tells you; and, why gardening is a thing you should try. When you’re longing for freedom from your devices, dig out a pen and turn to the pages of this timely, entertaining book – and don’t post a picture, anywhere. #retro
Impact of technology | TP | $31.99
The Grammar of Fantasy: An Introduction to the Art of Inventing Stories
Rodari, Gianni & Forsythe, Matt (illustrator)
A collection of essays from the visionary storyteller Gianni Rodari about fairy tales and folk tales and their great advantages in teaching creative storytelling. Full of ideas, glosses on fairy tales, stories, and wide-ranging activities, including the fantastic binomial, this book changed how creative arts were taught in Italian schools. Translated into English by acclaimed children’s historian Jack Zipes, and illustrated for the first time ever by Matthew Forsythe, this edition of The Grammar of Fantasy is one to live with and return to for its humour, intelligence, and truly deep understanding of children. A ground-breaking pedagogical work that is also a handbook for writers of all ages and kinds, The Grammar of Fantasy gives each of us a playful, practical path to finding our own voice through the power of storytelling.
Writing | HC | $49.99
The Ratline: Love, Lies and Justice on the Trail of a Nazi Fugitive
A historical detective story that sets out to uncover the truth behind what happened to leading Nazi Otto von Wachter… As Governor of Galicia, SS Brigadefuhrer Otto Freiherr von Wachter presided over an authority on whose territory hundreds of thousands of Jews and Poles were killed, including the family of the author’s grandfather. By the time the war ended in May 1945, he was indicted for ‘mass murder’. Hunted by the Soviets, the Americans, the Poles and the British, as well as groups of Jews, Wachter went on the run. He spent three years hiding in the Austrian Alps, assisted by his wife Charlotte, before making his way to Rome – where he was helped by a Vatican bishop. He remained there for three months. While preparing to travel to Argentina on the ‘ratline’, he died unexpectedly, in July 1949; a few days after spending a weekend with an ‘old comrade’. In The Ratline, Philippe Sands offers a unique account of the daily life of a senior Nazi and fugitive, and of his wife. Drawing on a remarkable archive of family letters and diaries, he unveils a fascinating insight into life before and during the war, on the run, in Rome, and into the Cold War. Eventually the door is unlocked to a mystery that haunts Wachter’s youngest son, who continues to believe his father was a good man – what happened to Otto Wachter, and how did he die?
History | TP | 34.99
The Science Delusion: Feeling the Spirit of Enquiry
The Science Delusion is the belief that science already understands the nature of reality. The fundamental questions are answered, leaving only the details to be filled in. In this book (published in the US, as Science Set Free), Dr Rupert Sheldrake, one of the world’s most innovative scientists, shows that science is being constricted by assumptions that have hardened into dogmas. The ‘scientific worldview’ has become a belief system. All reality is material or physical. The world is a machine, made up of dead matter. Nature is purposeless. Consciousness is nothing but the physical activity of the brain. Free will is an illusion. God exists only as an idea in human minds, imprisoned within our skulls. Sheldrake examines these dogmas scientifically, and shows persuasively that science would be better off without them: freer, more interesting, and more fun. In The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins used science to bash God, but here Rupert Sheldrake shows that Dawkins’ understanding of what science can do is old fashioned and, itself, a delusion. Reissued to feature new content, based on updated research.
Philosophy (reissue) | PBK | $22.99
How to Build an Aircraft Carrier
65,000 tons. 280 metres long. A flight deck, the size of sixty tennis courts. A giant piece of Sovereign British territory that’s home to up to 50 aircraft. HMS Queen Elizabeth in the biggest ship in the Royal Navy’s history and one of the most ambitious and exacting engineering projects ever undertaken in the UK. But it’s her ship’s company of 700, alongside an air group of 900 air and ground crew that are Big Lizzie’s beating heart. And How to Build an Aircraft Carrier tells their story. From before the first steel of her hull was cut, Chris Terrill has enjoyed unprecedented access to Queen Elizabeth and the men and women who have brought her to life. From Jerry Kyd, the ship’s inspirational Captain to Lt Cdr Nathan Grey, the first pilot to land Britain’s new stealth jet fighter on her deck, Terrill has won the trust and confidence of the ship’s people. How to Build an Aircraft Carrier tells the story of Britain at her best: innovative, confident, outward looking, and world beating.
Military history | TP | $39.95
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
Writing in an age, when the call for the rights of man had brought revolution to America and France, Mary Wollstonecraft produced her own declaration of female independence in 1792. Passionate and forthright, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman attacked the prevailing view of docile, decorative femininity, and instead laid out the principles of emancipation: an equal education for girls and boys, an end to prejudice, and for women to become defined by their profession, not their partner. Mary Wollstonecraft’s work was received with a mixture of admiration and outrage – one critic called her ‘a hyena in petticoats’ – yet, it established her, as the mother of modern feminism.
Feminism/History | HC | $24.99