In 1984, at the dawn of the personal-computer era, novice software tester Roberta Walton stumbles across a bug. She brings it to its inadvertent creator, longtime programmer Ethan Levin, and the two embark on a hunt for the elusive bug, nicknamed “The Jester” for its tendency to appear randomly and only at the least opportune moments, jeopardizing the fate of the company. Ethan’s attempts to find a solution soon become a frightening obsession that threatens to destroy both his professional and personal life. Roberta, on the other hand, is drawn to the challenge. Forced to learn how to program, and seeking refuge from her own private troubles, she becomes enthralled with learning to speak the computer’s language. Expertly merging code with prose, big ideas with intensely personal stories, Ellen Ullman brilliantly illuminates the space between human beings and computers—a space we occupy every day as we peer into our monitors.
Chris Melissinos - The Art of Video Games
In the forty years since the first Magnavox Odyssey pixel winked on in 1972, the home video game industry has undergone a mind-blowing evolution. Fueled by unprecedented advances in technology, boundless imaginations, and an insatiable addiction to fantastic new worlds of play, the video game has gone supernova, rocketing two generations of fans into an ever-expanding universe where art, culture, reality, and emotion collide. As a testament to the cultural impact of the game industry's mega morph, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, with curator and author Chris Melissinos, conceived the forthcoming exhibition, The Art of Video Games, which will run from March 16 to September 30, 2012.* New York publisher Welcome Books will release the companion book this March. Melissinos presents video games as not just mere play, but richly textured emotional and social experiences that have crossed the boundary into culture and art. Along with a team of game developers, designers, and journalists, Melissinos chose a pool of 240 games across five different eras to represent the diversity of the game world. Criteria included visual effects, creative use of technologies, and how world events and popular culture manifested in the games. The museum then invited the public to go online to help choose the games. More than 3.7 million votes (from 175 countries) later, the eighty winners featured in The Art of Video Games exhibition and book were selected. From the Space Invaders of the seventies to sophisticated contemporary epics BioShock and Uncharted 2, Melissinos examines each of the winning games, providing a behind-the-scenes look at their development and innovation, and commentary on the relevance of each in the history of video games. Over 100 composite images, created by Patrick O'Rourke, and drawn directly from the games themselves, illustrate the evolution of video games as an artistic medium, both technologically and creatively. Additionally, The Art of Video Games includes fascinating interviews with influential artists and designers—from pioneers such as Nolan Bushnell to contemporary innovators including Warren Spector, Tim Schafer and Robin Hunicke. The foreword was written by Elizabeth Broun, director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Mike Mika, noted game preservationist and prolific developer, contributed the introduction. *After Washington D.C., the exhibition travels to several cities across the United States, including Boca Raton (Museum of Art), Seattle (EMP Museum), Yonkers, NY (Hudson River Museum) and Flint, MI (Flint Institute of Arts). For the latest confirmed dates and venues, please visit The Art of Video Games exhibition page at http://americanart.si.edu/taovg
Mia Thermopolis - Ransom My Heart
Mia Thermopolis, Princess of Genovia and star of Meg Cabot's insanely popular #1 New York Times bestselling Princess Diaries books, has "penned" her first historical romance novel . . . with help from Meg Cabot. He's a tall, handsome knight with a secret. She's an adventurous beauty with more than a few secrets of her own. Finnula needs money for her sister's dowry, and fast. Hugo Fitzstephen, returning home to England from the Crusades with saddlebags of jewels, has money, and lots of it. What could be simpler than to kidnap him and hold him for ransom? Well, for starters, Finnula could make the terrible mistake of falling in love with her hostage. Princess Mia Thermopolis, Meg Cabot's most beloved character, has always been an outspoken animal-rights activist and committed environmentalist. In keeping with Mia's true spirit, Meg will be donating her advance to Greenpeace.
Meg Cabot - Awaken
Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera isn't dead. Not this time. But she is being held against her will in the dim, twilit world between heaven and hell, where the spirits of the deceased wait before embarking upon their final journey. Her captor, John Hayden, claims it's for her own safety. Because not all the departed are dear. Some are so unhappy with where they ended up after leaving the Underworld, they've come back as Furies, intent on vengeance . . . on the one who sent them there and on the one whom he loves. But while Pierce might be safe from the Furies in the Underworld, far worse dangers could be lurking for her there . . . and they might have more to do with its ruler than with his enemies. And unless Pierce is careful, this time there'll be no escape.
Jessica Park - Flat-Out Matt
Matt is a junior at MIT. He’s geeky, he's witty, he's brilliant. And he’s also very, very stupid. When beautiful, cool, insightful Julie moves in with Matt’s family, why (oh why!) does he pretend to be his absent brother Finn for her alleged benefit? It seems harmless enough until her short-term stay becomes permanent. And until it snowballs into heart-squeezing insanity. And until he falls in love with Julie, and Julie falls in love with Finn. But … Matt is the right one for her. If only he can make Julie see it. Without telling her the truth, without shattering them all. Particularly his fragile sister Celeste, who may need Julie the most. You saw Matt through Julie’s eyes in FLAT-OUT LOVE. Now go deeper into Matt’s world in this FLAT-OUT MATT novella. Live his side of the story, break when his heart breaks, and fall for the unlikely hero all over again. Take an emotional skydive for two prequel chapters and seven Flat-Out Love chapters retold from his perspective, and then land with a brand-new steamy finale chapter from Julie.
Jodi Picoult - Salem Falls
When Jack St. Bride arrives in the small town of Salem Falls, all he wants is to escape his past. He's spent the last eight months in jail, after being falsely accused of having an affair with an underage student at the school where he taught. In Salem Falls, he gets a job as a dishwasher at a local diner and tentatively begins a romance with the diner's owner, Addie, who is still mourning the death of her young daughter, born after Addie was raped in high school by three drunk boys. As she and Jack fall in love, they both see hope for the future. But their newfound love is threatened when the residents of Salem Falls learn of Jack's conviction and begin harassing him. When, predictably, a teenage girl accuses Jack of raping her, he finds himself back in jail, fighting a serious charge and the town's prejudice. Addie wrestles with her doubts and memories of her own rape, but she believes in Jack and goes on a quest of her own to find out the truth about Jack's initial conviction, even as the Salem Falls trial opens.
Mark W. Tiedemann - Isaac Asimov's Chimera
Coren Lanra is the head of security for DyNan Manual Industries. A former Special Service agent, he's never cared for bureaucracy, piracy, or deception. Lanra's troubles begin when Nyom Looms, daughter of DyNan president Rega Looms, is murdered during an ill-fated mission to smuggle illegal immigrants from Earth to the colony Nova Levis. The question is, why? The only clue might be contained within the positronic brain of a robot that had accompanied the victim, but it has been deactivated, and Lanra is denied access to its memories. With the help of roboticist Derec Avery and Auroran ambassador Ariel Burgess, Lanra searches for the identity of a killer, before more lives are lost.
Mark W. Tiedemann - Isaac Asimov's Aurora
The Third Law of Robotics states that a robot must protect its own existence, as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws... In Mirage and Chimera, Mark W. Tiedemann explored the fear and hatred toward robots -- and their offworld owners -- held by the people of Earth, and the animosity toward Terrans expressed by all Spacers. Now, all the plot threads of Tiedemann's epic story come together in this exciting conclusion to the Isaac Asimov's Robot Mysteries cycle. After the diplomatic failures of the Spacer mission on Earth -- which began with the assassinations of key diplomats and politicians, and culminated with the uncovering of a vast plot to create cyborgs from terminally-handicapped human infants -- Ambassador Ariel Burgess and roboticist Derec Avery are recalled to their home planet, Aurora. Unfortunately, their situation only worsens when they arrive, as they become suspects in yet another murder -- one that, based on the evidence, could only have been committed by a non-human. On a world with a 20-to-1 robot-to-human population, is it possible a robot could have violated the Three Laws governing its behavior -- and if so, why? Or is something far more sinister at work...?
Alexander C. Irvine - Isaac Asimov's Have Robot, Will Travel
_From Alexander C. Irvine, the Locus Award-winning author of A Scattering of Jades, comes a thrilling new robot mystery set in the world of the late SF Grand Master and beloved author, Isaac Asimov._ Exiled to the colony Nova Levis, roboticist Derec Avery and Auroran ambassador Ariel Burgess have tried to make their best of their situation, after exposing an anti-robot conspiracy on Earth five years before that cost them their jobs and their freedom. But all that is about to change... A human has been murdered on Kopernik, a space station orbiting the Earth, and all the clues point toward a robot as the killer. But how can that be, when robots are programmed to never bring harm to humans? It's a familiar situation for Derec and Ariel-the sort of mystery that led to their current status as political pariahs. Still, not even an exiled robot expert can turn down an opportunity to add his expertise to the investigation, and before too long, Derec is on his way to Kopernik. Ariel, meanwhile, has a mystery of her own to unravel. With the help of old friends-and potentially new enemies-Derec searches for the identity of a killer, unaware that Ariel is walking directly into the center of the web of intrigue....
Mickey Zucker Reichert - Isaac Asimov's I, Robot - To Protect
_First in an all-new trilogy inspired by Isaac Asimov's legendary science fiction collection I, Robot._ 2035: Susan Calvin is beginning her residency at a Manhattan teaching hospital, where a select group of patients is receiving the latest in diagnostic advancements: tiny nanobots, injected into the spinal fluid, that can unlock and map the human mind. Soon, Susan begins to notice an ominous chain of events surrounding the patients. When she tries to alert her superiors, she is ignored by those who want to keep the project far from any scrutiny for the sake of their own agenda. But what no one knows is that the very technology to which they have given life is now under the control of those who seek to spread only death...
Janet Evanovich - High Five
High fives all around! The New York Times bestselling author of FOUR TO SCORE puts Stephanie Plum, America's favorite bounty hunter, back behind the wheel in her fifth high-octane thriller. What's Stephanie up to now? * Her Uncle Fred has disappeared. * A body turns up in a garbage bag. * She's got a nasty bookie following her around town. * Grandma Mazur has her hands on the stun gun. * Stephanie can't keep a car for more than forty-eight hours. * Two men are trying to get her into bed. * She has nothing to wear to the Mafia wedding. * And there's an angry little man (don't call him a dwarf!) who won't leave her apartment. Bail jumping in Trenton is down to small potatoes. Stephanie's only open case is a small bond for a small violation, committed by a small person who raises Stephanie's frustration level in big ways. So short of money and long on bills, Stephanie comes up with a plan --diversify! Signing on as an intern with entrepreneurial Super Bounty Hunter Ranger, Stephanie ventures into Ranger's mostly morally correct and marginally legal operations. None of this makes vice cop Joe Morelli a happy man. The cop in him can't help but wonder as to the source of Stephanie's expensive new cars. And the rest of him, the man who's been friend and lover to Stephanie, can't help but wonder if there's more to the partnership than meets the eye. The internship is downgraded to second priority when Uncle Fred goes missing. Even though Grandma Mazur is sure he was abducted by aliens, Stephanie sets out to look for Fred. He's a perfectly average senior citizen, and he's disappeared without a trace while running errands. He's left his ten-year-old Pontiac station wagon locked up nice and neat in the Grand Union parking lot, the cleaning is carefully arranged on the back seat, and his wife is at home, waiting for him to return with the bread and the milk and the olive loaf bologna. Locked in the top drawer of his desk are photos of a body, dismembered and stuffed into a garbage bag. And locked away in the computer files of a another average citizen are the clues that will lead Stephanie to Fred. Criminally original and stone brilliant, this Intermediate Bounty Hunting Survival Manual is blockbuster entertainment.
Karin Harlow - Enemy Lover
When you have no alternative, then you call in L.O.S.T. Because with the Last Option Special Team, it’s do or die. . . . It’s Jax Cassidy’s first mission for L.O.S.T.—one that will give the former cop who went rogue a chance to prove herself. Her assignment: gain the trust of assassin Marcus Cross . . . eliminate him . . . then take down Marcus’s mentor, Joseph Lazarus, a man with a bold eye on the White House. But the woman who’s known by her team for being a femme fatale succumbs to passion, only to discover Cross’s deadly secret. He’s a vampire, and Joseph Lazarus is his creator. Left for dead by his platoon in the violent hills of Afghanistan, Special Ops sniper Marcus Cross was given a second chance at life. His newly heightened skills make him the perfect killing machine, and as Lazarus’s right-hand man, he’s quickly rising to the top of his dark empire, purging enemies with speed and precision. Only when dangerous beauty Jax Cassidy is sent to bring him in does he begin to question Lazarus’s motives and his own actions. But when Jax’s life is threatened by the one thing that can destroy them both, Marcus must make a bitter choice—her death or his.
Karen Rose - Scream for Me
New York Times bestselling author Karen Rose delivers a heart-stopping suspense novel that picks up where DIE FOR ME left off, with a detective determined to track down a brutal murderer. Special Agent Daniel Vartanian has sworn to find the perpetrator of multiple killings that mimic a 13-year-old murder linked to a collection of photographs that belonged to his brother, Simon, the ruthless serial killer who met his demise in DIE FOR ME. Daniel is certain that someone even more depraved than his brother committed these crimes, and he's determined to bring the current murderer to justice and solve the mysterious crime from years ago. With only a handful of images as a lead, Daniel's search will lead him back through the dark past of his own family, and into the realm of a mind more sinister than he could ever imagine. But his quest will also draw him to Alex Fallon, a beautiful nurse whose troubled past reflects his own. As Daniel becomes attached to Alex, he discovers that she is also the object of the obsessed murderer. Soon, he will not only be racing to discover the identity of this macabre criminal, but also to save the life of the woman he has begun to love.
Andy Weir - The Martian
_Apollo 13 meets Castaway in this grippingly detailed, brilliantly ingenious man-vs-nature survival thriller-set on the surface of Mars._ Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first men to walk on the surface of Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first man to die there. It started with the dust storm that holed his suit and nearly killed him-and that forced his crew to leave him behind, sure he was already dead. Now he's stranded millions of miles from the nearest human being, with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive-and even if he could get word out, his food would be gone years before a rescue mission could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to get him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills-and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit-he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. But will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?
Julie Kagawa - The Immortal Rules
You will kill. The only question is when. In the dark days since the insidious Red Lung virus decimated the human population, vampires have risen to rule the crumbling cities and suburbs. Uncontested Princes hold sway over diminished ranks of humans: their "pets." In exchange for their labor, loyalty and of course, their blood, these pets are registered, given food and shelter, permitted to survive. Unregistered humans cling to fringes, scavenging for survival. Allison Sekemoto and her fellow Unregistereds are hunted, not only by vampires, but by rabids, the unholy result of Red Lung-infected vampires feeding on unwary humans. One night, Allie is attacked by a pack of rabids, saved by an unlikely hero...and turned vampire. Uncomfortable in her undead skin, Allie falls in with a ragtag crew of humans seeking a cure, or cures: for Rabidism and for Vampirism. She's passing for human...for now. But the hunger is growing and will not be denied. Not for friendship—not even for love.
Dan Brown - The Lost Symbol
The most anticipated publication of the decade, The Lost Symbol is the stunning new thriller featuring Robert Langdon. Six years in the writing, it is Dan Brown's extraordinary sequel to his internationally bestselling Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code. Nothing is ever what it first appears in a Dan Brown novel. Set over a breathtaking 12 hour time span, the book's narrative takes the reader on an exhilarating journey through a masterful and unexpected landscape as Professor of Symbology, Robert Langdon, is once again called into action.
Janet Evanovich - Notorious Nineteen
New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is certain of three truths: People don’t just vanish into thin air. Never anger old people. And don’t do what Tiki tells you to do. After a slow summer of chasing low-level skips for her cousin Vinnie’s bail bonds agency, Stephanie Plum finally lands an assignment that could put her checkbook back in the black. Geoffrey Cubbin, facing trial for embezzling millions from Trenton’s premier assisted-living facility, has mysteriously vanished from the hospital after an emergency appendectomy. Now it’s on Stephanie to track down the con man. Unfortunately, Cubbin has disappeared without a trace, a witness, or his money-hungry wife. Rumors are stirring that he must have had help with the daring escape . . . or that maybe he never made it out of his room alive. Since the hospital staff’s lips seem to be tighter than the security, and it’s hard for Stephanie to blend in to assisted living, Stephanie’s Grandma Mazur goes in undercover. But when a second felon goes missing from the same hospital, Stephanie is forced into working side by side with Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, in order to crack the case. The real problem is, no Cubbin also means no way to pay the rent. Desperate for money—or maybe just desperate—Stephanie accepts a secondary job guarding her secretive and mouthwatering mentor Ranger from a deadly Special Forces adversary. While Stephanie is notorious for finding trouble, she may have found a little more than she bargained for this time around. Then again—a little food poisoning, some threatening notes, and a bridesmaid’s dress with an excess of taffeta never killed anyone . . . or did they? If Stephanie Plum wants to bring in a paycheck, she’ll have to remember: No guts, no glory. . . .
Robert Ludlum - The Parsifal Mosaic
Michael Havelock's world died on a moonlit beach on the Costa Brava. He watched as his partner and lover, Jenna Karats, double agent, was efficiently gunned down by his own agency. There was nothing left for him but to quit the game, get out. Until, in one frantic moment on a crowded railroad platform in Rome, Havelock saw his Jenna alive. From then on, he was marked for death by both U.S. and Russian assassins, racing around the globe after his beautiful betrayer, trapped in a massive mosaic of treachery created by a top-level mole with the world in his fist—Parsifal.
Janet Evanovich - Takedown Twenty
Stephanie Plum has her sights set on catching a notorious mob boss. If she doesn’t take him down, he may take her out. New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum knows better than to mess with family. But when powerful mobster Salvatore “Uncle Sunny” Sunnucchi goes on the lam in Trenton, it’s up to Stephanie to find him. Uncle Sunny is charged with murder for running over a guy (twice), and nobody wants to turn him in—not his poker buddies, not his bimbo girlfriend, not his two right-hand men, Shorty and Moe. Even Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, has skin in the game, because—just Stephanie’s luck—the godfather is his actual godfather. And while Morelli understands that the law is the law, his old-world grandmother, Bella, is doing everything she can to throw Stephanie off the trail. It’s not just Uncle Sunny giving Stephanie the run-around. Security specialist Ranger needs her help to solve the bizarre death of a top client’s mother, a woman who happened to play bingo with Stephanie’s Grandma Mazur. Before Stephanie knows it, she’s working side by side with Ranger and Grandma at the senior center, trying to catch a killer on the loose—and the bingo balls are not rolling in their favor. With bullet holes in her car, henchmen on her tail, and a giraffe named Kevin running wild in the streets of Trenton, Stephanie will have to up her game for the ultimate takedown.
Janet Evanovich - Plum Lucky
Looking to get lucky? Stephanie Plum is back "between-the-numbers" and she's looking to get lucky in an Atlantic City hotel room, in a Winnebago and with a brown-eyed stud who has stolen her heart. Stephanie Plum has a way of attracting danger, lunatics, oddballs, bad luck... and mystery men. And no one is more mysterious than the unmentionable Diesel. He's back and hot on the trail of a little man in green pants who's lost a giant bag of money. Problem is the money isn't exactly lost. Stephanie's Grandma Mazur has found it, and like any good Jersey senior citizen she's high-tailed it in a Winnebago to Atlantic City and hit the slots. With Lula and Connie in tow, Stephanie attempts to bring Grandma home. But the luck of the Irish is rubbing off on everyone. Lula's found a job modeling plus size lingerie. Connie's found a guy. Diesel's found Stephanie. And Stephanie has found herself in over her head with a caper involving thrice stolen money, a racehorse, a car chase and a bad case of hives. PLUM LUCKY is an all-you-can-eat buffet of thrills, chills, shrimp cocktail, plus-size underwear and scorching hot men. It's a "between the numbers" treat no Evanovich fan will want to miss! Janet Evanovich is the # 1 bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum novels, twelve romance novels, the Alexandra Barnaby novels, and HOW I WRITE: Secrets of a Bestselling Author. She lives in New Hampshire and Florida.