Tag Archives: technology

Spare Parts

Spare Parts

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Paperback
240 pages • $14.00
ISBN: 9780374534981
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Los Inventores
Spanish Language Edition
Paperback
224 pages • $14.00
ISBN: 9780374284503

Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream

Joshua Davis

Finalist for the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize

Spare Parts illuminates the human side of two polarizing political issues: immigration and education.”

The Washington Post

In 2004, four undocumented Latino teenagers arrived at the Marine Advanced Technology Education Robotics Competition at the University of California, Santa Barbara. No one had ever suggested to Oscar, Cristian, Luis, or Lorenzo that they might amount to much—but two inspiring science teachers had convinced these kids from the desert who had never even seen the ocean that they should try to build an underwater robot. They were going up against some of the best collegiate engineers in the country, including a team from MIT. This was never a level competition, and yet, against all odds . . . they won! But this is just the beginning for these four, whose story will go on to include first-generation college graduations, deportation, bean-picking in Mexico, and service in Afghanistan. Joshua Davis’s Spare Parts is a story about overcoming insurmountable odds and four young men who proved they were among the most patriotic and talented Americans in this country—even as the country tried to kick them out.

Spare Parts is an unforgettable tale of hope and human ingenuity. Joshua Davis offers a moving testament to how teamwork, perseverance, and a few good teachers can lift up and empower even the humblest among us.”—Héctor Tobar, author of Deep Down Dark

“It’s the most American of stories: how determination and ingenuity can bring triumph over long odds. There are too few stories like these written about Latino students. Poignant and beautifully told, Spare Parts makes you feel their frustration at the obstacles and indignities faced by Cristian, Lorenzo, Luis, and Oscar—and to cheer as they rise to overcome each one of them.”—Sonia Nazario, author of Enrique’s Journey 

“This is important reading . . . Young adults will benefit from from reading and discussing this realistic, eye-opening chronicle . . . Davis pulls no punches as he describes the grim sociopolitical atmosphere that allows the oppression of talented people for no morally acceptable reason. The four young inventors and their struggles helped spur the DREAMers movement.”—Donna Chavez, Booklist (starred review)

“A gratifying human interest story that calls attention to the plight and promise of America’s undocumented youth.”Library Journal

“Davis takes what could have been another feel-good story of triumphant underdogs and raises the stakes by examining the difficulties of these young immigrants in the context of the societal systems that they briefly and temporarily overcame.”Publishers Weekly

Joshua Davis © Sebastian Mlynarski

© Sebastian Mlynarski

Joshua Davis is a contributing editor at Wired, co-founder of Epic magazine, and the author of The Underdog, a memoir about his experiences as an arm wrestler, backward runner, and matador. He has also written for The New Yorker, and his writing is anthologized in The Best American Science and Nature Writing and The Best Technology Writing. He lives in San Francisco, California.

Spare Parts has been adopted for more than forty First-Year Experience programs:

Alamo Heights High School (TX); Broward College (FL); The Browning School (NY); California State University – Los Angeles; Cedar Valley College (TX); Chemeketa Community College (OR); Concordia University (TX); Des Moines Area Community College (IA); Hesston College (KS); Hood College (MD); Johns Hopkins University (MD); Kansas State University; Lafayette Public Library and School District (LA); Lewis University (IL); Metropolitan Community College – Maple Woods (MO); Miami University (OH); Monroe Community College (NY); Naugatuck Valley Community College (CT); Nash Community College (NC); North Iowa Area Community College; North Lake College (TX); Norwalk Community College (CT); Oakland University, The Honors College (MI); Pasadena City College (CA); Providence College (RI); Queensborough Community College (NY); Rutgers University, Honors College (NJ); Sacramento State University (CA); Salem State University (MA); Santa Ana College; San Jose State University (CA); Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ); Stony Brook University (NY); Texas A&M University; University of Alaska – Southeast; University of Houston – Clear Lake (TX); University of North Carolina – Charlotte; University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science; University of Michigan College of Engineering; Washington State University, Vancouver; Winthrop University (SC)

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Automating Inequality

Automating Inequality

Picador
Paperback
288 pages • $18.00
ISBN: 9781250215789
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How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor

Virginia Eubanks

Winner of the Lillian Smith Book Award

“Riveting (an accomplishment for a book on technology and policy). Its argument should be widely circulated, to poor people, social service workers and policymakers, but also throughout the professional classes. Everyone needs to understand that technology is no substitute for justice.”

The New York Times Book Review

Since the dawn of the digital age, decision-making in finance, employment, politics, health, and human services has undergone revolutionary change. Today, automated systems—rather than humans—control which neighborhoods get policed, which families attain needed resources, and who is investigated for fraud. While we all live under this new regime of data, the most invasive and punitive systems are aimed at the poor. In Automating Inequality, Virginia Eubanks systematically investigates the impacts of data mining, policy algorithms, and predictive risk models on poor and working-class people in America. The U.S. has always used its most cutting-edge science and technology to contain, investigate, discipline and punish the destitute. Like the county poorhouse and scientific charity before them, digital tracking and automated decision-making hide poverty from the middle-class public and give the nation the ethical distance it needs to make inhumane choices: which families get food and which starve, who has housing and who remains homeless, and which families are broken up by the state. In the process, they weaken democracy and betray our most cherished national values.

Virginia Eubanks

© Sadaf Rassoul Cameron

Virginia Eubanks is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University at Albany, SUNY. She is the author of Digital Dead End and co-editor, with Alethia Jones, of Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around. For two decades, Eubanks has worked in community technology and economic justice movements. Today, she is a founding member of the Our Data Bodies Project and a Fellow at New America. She lives in Troy, New York.

Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now

Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now

Picador
Paperback
176 pages • $13.00
ISBN: 9781250239082
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Jaron Lanier

With a New Afterword

“Lanier shows the tactical value of appealing to the conscience of the individual . . . I heeded his plea and deleted my account.”

The New York Times Book Review

You might have trouble imagining life without your social media accounts, but virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier insists that we’re better off without them. Part manifesto, part toolbox for liberation, Lanier’s important new book offers ten powerful and personal reasons for everyone to leave these dangerous online platforms behind before it’s too late. Social media’s poisonous grip brings out the worst in us, makes politics terrifying, tricks us with illusions of popularity and success, twists our relationship with the truth, disconnects us from other people even as we are more “connected” than ever, and robs us of our free will with relentless targeted ads. How can we remain autonomous in a world where we are under continual surveillance? How could the “benefits” of social media possibly outweigh the catastrophic losses to our personal dignity, happiness, and freedom? Yet Lanier remains a technology optimist. While demonstrating the evil that rules social media business models today, he also envisions a humanistic setting for social networking that can direct us toward a richer and fuller way of living and connecting with our world.

Jaron Lanier

© John Naughton

Jaron Lanier is a scientist, musician, and writer best known for his work in virtual reality and his advocacy of humanism and sustainable economics in a digital context. His 1980s start-up VPL Research created the first commercial VR products and introduced avatars, multiperson virtual world experiences, and prototypes of major VR applications such as surgical simulation. His books Who Owns the Future? and You Are Not a Gadget were international bestsellers, and Dawn of the New Everything was named a 2017 best book of the year by The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and Vox.

Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

University of St. Joseph (CT)

Binti

Binti

Tor.com
Paperback
96 pages • $9.99
ISBN: 9780765385253
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Nnedi Okorafor

Winner of the Hugo Award
Winner of the Nebula Award

Binti is a compact gem of adventure, bravery and other worlds. Nnedi Okorafor efficiently and effectively uses the short format to create a visual, suspenseful ride. And the heroine, Binti, invites us along to participate in her secret mission. From the start she is special and destined for greater things, but without knowing the tests that will challenge her resilience. As a result, her heroism and vulnerabilities grab our attention, holding tight until the end.”

USA Today

Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs. Knowledge comes at a cost, one that Binti is willing to pay, but her journey will not be easy. The world she seeks to enter has long warred with the Meduse, an alien race that has become the stuff of nightmares. Oomza University has wronged the Meduse, and Binti’s stellar travel will bring her within their deadly reach. If Binti hopes to survive the legacy of a war not of her making, she will need both the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself—but first she has to make it there, alive.

Nnedi Okorafor

© Anyaugo Okorafor-Mbachu

Nnedi Okorafor born to Igbo Nigerian parents in Cincinnati, Ohio, won the Macmillan Writer’s Prize for Africa for her children’s book, Long Juju Man. Her adult novel, Who Fears Death, was a James Tiptree, Jr. Honor List book. She is an associate professor of creative writing and literature at the University at Buffalo.

 

 

 

 

Binti has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

Owensboro Community and Technical College (KY); San Juan College (CA)

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Riot Baby

Riot Baby

Tor.com
Hardcover
176 pages • $19.99
ISBN: 9781250214751
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Tochi Onyebuchi

Riot Baby bursts at the seams of story with so much fire, passion and power that in the end it turns what we call a narrative into something different altogether.”

—Marlon James

Rooted in foundational loss and the hope that can live in anger, Riot Baby is both a global dystopian narrative and an intimate family story with quietly devastating things to say about love, fury, and the black American experience. Ella and Kev are brother and sister, both gifted with extraordinary power. Their childhoods are defined and destroyed by structural racism and brutality. Their futures might alter the world. When Kev is incarcerated for the crime of being a young black man in America, Ella—through visits both mundane and supernatural—tries to show him the way to a revolution that could burn it all down.

Tochi Onyebuchi

© Ben Arons

Tochi Onyebuchi holds a B.A. from Yale, an M.F.A. in screenwriting from Tisch, a master’s degree in global economic law from L’institut d’études politiques, and a J.D. from Columbia Law School. His writing has appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction and Ideomancer, among other places, and he is the author of the novels Beasts Made of Night and Crown of Thunder. Tochi resides in Connecticut, where he works in the tech industry.

Annihilation

Annihilation

MCD x FSG Originals
Paperback
208 pages • $14.00
ISBN: 9780374537159
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A Novel

Jeff VanderMeer

Now a Major Motion Picture
Winner of the Nebula Award

 

Annihilation is a book meant for gulping—for going in head-first and not coming up for air until you hit the back cover.”

—NPR

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another; the members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer. This is the twelfth expedition. Their group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain and collect specimens; to record all their observations, scientific and otherwise, of their surroundings and of one another; and, above all, to avoid being contaminated by Area X itself. They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers—they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding—but it’s the surprises that came across the border with them, and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another, that change everything.

© Kyle Cassidy

Jeff VanderMeer is an award-winning novelist and editor, and the author most recently of the New York Times bestselling Southern Reach Trilogy. His fiction has been translated into twenty languages and has appeared in the Library of America’s American Fantastic Tales and multiple year’s-best anthologies. He grew up in the Fiji Islands and now lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with his wife

Borne

Borne

MCD
Paperback
368 pages • $15.00
ISBN: 9780374537654
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A Novel

Jeff VanderMeer

An NEA Big Read Selection 

“VanderMeer’s apocalyptic vision, with its mix of absurdity, horror and grace, can’t be mistaken for that of anyone else. Inventive, engrossing and heartbreaking, Borne finds him at a high point of creative accomplishment.”

San Francisco Chronicle

In Borne, a young woman named Rachel survives as a scavenger in a ruined city half destroyed by drought and conflict. The city is dangerous, littered with discarded experiments from the Company—a biotech firm now derelict—and punished by the unpredictable predations of a giant bear. Rachel ekes out an existence in the shelter of a run-down sanctuary she shares with her partner, Wick, who deals his own homegrown psychoactive biotech. One day, Rachel finds Borne during a scavenging mission and takes him home. Borne as salvage is little more than a green lump— plant or animal?—but exudes a strange charisma. Borne reminds Rachel of the marine life from the island nation of her birth, now lost to rising seas. There is an attachment she resents: in this world any weakness can kill you. Yet, against her instincts—and definitely against Wick’s wishes—Rachel keeps Borne. Borne, learning to speak, learning about the world, is fun to be with, and in a world so broken that innocence is a precious thing. But as Borne grows, he begins to threaten the balance of power in the city and to put the security of her sanctuary with Wick at risk. For the Company, it seems, may not be truly dead, and new enemies are creeping in. What Borne will lay bare to Rachel as he changes is how precarious her existence has been, and how dependent on subterfuge and secrets. In the aftermath, nothing may ever be the same.

© Kyle Cassidy

Jeff VanderMeer is an award-winning novelist and editor, and the author most recently of the New York Times bestselling Southern Reach Trilogy. His fiction has been translated into twenty languages and has appeared in the Library of America’s American Fantastic Tales and multiple year’s-best anthologies. He grew up in the Fiji Islands and now lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with his wife