And now for the descriptions, from left to right, top to bottom (from Amazon.com):
1. The Journal of Popular Culture, Volume 43, Number 4, August 2010 (subscribed)
This issue of JPC contains articles on military horror films, The Simpsons, commodity racism, comic book biographies of Abraham Lincoln, and several essays on various aspects of feminism in relation to popular culture. There are also a bunch of book reviews on everything from Stephen King to Alice in Wonderland (and philosophy) to comics, among other subjects. Should be interesting to read.
2. Jacob’s Ladder by Brian Keaney
Jacob awakens inexplicably in a gray, grim place called Locus, where people his age live in dormitories, wear identical gray uniforms, and eat spongy, tasteless food. Even worse than the dreary conditions is his realization that others have complacently accepted this fate – something Jacob vows not to do. Setting out with two companions on a perilous journey, Jacob slowly unravels the horrifying truth about the people of Locus. As they journey through fear toward hope, they must choose between a past they cannot remember and a future they cannot predict.
3. Shine: An Anthology of Optimistic SF edited by Jetse de Vries
Shine: a collection of gems that throw light on a brighter future. Some of the world’s most talented SF writers (including Alastair Reynolds, Kay Keyon and Jason Stoddard) show how things can change for the better. From gritty polyannas to workable futures, from hard-fought progress to a better tomorrow; heart-warming and mind-expanding stories that will (re-) awaken the optimist in you!
4. WWW: Wake by Robert J. Sawyer
Caitlin Decter is young, pretty, feisty, a genius at math-and blind. Still, she can surf the net with the best of them, following its complex paths clearly in her mind. But Caitlin’s brain long ago co-opted her primary visual cortex to help her navigate online. So when she receives an implant to restore her sight, instead of seeing reality, the landscape of the World Wide Web explodes into her consciousness, spreading out all around her in a riot of colors and shapes. While exploring this amazing realm, she discovers something-some other-lurking in the background. And it’s getting more and more intelligent with each passing day…
And there you go. Some of these are fairly “old.” Have you read any of them? What did you think? Let me know in the comments.