Book Series Spotlight: Gone

This blog post was written by Brett Weaver, a college student who has been working at the Aurora Public Library District this summer, getting a behind-the-scenes look at Public Library service.

Are you a fan of the terror and suspense that comes from Stephen King novels? Or do you prefer the action and adventure that comes from an X-Men film? Then again, perhaps you are looking for something thought-provoking and themed around survival, like William Golding’s Lord of the Flies? While the library contains a fine selection of all three works, what if I were to tell you that there was a single book series that contained all three concepts, as well as so much more? If that sounds interesting, then look no further than Michael Grant’s Gone series.

Hunger by Michael Grant     Lies by Michael Grant

Set in a fictionalized Southern California town, Grant takes readers through the experience of what happens to the population of the town’s average teenage population, as well as the nearby teens of a private school for “troubled” youth, when all the residents older than fourteen disappear without a trace. Cut off from the outside world by a mysterious force-field, with no power, no internet, and little food, lines are quickly drawn and sides are quickly chosen as some of the teens attempt to figure out what happened to the adults, while also keeping themselves alive. Oh, and some of the kids develop superpowers. Did I mention the superpowers?

Plague by Michael Grant      Fear by Michael Grant    Light by Michael Grant

Science Fiction

Science Fiction is a genre of fiction in which the stories being told are deeply immersed in science and technology, generally futuristic science and technology. Common themes featured in Science Fiction novels are space and time travel, extraterrestrial life, and parallel universes. Science Fiction has become especially popular in YA novels, where futuristic, technological, dystopian societies are the premise for many books. Oftentimes, Science Fiction and Fantasy Fiction will merge into each other, making the novel belong in both genres.

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If you are new to and are wanting to explore the Science Fiction genre, my suggestion is to start with some YA authors, such as Lauren Oliver, Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth, and Scott Westerfeld. Let the Aurora Public Library District help you discover your next favorite Science Fiction read.

200000-leagues-verne

Jules Verne is considered to be the father of Science Fiction. Having passed away in 1905, most of the future that Verne imagined for his novels has come to pass. However, you’ll find many of his classics on our shelves. Start with 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

time-machine-wells

Another founding father of modern Science Fiction is H.G. Wells, who later dismissed his Science Fiction works when compared with his later novels. Wells is probably most-known for The War of the Worlds, but other novels of his include The Invisible Man and The Time Machine.

i-robot-asimov

Isaac Asimov is another classic Science Fiction writer who is known for creating the “Three Laws of Robotics.” Asimov’s novels are considered to be “hard” Science Fiction, which means that he paid acute attention to scientific details to make his novels as realistic and accurate as possible. Start with I, Robot.

enders-game-card

Orson Scott Card’s novels are filled with familiar themes of moral dilemmas, family, duty, and sacrifice. Many of his novels include children as the main characters. He is probably best known for his Ender’s Saga that reaches a wide audience of teens and adults. Card also writes hard Science Fiction. Start with Ender’s Game.

the-hunger-strieber

Whitley Strieber writes many Science Fiction novels that can also be considered Horror, Thriller and Suspense Fiction. His novels often feature apocalyptic situations. Start with The Hunger.

You might have noticed that several of these Science Fiction titles have been made (and remade) into movies throughout the years. Science Fiction is a genre that really can appeal and encompass all kinds of people. Even if you have never before read a Science Fiction novel, I wholeheartedly encourage you to try.

Other notable Science Fiction authors the Aurora Public Library District has on its shelves are Michael Crichton, Douglas Adams, Robert DohertyMary Wollstonecraft Shelley, and Margaret Atwood. And don’t forget to check out the Indiana Digital Download Center for more Science Fiction titles.

Happy Reading!

Clocks, Gears and Airships

One of the most popular types of science fiction these days is Steampunk. Even if you’re not familiar with the term, you have probably seen steampunk elements in books or movies. Just think clocks, gears, dirigibles. automatons and even parasols! Steampunk is a mash-up of science fiction and fantasy that features technology inspired by nineteenth century, steam-powered machinery. Often set in an alternate version of Victorian England, steampunk can be traced back to the science fiction of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells.

Now, get your googles on and board your airship as I escort you on a quick tour of the steampunk collection at the Aurora Public Library.

If you want to to take a quick peek before you commit yourself to this gadget-driven genre, you may want to begin with Steampunk: An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories, edited by Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant. Many of the short stories in this book are written by authors very well-known to readers of young adult fiction.

anthology

Ready to jump into a steampunk series? All of these are located in the Teen area at the Library.

The Society of Steam trilogy by Andrew Mayer is classic steampunk. You’ll want to begin with The Falling Machine, and then move on to Hearts of Smoke and Steam and Power Under Pressure.

falling machine mayer 1

Scott Westerfeld, best known for his series “The Uglies” has a steampunk trilogy that begins with Leviathan. Other books in the trilogy are Behemoth and Goliath.

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Here are some additional series starters to get your gears crunching.

boneshaker priest 1      e and e

steel corset cross     inventor's cremer

We have three classic stories in new “steampunk” editions. Just flipping through the illustrations in these books will give you a great overview of steampunk.

wells  shelley

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Need more information or want to create your own steampunk accessories? Try these two books!

bible     emporium

Steampunk is not limited to young adult fiction. Some children’s books with elements of steampunk include The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman, The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick and The Keys to the Kingdom series by Garth Nix. Movies that are great examples of steampunk include The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Sherlock Holmes – A Game of Shadows and even Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

gentlemen dvdgame of  chitty