Spooks, scares, and stories
With Halloween just around the corner, it’s high time to break out your creepiest reads. This year we’re celebrating spooky season by dipping into an introduction into the world of the paranormal, a re-reading of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, a 1923 novel in our Radium Age series set in a world on the brink of collapse, and more. Explore these and other Halloween-worthy reads below, and sign up for our newsletter to hear more updates from the Press.
Monsters, Aliens, and Holes in the Ground: A Guide to Tabletop Roleplaying Games from D&D to Mothership by Stu Horvath
When Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson released Dungeons & Dragons in 1974, they created the first roleplaying game of all time. Little did they know that their humble box set of three small digest-sized booklets would spawn an entire industry practically overnight. In Monsters, Aliens, and Holes in the Ground, Stu Horvath explores how the hobby of roleplaying games, commonly known as RPGs, blossomed out of an unlikely pop culture phenomenon and became a dominant gaming form by the 2010s. Going far beyond D&D, this heavily illustrated tome covers more than three hundred different RPGs that have been published in the last five decades.
The Science of Weird Shit: Why Our Minds Conjure the Paranormal by Chris French
Ghostly encounters, alien abduction, reincarnation, talking to the dead, UFO sightings, inexplicable coincidences, out-of-body and near-death experiences. Are these legitimate phenomena? If not, then how should we go about understanding them? In this fascinating book, Chris French investigates paranormal claims to discover what lurks behind this “weird shit.” French provides authoritative evidence-based explanations for a wide range of superficially mysterious phenomena, and then goes further to draw out lessons with wider applications to many other aspects of modern society where critical thinking is urgently needed.
Frankenbook is a collective reading and collaborative annotation experience of the original 1818 text of Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. The project launched in January 2018, as part of Arizona State University’s celebration of the novel’s 200th anniversary. Even two centuries later, Shelley’s modern myth continues to shape the way people imagine science, technology, and their moral consequences. Frankenbook gives readers the opportunity to trace the scientific, technological, political, and ethical dimensions of the novel, and to learn more about its historical context and enduring legacy.
Women of Science Tarot by Massive Science
The Women of Science Tarot Deck is a card game that helps us tell stories about our future based on principles of science. Each major arcana card features a fundamental scientific concept like extinction, diversity, or gravity. The 56 minor arcana cards feature inspirational women who have changed the course of STEM. The lively illustrations are by neuroscientist and comic artist Matteo Farinella. For readers new to tarot or those who want to learn more about women in STEM, accompanying the deck is a guidebook with biographies of all the women featured on the cards as well as information about the major arcana cards.
Nordenholt’s Million by J.J. Connington
In this novel originally published in 1923, as denitrifying bacteria inimical to plant growth spreads around the world, toppling civilizations and threatening to wipe out humankind, the British plutocrat Nordenholt sets himself up as the benignant dictator of a ruthlessly efficient, entirely undemocratic, survivalist colony established in Scotland’s Clyde Valley. Discovering just how far their employer is willing to go in his effort to spare one million lives, Jack Flint, the colony’s director of operations, and Elsa Huntingtower, Nordenholt’s personal assistant, are forced to grapple with the question of whether a noble end justifies dastardly means.
The Phantom Scientist by Robin Cousin
An isolated institute laid out in a Fibonacci sequence, hidden deep in the forest. Twenty-four labs. Twenty-four researchers. Until one of them disappears… When physicist Stéphane Douasy arrives to occupy the vacant twenty-fourth lab at the Institute for the Study of Complex and Dynamic Systems, an ominous problem rises in his wake: what has happened to his missing neighbor in Building F? When Stéphane’s neighbors, a discouraged linguist and a computer scientist bent on predicting the future, discover that the missing researcher may have solved the P versus NP problem—a coup in computer science with revolutionary implications for everything from mathematics to philosophy—before vanishing, things turn stranger still, and even more menacing. Solving the mystery of the Institute and its devolution into mayhem and violence every seventh year quickly shifts from being an intellectual exercise to a matter of life and death.