Summer Reading with the MIT Press

Summer reading with the MIT Press

Summer is here! It’s the season for pitching a tent, sleeping under the stars, and especially for telling scary stories around a campfire. With that theme in mind, here’s a round-up of our “spooky” summer reads that you might enjoy. We also asked these authors what they think makes their book scary!

Frankenstein: Annotated for Scientists, Engineers, and Creators of All Kinds by Mary Shelley. Edited by David H. Guston, Ed Finn, and Jason Scott Robert

Mary Shelley wrote her classic novel Frankenstein during a rainy summer abroad in Geneva, Switzerland. This annotated edition analyzes the ethics of scientific creation.

From the editors: “Two hundred years ago, Frankenstein terrified the literary establishment, as its female author described horrors like the killing of a child (rather than nurturing children). Frankenstein scarily reminds us that we might need to be wary of new creations of synthetic biology and artificial intelligence.”

Architect’s Gravesites: A Serendipitous Guide by Henry H. Keuhn

Henry Keuhn takes the reader on a graveyard tour… to discover whether the gravesites of architect’s are as grandiose as the buildings they dreamed.

From the author: “There are some remarkable tales of these architects and their final resting places – ashes that disappeared, ashes that were scattered within a building designed by one of these architects, and the stealing of an architect’s remains in the middle of the night.”

Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace, Updated Edition by Janet H. Murray

Nothing gets more ghostly than Hamlet!  In this book, Murray discusses the transformative nature of storytelling when combined with computing.

From the author: “The prospect of experiencing Hamlet on the Holodeck – in itself a spooky possibility – reflecting our fascination with the uncanny experience of things richly realized (but still unreal) representation of the world.”

New Romantic Cyborgs: Romanticism, Information Technology, and the End of the Machine by Mark Coeckelbergh

Do you enjoy a summer romance more than a ghost story? This book combines both aspects. Coeckelbergh examines the “romantic dialect” that users assume with technology. Will such a complex relationship ever be understood?

From the author: “New Romantic Cyborgs gives you the magic and the ghosts you need but never noticed: in technology.”

Gef! The Strange Tale of an Extra-Special Talking Mongoose by Christopher Josiffe

This is the paranormal activity book that will have you wondering if you everything you thought was a hoax is actually real. Josiffe investigates the mysterious case of a talking mongoose or “man weasel” that plagued a family in 1930’s Britain.

From the author: “’House “possessed” by a mongoose’ was 1936’s most bizarre headline. The story of the mysterious phenomena of an isolated Isle of Man farmhouse became a worldwide media sensation.”