Category Archives: Uncategorized

39 science fiction, fantasy, and horror books to read this June

I have a confession to make: I like books. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who’s followed this monthly list, but I don’t mean just reading them. I’m fascinated by the form of a book, the book as a technology, and an object that’s changed how we transmit information from one person to another.

Recently, I came across a really interesting book put out by the Library of Congress: The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures. It’s a history of the card catalog, and it proves to be a really interesting look at not only the system itself, but also the history of public libraries in America. Plus, there are lots of really gorgeous pictures of catalog cards, which makes this book a delight to flip through if reading about the history isn’t your thing.

The card catalog system is one of those things that you don’t ever really think about, but while it seems like an obvious organizational method today, its creation was somewhat controversial at the time. More than that, it helped to cement the purpose of the Library of Congress as a resource for the nation’s libraries, not just a repository for the nation’s books.

The summer is the busy time for publishing, and accordingly, there are a ton of new books that will undoubtably end up in the Library of Congress — or at the very least, on your bookshelf.

June 1st

Valerian: The Complete Collection, Vol 1. by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mezieres

Luc Besson is set to release his adaptation of Pierre Christian’s French comic Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets in July, but if you’ve been intrigued by the trailers and can’t wait to check it out, the entire comic series is being rereleased in a series of omnibus editions, the first of which comes out today. This volume contains the first two books: The City of Shifting Waters and The Empire of a Thousand Planets. The book also includes some bonus features: interviews with the author, artist, and Besson.

Beren and Luthien by J.R.R. Tolkien

Tolkien’s estate has been steadily releasing new material from his papers, and the latest is one of the earliest stories in his Middle-earth series: Beren and Luthien. It’s a romance between two characters, Beren and Lúthien, and it is based loosely on Tolkien’s own relationship with his wife Edith.

June 6th

A Peace Divided by Tanya Huff

In this second installment of Tanya Huff’s Peacekeeper series, Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr has walked away from the Confederation Marine Corps after learning what she was fighting for. But she’s not abandoning her mission: she’s assembled a group of loyal friends to take on missions that the Corps wouldn’t. When an archeological team is taken hostage, Torin’s team is sent in, only to find that their mission is far more complicated than previously thought. Publisher’s Weekly calls the book a “fast-paced thriller bristling with treachery and intrigue.”



Image: Resurrection House

Necessary Monsters by Richard A. Kirk

A convicted thief and bibliophile, Lumsden Moss, escaped from prison, and found an opportunity to steal a rare book from the man who put him away. Unfortunately, that’s painted a target on his back from some very bad people, and he’s now on the run. The book contains some secrets from a cursed and long-lost island, in a world where magic and technology are inseparable.

The Rebellion’s Last Traitor by Nik Korpon

Decades of war has shattered Eitan City, and to help restore order, the Tathadann Party rewrites history by outlawing the past. One man, Henraek, is a memory thief, stealing memories from civilians, until he harvests a memory of his own wife’s death. Now, he’s going to do whatever it takes to discover the truth about her killing, even if it means turning on the people he was most loyal to.

Supreme Villainy: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Most (In)Famous Supervillain Memoir Never Published by King Oblivion and Matt D. Wilson

King Oblivion, PhD is the most famous supervillains in the world, and as the CEO of the International Society of Supervillains, he’s responsible for Nixon’s election, the theft of Japan (the entire country), the Star Wars prequel trilogy, and quite a bit more. Author Matt D. Wilson discovered Oblivion’s moldering manifesto in one of his lairs, and with a bit of editing, has published them into a tell-all about the late author’s life.

The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson

Eden’s life was easy before the war. But in 2049, the militant Wolfpack gang controls the Earth and its resources, and Eden knows the location of the last neutral place left, Sanctuary Island. She escapes a labor camp and travels to the island, where she meets others who resist the Wolves. But when her friend goes missing, she discovers that the Sanctuary is more dangerous than it appears. The film rights for the book have already been snapped up by Leonardo DiCaprio.

The Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne M. Valente

Catherynne Valente has written a number of really unique and interesting novels, and in this latest, she turns her attention to the women of superhero comics. This book is a series of linked stories from the wives and girlfriends of superheroes, as well as female heroes and sidekicks, who have been kicked out of the way to help their male counterpart’s story move forward.

June 13th

The Sacred Era by Yoshio Aramaki, translated by Baryon Tensor Posadas

In the 1970s, Yoshio Aramaki wrote one of the best-known works of Japanese science fiction, The Sacred Era. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, a student named K journeys to the capital of the Holy Empire to take The Sacred Examination, which will qualify him for metaphysical research service in the court. He’s assigned to a secret department, which sends him on the path of an executed heretic on an interplanetary journey.

The Black Elfstone by Terry Brooks

Terry Brooks is bringing his epic Shannara series to a close with a four-part mini-series, The Fall of Shannara. The Black Elfstone is the first installment, and sees an unknown enemy threatening the peace that has lasted for generations. A party is dispatched to investigate this threat and to figure out how to save the Four Lands.



Image: Pyr Books

Wilders by Brenda Cooper

The first installment of the new Project Earth series, Wilders follows Coryn Williams, who grew up in the megacity of Seacouver. While everything is provided in Seacouver, she’s unhappy. So when her parents commit suicide, she decides to search for her sister, who left the city to join a “rewilding” crew that works to restore the land. When she leaves the city, Coryn finds that life is far more dangerous than she expected, and discovers a plot that could threaten her home.

The Space Between the Stars by Anne Corlett

In this debut novel, Jamie Allenby just wants to go to space. She emigrates from Earth and finds work on a distant frontier planet, coping with the loneliness of space when a virus decimates the local population. A garbled message from home gives her some hope that someone from her past might still be alive, and along with a band of survivors, they return home to find that in their absence, they’ve changed just as much as Earth has.

Prey of the Gods by Nicky Drayden

South Africa has a promising future in Nicky Drayden’s debut novel, Prey of the Gods. People have personal robots, the poor are helped by renewable energy initiatives, and genetic engineering has opened up a huge industry in the region. There are some problems on the horizon, however, such as a new hallucinogenic drug and an AI uprising. It’s up to a powerful Zulu girl, a mind-reading teenager, a pop singer, and a politician to help save the country.

Soleri by Michael Johnston

Michael Johnston’s new epic fantasy draws from Egyptian history. In it, the ruling family of the Soleri Empire hasn’t been seen for centuries, but they rule the four kingdoms with a tight grip. When an expected eclipse doesn’t occur, political infighting begin to tear apart a dynasty that’s stood for millennia.

The Changeling by Victor LaValle

Victor LaValle made a splash recently with horror novella The Ballad of Black Tom. His latest novel begins with a new father, Apollo Kagwa, dreaming of his childhood. When his wife abruptly vanishes, he goes on a quest to find her, which leads him to fantastic places that connect back to his own missing father. Kirkus Reviews gave it a coveted star rating, saying that “LaValle has successfully delivered a tale of wonder and thoughtful exploration of what it means to be a parent.”



Image: Solaris Books

Raven Stratagem by Yoon Ha Lee

Yoon Ha Lee’s debut novel Ninefox Gambit earned a pair of Hugo and Nebula nominations, and its follow-up, Raven Stratagem, picks up right after its end. Captain Kel Cheris has summoned Shuos Jedao, a long-dead general, to put down a rebellion, only to be possessed by the ghost. At the same time, aliens known as the Hafn are invading, and Jedao might be the only person who can stop them. Lee’s take on space opera and military science fiction was intriguingly different, and this new book looks just as exciting. Publisher’s Weekly awarded the book a star rating, calling it “a stunning sequel,” saying that it “contains a satisfying mixture of interstellar battles, politics, intrigue, and arcane technology.”

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

McGuire recently earned a Nebula Award and a Hugo nomination for her novella Every Heart A Doorway, which is part of her Wayward Children series. This is the story of what happened to Jack and Jill before they arrived at Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. Jacqueline is quiet and police, while Jillian is a thrill-seeker. As children, they discover an impossible staircase and step into a fantastic world complete with vampires and mad scientists. The novella earned a star rating from Publisher’s Weekly, which described the novel as an “exquisitely written fairy tale … about the choices that can alter the course of a life forever.”

Want by Cindy Pon

Set in a near-future Taipei, Jason Zhou lives in a world where only the wealthy can afford to stay alive, protected by suits from pollution and disease. He’s resolved to change things after his mother dies. Along with a group of friends, he infiltrates the ranks of the wealthy in an attempt to destroy the Jin Corporation, which manufactures the suits that the rich rely on. Along the way, he falls for the daughter of the company’s CEO, Daiyu, and he’s forced to choose between his heart and his values.

Cormorant Run by Lilith Saintcrow

Years ago, there was an event — something that opened up a void, killing everyone inside of it. Those who enter are known as Rifters, who often come back with fantastic technologies. Svinga is one such Rifter, and she’s hauled out of prison to search for a legendary piece of technology, the Cormorant. It’s a dangerous mission, but she has plans of her own.

Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom by Bradley W. Schenck

This novel imagines the future as predicted in the 1939 World Fair, complete with mad scientists, robots, rocket engineers, and space pirates. It’s an homage to the era of pulp fiction, and when the Info-Slate switchboard operators are abruptly fired, Nola Gardner hires freelance adventurer Kelvin “Dash” Kent to find out why. When they dig deeper, they find that there’s a plot in play that threatens the entire city of Retropolis.

Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

In this sequel to Victoria Schwab’s novel This Savage Song, Kate Harker is a monster hunter who was thrown together with a monster named August Flynn. Six months later, the war between humanity and monsters has come, and the two are pitted against one another. However, there’s a new, terrifying monster that’s emerged from the shadows, one that will test them all.



Image: Saga Books

The Witch Who Came In From The Cold by Lindsay Smith, Max Gladstone, Cassandra Rose Clarke, Ian Tregillis, and Michael Swanwick

Serial Box is a publisher that’s been releasing serialized stories online for a couple of years now, and their latest, The Witch Who Came In From The Cold, is an intriguing spy thriller set at the height of the Cold War. Now collected into a single volume, the story follows spies and sorcerers in 1970s Prague, holding the balance of the East and West in their hands. Publisher’s Weekly gave the book a star rating, noting that the individual “installments are easy to read one at a time, but the tangles of alliances, secrets, and shocking double-crosses will have readers up all night mumbling, ‘Just one more.’”

The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.: A Novel by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland

Neal Stephenson has teamed up with historical novelist Nicole Galland (they previously worked on Mongoliad) for a new novel: The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. Set in the near future, Melisandre Stokes, a linguistics and language expert, is approached by the military to translate some old documents. What they contain is earth-shattering: they prove that magic existed before the scientific revolution, and that the industrial revolution essentially weakened magic. The Department of Diachronic Operations has a plan and a device: they want to bring magic back, and to send an operative back in time to ensure that magic never went away in the first place. Kirkus Reviews gave the book a star rating, saying that the book is a “departure for both authors and a pleasing combination of much appeal to fans of speculative fiction.”

Virology by Ren Warom

In this follow-up to Ren Warom’s Escapology, Shock Pao opened up the virtual world known as the Slip, and with some stolen tech, he’s the one in charge of the world’s systems. That’s put a target on his back, and he’s running out of places to hide.

June 20th

The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss

Theodora Goss is an acclaimed short story writer, and in her debut novel The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, she mashes up a bunch of classic science fiction characters. Mary Jekyll, daughter of Dr. Henry Jekyll, is orphaned, and she decides to go after her father’s murderer, Edward Hyde. She comes across Hyde’s daughter Diana, and with the help of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, she finds other women who were created through experiments: Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherin Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein. Along the way, she comes across a secret society of mad scientists, and it’s time for the monsters to take on their creators.

Transformation by James Gunn

James Gunn (not the director of Guardians of the Galaxy) is one of the last authors from the original golden age of science fiction, and with Transformation, he brings to a close a trilogy that he opened with Transcendental and Transgalactic. Riley and Asha crossed the galaxy, discovered the Transcendental Machine, and have been turned into something more than human. The worlds at the end of the Federation have gone quiet, and they’re dispatched to investigate. Along with a planetary AI, a Federation agent, and a member of a group bent on destroying the AI, they have to come together to fend off a more powerful threat than the Transcendentals. Clarkesworld Magazine spoke with Gunn about the series last year, if you want to know more.

Indigo by Charlaine Harris, Christopher Golden, Jonathan Maberry, Kelley Armstrong, Kat Richardson, Seanan McGuire, Tim Lebbon, Cherie Priest, James A. Moore, and Mark Morris

What stands out about Indigo is the fact that it was written by 11 separate authors. The collaborative novel follows Investigative reporter Nora Hesper who moonlights as Indigo, a vigilante who can manipulate shadows. She’s after a cult called the Children of Phonos, and after one battle, she learns a secret from a dying cultist that makes her question her own origins.



Image: Tor.com

Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones

Last month, we posted an excerpt from Stephen Graham Jones’ upcoming novella, and we’re really excited to dig into it. The story is about a 15-year-old boy who catches a glimpse of someone he thinks is his mysteriously deceased father. When he investigates, he discovers that his house is much bigger and more dangerous than he imagined. Publisher’s Weekly says that “the immediacy of Jones’s fiction is wonderfully refreshing and not to be missed.”

Shattered Minds by Laura Lam

Laura Lam returns to her futuristic world of Pacifica, which we last saw in her novel False Hearts. Carina was a biohacker who became disillusioned with her work on brain recording and the disturbing things she saw. She quits and becomes addicted to Zeal, and acts out horrific fantasies in the digital dream world. When a co-worker sends her pictures of a murdered girl and is then killed by her former employer, Carina has to track down the clue to the murder, a case that could have a profound impact on herself and the world.



Image: Mythic Island Press

The Last Good Man by Linda Nagata

One of my favorite trilogies of all time is Linda Nagata’s three The Red novels, a near-future, military science fiction series. She’s returning to military SF with The Last Good Man, about former Army pilot True Brighton. Brighton is employed at a private military company called Requisite Operations, which uses robots, artificial intelligence, and big data to enhance soldiers in the field. When she makes a scientific breakthrough, it leaves her questioning everything. Publisher’s Weekly gave the book a coveted star rating, saying that the book is a “thrilling novel that lays bare the imminent future of warfare.”

Godblind by Anna Stephens

A thousand ago, the Mireces were exiled from Rilpor for worshipping the bloodthirsty Red Gods. When Rillirin, an escaped Mireces slave, arrives at the border, she threatens to undo the life that Watcher Dom Templeson has set up, letting his followers learn some of his darkest secrets. And as political tensions within Rilpor flare, the Mireces are plotting to return.

June 27th

Unbreakable by Will McIntosh

Will McIntosh has written some of my favorite science fiction novels, and for his latest, Unrbeakable, he’s turning to self-publishing. Celia has never left the walls of her town: all she knows of it is that there’s an audience out there that come in once a week to watch her and her fellow residents attempt to break world records. A friend of hers is dying, and she escapes to help him. Aided by a mysterious stranger and a hostile clown, she’s going to be pushed to her limits in a strange new world.



Image: Penguin Random House

The Waking Land by Callie Bates

In this debut novel from Callie Bates, a girl named Elanna Valtai grew up in the court of King Antoine, a hostage to keep her father in check. She discovers that she has fantastic powers: she can make flowers grow in her hands, and more. However, magic has been forbidden ever since her home was conquered by the Paladis Empires two centuries ago. When the King is murdered, she flees to her homeland when she’s accused, only to find that that she no longer recognizes her home.

The Bones of the Earth by Rachel Dunne

The next entry in Rachel Dunne’s Bound Gods series, a priest named Joros has assembled a team of fighters to win the coming fight for control of the world and its mortal residents. In the preceding novel, In the Shadow of the Gods, Joros and his company burned the hand of one of the evil twin gods, Fratarro, and they’re dealing with the outcome. As they lick their wounds, Joros has to try and hold the group together, because things are going to get much harder from here on out.

Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory

Daryl Gregory’s has written some fantastic novels in his career, and his next looks to be just as interesting. Teddy Telemachus conned his way into a classified governmental study about telekinesis, where he met his wife, Maureen McKinnon, a real psychic. They marry, have children, and make their way around the country as performers. Then, everything changes. After withdrawing from the public eye, they’re forced to use their powers to protect themselves from criminals, the government, and the general public.

Escape Velocity by Jason M. Hough

Jason Hough’s novel Injection Burn came out earlier this week, but you won’t have long to wait for its sequel: Escape Velocity comes out at the end of June. In the first novel, Skyler Luiken is the captain of a starship headed to a distant planet to make it through the Swarm Blockage and rescue them. Along the way, they discover fellow ship captain Gloria Tsandi and her crews on the same mission.

In this second novel, they (spoilers) make their way through the Blockage, but but now they have to contend with enemies on the ground, and the return back to Earth.

Everyone’s a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too by Jomny Sun

An alien lands on Earth and finds that he’s incredibly lonely, and works to make himself at home when he realizes that he’s not quite alone. Along the way, he finds a whole bunch of other creatures who in strange places in their lives, such as a bear who’s sad that everyone runs away from him, and a tadpole who’s contending with turning into a frog. The book is based off of the popular Twitter account, @jonnysun.

Amatka by Karin Tidbeck

Swedish writer Karin Tidbeck has written some of the best fantastic fiction that I’ve ever read. If you haven’t read her collection of Weird short stories, Jagganath, do yourself a favor and pick it up immediately. Now, her novel Amatka has been translated into English for the first time. An information assistant named Vanja goes to the winter colony of Amatka to collect some intelligence on behalf of the government. However, something strange is going on, and as her visit lengthens, she discovers evidence of a plot and coverup that threatens the colony.

The Witchwood Crown by Tad Williams

The first installment of the new Osten Ard series from Tad Williams is set more than 30 years after the last installment of the series, To Green Angel Tower. An envoy to the rulers of Osten Ard is attacked and left for dead, and dark rumors are swirling around the kingdom about forbidden magic. War is coming, all while King Simon works to prevent his kingdom from falling into chaos. Kirkus Reviews gave the book a star rating, saying that it’s a “richly described, meticulously plotted, and multilayered narrative tapestry featuring a diversity of adeptly developed characters and multiple storylines, this is flawless epic fantasy.”

via The Verge http://ift.tt/2qKhL7J

Chris Cornell, the Soundgarden frontman who helped define grunge music, is dead at 52

Known for his vocal range, the singer was found dead after a concert Wednesday night.

Chris Cornell, frontman of Soundgarden and Audioslave — and a pillar of the grunge-rock movement — has died unexpectedly at 52, reports the Associated Press. The musician was found dead at the MGM Grand Detroit Hotel on Wednesday night, following a Soundgarden concert earlier that night. A medical examiner determined that Cornell killed himself by hanging; a full autopsy has yet to be completed as of Thursday afternoon.

Along with Nirvana and Pearl Jam, Soundgarden was instrumental in shaping the Seattle rock movement that would come to be known as grunge in the late 1980s and early ’90s. Co-founded by singer and rhythm guitarist Cornell, who was born in Seattle, Soundgarden was the first grunge band to sign to a major label, A&M Records — a move that some grunge purists looked at askance, but that also helped facilitate the group’s ascension to the rock mainstream.

The apex of that mainstream success was 1994’s Superunknown, an album that “both redefined and transcended grunge.” The group’s fourth album, Superunknown propelled Soundgarden to enormous commercial success, on the back of No. 1 singles like “Spoonman” and “Black Hole Sun,” which dominated modern-rock radio and earned the band two Grammys.

Part of what made Soundgarden stand out amid the era’s swelling grunge-rock hordes was Cornell’s voice, an extraordinarily powerful instrument with a four-octave range — he could pivot between a crystal-clear wail and a gritty rumble seemingly in the same syllable. Listening to the isolated vocals of “Black Hole Sun,” it’s easier to appreciate the astounding dynamism and control Cornell brought to a genre that was rarely associated with pristine vocals:

Soundgarden disbanded in 1997 but reunited in 2010 and has been playing shows regularly since then, including the concert the night of Cornell’s death (where Cornell’s voice was reportedly still on fine display). In the interim, Cornell formed Audioslave in 2001 alongside members of Rage Against the Machine, after that band’s frontman, Zack de la Rocha, departed the group. Audioslave’s first release, the self-titled 2002 album, went triple platinum in the US and was succeeded by two follow-ups, Out of Exile and Revelations, before the band broke up in 2007.

Cornell released several solo albums following the dissolution of Audioslave, to varying degrees of success. (2009’s Scream, produced by Timbaland, was a particularly notorious flop — Trent Reznor famously called it embarrassing, provoking a feud between the two frontmen — but even the critics savaging it usually had a kind word for Cornell’s vocals.) His last full album was 2015’s generally well-received Higher Truth, which found the singer living comfortably in the territory he’d staked out in recent years: stripped-down, intimately arranged acoustic rock that allowed his vocals to take center stage.

But Cornell’s solo career never consistently hit the commercial or critical highs of his work with Soundgarden and Audioslave, which is perhaps why the singer kept returning to the rock band model via other projects. In addition to reforming Soundgarden, Cornell reunited with Audioslave earlier this year at the Trump-protesting Anti-Inaugural Ball, the band’s first performance in more than a decade.

Cornell famously struggled with both drug abuse and alcoholism throughout his career; he claimed in 1994 to have been a daily drug user by age 13, and reportedly sobered up and relapsed multiple times over the years. In 2009, he dryly described himself as a “pioneer” of OxyContin, an addiction to which nearly torpedoed his life and career until he went to rehab in 2002. He had reportedly remained sober from then until his death.

While the details of Cornell’s death are still coming to light, the music world is loudly mourning a man, and a voice, who helped redefine modern rock music. Despite a restless career and personal life, Cornell was a near-constant, almost comforting presence in the rock scene, consistently bouncing back and releasing new music and performing live — literally up until the night he died.

via Vox – All http://ift.tt/2pXQWgI

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal – Nightmares

Just a week to go in our proposal round for BAHFest MIT. We’ve gotten very few proposals from women, so please nudge that clever woman in your nerd group!

Marvel as Jon Wilson explains spider evolution at BAHFest Sydney 2016.

PS: Just about a week left to get your BAHFest East proposal in!

via Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal http://ift.tt/2k7fwNy

The Case for Donald Trump’s Official White House Photographer

In the next 48 hours, as President Barack Obama prepares to leave the White House, his official photographer, Pete Souza, will document the last moments of his history-making presidency. The photographs Souza will take on Jan. 20 will join the more than two million images he has shot in the last eight years, completing a lasting visual record of the first black President’s time in office.

When Donald J. Trump takes up the baton, however, his first hours in the White House – and possibly his entire term – might go undocumented.

The President-elect has yet to name Souza’s replacement. It’s even unclear whether the position of official White House photographer will be kept once Trump takes office. If it is abandoned, that decision will represent a break from 40 years of precedent. Trump’s communication officer did not return TIME’s request for comment.

Lyndon B. Johnson was the first U.S. president to employ a full-time, civilian White House photographer. “When he took office, Johnson thought it was important to have somebody to document the presidency,” says Michael Martínez, a photojournalism professor specializing in political photography at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Previously, the position, typically held by a military photographer, had been more informal. As a result, important moments had been missed. For example, John F. Kennedy’s photographer Cecil W. Stoughton was given only limited access, with the result that key moments such as the Cuban Missile Crisis were largely left undocumented.

And, in the decades since, it has become clear just how important an official White House photographer can be.

After Johnson was sworn in, he offered the job to Yoichi Okamoto, who had worked at the United States Information Agency and had met Johnson while he was still Kennedy’s Vice President. But Okamoto, affectionately known as Oke, had one condition, Martínez tells TIME. “He said: ‘I want to be there before you get to the office and leave after you leave. I want to document this. I don’t want to come in and just do a hit and miss.’” Johnson agreed and Okamoto set the standard for more the presidential photographers who followed in his footsteps.

“He, to this day, remains the best White House photographer ever,” says David Hume Kennerly, who photographed President Gerald Ford. “He had a dramatic subject. He was a wonderful storyteller with a camera. And LBJ had a big sense of history and had rapport with Okamoto.”

The Presidents who followed differed on their feelings about photography. Richard Nixon kept photographer Oliver F. Atkins at a distance—but, Martínez says, having Atkins there paid off, as the photographer was present to capture the “human side” of Nixon’s departure from power. Kennerly says that he had no problem getting close to Ford, and was often the only person in the room with him, whereas Carter’s presidency was “a visual disaster” because the President was reluctant to have a photographer around. But Carter’s presidency was just a hitch in the U.S.’s visual history. Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama all had their official photographers, who produced historic photos like the ones seen in the gallery above.

“There’s a White House diary-keeper who records everything that’s the president is doing but that’s on paper,” says Eric Draper, who served under George W. Bush. “When you look at pictures, these frozen moments can tell stories, they can capture emotions and they can capture the mood.”

President Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger discuss the ongoing negotiations on the SALT treaty

David Hume Kennerly—Getty Images“As White House photographer I was able to be in situations off limits to other photographers, and was able to document many critical historical moments,” says David Hume Kennerly, who photographed President Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger discussing the ongoing negotiations on the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT) being conducted with the Soviets on March 24, 1976.

But the job is about more than ceremony and PR.

“I was in the room when Ford ended the Vietnam War. I was there when he pardoned Richard Nixon. I was there when he lost the election,” says Kennerly, whose photographs can add visual and human context to the history of Ford’s presidency.

“I think it’s important to have [a] visual record for people and generations to come, to get a sense of not just what the presidency was like but what [the President] was like as a person,” adds Pete Souza.

And that kind of photographs can only be achieved with the right access. “You have the historic level, but you also have all these moments that let you stress out who the president is on a personal level. I had the opportunity to photograph President George W. Bush as a father, a husband, a dog owner, a son of another president,” says Draper. “It’s all about the confidence level of the president. If you’re in the way, if the president doesn’t want you there, you’re not there. That relationship is important to be in a position where the president is conformable being around you.”

If the relationship is a successful one, the result can offer incredible value to the country, adds Robert McNeely, who was Clinton’s photographer for six years, even if the President doesn’t necessarily appreciate it. (“I’m sure Bill Clinton doesn’t see the value of my picture of him and Monica Lewinsky standing there in the chief of staff’s office during the government’s shutdown, even though he asked me to take it,” he says.) But, given Donald Trump’s business background, where transparency tends to be less valued, he is not optimistic that the new President will grant deep access to a White House photographer—or any access at all.

After all, it’s still unclear whether Trump will see the benefits in allowing someone to photograph him all day, every day.

“I would only encourage him to give it a try,” says Kennerly. “But it’s his call.”

via Politics – TIME http://ift.tt/2jouzP4

This disassembled Aston Martin DB11 engine is engineering pornography

It’s like the world’s most complicated LEGO set and I can’t stop staring

The Aston Martin DB11 has a 600 horsepower, twin-turbocharged 5.2-liter V12 engine. It can go from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds and can keep going all the way to a top speed of 200 mph. In pure Aston Martin form, the car is even more beautiful than it is quick, and a Grand Touring mode allows for long-distance cruising in sublime comfort.

But it’s that engine, hand-built at the Aston factory in Gayden, England that fascinates me today. The V12 has 1,667 individual parts (and 273 unique parts, thanks to duplication across those twelve cylinders) and the company’s engineers were kind enough to lay them all out for us in this fantastic photograph. It’s like the world’s most complicated LEGO set and I can’t stop staring. It seems that everything Aston Martin makes is incredibly beautiful, and this disassembled engine is no exception.

Magnificent. Also, I present you with the (completed) DB11, ready to climb the famous hill, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Spoiler: it looks even better in person.


Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

via The Verge http://ift.tt/2iuBoNj

Watch Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ‘Inspired’ Response to Donald Trump’s Twitter Slam

Arnold Schwarzenegger has some advice for Donald Trump: Listen to Abraham Lincoln.

Trump had slammed Schwarzenegger on Twitter Friday morning for disappointing ratings for the season premiere of The New Celebrity Apprentice, so Schwarzenegger came back with an inspirational video message for the President-elect, harkening back to 1861.

“Please study this quote from Lincoln’s inaugural, @realDonaldTrump,” Schwarzenegger tweeted Friday morning. “It inspired me every day I was Governor, and I hope it inspires you.”

In the video, after saying he’s “sure you want to hear me read Lincoln’s speeches in my Austrian accent,” the former California governor recites the famous final section of Lincoln’s first inaugural address:

We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

“Remember,” Schwarzenegger concludes, “the campaign is over, the election is over, and we are not enemies.”

via Politics – TIME http://ift.tt/2hXYoZv

The 7 things I did to get over a big breakup — and why research says they work

Tom and I broke up a few weeks before he was due to start medical school.

Our relationship had been a whirlwind. We had known each other since childhood but had been dating for just 10 days before he moved down from Connecticut to Pennsylvania and into my small one-bedroom apartment. A few months later, we were planning our wedding, deliberating what guest favors we would choose (DIY terrariums were under consideration), and stopping in at jewelers to try on engagement rings. I was elated, effervescent, convinced he was “the one.”

Then all of a sudden, we were on the rocks. Arguments interrupted even the briefest phone conversations. Weekend trips ended in tears and yelling.

One afternoon at the end of my workday, eight months after our relationship began, I found myself sitting in my parked car, dialing his number in a moment of panic and confusion. “I’m not getting what I need,” I told him.

In the nights that followed, I had the dramatic push-pull experience that everyone experiences immediately following a breakup: on top of the world and triumphant in my decision one moment, certain that my ex would come crawling back, confident that I had made the right call, and then suddenly heartbroken, afraid, and completely numb, somehow all simultaneously. I cried into his voicemail. I sat by my window and listened to “A Case of You” on repeat. I wallowed.

When I spoke to Brian Boutwell, an evolutionary psychologist at St. Louis University, he gave me some insight into the science behind my sadness. He said that being in love involves the same neural circuitry as a cocaine addiction.

“Falling in love presents very much like an addictive process,” he told me. “You have this drive to get that fix in the form of being around the person that you care about.”

So my breakup was a cocaine withdrawal? Boutwell says yes.

“We have this pervasive idea that, ‘oh, it’s just a breakup, it’s not that big of a deal,’” he said. “Whereas emotionally it can be quite a big deal, and [breakups] can be a risk factor for depression, which is no clinical condition to take lightly. There is a real analogy of the, quote, broken heart. There’s some physiological rationales behind that thinking. [Breakups] can jeopardize one’s health.”

This description rings true to me: After the breakup, I felt physically ill, exhausted, and devastated. One of these particularly low moments, I scared myself into anger — at my ex, at myself, at this entire stupid situation. How dare he not fight harder for this relationship? How dare something end that was so promising and beautiful? But most importantly, how dare I — an outspoken feminist, constantly touting women’s independence, glory, power, resilience — betray women by behaving like my life was over because of something as trivial as a breakup? What had really happened here? I had lost a man, a friend, a partner, but I hadn’t lost myself.

So I embarked on a quest to reclaim myself, to turn this breakup into an opportunity for renewal and self-discovery, rather than an excuse to feel sorry for myself. I tried all sorts of things, from reconnecting with old friends to blocking my ex on every single social media channel imaginable.

Here’s a list of everything I tried, along with an honest assessment of how each one worked for me. I also wanted to know how my experiences lined up with the scientific consensus on what helps people get over breakups, so I asked relationship researchers to weigh in on my list.

1) I said yes to every social invitation

Effectiveness: 9/10

For the first few weeks following the breakup, I vowed to accept every social invitation that came my way. This was the best decision I could have possibly made. I bought myself new bathing suits and went to the beach. I took selfies in the sun. I went to cast parties and had a snuggle pile on a damp lawn with other tipsy theater kids. I kissed my co-stars and crooned along to Sara Bareilles and played Never Have I Ever around a fire pit. I went clubbing for the first time since I started seeing my ex. I found my freedom.

The clubbing was especially liberating. After the breakup, I reveled and rebelled. I went out to gay bars and embraced my bisexuality, distancing myself from my previous relationship and reasserting my queer identity. I danced on the tops of bars and on club stages. I wore my shortest skirts, highest heels, and reddest lipstick. I dove into my Snapchat story with gusto. I got number after number, smiled as widely as I could, and left the clubs exhausted, sore, satisfied, and solo. I slept starfish on my bed and gave myself permission to take up all the space.


Katie Bogen

The experience of accepting these invitations not only allowed me to create new friendships but also reminded me that I could be single without being “alone.” I am the kind of person who gets lost in their partner — I plan my weekends and evenings around them, I try to reserve my free time to spend by their side, and, in doing so, I neglect my own friendships and relationships. I forget how to effectively self-care. I allow myself to become isolated and dependent.

After my breakup, I extended friendship feelers in all directions. I let myself be swept along to late-night karaoke and cozy taverns, polo matches, and long walks through Newport. I basked in new people, and found myself feeling more and more at home in my own skin.

Downsides: During the beginning of the breakup, accepting these invitations probably won’t feel genuine. You may feel guilty for going out, or you may go out only to obsessively check your phone for the night, convinced your ex will text you. You might feel dirty for dancing with new people. You might feel ashamed for having fun, while the sad parts of you try to suck you back into the dark hole of Netflix and order-in pizza. Go out anyway. That old adage — fake it ’til you make it — rings true.

Expert opinion: Grace Larson, a researcher at Northwestern University, told me that this desire to accept invitations was likely driven by my need to regain self-concept after the breakup. Going dancing was a reclamation of my independence.

According to Larson, “One of the things we found in our study was that when people were able to really agree with statements like, ‘I have reclaimed lost parts of myself that I could not express while with my partner’ … that predicts people being less depressed. That predicts people being less lonely. That predicts people not ruminating on the breakup anymore.”

2) I nourished by body with healthy food and exercise

Effectiveness: 7/10

The farmers market became a weekend staple. I went shopping with my aunt and bought myself lush greens, miniature summer squash, ripe orchard apples, frozen lemonade. I gave my body what it wanted. I planned recipes. I made mug after mug of green tea and French-press coffee. I absolutely spoiled myself. If I saw a bar of chocolate I wanted at the grocery store? It was mine. Those vegan marshmallows? Why not? The world was my oyster.

Going to the farmers market and creating a treat-myself food mentality was delightful. Coming home and realizing I would have to eat these bounties by myself? Not so much.

Fortunately, my attempts to be good to my body didn’t stop at food. I bought a beginner yoga pass at a local studio, and the entire experience was incredible. I breathed slowly, stretched, shook, and repeated the mantra: I am the only person on my mat. The practice of yoga became a way to ground myself in my own body and my own presence. It was about taking care of myself and healing after an emotional trauma. It allowed me to recognize the way I was hurting without indulging in it. It was glorious. I left the studio feeling powerful, calm, and whole. Even if the feeling only lasted for five minutes, those five minutes were beautiful.


Katie Bogen

In addition to the yoga practice, I joined a gym close to my home and started attending group workout classes. My ex was a personal trainer and a football player: strong, hard-bodied, and confident in the presence of other athletes. I was a curved, uncoordinated gym-phobe who preferred to work out in the safety and privacy of my living room. I had balked at each one of my ex’s gym invitations.

Now I went to spin classes, barre classes, and a gym boot camp. I met with a personal trainer and planned out a way to reach my fitness goals. I supplemented my gym classes with long walks and choreography rehearsals for the show. I started to see progress. On the days when my motivation to exercise just wasn’t there, I forgave myself. Breakups suck. Sometimes they require lazy nights in front of Netflix and some order-in Chinese food (extra duck sauce and the largest order of lo mein I can get, thanks). My progress wasn’t rapid-fire. I didn’t go vegan. But the trainers at the gym recognize me, and a few even know me by name. That’s something.

Downsides: If you choose to use food as a means to cope with a breakup, do so with a friend. Eating kale by yourself and trying to stay happy is just a bummer all around. Additionally, it is really tempting to grab excessive amounts of sweets and junk to treat yourself. DO NOT. I repeat — do not. You will feel sick and crampy, and you don’t want to make things harder on your body when it is already coping with a massive emotional blow.

As for the workout component of this, there will be days when you think about the gym and you Just Can’t. On those days, you might feel worthless or lazy or like nobody will find you attractive ever again. Forgive yourself, give yourself a rest, and treat your body in other ways. Take a bath with some essential oils. Spend the night giving yourself a pedicure, complete with freshly lotioned legs. Take a long walk through the park and practice mindful breathing. You do not have to sweat every day. You only need to be kind to yourself.

Expert opinion: Grace Larson told me that it’s important to create healthy physical rhythms after a breakup. Breakups, she said, throw our daily routines into disarray: “In order to counteract this chaos and disorganization, it’s even more important to eat regular meals. It’s more important to make sure you’re getting enough sleep. It’s even more important to set a new, steady schedule for when you’re going to exercise.”

3) I reconnected with old friends

Effectiveness: 10/10 (MOST IMPORTANT)

My best girlfriends live in Maine and Massachusetts. Before Tom and I broke up, my relationship occupied most of my time. My lady loves fell to the wayside as I basked in the bliss of romance.

After the breakup, I was able to reconnect. I spent weekend after weekend taking long drives to binge Netflix and wine, snuggle, cry, and process my heartbreak out loud with people who loved me. I made the women in my life my priorities. I spent hours on the phone, catching up with the people I had lost touch with. Nothing feels like home quite like being barefoot on your best friend’s couch with a glass of red wine and a handy box of tissues.

These women reminded me that there were pieces of my past unburdened, or possibly even strengthened, by the breakup. Marie took me on long walks with her puppy, and the two of us sipped mimosas over brunch. She rooted me to my most loving self. She reminded me that I was still (and always had been) lovable. Olivia pulled me out of my comfort zone. She brought me rock climbing and to Walden Pond. She helped me celebrate my independence. She talked me through asking my ex for my things back. Marie and Olivia helped me rebuild a foundation of my strongest, happiest, and most present self. They reminded me that all was not lost.

Downsides: If you’re going through a breakup and live a long distance from your best friends, using these visits as a coping mechanism may be more challenging. If that happens: SKYPE! FaceTime. Plan phone calls. Make sure to hear their voices.

Also, when you’re in a heartbreak space, it can be challenging to remember that your friends have other commitments — partners, jobs, social lives — that they also need to tend to. When they are unavailable, remind yourself that it is not because they don’t want to help you feel better. It’s impossible to pour from an empty glass. Your biggest supporters still need to recharge between snuggle sessions. It’s not because they don’t care. It’s because they want to care most effectively for you AND themselves.

Expert opinion: Larson told me that breakups disrupt what psychologists call our “attachment systems.”

“In the same way that an infant child is reliant on their mother or their primary caregiver to soothe them … adults still have a strong need to connect deeply with one other person,” Larson said.

“And normally there is this process, when you go from being a little kid, your attachment bond is with your mom or your dad, grandparents, a close caregiver. When you transition into adolescence, that attachment bond becomes your closest, most intimate friends. And then when we become adults, our primary attachment is likely to be to a romantic partner.”

The question, as Larson put it, is this: What happens after a breakup, when you can no longer rely on your partner to be your primary attachment?

“What happens for a lot of people is they switch that attachment back to those people who in an earlier stage of life may have been the primary attachment. Your attachment might snap back to close friends, it might even snap back to your parents, or it might snap back to an ex-lover.”

4) I cut off all my hair

Effectiveness: 6/10

I went through the panicked must change everything impulsivity soon after the breakup. I made the decision to get a dramatic haircut, and chopped off about 10 inches. The new look upped my confidence and gave me back some of my sass. My ex had loved my long hair. Getting it cut off felt like reclaiming my body as my own, asserting my autonomy, and taking a risk. I left the salon feeling as glamorous as Rachel Green.

Downsides: The 30 seconds of panic after looking in the mirror for the first time post-haircut. But only those 30 seconds.

Expert opinion: Larson put this impulse in the context of both evolutionary biology and identity reassertion. She said, “Everybody knows you’re newly single. You’re going to try to be attractive — that makes perfect sense. In light of the research, it makes sense that you would try really broadcast this new, strong identity.”

5) I blocked my ex on every social media channel I could think of

Effectiveness: 7/10

I’m a Facebook stalker. I’m a rabid Instagram follower, a Snapchat checker, and a general social media addict. Immediately following a breakup, this quality was poison. I was thrilled to be able to show off my new life and my happiness, but a single update from my ex would leave me devastated and confused and missing everything about him.

The day he started posting pictures of himself with other women, I spent the afternoon feeling ill, angry, and betrayed. So rather than give up my social media accounts and the small comfort they brought me, I blocked him. On. Everything. I blocked his snaps and his Instagram feed. I blocked him on Facebook. I deleted his email address from my address book. I removed his number from my saved “favorites.”

The blocking was a very wise move. Not only did it stop me from seeing any potentially heart-wrenching posts, but it also kept me from posting unnecessary fluff, to make my life look exciting and rewarding on the off chance that my ex decided to look at my profiles. My life is exciting and rewarding, and not feeling the need to prove it helped me to actually participate in and enjoy it.

Downsides: Not being able to see what your ex is up to is actually really challenging. When you’re used to being a part of someone’s every day — when you care about their happiness, how successful they are, whether they are reaching their goals — the sudden disconnection of social media removal can feel overwhelming.

But I promise it helps in the long run. You can’t dwell on whether they are seeing other people. You can’t go through all of their recently added friends, or check to see who might be liking their photos. The pain of not knowing hurts much less than the pain of constantly obsessing — trust me.

Expert opinion: When I spoke to Larson about this habit, she referenced the work of Leah LeFebvre, a professor at the University of Wyoming who studies dating and relationships. Larson told me, “When you post glamorous pictures as evidence of your exciting new life, LeFebvre and her colleagues would call this ‘impression management.’ In contrast, they consider blocking or unfriending an ex as part of the strategy of ‘withdrawing access.’”

According to Larson, “These researchers argue that they are both part of the process of dictating the storyline of the split ("I’m the one who is winning in this breakup!"). … These tactics serve to demonstrate — to yourself, your ex, and anyone else who’s watching — that you are self-reliant and flourishing in the wake the breakup.”

6) I downloaded Tinder and started dating again — casually

Effectiveness: 4/10

This was the scariest part of my post-breakup revolution. I vowed not to have a serious partner for at least a year after Tom and I broke up. However, he was the last person I had kissed. The last person I had shared a bed with. The last person who had played with my hair and warmed my (always, always) cold toes. When I thought of intimacy and flirtation, I immediately thought of him. It made the concept of dating an absolute nightmare, which is precisely why I (re)downloaded Tinder and started talking to new people.

At first, I felt cheap and guilty, as though I were betraying my ex or making false promises to these new matches. But after a few weeks, I met some wonderful people. I went for coffee and out to lunch, and got to know men and women who were brilliant, accomplished, ambitious, affectionate, warm, whose company reminded me that I myself was bright, charming, and desirable. These people treated me like I was exciting, and so I felt exciting.

Downsides: You will feel guilty. You will feel confused. You will feel unsure of yourself. You might feel dirty, or ashamed, or cheap. You might feel like you’re using other people. You might feel dishonest. Dating again after a breakup, especially soon after a breakup, is not for everyone. Having sex with someone new after a breakup, especially soon after a breakup, is not for everyone. Listen to your body and your instincts. If you feel gross or uncomfortable during a date, it is okay to cut that date short, go home, get in the bath, and listen to Josh Groban until you feel cozy again.

Expert opinion: St. Louis University’s Brian Boutwell says that dating after a breakup is a good idea because it’s almost guaranteed to result in one of two options: It will make you realize there are other fish in the sea, and therefore help you get over your ex; or it’ll inspire you see the good things about your old relationship, and therefore lead you to the decision to get back together.

“There is the potential for an evolutionary payoff in both respects,” he said. “You might either regain your old mate or you can move on, acquiring a new, maybe more promising mate.”

7) I threw myself into my work and career

Effectiveness: 10/10

The breakup might have hurt my heart, but it helped solidify my career and my professional goals. Since the breakup, I’ve been offered two competitive jobs in public health and a fellowship with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. I have been motivated to study for graduate and law school entrance exams. I have been able to dedicate myself to my work, with no distractions.

The freedom of not needing to consider another person’s aspirations has been a saving grace for my self-love, as I’ve enthusiastically fed my ambition. I accepted a new job with a better title, and transitioned back into a field of work that I am passionate about, gender-based violence prevention. At 22 years old, I gave my first lecture to university students, on sex trafficking and wartime sexual violence as human rights abuses.


Katie Bogen

I’ve submitted presentation proposals to three academic conferences, written several papers, and co-authored a book chapter on sexual violence prevention. I have joined the Toastmasters public speaking group, improved my rhetorical skills, and explored opportunities in political journalism. In short, I have achieved, in spite of — and because of — the heartbreak. I have learned never to underestimate the power of a woman in love, or the power of a woman recently out of it.

Downsides: There are no downsides here!

Expert opinion: “Breakups make you feel out of control,” Larson said. “They take agency away from you.”

As a result, she said, “Not only are you going to feel more attractive and more valuable if you’re really kicking ass in your career, it’s also an area where you can exert total control.”

These were the steps I chose in order to feel most empowered and soothed during my heartbreak. This is not to say that I am completely over it. When you truly love someone, I’m not certain there ever really is an “over it.” But I am confident and happy. My life feels gloriously like my own, and I’m grateful for this opportunity to have gotten to know myself even better.

Katie Bogen is a senior clinical research assistant in psychiatry at Rhode Island Hospital.


First Person is Vox’s home for compelling, provocative narrative essays. Do you have a story to share? Read our submission guidelines, and pitch us at firstperson@vox.com.

via Vox – All http://ift.tt/2i5Pipu