Where will you be on 12/21/2012? In Mexico?

I recently finished an interesting article about the end of the world. I found it using the Canadian Periodicals Index Quarterly, available through the PSPL’s E-Resoures. It covers how much cash is being made down in Mexico, where the Mayan people live. Conspiracy theorists turned tourists are apparently flocking en masse to Mexico for “end of the world” celebrations (?). It’s all in good fun though, as, so the article suggests, Mayan people themselves don’t really believe that the Apocalypse will actually coincide with their calendar’s completion. According to experts, rather, the end of the calendar signals something closer to the end of a cycle, with the (very good?) chance that another cycle will begin. Well, assuming this is actually the case – and even if it’s not, I guess – this will be the last post pertaining to all thing apocalyptic. I’m taking a break and returning (?) in the new year.

 

Over and Out.

The Year of the Flood – Margaret Atwood

It’s easy to write about dystopian books for one simple reason: there are plenty of awesome ones to choose from. “Year of the flood” by Canadian author Margaret Atwood is an essential read for anyone interested in end-of-the-world literature. Here’s how it shapes up….

Contrary to expectations, the waterless flood, a biological disaster predicted by a fringe religious group, actually arrives. In its wake, the survivors must rely on their wits to get by, all the while reflecting on what went wrong. Readers who enjoy suspense will also appreciate the story’s shifting viewpoint and nonlinear time line, which result in the gradual revelation of key events and character relationships. Atwood’s heroines seem uniformly grim and hollow, but one can hardly expect cheerfulness in the face of the  apocalypse, and the hardships of their lives both pre- and postflood are moving and disturbing. Ask your English teacher for more about this classic of Canadian dystopianism, or come get it in hard-copy at our 29 Mary Street location in Parry Sound.

Over and out.

The Science Fiction Revue

So by this point in the game I’m sure most everyone out there has read the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.

 

While I was looking for something interesting to say about this controversial and popular trilogy, I came across a very useful book review site that you could use to research information about various “Sci-Fi” books. It’s called SFRevu . I browsed it for nearly half an hour, just checking out book reviews and editorials. It’s really well written, in my opinion, and, as I said, it looks to be a great resource for finding condensed information about awesome books.

 

Over and out.

Maya Calendar

Lately I’ve been looking for articles on the 2012 End of the World Phenomenon. There’s a wide range of opinions on the topic. One interesting perspectives I’ve come across suggests that the whole idea that the Mayan calendar can be interpreted as suggesting that apocalyptic events will occur on December 21, 2012 is a misinterpretation and marketing ploy. I don’t know. When I was looking in the news about this topic a few weeks back I was semi- convinced my sources were authentic. Now, after reading a few more legitimate articles, I’m not entirely convinced it’s not a marketing ploy. But I’m no expert on things apocalyptic – save for maybe apocalyptic literature – so please – take what I say with a huge grain of salt. And remember: when you are researching things, don’t just rely on Wikipedia. There’s a host of online journals and more legitimate websites that you have access to with your Library card. “Canadian Points of View” is a great collection of journals and magazines to start with: Canadian Points of View.

Over and out.

Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari

“In a future Manhattan devastated by environmental catastrophes and epidemics, sixteen-year-old Lucy survives alone until vicious hounds target her and force her to join Aidan and his band, but soon they learn that she is the target of Sweepers, who kidnap and infect people with plague.”

Sound intriguing? Perhaps even a bit bleak? This book was a Silver Birch nominee for last year’s Forest of Reading, so it promises to be a worthwhile read. Forest of Reading is happening again this year, and I encourage you – assuming, you know, that the world doesn’t end this December – to get involved. You can access the titles that have been nominated for this year by following this link:  http://www.accessola.org/OLAWEB/Forest_of_Reading/Awards_Nominees/Silver_Birch_Fiction_Nominees.aspx

Over and out.

Media Literacy in a Dystopian World

This week is Media Literacy Week. It’s a good time to reflect on topics like privacy, information availability, surveillance, advertising., state authority and individual freedom. Sticking to our Dystopian theme, we might consider the phrase “Orwellian,” coming from the famous English novelist, George Orwell. Some say that in Orwell’s books there is depicted a society where propaganda trumps fact and individual privacy is a myth, as individuals are completely controlled by state authorities. To get your own perspective, you’ll have to actually read some Orwell for yourself – something I would highly suggest, as he’s a great writer. Regardless, perhaps for Media Literacy Week you should be extra vigilant, and really think about who you’re giving your private information over to when you post on media outlets. Here’s a link to an interesting story out of San Antonio, Texas, where for safety reasons students have been made to wear photo ID cards equipped with radio-frequency identification, a type of ID bracelet, so they can be tracked and monitored. What do you think? Is safety more important than students’ privacy? Or does safety rule the day? Here’s a link to the story about the students from Texas, so you can get more information: http://rt.com/usa/news/texas-school-id-hernandez-033/.

Over and out.

The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch

The Library really appreciates donations, and this week we received an awesome one – the young-adult Dystopian book titled, “The Eleventh Plague” by Jeff Hirsch. Not being altogether familiar with this one, I looked it up, but not just on google. Instead, I used a resource called “NoveList.” NoveList is a great resource for finding information about pretty any novel out there, even lesser-known ones. Anyways, check it out and search for reviews, summaries, and articles related to books of your choice. Here’s the link:

http://web.ebscohost.com/novelist/search?sid=74623050-5123-4243-a6d6-973441942769%40sessionmgr114&vid=1&hid=127