9781594746376T. S. Eliot famously wrote that “April is the cruelest month”—and William Shakespeare may be apt to agree with him, as he died on April 23, 1616 in Stratford-upon-Avon shortly after his fifty-second birthday. However, though the Bard himself passed away, his work and his words have proven immortal. It’s impossible to know if Shakespeare was cognizant of the way in which his tragedies, comedies, and histories would persist throughout the centuries. Who knows? Maybe he wouldn’t have been surprised in the least that in the twenty-first century he still takes center stage in English classes across the globe (or that his plays are still performed at that other Globe). Still, could he, in all his wisdom and piercing insight into humanity, ever have predicted that someday there would be a Shakespearean retelling of Star Wars? Probably not. (more…)

Advertisements

aHR0cDovL2ltZy5tYmxyZC5jb20vaS81MDAtNTAwL3MvYUhSMGNEb3ZMMjF2WW1sc1pYSnZZV1JwWlM1amIyMHZabWxzWlhNdk1TOTFjR3h2WVdSekx6SXdMekl3TkdVNFlqWXlNbUprWldRM056azRPRFprTXpRek5USmxNMkl3TkRrdw,,We recently caught up with author Ernest Cline to learn more about his new book Armada (Crown, July 2015), the success that Ready Player One (Crown, August 2011) has had in common reading programs and among students, as well as his advice to young writers.

From where did you get the inspiration for your latest novel?

I think the main inspiration came from growing up as a child of Star Wars, ET, and Close Encounters, as well as growing up at the dawn of the videogame and home computer age. I was part of the first generation to have a starship simulator in my living room, in the form of an Atari 2600. I used to build an X-Wing cockpit out of couch pillows in front of the television, so I could pretend that I was Luke Skywalker on his way to blow up the Death Star. I spent a huge portion of my childhood wishing that my wicked videogame skills might someday have value in the real world, a fantasy that was made even more intense by all of the videogames-become-reality stories I devoured back in the 80s, like WarGames, Tron, Ender’s Game, or The Last Starfighter. (more…)

By Andy Weir, author of The Martian: A Novel 9780804189354

When I wrote “The Martian,” I didn’t mean to craft a thriller that could double as a science textbook— but to some extent, that’s what happened.

The story revolves around a lone astronaut named Mark Watney who is stranded on Mars. He faces countless trials and tribulations in his increasingly desperate attempts to survive. As a science dork, I wanted to make sure everything in the book was as accurate as it could be. I wanted to back up Mark’s solutions with hard numbers. As a result, many parts of the book are basically deadly word problems based on what Mark must do to survive. His life becomes a series of challenges in chemistry, physics, astronomy, and math. (more…)