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I'm a librarian, which makes me happy!

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Royal Assassin (Farseer Series #2)
Robin Hobb, Paul Boehmer
Queens' Play
Dorothy Dunnett
Heir of Novron


Feed - M.T. Anderson The best science fiction, in my opinion, is the kind that takes familiar material and extrapolates it in intriguing and even disturbing ways. You get to the end and have the uncomfortable realization that what you just read could actually happen. Feed was written before the advent of Web 2.0, before Twitter and Facebook, and just as MySpace, Friendster, and LinkedIn were getting off the ground. Despite this, it manages to remain amazingly current. The book, a young adult novel, is author M.T. Anderson's vision of Web 12.0, in which about 73% of Americans have "feeds" implanted in their brains that keep them virtually connected to the internet all the time and, coincidentally, also control the way the body functions, the emotions, and memory. Previously barely-sentient Titus finds this out the hard way when his girlfriend, Violet [SPOILER ALERT!] is diagnosed with a malfunctioning feed that leads her to question everything. Of course, Violet is already predisposed to question as the home-schooled daughter of a professor of dead languages (FORTRAN, BASIC, etc.), whereas Titus has trouble even getting through School(tm), in which he is taught how to be a better shopper, and other useful skills: "But the braggest thing about the feed, the thing that made it really big, is that it knows everything you want and hope for, sometimes before you even know what those things are."Titus and his group of friends are more concerned with following the latest trends and trying to find an activity that doesn't "suck" than with the increasingly hostile world political climate, the fact that trees are being cut down to build air factories, and the mysterious lesions that everyone seems to be getting. Feed is many things: a love story, a coming of age story, a biting satire of America's consumerist culture, and an intriguing "what-if" that takes today's hyperconnectivity to its logical conclusion. At times, Anderson's soapboxing comes on a little too strong, and sometimes one wishes it were possible (technologically speaking) to smack Titus, but in general Feed is well worth a read.