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A lively exploration of the mysteries of modern technology examines the realities of multimedia, virtual reality, the Internet, CD-ROM, and other innovations; speculates about technology’s future; and analyzes the social implications of technology. Reprint. 125,000 first printing.
In this authoritative and eye-opening book, Max Tegmark describes and illuminates the recent, path-breaking advances in Artificial Intelligence and how it is poised to overtake human intelligence. How will AI affect crime, war, justice, jobs, society and our very sense of being human? The rise of AI has the potential to transform our future more than any other technology–and there’s nobody better qualified or situated to explore that future than Max Tegmark, an MIT professor who’s helped mainstream research on how to keep AI beneficial. How can we grow our prosperity through automation without leaving people lacking income or purpose? What career advice should we give today’s kids? How can we make future AI systems more robust, so that they do what we want without crashing, malfunctioning or getting hacked? Should we fear an arms race in lethal autonomous weapons? Will machines eventually outsmart us at all tasks, replacing humans on the job market and perhaps altogether? Will AI help life flourish like never before or give us more power than we can handle? What sort of future do you want? This book empowers you to join what may be the most important conversation of our time. It doesn’t shy away from the full range of viewpoints or from the most controversial issues–from superintelligence to meaning, consciousness and the ultimate physical limits on life in the cosmos.
An epic novel of the violence and depravity that attended America’s westward expansion, Blood Meridian brilliantly subverts the conventions of the Western novel and the mythology of the “wild west.” Based on historical events that took place on the Texas-Mexico border in the 1850s, it traces the fortunes of the Kid, a fourteen-year-old Tennesseean who stumbles into the nightmarish world where Indians are being murdered and the market for their scalps is thriving. Publisher’s Note: The 25th Anniversary Edition has been reset, causing the text to reflow. Page references based on earlier editions will no longer apply, so Vintage Books has compiled the following chart as a conversion aid. Download the chart by copying and pasting the following link into your browser: http: //knopfdoubleday.com/marketing/BloodMeridianPageReference.pdf
With his first novel since the internationally acclaimed The English Patient, Booker Prize winning author Michael Ondaatje gives us a work displaying all the richness of imagery and language and the piercing emotional truth that we have come to know as the hallmarks of his writing. Anil s Ghost transports us to Sri Lanka, a country steeped in centuries of tradition, now forced into the late twentieth century by the ravages of civil war. Into this maelstrom steps Anil Tissera, a young woman born in Sri Lanka, educated in England and America, who returns to her homeland as a forensic anthropologist sent by an international human rights group to discover the source of the organized campaigns of murder engulfing the island. What follows is a story about love, about family, about identity, about the unknown enemy, about the quest to unlock the hidden past a story propelled by a riveting mystery. Unfolding against the deeply evocative background of Sri Lanka s landscape and ancient civilization, Anil s Ghost is a literary spellbinder Michael Ondaatje s most powerful novel yet.”
In the winter of 1926, when everybody everywhere sees nothing but good things ahead, Joe Trace, middle-aged door-to-door salesman of Cleopatra beauty products, shoots his teenage lover to death. At the funeral, Joe s wife, Violet, attacks the girl s corpse. This passionate, profound story of love and obsession brings us back and forth in time, as a narrative is assembled from the emotions, hopes, fears, and deep realities of black urban life.”
In a beleaguered city where rats and roving gangs terrorize the streets, where government has broken down and meaningless violence holds sway, a woman — middle-aged and middle-class — is brought a twelve-year-old girl and told that it is her responsibility to raise the child. This book, which the author has called “an attempt at autobiography,” is that woman’s journal — a glimpse of a future only slightly more horrendous than our present, and of the forces that alone can save us from total destruction.
In the north of England, a group of young Indian immigrants struggle to begin something new–to support their families; to build their futures; to show their worth; to escape their pasts. An epic for our times, The Year of the Runaways is a stunning work of fiction that explores what it means and what it costs to make a new life, the capaciousness of the human spirit, and the power of humanity in the face of unspeakable suffering.
The powerful evocation of a childhood in Harlem that helped to galvanize the early days of the civil rights movement examines the deep consequences of racial injustice to both the individual and the body politic. Reissue. 20,000 first printing.
Decimated by drought, Nevada and Arizona skirmish over dwindling shares of the Colorado River, while California watches, waiting. Into the fray steps Las Vegas water knife Angel Velasquez, who “cuts” water for the Southern Nevada Water Authority and its boss, Catherine Case, ensuring that her lush, luxurious arcology developments can bloom in the desert and that anyone who challenges her is left in the gutted-suburban dust. He becomes a pawn in a game far bigger, more corrupt, and dirtier than he could have imagined.
About the Author
Susan Hill has been a professional writer for over fifty years. Her books have won the Whitbread, the John Llewellyn Prize, and the W. Somerset Maugham Award, and have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Her novels include Strange Meeting, Im the King of the Castle and A Kind Man, and she has also published collections of short stories and two autobiographies. Her ghost story, The Woman in Black, has been running in London’s West End since 1988. Susan is married with two adult daughters and lives in North Norfolk.
“A rattling good yarn, the sort that chills the mind as well as the spine.” —The Guardian”Excellent. . . . magnificently eerie. . . . compulsive reading.” –Evening Standard”The most brilliantly effective spine chillder you will ever encounter.” –The Daily Telegraph”[A] highly efficient chiller. . . . Nerve shredding.” –The Daily Express
Like Andre Breton’s dizzying poem, “Ma Femme a la chevelure de feu de bois” (“my woman with her belly like the unfolding fan of days/ . . . My woman with her swan’s back buttocks”), the narrator of Winterson’s ( Sexing the Cherry , LJ 2/15/90) new novel relentlessly celebrates the beauty of a beloved woman’s body–but the trick here is that we do not know whether the narrator is a man or a woman. The story is minimal and not altogether original: a corrusive sensualist experiences many women but finally becomes obsessed with one, stealing her from her husband, only to discover that she has been guarding a terrible secret: she is threatened by a terminal illness. The fascination is the lush, plush language and the way two aspects of the physical–passion and bodily decay–are delicately interwoven. Not to everyone’s taste, but serious readers and sensualists will enjoy. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/92.– Barbara Hoffert, “Library Journal”
This fourth effort from British writer Winterson ( Sexing the Cherry ) is a high-concept erotic novelette, a Vox for the postmarital crowd. The narrator, a lifelong philanderer (“I used to think marriage was a plate-glass window just begging for a brick”), has fallen in love with Louise, a pre-Raphaelite beauty. Louise is unhappily married to a workaholic cancer researcher, so the narrator leads her into a sexually combative affair. This scenario seems obvious enough, but Winterson never reveals whether the narrator is male or female. Rather, she teases readers out of their expectations about women and men and romance: Louise calls the narrator “the most beautiful creature male or female that I have ever seen,” and the narrator observes, “I thought difference was rated to be the largest part of sexual attraction but there are so many things about us that are the same.” When the narrator breaks off the affair after learning that Louise has cancer–only her husband can cure her–the work turns into a eulogy for lost love. Winterson manipulates gender expertly here, but her real achievement is her manipulation of genre : the capacious first-person narration, now addressed to the reader, now to the lover, enfolds aphorisms, meditations on extracts from an anatomy textbook, and essayistic riffs on science, virtual reality and the art of fiction (“I don’t want to reproduce, I want to create something entirely new”). “It’s as if Louise never existed,” the narrator observes, “like a character in a book. Did I invent her?” One wonders, as Winterson intends, and then wonders some more. For Louise–and the narrator’s love for her–never seems quite real; in this cold-hearted novel love itself, however eloquently expressed, is finally nothing more than a product of the imagination. (Feb.)
About the Author
Amitav Ghosh was born in Calcutta and spent his childhood in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and northern India. He studied in Delhi and Egypt and at Oxford and taught at various Indian and American universities. The author of five non-fiction books and eight acclaimed novels, Ghosh has also written for Granta, The New Yorker, The New York Times, and The Observer. He lives in New York City with his wife and two children. His titles Sea of Poppies, River of Smoke, and Flood of Fire received critical acclaim.