New and forthcoming

Endurance

Scott Kelly

*As featured on BBC Breakfast, Radio 5Live and Steve Wright in the Afternoon on BBC Radio 2*


From the Nasa astronaut who spent a record-breaking year aboard the International Space Station – what it’s like out there and what it’s like now, back here. Enter Scott Kelly's fascinating world and dare to think of your own a little differently.

As soon as you realize you aren’t going to die, space is the most fun you’ll ever have...

The veteran of four space flights and the American record holder for most consecutive days spent in space, Scott Kelly has experienced things very few of us ever have and very few of us ever will.

Kelly's humanity, compassion, humour, and passion shine as he describes navigating the extreme challenge of long-term spaceflight, both existential and banal. He touches on what’s happened to his body, the sadness of being isolated from everyone he loves; the pressures of constant close cohabitation; the catastrophic risks of colliding with space junk, and the still more haunting threat of being absent should tragedy strike at home.

From a natural storyteller Endurance is one of the finest examples the triumph of the human imagination, the strength of the human will, and the boundless wonder of the galaxy.

*

What readers are saying...

'Takes you up into space and lets you be a part of astronaut life'
'Tough to put down! Tells a side you don't often hear or read about for that matter'
'Mind blowing . . . up there with Ernest Shackleton for me'
'My husband said it is the next best thing to going into space yourself'
'Six stars!'

Attack of the Flickering Skeletons: More Terrible Old Games You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

Stuart Ashen

Welcome to a world of games you never knew existed. You will probably wish you still didn’t.

YouTube sensation Stuart Ashen is back with his second instalment of terrible old computer games you’ve probably never heard of... because what the world needs right now is to know exactly how bad Domain of the Undead for the Atari 8-bit computers was.

Attack of the Flickering Skeletons is even bigger than the original Terrible Old Games You’ve Probably Never Heard Of – this second excavation of gaming’s buried past will not only unearth more appalling excuses for digital entertainment, but also feature guest contributors and several special interest chapters not based around single specific games.

These are NOT the games you’ve heard of a million times in YouTube videos. This is a compilation of truly obscure and dreadful games. Dripping with wry humour and featuring the best, worst graphics from the games themselves, this book encapsulates the atrocities produced in the days of tight budgets and low quality controls.

These are even more appalling games that leaked from the industry’s tear ducts, taken down from the dusty shelves of history by the man who has somehow made a living by sticking rubbish on a sofa and talking about it.

Soonish

Dr. Kelly Weinersmith (and others)

**The New York Times Bestseller**

'Space elevators, gold asteroids, and fusion-powered toasters - who knew science could be so much fun? Soonish is hilarious, provocative, and shamelessly informative' Tim Harford, author of Messy and The Undercover Economist

From a top scientist and the creator of the hugely popular web comic Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, an illustrated investigation into future technologies

What will the world of tomorrow be like? How does progress happen? And why don't we have a lunar colony yet?

In this witty and entertaining book, Zach and Kelly Weinersmith give us a snapshot of the transformative technologies that are coming next - from robot swarms to nuclear fusion powered-toasters - and explain how they will change our world in astonishing ways. By weaving together their own research, interviews with pioneering scientists and Zach's trademark comics, the Weinersmiths investigate why these innovations are needed, how they would work, and what is standing in their way.

World Without Mind

Franklin Foer

Over the past few decades there has been a revolution in terms of who controls knowledge and information. This rapid change has imperilled the way we think. Without pausing to consider the cost, the world has rushed to embrace the products and services of four titanic corporations. We shop with Amazon; socialise on Facebook; turn to Apple for entertainment; and rely on Google for information. These firms sell their efficiency and purport to make the world a better place, but what they have done instead is to enable an intoxicating level of daily convenience. As these companies have expanded, marketing themselves as champions of individuality and pluralism, their algorithms have pressed us into conformity and laid waste to privacy. They have produced an unstable and narrow culture of misinformation, and put us on a path to a world without private contemplation, autonomous thought, or solitary introspection – a world without mind. In order to restore our inner lives, we must avoid being co-opted by these gigantic companies, and understand the ideas that underpin their success.

Elegantly tracing the intellectual history of computer science – from the Descartes and the enlightenment to Alan Turing to Stuart Brand and the hippie origins of today's Silicon Valley – Foer exposes the dark underpinnings of our most idealistic dreams for technology. The corporate ambitions of Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon, he argues, are trampling longstanding liberal values, especially intellectual property and privacy. This is a nascent stage in the total automation and homogenization of social, political, and intellectual life. By reclaiming our private authority over how we intellectually engage with the world, we have the power to stem the tide.

At stake is nothing less than who we are, and what we will become. There have been monopolists in the past but today’s corporate giants have far more nefarious aims. They’re monopolists who want access to every facet of our identities and influence over every corner of our decision-making. Until now few have grasped the sheer scale of the threat. Foer explains not just the looming existential crisis but the imperative of resistance.

Outside Insight

Jorn Lyseggen

Is your business looking out?

The world today is drowning in data. There is a treasure trove of valuable and underutilized insights that can be gleaned from information companies and people leave behind on the internet - our 'digital breadcrumbs' - from job postings, to online news, social media, online ad spend, patent applications and more.

As a result, we're at the cusp of a major shift in the way businesses are managed and governed - moving from a focus solely on lagging, internal data, toward analyses that also encompass industry-wide, external data to paint a more complete picture of a brand's opportunities and threats and uncover forward-looking insights, in real time. Tomorrow's most successful brands are already embracing Outside Insight, benefitting from an information advantage while their competition is left behind.

Drawing on practical examples of transformative, data-led decisions made by brands like Apple, Facebook, Barack Obama and many more, in Outside Insight, Meltwater CEO Jorn Lyseggen illustrates the future of corporate decision-making and offers a detailed plan for business leaders to implement Outside Insight thinking into their company mindset and processes.

Gamechanger

Spencer FC


Be on the ball with this game-changing footy favourite

Alright, mate, how’s it going?

Believe it or not, I haven’t always been football mad. But then FIFA: Road to World Cup 98 came out. FIFA inevitably led to Football Manager. And that’s where I started getting properly hooked.

Now I’m a football club owner who’s played to 20,000 people at Wembley Stadium and travelled the world with my team, Hashtag United. And the best bit of all? I’m not even that good.

So, how on earth did this happen? How did someone who spent his life playing computer games and making YouTube videos pull it off?

I’m hardly sure myself, but here’s my attempt to tell the story.

Life 3.0

Max Tegmark

DAILY TELEGRAPH AND THE TIMES BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2017

'This is the most important conversation of our time, and Tegmark's thought-provoking book will help you join it' Stephen Hawking

'This is a rich and visionary book and everyone should read it' The Times

We stand at the beginning of a new era. What was once science fiction is fast becoming reality, as AI transforms war, crime, justice, jobs and society-and, even, our very sense of what it means to be human. More than any other technology, AI has the potential to revolutionize our collective future - and there's nobody better situated to explore that future than Max Tegmark, an MIT professor and co-founder of the Future of Life Institute, whose work has helped mainstream research on how to keep AI beneficial.

In this deeply researched and vitally important new book, Tegmark takes us to the heart of thinking about AI and the human condition, bringing us face to face with the essential questions of our time. How can we grow our prosperity through automation, without leaving people lacking income or purpose? How can we ensure that future AI systems do what we want without crashing, malfunctioning or getting hacked? Should we fear an arms race in lethal autonomous weapons? Will AI help life flourish as never before, or will machines eventually outsmart us at all tasks, and even, perhaps, replace us altogether?

Life 3.0 gives us the tools to join what may be the most important conversation of our time, guiding us through the most controversial issues around AI today -- from superintelligence to meaning, consciousness and the ultimate physical limits on life in the cosmos.

What sort of future do you want?

Weapons of Math Destruction

Cathy O'Neil

New York Times Bestseller

'Fascinating and deeply disturbing' - Yuval Noah Harari, Guardian Books of the Year

'A manual for the 21st-century citizen... accessible, refreshingly critical, relevant and urgent' - Federica Cocco, Financial Times

A former Wall Street quant sounds an alarm on the mathematical models that pervade modern life - and threaten to rip apart our social fabric

We live in the age of the algorithm. Increasingly, the decisions that affect our lives - where we go to school, whether we get a loan, how much we pay for insurance - are being made not by humans, but by mathematical models. In theory, this should lead to greater fairness: everyone is judged according to the same rules, and bias is eliminated.

And yet, as Cathy O'Neil reveals in this urgent and necessary book, the opposite is true. The models being used today are opaque, unregulated, and incontestable, even when they're wrong. Most troubling, they reinforce discrimination. Tracing the arc of a person's life, O'Neil exposes the black box models that shape our future, both as individuals and as a society. These "weapons of math destruction" score teachers and students, sort CVs, grant or deny loans, evaluate workers, target voters, and monitor our health.

O'Neil calls on modellers to take more responsibility for their algorithms and on policy makers to regulate their use. But in the end, it's up to us to become more savvy about the models that govern our lives. This important book empowers us to ask the tough questions, uncover the truth, and demand change.

Never miss a story...

Join the best-read newsletter in town
 

.