1984

Nineteen Eighty-Four, often published as 1984, is a dystopian novel published in 1949 by English author George Orwell. The novel is set in Airstrip One (formerly known as Great Britain), a province of the superstate Oceania in a world of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance, and public manipulation. The superstate and its residents are dictated to by a political regime euphemistically named English Socialism, shortened to “Ingsoc” in Newspeak, the government’s invented language. The superstate is under the control of the privileged elite of the Inner Party, a party and government that persecutes individualism and independent thinking as “thoughtcrime”, which is enforced by the “Thought Police”.

The tyranny is ostensibly overseen by Big Brother, the Party leader who enjoys an intense cult of personality, but who may not even exist. The Party “seeks power entirely for its own sake. It is not interested in the good of others; it is interested solely in power.” The protagonist of the novel, Winston Smith, is a member of the Outer Party, who works for the Ministry of Truth (or Minitrue in Newspeak), which is responsible for propaganda and historical revisionism. His job is to rewrite past newspaper articles, so that the historical record always supports the party line. The instructions that the workers receive portray the corrections as fixing misquotations and never as what they really are: forgeries and falsifications. A large part of the Ministry also actively destroys all documents that have not been edited and do not contain the revisions; in this way, no proof exists that the government is lying. Smith is a diligent and skillful worker but secretly hates the Party and dreams of rebellion against Big Brother. The heroine of the novel, Julia, is based on Orwell’s second wife, Sonia Orwell.

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THE CASTLE

The Castle (German: Das Schloss German pronunciation: [das ʃlɔs]; also spelled Das Schloß) is a 1926 novel by Franz Kafka. In it a protagonist known only as K. arrives in a village and struggles to gain access to the mysterious authorities who govern it from a castle. Kafka died before finishing the work, but suggested it would end with K. dying in the village, the castle notifying him on his death bed that his “legal claim to live in the village was not valid, yet, taking certain auxiliary circumstances into account, he was permitted to live and work there”. Dark and at times surreal, The Castle is often understood to be about alienation, unresponsive bureaucracy, the frustration of trying to conduct business with non-transparent, seemingly arbitrary controlling systems, and the futile pursuit of an unobtainable goal. Continue reading “THE CASTLE”

FOUR: A DIVERGENT COLLECTION

Four: A Divergent Collection is a collection of five short stories from the Divergent trilogy, told from Tobias Eaton’s (Four) perspective, and written by Veronica Roth. The first story of the collection, Free Four: Tobias Tells the Divergent Knife-Throwing Scene, was released as an e-book on April 23, 2012. The second story, The Transfer, was released on September 3, 2013. The third story titled The Initiate, the fourth story The Son and the fifth and final story The Traitor were released on July 8, 2014.Simultaneously with the release of last three short stories, a collected edition of the five short stories titled Four: A Divergent Collection was released on July 8, 2014, which also features three exclusive scenes.

According to Roth, these stories serve as a prequel to the Divergent trilogy. She said that “The e-shorts will address Tobias’s backstory and some of the mysterious things going on in the world before Tris chose Dauntless. Together, they form a kind of Tobias-centered Divergent prequel, though there is some overlap.” Talking about her decision to write from the perspective of Four, Roth said, “In my mind, he has a distinct history and a complex psychology, so there’s always a lot to draw from when he’s on the page, and it’s an opportunity for me to break from Tris’s sparse, straightforward voice and try to introduce just a little bit more poetic language, I also know, from many tweets and blog comments and in-person comments, that Divergent readers are interested in hearing more of his voice, which made him an obvious candidate! My readers have given me so much enthusiasm and honesty and wisdom. The opportunity to write something that I knew they wanted to read was really appealing to me.

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ALLEGIANT

Allegiant is a science fiction novel for young adults, written by the American author Veronica Roth and published by HarperCollins in October 2013. It completes the Divergent trilogy that Roth started with her Divergent in 2011. The book is written from the perspective of both Beatrice (Tris) and Tobias (Four). Following the revelations of the previous novel, they journey past the city’s boundaries to discover what lies beyond.

The story background discusses how a future, ruined Chicago becomes a society that defines its citizens by strict conformity to their social and personality-related affiliations with five different factions. This removes the threat of anyone exercising independent will and re-threatening the population’s safety through war or another human-created catastrophe.

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DIVERGENT

Divergent is the debut novel of American novelist Veronica Roth, published by HarperCollins Children’s Books in 2011. The novel is the first of the Divergent trilogy, a series of young adult dystopian novels set in the Divergent Universe. The novel Divergent features a post-apocalyptic version of Chicago and follows Beatrice “Tris” Prior as she explores her identity within a society that defines its citizens by their social and personality-related affiliation with five factions, which removes the threat of anyone exercising independent will and re-threatening the population’s safety. Underlying the action and dystopian focused main plot is a romantic subplot between Tris and one of her instructors in the Dauntless faction, nicknamed Four.

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THE HOST

The Host is a romance novel by Stephenie Meyer. The book is about Earth, in a post apocalyptic time, being invaded by a parasitic alien race, known as “Souls”, and follows one Soul’s predicament when the consciousness of her human host refuses to co-operate with the takeover of her body.
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ONYX AND CRAKE

Oryx and Crake is a novel by the Canadian author Margaret Atwood. She has described the novel as speculative fiction and “adventure romance” rather than science fiction because it does not deal with things “we can’t yet do or begin to do” and goes beyond the realism she associates with the novel form.

PLOT

The novel focuses on a post-apocalyptic character with the name of Snowman, living near a group of primitive human-like creatures whom he calls Crakers. Flashbacks reveal that Snowman was once a boy named Jimmy who grew up in a world dominated by multinational corporations and privileged compounds for the families of their employees. Near starvation, Snowman decides to return to the ruins of a compound named RejoovenEsence to search for supplies even though it is overrun by dangerous genetically engineered hybrid animals. He concocts an explanation for the Crakers, who regard him as a teacher, and begins his foraging expedition.
In Snowman’s recollection of past events, Jimmy’s family moves to the HelthWyzer compound where his father works as a genographer. Jimmy meets and befriends a brilliant science student named Glenn. Jimmy begins to refer to him as Crake, when he uses that name in an online trivia game called Extinctathon. Jimmy and Crake spend much of their leisure time online playing games, smoking “skunkweed” and watching underground videos such as live executions, graphic surgery, Noodie News, frog squashing and child pornography. During one of their child pornography viewings, Jimmy is very much love- struck by the gazing eyes of a young Asian girl seen in the porn.
After high school, Crake attends the highly respected Watson-Crick Institute where he studies advanced bioengineering, but Jimmy ends up at the loathed Martha Graham Academy, where students study humanities, only valued for their propaganda applications. Jimmy gets a job writing ad copy, while Crake becomes a bioengineer at RejoovenEsence. Crake uses his prominent position to create the Crakers; peaceful, gentle, herbivorous humanoids who only have sexual intercourse during limited polyandrous breeding seasons. His stated purpose for the Crakers, actually a deliberate deception, is to create “floor models” of all the possible options a family could choose in the genetic manipulation of their future children. Crake’s bio-engineering team consists of the most expert players gathered from the online Extinctathon community.
Crake tells Jimmy about another very important project, a Viagra-like super-pill called BlyssPluss, which also promises health and happiness, but secretly has other major and ultimately fatal effects. Crake officially hires Jimmy to help market it. At the Rejoov compound, Jimmy eventually sees a human in the Craker habitat and recognizes her as the girl from the pornographic video. Unaware of Jimmy’s obsession with her, Crake explains that her name is Oryx and that he has hired her as a prostitute for himself and a teacher for the Crakers. Oryx notices Jimmy’s feelings for her and makes herself sexually available to him. As their relationship progresses, Jimmy becomes increasingly fearful that Crake has found out about it. He also makes a promise to both Oryx and Crake that he will look after the Crakers if anything happens to them.
After Crake’s wonder drug BlyssPluss is widely distributed, a global pandemic, deliberately caused by it, breaks out and begins wiping out the human race and causing mass chaos outside of the protected Rejoov compound. Realizing that this was planned by Crake all along, and sensing that something dangerous is happening regarding Crake and Oryx, Jimmy grabs a gun to confront Crake, who is returning with Oryx from outside the compound and needs Jimmy to let them in. Crake presents himself to Jimmy with his arm around an injured and silent Oryx, saying that he and Jimmy are immune to the virus. Jimmy lets them in, whereupon Crake looks directly into Jimmy’s eyes and with the words “I’m counting on you,” he slits Oryx’s throat with his jackknife. Jimmy then immediately shoots Crake dead.
During Snowman’s journey to scavenge supplies, he cuts his foot on a sliver of glass and becomes infected. He returns to the Crakers’ camp and learns that three ragged true humans are camping nearby. Snowman follows the smoke to their fire and surreptitiously sees two dangerous looking men and a woman. Unsure of whether to befriend them or shoot them, Snowman checks his broken watch, thinks “Time to go” and makes up his mind.

Download the book: Onyx and Drake.pdf