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Trick or Treat

by Richie Tankersley Cusick

A young girl is tormented by her new house's terrible pastMartha wants to be happy for her father. She likes his new wife--even if she's a terrible cook--but she doesn't understand why they had to leave Chicago and move to this horrible house in the country. It's big, broken-down, and miles from anywhere, alone in the woods with nothing on the property but an overgrown cemetery. But at night it doesn't feel empty. Conor--her new, weird stepbrother--chose Martha's new room for her. It's dark and drafty, and no matter how she tries to fix it up, she can't sleep easily there. At night, whispers come from the closet, filling Martha with a sense that something terrible happened here. She's right. Not long ago, the house was the site of a gruesome murder. When Conor and Martha's parents leave town on their honeymoon, the two teens will find out why the dead don't rest easy at the old Bedford house. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Richie Tankersley Cusick including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author's personal collection.

In the Balance (Miss Silver #4)

by Patricia Wentworth

Miss Silver attempts to save a young girl from her murderous husband Maud Silver, demure private eye, hardly has time to finish one adventure before another demands her attention. She is making her way back to London when, with a terrible jerk, her train thrusts a young woman into her compartment--a beautiful woman in a state of shock. She is Lisle Jerningham, a newlywed with money--which may be about to get her killed. Lisle fled her home in a hurry when she overheard a sinister conversation through the bushes. Her new husband's first wife died of an accident, and the resultant infusion of cash saved his family home. Now broke again, he may be trying to engineer a second convenient mishap. Lisle has already survived one attempt on her life, but only Miss Silver can help her make it through the next.

Slipping into Darkness

by Peter Blauner

When a twenty-year-old murder case comes back to life, a detective must race against his failing sight to unravel the mysteryWhen Allison Wallis was beaten to death, Detective Francis X. Loughlin found the killer--Julian Vega, a teenager with a crush on the murdered girl. Using his natural sense of empathy, he cozied up to young Julian, convincing him to give a confession that would put him away until he was thirty-six. Twenty years later, Julian is finally out of jail, attempting to remember how to live in a world without bars, and Detective Loughlin is still on the job, his sight fading, though his instincts are still sharp. But when Allison's blood appears at a new crime scene, everything he thought he knew about that long-ago murder is called into question. Was it really Allison they buried? Was Julian actually the killer? And if he wasn't, who else is in danger now? This ebook features an illustrated biography of Peter Blauner including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author's personal collection.

Shrouded in Silence

by Robert Wise

Determined to find an answer, Jack and Michelle Townsend set out on a quest to find the original ending to the Gospel of Mark.Following ancient clues, they head for Rome, but what starts out as a scholarly search turns violent as two separate groups strive to stop the Townsends, plunging their quiet research into chaos.After a bomb destroys their office, the Townsends are pushed to the limits of their determination and commitment to God's will. Can faith in God's purposes endure in a swirl of conspiracy and espionage that brings the couple to the brink of death?""This is a story of well-hidden biblical secrets that have endured throughout the ages and of a couple's devotion to finding the truth. It's a story fraught with death, danger, and deception--of never knowing who to trust, and with a twist of an ending I didn't see coming. Great read "" --Sharon Sala, author of The Searcher's Trilogy: Blood Stains, Blood Ties, Blood Trails

ReactJS by Example - Building Modern Web Applications with React

by Vipul A M Prathamesh Sonpatki

Get up and running with ReactJS by developing five cutting-edge and responsive projects About This Book * Create pragmatic real-world applications while learning React and its modern developer tools * Build sustainable user interfaces by transforming data into components of UI * Learn how to generate reusable ReactJS components effectively Who This Book Is For If you are a web developer and wish to learn ReactJS from scratch, then this book is tailor-made for you. Good understanding of Javascript, HTML, and CSS is expected. What You Will Learn * Create, reuse, and compose React components using JSX * Share data between various React components and techniques for data flow within a React app * Handle user interactions with the help of event handlers and dynamic components * Set up and use various next generation ES2015/ES6 features with React * Understand the performance and immutability features of React using React add-ons * Learn the techniques of Animation in React * Use data stores to store model-related data and information * Create a flux-based React application by using Reflux library In Detail ReactJS is an open-source JavaScript library that brings the power of reactive programming to web applications and sites. It aims to address the challenges encountered in developing single-page applications, and is intended to help developers build large, easily scalable and changing web apps. Starting with a project on Open Library API, you will be introduced to React and JSX before moving on to learning about the life cycle of a React component. In the second project, building a multi-step wizard form, you will learn about composite dynamic components and perform DOM actions. You will also learn about building a fast search engine by exploring server-side rendering in the third project on a search engine application. Next, you will build a simple frontpage for an e-commerce app in the fourth project by using data models and React add-ons. In the final project you will develop a complete social media tracker by using the flux way of defining React apps and know about the best practices and use cases with the help of ES6 and redux. By the end of this book, you will not only have a good understanding of ReactJS but will also have built your very own responsive frontend applications from scratch. Style and approach An easy-to-follow program to learn ReactJS with the help of real world projects. Each topic is explained within the context of a project and provides plenty of tips and tricks for using ReactJS.

OpenStack Networking Essentials

by James Denton

Build and manage networks in OpenStack using Neutron About This Book * Deploy an all-in-one cloud based on OpenStack Liberty (2015.2) using RDO * Learn the fundamentals of the Neutron API including networks, subnets, and ports, and how to manage these resources in the cloud * Build simple virtual network infrastructures in the cloud Who This Book Is For The book is for those who are new to OpenStack and Neutron who want to learn the cloud networking fundamentals and get started with OpenStack networking. Prior networking experience along with a virtual or physical server is recommended to follow along with the concepts demonstrated in the book. What You Will Learn * Install the latest Liberty (2015.2) release of OpenStack using RDO in VirtualBox * Discover the basics of the Neutron API, including networks, subnets, and ports * Interact with Neutron using the CLI and Horizon dashboard * Create networks and subnets that provide connectivity to instances * Implement software routers that connect networks and provide network address translation * Secure instances using Neutron's security group functionality In Detail The OpenStack Networking API offers users the ability to create and manage both basic and complex network architectures that blend the virtual and physical network infrastructure. This book kicks off by describing various components of Openstack Neutron and installing Ubuntu OpenStack based on Canonical's process. Further on, you will use various methods to interface with Neutron to create and manage network resources. You will also get to grips with the relationship between ports, networks, and subnets through diagrams and explanations, and see how the logical components are implemented via plugins and agents. Moving forward, you will learn how virtual switches are implemented and how to build Neutron routers. You will also configure networks, subnets, and routers to provide connectivity to instances using simple examples. At the end, you will configure and manage security groups, and will observe how these rules translate to iptables rules on the host machines. By the end of the book, you will be able to build basic network architectures using Neutron networks and routers in no time. Style and approach An easy-to-follow guide that covers the networking features of OpenStack and the core Neutron API components providing a solid foundation to deploy networks and instances.

Learning Embedded Linux Using the Yocto Project

by Alexandru Vaduva

If you are a Yocto and Linux enthusiast who wants to build embedded Linux systems but do not have the knowledge to do it, this is the book for you. It will also help those of you who have a bit of knowledge about Linux and the embedded world and are keen on learning more about the technology. This book will provide you with the skills needed to successfully interact with the Yocto Project components regardless of the fact that you are new to embedded development or an expert.

Implementing Microsoft Dynamics NAV - Third Edition

by Alex Chow

Explore the capabilities of Dynamics NAV 2016 and discover all you need to implement it About This Book * Learn the key roles of your Dynamics NAV partner and the roles within your customer's organization * Create configuration packages and perform data migration on your own * Find out how to troubleshoot your problems effectively with your Dynamics NAV partner Who This Book Is For This book is for Dynamics NAV partners and end users who want to know everything about Dynamics NAV implementations. It is aimed at those who want to be project managers or get involved with Dynamics NAV, but do not have the expertise to write code themselves. What You Will Learn * Study the roles within a Dynamics NAV partner and within a customer's company * Create reusable data migration packages * Work with the debugger to pinpoint error messages * Get to grips with the key tables used in data reporting and analysis * Successfully upgrade your installation to the latest version * Manage and expand your existing installation with additional functionalities * Explore the free third-party add-ons that can leverage your existing installation In Detail Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 is an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) application used in all kinds of organizations around the world. It provides a great variety of functionality out-of-the-box in different topics such as accounting, sales, purchase processing, logistics, or manufacturing. It also allows companies to grow the application by customizing the solution to meet specific requirements. This book is a hands-on tutorial on working with a real Dynamics NAV implementation. You will learn about the team from your Microsoft Dynamics NAV partner as well as the team within the customer's company. This book provides an insight into the different tools available to migrate data from the client's legacy system into Microsoft Dynamics NAV. If you are already live with Microsoft Dynamics NAV, this books talks about upgrades and what to expect from them. We'll also show you how to implement additional or expanding functionalities within your existing Microsoft Dynamics NAV installation, perform data analysis, debug error messages, and implement free third-party add-ons to your existing installation. This book will empower you with all the skills and knowledge you need for a successful implementation. Style and approach This book is step-by-step guide to implementing Dynamics NAV from start to finish.

RSpec Essentials

by Mani Tadayon

Develop testable, modular, and maintainable Ruby software for the real world using RSpec About This Book * Explore the concept of testability and how to implement tests that deliver the most value * Maximize the quality of your Ruby code through a wide variety of tests * Master the real-world tradeoffs of testing through detailed examples supported by in-depth discussion Who This Book Is For This book is aimed at the software engineer who wants to make their code more reliable and their development process easier. It is also aimed at test engineers who need to automate the testing of complex systems. Knowledge of Ruby is helpful, but even someone new to the language should find it easy to follow the code and tests. What You Will Learn * Identify a unit of software for the purposes of testing * Manage test states with hooks, fixtures, and mocks * Handle external web services in tests using various techniques * Configure RSpec flexibly and cleanly using support code and environment variables * Interact with rich web apps in tests using Capybara * Build the right feature with behavior-driven development * Customize matchers and failure messages * Verify correct development and production environments In Detail This book will teach you how to use RSpec to write high-value tests for real-world code. We start with the key concepts of the unit and testability, followed by hands-on exploration of key features. From the beginning, we learn how to integrate tests into the overall development process to help create high-quality code, avoiding the dangers of testing for its own sake. We build up sample applications and their corresponding tests step by step, from simple beginnings to more sophisticated versions that include databases and external web services. We devote three chapters to web applications with rich JavaScript user interfaces, building one from the ground up using behavior-driven development (BDD) and test-driven development (TDD). The code examples are detailed enough to be realistic while simple enough to be easily understood. Testing concepts, development methodologies, and engineering tradeoffs are discussed in detail as they arise. This approach is designed to foster the reader's ability to make well-informed decisions on their own. Style and approach This comprehensive tutorial is packed with real-world examples of testing with RSpec. The most important features of RSpec are introduced in the early chapters and are used in examples of growing complexity in the following chapters. Concepts and methodologies are discussed in detail.

Mastering Git

by Jakub Narebski

Attain expert-level proficiency with Git for enhanced productivity and efficient collaboration by mastering advanced distributed version control features About This Book * Set up Git for solo and collaborative development * Harness the full power of Git version control system to customize Git behavior, manipulate history, integrate external tools and explore platform shortcuts * A detailed guide, which explains how to apply advanced Git techniques and workflows and ways to handle submodules Who This Book Is For If you are a Git user with reasonable knowledge of Git and familiarity with basic concepts such as branching, merging, staging, and workflows, this is the book for you. Basic knowledge of installing Git and software configuration management concepts is essential. What You Will Learn * Explore project history, find revisions using different criteria, and filter and format how history looks * Manage your working directory and staging area for commits and interactively create new revisions and amend them * Set up repositories and branches for collaboration * Submit your own contributions and integrate contributions from other developers via merging or rebasing * Customize Git behavior system-wide, on a per-user, per-repository, and per-file basis * Take up the administration and set up of Git repositories, configure access, find and recover from repository errors, and perform repository maintenance * Chose a workflow and configure and set up support for the chosen workflow In Detail Git is one of the most popular types of Source Code Management (SCM) and Distributed Version Control System (DVCS). Despite the powerful and versatile nature of the tool enveloping strong support for nonlinear development and the ability to handle large projects efficiently, it is a complex tool and often regarded as "user-unfriendly". Getting to know the ideas and concepts behind the architecture of Git will help you make full use of its power and understand its behavior. Learning the best practices and recommended workflows should help you to avoid problems and ensure trouble-free development. The book scope is meticulously designed to help you gain deeper insights into Git's architecture, its underlying concepts, behavior, and best practices. Mastering Git starts with a quick implementation example of using Git for a collaborative development of a sample project to establish the foundation knowledge of Git operational tasks and concepts. Furthermore, as you progress through the book, the tutorials provide detailed descriptions of various areas of usage: from archaeology, through managing your own work, to working with other developers. This book also helps augment your understanding to examine and explore project history, create and manage your contributions, set up repositories and branches for collaboration in centralized and distributed version control, integrate work from other developers, customize and extend Git, and recover from repository errors. By exploring advanced Git practices, you will attain a deeper understanding of Git's behavior, allowing you to customize and extend existing recipes and write your own. Style and approach Step-by-step instructions and useful information make this book the ultimate guide to understanding and mastering Git. This book will show road to mastery example by example, while explaining mental model of Git. The Introduction section covers the 'Essentials' just for refreshing the basics. The main highlight is that the concepts are based on HOW the technology/framework works and not just practical 'WHAT to do'.

Getting Started with Windows VDI

by Andrew Fryer

This comprehensive, example-based guide on VDI with its practical and easy to follow approach will serve as a reference that you will want to come back to again and again for guidance. If you are an IT professional working on desktop deployment or server management with some exposure to Windows or Windows Server, this book is for you. VDI requires a lot of infrastructure, so some core knowledge is required, for example, the basics of Active Directory, Group Policy, DNS, and DHCP.

PrestaShop 1.5 Beginner’s Guide

by John Horton Jose A. Tizon

This book is written in a friendly voice with lots of tips, tricks, and screenshots to help you set up, extend, and personalize your own online shop. If you want to start your own e-commerce business, then this book will help you do that.This book is for people who are interested in creating an online shop. Basic HTML and CSS skills would be beneficial but are not required as we will provide you with all the code and know-how you need.

Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy

by Robert H. Frank

How important is luck in economic success? No question more reliably divides conservatives from liberals. As conservatives correctly observe, people who amass great fortunes are almost always talented and hardworking. But liberals are also correct to note that countless others have those same qualities yet never earn much. In recent years, social scientists have discovered that chance plays a much larger role in important life outcomes than most people imagine. In Success and Luck, bestselling author and New York Times economics columnist Robert Frank explores the surprising implications of those findings to show why the rich underestimate the importance of luck in success--and why that hurts everyone, even the wealthy.Frank describes how, in a world increasingly dominated by winner-take-all markets, chance opportunities and trivial initial advantages often translate into much larger ones--and enormous income differences--over time; how false beliefs about luck persist, despite compelling evidence against them; and how myths about personal success and luck shape individual and political choices in harmful ways.But, Frank argues, we could decrease the inequality driven by sheer luck by adopting simple, unintrusive policies that would free up trillions of dollars each year--more than enough to fix our crumbling infrastructure, expand healthcare coverage, fight global warming, and reduce poverty, all without requiring painful sacrifices from anyone. If this sounds implausible, you'll be surprised to discover that the solution requires only a few, noncontroversial steps.Compellingly readable, Success and Luck shows how a more accurate understanding of the role of chance in life could lead to better, richer, and fairer economies and societies.

Interaction Ritual Chains

by Randall Collins

Sex, smoking, and social stratification are three very different social phenomena. And yet, argues sociologist Randall Collins, they and much else in our social lives are driven by a common force: interaction rituals. Interaction Ritual Chains is a major work of sociological theory that attempts to develop a "radical microsociology." It proposes that successful rituals create symbols of group membership and pump up individuals with emotional energy, while failed rituals drain emotional energy. Each person flows from situation to situation, drawn to those interactions where their cultural capital gives them the best emotional energy payoff. Thinking, too, can be explained by the internalization of conversations within the flow of situations; individual selves are thoroughly and continually social, constructed from the outside in. The first half of Interaction Ritual Chains is based on the classic analyses of Durkheim, Mead, and Goffman and draws on micro-sociological research on conversation, bodily rhythms, emotions, and intellectual creativity. The second half discusses how such activities as sex, smoking, and social stratification are shaped by interaction ritual chains. For example, the book addresses the emotional and symbolic nature of sexual exchanges of all sorts--from hand-holding to masturbation to sexual relationships with prostitutes--while describing the interaction rituals they involve. This book will appeal not only to psychologists, sociologists, and anthropologists, but to those in fields as diverse as human sexuality, religious studies, and literary theory.

A Time to Embrace

by Karen Kingsbury

Their whole life together has been a series of miracles. Can they really hope for more? After overcoming a crisis in their marriage, Abby and John Reynolds are experiencing a season of joy and restoration. For the first time in years they're making time to enjoy life and embrace each other. And John loves his coaching job . . . at least he did until high-school politics make him wonder if it's time to quit. As they wrestle with that situation, something greater rocks their world. A car accident causes Abby and John to suddenly face a future they never imaginedùall because of one teen's thoughtlessness. Fumbling for forgiveness and hoping for a miracle, they must remember what is important and cling to that above all else. God is moving mightily in their lives . . . if they can just hold on to Him and each other. The second novel in Karen Kingsbury's celebrated series about the resiliency of love, the power of commitment, and the amazing faithfulness of God.they never expected?

Jimmy Carter in Africa: Race and the Cold War

by Nancy Mitchell

In the mid-1970s, the Cold War had frozen into a nuclear stalemate in Europe and retreated from the headlines in Asia. As Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter fought for the presidency in late 1976, the superpower struggle overseas seemed to take a backseat to more contentious domestic issues of race relations and rising unemployment. There was one continent, however, where the Cold War was on the point of flaring hot: Africa. Jimmy Carter in Africa opens just after Henry Kissinger's failed 1975 plot in Angola, as Carter launches his presidential campaign. The Civil Rights Act was only a decade old, and issues of racial justice remained contentious. Racism at home undermined Americans' efforts to "win hearts and minds" abroad and provided potent propaganda to the Kremlin. As President Carter confronted Africa, the essence of American foreign policy--stopping Soviet expansion--slammed up against the most explosive and raw aspect of American domestic politics--racism. Drawing on candid interviews with Carter, as well as key U.S. and foreign diplomats, and on a dazzling array of international archival sources, Nancy Mitchell offers a timely reevaluation of the Carter administration and of the man himself. In the face of two major tests, in Rhodesia and the Horn of Africa, Carter grappled with questions of Cold War competition, domestic politics, personal loyalty, and decision-making style. Mitchell reveals an administration not beset by weakness and indecision, as is too commonly assumed, but rather constrained by Cold War dynamics and by the president's own temperament as he wrestled with a divided public and his own human failings. Jimmy Carter in Africa presents a stark portrait of how deeply Cold War politics and racial justice were intertwined.

A History of the Modern Middle East: Rulers, Rebels, and Rogues

by Betty Anderson

A History of the Modern Middle East offers a comprehensive assessment of the region, stretching from the fourteenth century and the founding of the Ottoman and Safavid empires through to the present-day protests and upheavals. The textbook focuses on Turkey, Iran, and the Arab countries of the Middle East, as well as areas often left out of Middle East history--such as the Balkans and the changing roles that Western forces have played in the region for centuries--to discuss the larger contexts and influences on the region's cultural and political development. Enriched by the perspectives of workers and professionals; urban merchants and provincial notables; slaves, students, women, and peasants, as well as political leaders, the book maps the complex social interrelationships and provides a pivotal understanding of the shifting shapes of governance and trajectories of social change in the Middle East. Extensively illustrated with drawings, photographs, and maps, this text skillfully integrates a diverse range of actors and influences to construct a narrative of the region that is at once sophisticated and lucid. A History of the Modern Middle East highlights the complexity and variation of the region, countering easy assumptions about the Middle East, those who governed, and those they governed--the rulers, rebels, and rogues who shaped a region.

Global Responses to Maritime Violence: Cooperation and Collective Action

by Paul Shemella

Global Responses to Maritime Violence is a full discussion of maritime security short of war that goes beyond the current literature in both scope and perspective. The chapters in this volume examine terrorism, piracy, armed robbery at sea, illegal maritime trafficking, illegal fishing, and other maritime crimes. Contributors uncover both threats and responses as a complex ecosystem that challenges even the strongest national and regional institutions. Managing this system is a "wicked problem" that has no ultimate solution. But the book offers strategic precepts to guide the efforts of any government that seeks to improve its responses to maritime violence. The bottom line is that maritime violence can be managed effectively enough to protect citizens and national economies that depend on the sea. Comprehensive in scope, the volume coheres around the premise that good governance in the maritime domain, though difficult, is worth the considerable resources required.

Reliability and Risk: The Challenge of Managing Interconnected Infrastructures

by Emery Roe Paul Schulman

The safe and continued functioning of critical infrastructures--such as electricity, natural gas, transportation, and water--is a social imperative. Yet the complex connections between these systems renders them increasingly precarious. Furthermore, though we depend so heavily on interconnected infrastructures, we do not fully understand the risks involved in their failure. Emery Roe and Paul R. Schulman argue that designs, policies, and laws often overlook the knowledge and experiences of those who manage these systems on the ground--reliability professionals who have vital insights that would be invaluable to planning. To combat this major blind spot, the athors construct a new theoretical perspective that reveals how to make sense of complex interconnected networks and improve reliability through management, regulation, and political leadership. To illustrate their approach in action, they present a multi-year case study of one of the world's most important "infrastructure crossroads," the San Francisco Bay-Delta. Reliability and Risk advances our understanding of what it takes to ensure the dependability of the intricate--and sometimes hazardous--systems on which we rely every day.

The Supply Side of Security: A Market Theory of Military Alliances

by Tongfi Kim

The Supply Side of Security conceptualizes military alliances as contracts for exchanging goods and services. At the international level, the market for these contracts is shaped by how many countries can supply security. Tongfi Kim identifies the supply of policy concessions and military commitments as the main factors that explain the bargaining power of a state in a potential or existing alliance. Additionally, three variables of a state's domestic politics significantly affect its negotiating power: whether there is strong domestic opposition to the alliance, whether the state's leader is pro-alliance, and whether that leader is vulnerable. Kim then looks beyond existing alliance literature, which focuses on threats, to produce a deductive theory based on analysis of how the global power structure and domestic politics affect alliances. As China becomes stronger and the U.S. military budget shrinks, The Supply Side of Security shows that these countries should be understood not just as competing threats, but as competing security suppliers.

How Pictures Complete Us: The Beautiful, the Sublime, and the Divine

by Paul Crowther

Despite the wonders of the digital world, people still go in record numbers to view drawings and paintings in galleries. Why? What is the magic that pictures work on us? This book provides a provocative explanation, arguing that some pictures have special kinds of beauty and sublimity that offer aesthetic transcendence. They take us imaginatively beyond our finite limits and even invoke a sense of the divine. Such aesthetic transcendence forges a relationship with the ultimate and completes us psychologically. Philosophers and theologians sometimes account for this as an effect of art, but How Pictures Complete Us distinguishes itself by revealing how this experience is embodied in pictorial structures and styles. Through detailed discussions of artworks from the Renaissance through postmodern times, Paul Crowther reappraises the entire scope of beauty and the sublime in the context of both representational and abstract art, offering unexpected insights into familiar phenomena such as Ideal beauty, pictorial perspective, and what pictures are in the first place.

Kuwait Transformed: A History of Oil and Urban Life

by Farah Al-Nakib

As the first Gulf city to experience oil urbanization, Kuwait City's transformation in the mid-twentieth century inaugurated a now-familiar regional narrative: a small traditional town of mudbrick courtyard houses and plentiful foot traffic transformed into a modern city with marble-fronted buildings, vast suburbs, and wide highways. In Kuwait Transformed, Farah Al-Nakib connects the city's past and present, from its settlement in 1716 to the twenty-first century, through the bridge of oil discovery. She traces the relationships between the urban landscape, patterns and practices of everyday life, and social behaviors and relations in Kuwait. The history that emerges reveals how decades of urban planning, suburbanization, and privatization have eroded an open, tolerant society and given rise to the insularity, xenophobia, and divisiveness that characterize Kuwaiti social relations today. The book makes a call for a restoration of the city that modern planning eliminated. But this is not simply a case of nostalgia for a lost landscape, lifestyle, or community. It is a claim for a "right to the city"--the right of all inhabitants to shape and use the spaces of their city to meet their own needs and desires.

Staged Seduction: Selling Dreams in a Tokyo Host Club

by Akiko Takeyama

In the host clubs of Tokyo's Kabuki-cho red-light district, ambitious young men seek their fortunes by selling love, romance, companionship, and sometimes sex to female consumers for exorbitant sums of money. Staged Seduction reveals a world where all intimacies and feigned feelings are fair game for the hosts who employ feathered bangs, polished nails, fine European suits, and the sensitivity of the finest salesmen to create a fantasy for wealthy women seeking an escape from the everyday. Akiko Takeyama's investigation of this beguiling underground "love business" provides an intimate window into Japanese host clubs and the lives of hosts, clients, club owners, and managers. The club is a place where fantasies are pursued and the art of seduction isn't merely about romance; a complex set of transactions emerges. Like a casino of love, the host club is a site of desperation, aspiration, and hope, in which both hosts and clients are eager to roll the dice. Takeyama reveals the aspirational mode not only of the host club, but also of a Japanese society built on the commercialization of aspiration, seducing its citizens out of the present and into a future where hopes and dreams are imaginable--and billions of dollars can be made.

Forest of Memory

by Mary Robinette Kowal

Katya deals in Authenticities and Captures, trading on nostalgia for a past long gone. Her clients are rich and they demand items and experiences with only the finest verifiable provenance. Other people's lives have value, after all.But when her A.I. suddenly stops whispering in her ear she finds herself cut off from the grid and loses communication with the rest of the world. The man who stepped out of the trees while hunting deer cut her off from the cloud, took her A.I. and made her his unwilling guest. There are no Authenticities or Captures to prove Katya's story of what happened in the forest. You'll just have to believe her.

Hurt People

by Cote Smith

Summer of 1988. Leavenworth, Kansas: a town with four major prisons, gripped by the recent escape of a convict. Yet for two young brothers, all that matters is the pool in their apartment complex. They spend their blissful days practicing dives while their divorcée mother works her day shift at the golf course and their policeman father patrols the streets. But when a mysterious stranger appears poolside and creates a rift between the brothers, the younger one wonders just what these visits to the pool might ultimately cost. Based on Cote Smith's well-received short story of the same name, Hurt People will hold you in its grip to the very last page. Eerily atmospheric, lean, and forceful, this is a debut from a slyly talented new writer.

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