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John Kwok (New York, NY USA)
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Half-Earth: Our Planets Fight for Life
Half-Earth: Our Planets Fight for Life
by Edward O Wilson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 22.13
36 used & new from CDN$ 19.03

5.0 out of 5 stars An Impassioned Plea to Preserve Earth's Biodiversity from the Greatest Evolutionary Ecologist of Our Time, May 27 2016
Noted evolutionary biologist Edward O. Wilson has written a polemic, but a polemic based on his life-long work in ant systematics and evolutionary ecology, that offers some glimmer of hope. This is a surprisingly terse book from Wilson, but one of sufficient length that it may serve as a rallying call to anyone who has some interest in conservation biology - which he should be viewed as its "godfather" - and a keen desire to preserve much of Earth's biodiversity for future generations of humanity. Divided into three sections, Wilson seeks to enlighten the reader on the nature of the problem, how this relates to Earth's current biodiversity, and then, a general overview on what should be done to preserve Earth's biodiversity. In the first section "Part I: The Problem", Wilson describes how and why current biodiversity losses should be seen as a "Sixth Extinction", equivalent in its severity with the five major mass extinctions known from the Phanerozoic Eon (approximately the last 543 million years of Earth's history). Those familiar with Elizabeth Kolbert's "The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural Hisotry" might regard Wilson's descriptive prose, repetitive, in its bleak picture of current biodiversity loss, but it is a picture well-informed by Wilson's own decades-long research in conservation biology and systematic zoology, especially of ants. In "Part II: The Real Living World", Wilson's enthusiastic eloquence is at its finest, as he describes vividly, ecosystems in the deepest parts of the world's oceans and even in the Earth's crust that are largely unknown to all, but the most informed readers familiar with relevant aspects of ecology, molecular biology and geology. He also identifies major ecological habitats on Earth that he regards as reclaimable, ranging from the Californian Redwood Forest to the Amazon River Basin, the flatlands of Northeastern Europe and the Congo Basin, to name but a few. In "Part III: The Solution" Wilson advocates for his "Half-Earth" biodiversity preservation plan, but it is a plan that may seem to many, an impassioned plea, instead of an extensive plan designed to preserve Earth's biodiversity in more or less its current form for centuries. He does note the ongoing digital revolution as a means of not only cataloging all of Earth's biodiversity but in providing us a future in which human civilization's "ecological footprint" will be greatly diminished via the development of new technologies that will not only stem the rapid declines in biodiversity loss but also antrhropogenic global warming. WIth "Half-Earth: Our Planet's Fight for Life", Edward O. Wilson may have written his valedictory address to the public in the hope of fostering greater public understanding and interest in the science behind studying and halting Earth's biodiversity loss. A valedictory address that should be read by a wide audience, not only in the United States but elsewhere around the globe, noteworthy for Wilson's superb prose and storytelling talent.

In the Vale of Cashmere
In the Vale of Cashmere
by G. Winston James
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 30.00
23 used & new from CDN$ 25.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Dignified, Respectful Photographs of a Remote Corner of Prospect Park and Those Who Frequent It, May 19 2016
Honoring the memory of a close friend who had introduced him to this secluded corner of Prospect Park before dying from AIDS in 1991, noted photographer Thomas Roma set out on a nearly four year odyssey to photograph, at first, the gay men who frequent this space, and then, the surrounding naturalistic beauty of the space itself. These are images that are replete with respect and dignity of those whom Roma was able to photograph using his tripod-mounted hand-made medium format camera, that in the words of O. Winston Link - the author of the book's introductory essay - question whether one can have privacy in public spaces and whether queer behavior can be tolerated in a space that is as remote, but still public, as the Vale of Cashmere. If nothing else, these imagines will show those willing to view them, both the artificial - but sitll naturalistic - beauty of Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux's favorite public park, Prospect Park, which they designed after finishing their elaborate, magnificent design for Central Park, as well as the predominantly dignified portraits of those frequenting this relatively secluded public space. "In the Vale of Cashmere" is the companion volume to the show - of the same title - that was on display at the Chelsea (New York, NY) located Stephen Kasher Gallery from October 29, 2015 through December 19, 2015.

Join
Join
Price: CDN$ 14.85

4.0 out of 5 stars A Memorable Futuristic Exploration of the Nature of Identity and Technology, May 19 2016
This review is from: Join (Kindle Edition)
Quite possibly one of the best debut novels of 2016, "Join" is the best debut speculative fiction novel I have seen from a mainstream literary fiction writer, with Steve Toutonghi worthy of substantial admiration for superb world building and in creating a believable dystopian near future. In "Join" he explores philosophical issues related to the nature of identity and our current concerns with technology. Simply for these two reasons alone, "Join" is worthy of a wide readership, that should include long-time fans of speculative fiction as well as those who tend to read only work by mainstream literary fiction writers. Much to his credit, Toutonghi deserves ample praise for creating a plausible near future that remains consistent with science and technology, unlike for example, a highly praised debut speculative fiction novel published several years ago by another mainstream literary fiction writer who wrote about epidemiologically implausible word viruses in a rather minimalist Art Deco-inspired alternative history future.

Where I would find fault with Toutonghi's brisk, fast-paced storytelling is having as lead characters, Chance, Leap and Rope, who are not especially intriguing or memorable as characters worthy of the reader's attention. Toutonghi's most notable character emerges towards the end of the book, Hamish Lyons, the mysterious leader of those humans ("ferals") unwilling to embrace the mental and intellectual possibilities made possible by the JOIN technology. This stands in sharp contrast with, for example, with such memorable characters as the ageless spy Edie Banister, the heroine of Nick Harkaway's "Angelmaker" and Flynne Fisher and Ainsley Lowbeer in William Gibson's "The Peripheral"; Gibson's latest novel is especially worthy of note here since he offers readers two compelling versions of the near future that are replete with the gritty realism that is surprisingly lacking in Toutonghi's "conceptual powerhouse" - as Tor.com's reviewer dubbed it - of a novel. Despite the flaws in character development, Toutonghi has written still, a thought-provoking fictional meditation on the nature of identity and technology that definitely deserves a wide readership.

The Lost Time Accidents: A Novel
The Lost Time Accidents: A Novel
by John Wray
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 28.03
34 used & new from CDN$ 26.65

5.0 out of 5 stars An Exhilirating Blend of Science, History, Philosophy and Fiction Worthy of Exceptional Praise, May 17 2016
This is a most beguiling, truly imaginative, mess of a novel, and I use the word "mess" to praise John Wray's superb storytelling craft and prose, worthy of comparison with the likes of Italo Calvino, William Gibson, David Mitchell and Haruki Murakami. It is an impressive fictional trek through 20th Century European and American history, cloaked as a genre-bending cross between time-travel speculative fiction and film nourish crime thriller; a trek seen through the eyes of a family of liars, thieves and murderers, who regard a former Swiss patent clerk, one Albert Einstein, as their family's most despised enemy, believing that only they themselves, not Einstein, truly understand time and the known physical laws of the universe. Much of the family's saga is seen through the eyes of young Waldemar "Waldy" Tolliver via a series of letters to his lover Mrs. Haven, that other reviewers recognize as memorable love letters to the craft of writing fiction. Named for his wickedly brilliant grand uncle Waldemar Toula, Tolliver discovers that he has left the flow of time itself, set up in a different reality where time doesn't exist. In the course of trying to reconnect with time itself, Waldy Tolliver will take us on a mesmerizing trek through some of the dark corners and recesses of Central European history, especially in the years leading up to and during World War II, when his relative Waldemar Toula discovers how to jump back and forth through time, recreating the fatal discovery made by his father Ottokar in Znojmo, Moravia, near the dawn of the 20th Century. Miraculously, Wray has written a spellbinding work of fiction that delves deeply into history, philosophy and physics that may interest anyone who has enjoyed reading not only the writers I have cited, but also such eminent scientist authors as Brian Greene, Stephen Jay Gould and Carl Sagan, treating us to a riveting fictional celebration of the rise of modern physics. With "The Lost TIme Accidents", John Wray has written the most impressive melding of science and fiction I have read since James Morrow's vastly underrated "Galapagos Regained"; without question, Wray has written one of the most important American novels published not only this year, but maybe, in this decade, that, like Morrow's "Galapagos Regained", does a remarkable job in melding science with fiction.

The Assimilated Cuban's Guide to Quantum Santeria
The Assimilated Cuban's Guide to Quantum Santeria
by Carlos Hernandez
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 16.68
22 used & new from CDN$ 15.60

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, Brilliant and Compelling Tales from a Notable New Voice in Contemporary Anglo-American Speculative Fiction, March 23 2016
Carlos Hernandez's "The Assimilated Cuban's Guide to Quantum Santeria" is one of the most notable recently published debut short story collections I have read, worthy of comparison with the latest from the likes of Neil Gaiman, Kelly Link and China Miéville, among others. Much to his credit, Hernandez, who was trained primarily in mainstream literary fiction writing, has mastered brilliantly, the substance and style of contemporary Anglo-American speculative fiction, yielding such gems as his "Fantaisie Impromptu No.4 in C#min, Op. 66" which may be the finest tale I have read regarding classical music, futuristic neurotechnology and the afterlife. He pays ample attention to his own "assimilated Cuban" heritage in memorable stories like "More Than Pigs and Rosaries Can Give" and "Los Simpáticos" - which can be seen as a darkly humorous satire on reality television - and the title story itself, at the end of this remarkable collection, which delves deeply into the Afro-Cuban faith of Santeria, while giving a most unique perspective from a child's point-of-view of a family breakup with a most surprising twist. Hernandez tugs at the reader's emotions, offering sympathetic, often moving, portrayals of each of the characters in his stories. While "The Assimilated Cuban's Guide to Quantum Santeria" is a notable collection of contemporary Anglo-American speculative fiction at its best, replete with ample excursions into magical realism with a stop or two in hard science fiction, it should also be seen as an important literary statement for those who are interested primarily in contemporary fiction writing from Latino American authors.

A Crown for Cold Silver
A Crown for Cold Silver
by Alex Marshall
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 29.00
27 used & new from CDN$ 18.23

4.0 out of 5 stars Fine, Not Great, Sword and Sorcery Fantasy Novel Noteworthy for Its Mordant Humor, March 23 2016
Noted science fiction and fantasy editor Gardner Dozois observed recently that most newly published sword and sorcery fantasy novels tend to emulate the spaghetti western films by introducing readers to a desolate town inhabited by illiterate peasants. We readers are treated to gritty realism, in lieu of spectacular castles and exquisitely dressed nobles and sorcerers. Alex Marshall's "A Crown for Cold Silver" is the archetypical example that Dozois regards with ample skepticism, even if it introduces readers to a fantasy realm in which the sexes are equal, with women capable of leading vast armies into battle. However, there is still much to recommend in Marshall's debut fantasy novel - the name "Alex Marshall" is actually a nom de plume of a successful author who has written successfully in several genres - starting with the exceptional realism of characters, and ample dosage of mordant humor. Diehard fans of sword and sorcery fantasy may find far more admirable, debut fantasy novels from the likes of Ken Liu ("The Grace of Kings") and Seth Dickinson ("The Traitor Baru Cormorant"), which are especially noteworthy for their spectacular world-building, whether it is from East Asian history and mythology (Liu) or from slyly adopting some current socioeconomic political thought (Dickinson). In stark contrast, Marshall has borrowed from various East Asian and South Asian cultures, freely adapting them into the creation of the "Crimson Empire" fantasy saga that will continue in a subsequent sequel. In introducing readers to his "Crimson Empire" fantasy saga, Marshall may have created a fantasy realm that some discerning readers have recognized as a sword and sorcery fantasy riff on "Star Wars". Those willing to overlook these artistic flaws and enjoy its ample mordant humor, will find "A Crown for Silver" a memorable debut fantasy novel.

The Serengeti Rules: The Quest to Discover How Life Works and Why It Matters
The Serengeti Rules: The Quest to Discover How Life Works and Why It Matters
by Sean B. Carroll
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 22.52
36 used & new from CDN$ 19.41

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite Possibly The Most Important, Most Influential Popular Science Book on Biology for Our Time, March 15 2016
How do animals (and plants) regulate their numbers? Why does the human body possess a great degree of self-regulation, culminating with healing? Why should biology matter to you and me? Distinguished evolutionary developmental biologist Sean B. Carroll explains how and why the rules regulating ecosystems apply to the human body in his "The Serengeti Rules: The Quest to Discover How Life Works And Why It Matters". One of our foremost communicators of science, Carroll combines his vast scientific knowledge, superb storytelling talent and fine prose in demonstrating that there is indeed a "common underlying logic to life" as expressed by the similar rules regulating vast scales of biological organization, from the organ systems of the human body to immense ecosystems like East Africa's Serengeti. Organized into three sections, Carroll's latest book is a bold, provocative, and compelling exploration of the rules governing life on Earth, conveyed through his vivid, often insightful, accounts of those biologists who discovered them. In "Everything Is Regulated", he introduces to two pioneering figures of early 20th Century biology, Harvard University physiologist Walter Cannon, and Oxford University ecologist Charles Elton, describing how Cannon stumbled upon homeostasis and Elton made sense of the "economy of nature", recognizing the importance of regulating numbers of animals via the existence of food webs. In “The Logic of Life”, Carroll describes the importance of Jacques Monod’s and Francois Jacob’s discovery of enzyme regulation, and how it influenced a later generation of molecular biologists in the United States and Japan in understanding the origin of cancer and in developing suitable drugs for treating it. In “The Serengeti Rules” – the book’s longest section – Carroll describes how marine ecologist Robert T. Paine recognized the existence of keystone predators on top of the food chains of ecosystems, and how this led to the discovery of trophic cascades, in which the presence or absence of keystone predator and prey species have substantial impacts on regulating the structure and population densities of ecosystems. He concludes by showing how the ecological rules of regulating animal numbers – “The Serengeti Rules” - have been applied successfully in bringing back from the verge of extinction, the once lush Gorgongosa of Mozambique and in wiping out forever, the lethal scourge of mankind that was smallpox. In citing these and other examples, Carroll impresses upon us the need to employ “The Serengeti Rules” to preserve forever, Earth’s biodiversity, not merely for our sake, but for the sake of succeeding generations of humans. For these reasons “The Serengeti Rules” may be recognized as one of the most important popular science books published this year, and perhaps, one of the most influential of our time.

The Magicians Trilogy Boxed Set
The Magicians Trilogy Boxed Set
by Lev Grossman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 71.51
19 used & new from CDN$ 71.51

5.0 out of 5 stars The FIrst Great Fantasy Saga of the 21st Century, Feb. 26 2016
Lev Grossman has reinvigorated the genre of fantasy with his "Magician" novels, merging traditional tropes of heroic fantasy with the elements and techniques associated with contemporary mainstream Anglo-American literary fiction, and creating what have to be regarded as instant classics in the genre of fantasy fiction. "The Magicians" is the first great fantasy novel of this century; a riveting coming-of-age tale about an intellectually gifted teenager, one Quentin Coldwater, eventually, a magician who learns that possession of great magical powers can come at a most terrible price. Paying homage to such illustrious writers as C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, T. H. White, and Ursula K. Le Guin, while also acknowledging a most respectful nod or two to J. K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" saga, Grossman has wrought a fantasy tale steeped in realism unlike any other, one in which reasonable, sound choices are those that can be expected and the usage of magic itself can not alter the past nor the present. An unexpected chain of events takes Coldwater from the streets of his Park Slope, Brooklyn home to the Brakebills College of Magical Pedagogy, whose idyllic grounds overlook the Hudson River, even as he dreams of Fillory, the magical realm depicted in his favorite fantasy novels. A passion that consumes him even as a young adult recently graduated from Brakebills, until, by accident, he learns that Fillory is indeed a real realm located in another plain of existence. Journeying with his college friends, Quentin makes a perilous trip there, finding it not the realm of his dreams, but instead, one that is far more dangerous than he could ever have possibly imagined, and uncovering a terrible secret whose discovery will cause great harm and emotional anguish to Quentin and his friends. Much to my astonishment, Grossman has written a most compelling dark fantasy novel for adults that merges the emotions, wants and desires of twenty-something adults within the tropes of heroic fantasy; it would be an understatement to say that this is a "Harry Potter" novel for adults; it is much more, an epic fantasy worthy of comparison with the finest written from the likes of Homer to Lewis and Tolkien, and one that considerably raises the standard for writing epic fantasy tales, by merging it successfully within the genre of mainstream literary fiction. Without a doubt, "The Magicians" will be remembered as one of the great fantasy novels of our time, and it and its sequels as the first great fantasy saga of the 21st Century and one worthy of recognition as among the finest ever conceived.

Magic is disappearing from Fillory, and the Neitherlands - the realm that is the "door" to Fillory from Earth - lies in ruins. To save Fillory, Quentin Coldwater, a Magician King of this realm, must embark upon a quest to save it and to save magic forever, searching for a set of golden keys that will rescue both from the dark fate awaiting them. An epic quest that will thrust him back to Earth, on a globe-trekking journey from his parents Chesterton, Massachusetts home to the canals of Venice, searching for a means to return to Fillory after being sent unexpectedly back to Earth. However, "The Magician King" is not just an epic fantasy novel about Quentin embarking on a hero's quest. It is also chronicles how Quentin's high school friend Julia became a magician in her own right, after flunking the Brakebills College entrance examination. "The Magician King" is as much her story as it is Quentin's. How she undertakes her own personal perilous journey to master magic, a dark form that she learns in a house inhabited by self-taught magicians in the urban jungle that is the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. A perilous journey that will also lead her to Venice, where she and her friends undertake a ritual to summon the old gods with disastrous consequences for all. Lev Grossman has written a darker, psychologically, intense sequel to "The Magicians", and one that literally overturns the notion that the hero earns his rewards at the very end. "The Magician King" demonstrates that Grossman has become the true heir to C. S. Lewis and his "Narnia" fantasy saga, but a heir who demonstrates confident mastery of both mainstream literary fiction and fantasy tropes, in crafting a sequel to "The Magicians" that may be a far more intense, emotionally and psychologically riveting tale than its predecessor. Without a doubt, Grossman demonstrates in "The Magician King" that he deserves ample recognition, along with Neil Gaiman, Ursula Le Guin, China Mieville and Catherynne Valente, among others, as one of the great fantasy writers of our time.

With the debut of "The Magicians", Lev Grossman introduced readers to a new form of heroic epic fantasy, one in which the rules of magic existed with ample realism; a heroic epic fantasy novel that had more in common with Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy than anything written by the likes of Neil Gaiman, George R. R. Martin, or J. K. Rowling, especially when Grossman's "Magician" novels have been dubbed "Harry Potter for adults". "The Magician's Land" is the most "adult" of the "Magician" novels, and yet, one which will dazzle readers with more feats of magic and heroic fantasy quests, than in the prior "Magician" novels. One of the greatest - I would say even guilty - pleasures in reading the work of a most gifted and thoughtful writer, Lev Grossman, has been watching the development of a great cast of memorable characters, of whom Quentin Coldwater, the main protagonist in the "Magician" novels, may be the most complicated hero ever envisioned within the genre of heroic epic fantasy. Indeed Quentin's ongoing struggles to understand his magical powers, and to deal with his personal crises, clearly has struck a nerve with many of Grossman's younger, often twenty-something, readers, making him a realistic figure far more sympathetic and intriguing than Bilbo Baggins, Frodo Baggins or the wizard Gandalf in J. R. R. Tolkien's "Middle-Earth" novels and tales.

While one doesn't have to read the other two novels in the "Magicians" trilogy to get ample pleasure reading the latest exploits of Quentin and his friends, readers who are familiar with the earlier novels will understand the great emotional arcs undertaken by them, showing great capacities for personal growth both here, in the real world, and in the magical realm of Fillory. We're introduced to Quentin as part of a team of magicians planning a most spectacular heist, before we are treated to an engrossing back story regarding his all too brief tenure as a new Brakebills Preparatory College of Magic professor, and his unexpected encounter with brilliant, and exceptionally talented, Brakebills student Plum; an encounter that will take them on an epic quest that will lead them to a most powerful spell, and eventually, even Fillory itself. A Fillory whose future seems dark, as its rulers, Eliot and Janet, old friends of Quentin's, try saving it. Grossman's superb gifts as both a fine prose stylist and engrossing storyteller are in ample abundance in "The Magician's Land", and, even more than its predecessors, yielded a novel so compellingly readable that I found it impossible to put down. It is no mere understatement to note that "The Magician's Land" is a spectacular conclusion to the best fantasy series published so far in this century, and one that will be remembered as one of the greatest fantasy sagas of all time.

The Orion Plan: A Thriller
The Orion Plan: A Thriller
Offered by Macmillan CA
Price: CDN$ 13.99

5.0 out of 5 stars An Exciting, Fast-Paced New Take On A Timeless Scientific Fictional Theme, Feb. 26 2016
"The War of the Worlds" meets "Mean Streets" (Martin Scorsese's second film) in Mark Alpert's clever, fast-paced science thriller "The Orion Plan", which may be the most original novel I have read in years regarding a possible alien invasion of Earth. Native Manhattanite Alpert takes readers on a whirlwind tour of above and below the streets of Manhattan when a mysterious alien object crashes into northernmost Manhattan's Inwood Hill Park. NASA scientist Sarah Pooley spots the object hurtling rapidly towards the Earth at the incredible speed of thirty-seven kilometers per second (83,000 miles per hour), and warns United States Air Force's Space Command, under the command of its brilliant, MIT-educated commander, General Brent Hanson. Soon she realizes that she must lead the effort to find the object and discover the true nature of its intentions, as it begins tapping into New York City's Con Edison electrical network. A homeless man, a dying African-American priest, and several Dominican-American teenaged gang members are among those who make "first contact' with the object, becoming unsuspected subjects as its influence over them increases. Much to his credit, Mark Alpert - a Scientific American contributing editor with a background in astrophysics - has admirably melded state-of-the-art science, and informed scientific extrapolation - though as a former evolutionary biologist, I have some doubts regarding the physical appearance of the aliens which launched the probe from their distant planet in a remote solar system far, far away - with his fine prose and storytelling into a fast-paced, compelling page-turner of a thriller. "The Orion Plan" will please any potential reader interested in a fresh take on one of the most important themes of science fiction - first contact with hostile aliens - as well as those who are long-time fans of Alpert's earlier science thrillers.

The Hacked World Order: How Nations Fight, Trade, Maneuver, and Manipulate in the Digital Age
The Hacked World Order: How Nations Fight, Trade, Maneuver, and Manipulate in the Digital Age
by Adam Segal
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 33.98
34 used & new from CDN$ 22.09

5.0 out of 5 stars A Notable Book on the Geopolitical Implications of Cyberwarfare, Feb. 23 2016
"The Hacked World Order: How Nations Fight, Trade, Maneuver And Manipulate In The Digital Age" may become as important as Bruce Sterling's "The Hacker Crackdown" in chronicling the history of online hacking. It may be more important in the sense that this is the first major book I have seen that looks critically at the geopolitical implications of organized online hacking by intelligence agencies, military - and paramilitary - organizations and terrorists. In plain English, it explores the usage of online hacking as a means of waging war via nonlethal means, but ultimately, resulting in creating ample mayhem and mischief on a scale approaching traditional, quite lethal, warfare. It does not delve deeply into the creation of online digital weapons like the notorious Stuxnet virus, the subject of journalist Kim Zetter's exceptional "Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World's First Digital Weapon". Instead, it describes, in gripping detail, how Iran responded to the online threats posed by Stuxnet and similar viruses, by using reserve engineering of relevant software, and quickly becoming, in its own right, a major regional cyberpower, capable of crippling the online infrastructure of its Middle Eastern neighbors. While Segal shows that there's been reluctance between the United States and Russia to engage in substantial online cyberwarfare, he does note the increasing importance and interest expressed by the Chinese, as well as the rogue states he believes have become important cyberpowers in their own right; Iran and North Korea. Such reluctance, however, hasn't deterred the United States and Russia from including cyberweaponry as increasingly important aspects of their military arsenal, and Segal does discuss at great length, American efforts in deterring cyberattacks as well as furthering their importance in the cyberweaponry arms race. With regards to Russia, he shows how cyberwarfare played important roles in its 2008 invasion of part of the Republic of Georgia and in the ongoing conflict between Kremlin-backed rebels in Eastern Ukraine with Ukrainian military forces. He also cites important recent events that may be milestones in the history of cyberwarfare, like the Twitter war in Gaza between the Israeli Defense Force and the Hamas "government" of the Gaza Strip, seeking to win the hearts of minds of people across the globe via social media. On a far more sobering note, Segal concludes, by noting the decline of the "Digital Pax Americana" since the "Year Zero" (2012), pointing to the rise of cyberpowers like those cited earlier that seek to use cyberwarfare to further their military, economic and geopolitical objectives. "The Hacked World Order" may be the most important book on contemporary foreign relations published this year, and one worthy of an exceptionally broad audience, from politicians to those in the public vaguely aware of cyberwarfare.

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