The Qwillery | category: Sterling


The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

Review: Wonder Woman Psychology: Lassoing the Truth

Wonder Woman Psychology: Lassoing the Truth
Editors:  Travis Langley and Mara Wood
Foreword:  Trina Robbins
Publisher:  Sterling, April 4, 2017
Format:  Trade Paperback and ePub eBook, 352 pages
List Price:  US$14.95 (print); US$9.99 (eBook)
ISBN:  9781454923435 (print); 9781454923442 (eBook)

Review: Wonder Woman Psychology: Lassoing the Truth
A fascinating analysis of the psychology behind Wonder Woman

For 75 years, Wonder Woman has served as an inspiration to people everywhere. Wonder Woman Psychology examines this powerful superhero—who was created by famous psychologist William Moulton Marston—through 20 essays. This collection will analyze:
  • Marston’s important role in the history of forensic psychology
  • How Diana’s relationship with her mother and Amazonian sisters shapes her to become a leader and the heroine called Wonder Woman
  • The ways differences in culture and gender can contribute to alienation but also to personal empowerment 
  • What roles emotion, strengths, virtues, and culture shock play in heroic behavior

Trinitytwo's / Tracey's Review

Wonder Woman Psychology; Lassoing the Truth takes an in-depth look into what makes the world's most powerful female superhero tick. The Amazon Princess was created by psychologist William Moulton Marston, under the pen name of Charles Moulton. It was Martson's wife, Elizabeth Holloway Marston, who suggested he make the comic about a woman. Editors Travis Langley and Mara Wood do a phenomenal job covering portions of Marston's personal history and theories, as well as educating readers on the psychology of Wonder Woman; a morally healthy character.

Wonder Woman Psychology is packed with many A-list of contributors beginning with the writer of the foreword, Trina Robbins, the first woman artist/writer to work on the Wonder Woman comics. In addition to Robbins, the book also includes a short interview by entertainment journalist Jenna Busch of Susan Eisenberg, who voiced Wonder Woman in the Justice League animated series. The peppering of panels from the comics serve to highlight many of the key analyses, and I especially liked the timeline of entertainment firsts. For example, many people may not realize that Wonder Woman's first live action performance was by Cathy Lee Crosby in a 1974 television movie and not Lynda Carter in the widely popular 1975 television series.

One of the most fascinating chapters is a portion of a memoir written by Elizabeth Holloway Marston entitled "The Tale of a Manx Cat". According to the editors, this piece has never before appeared in print. In it, E.H. Marston details her youth, provides glimpses of her courtship with W.M. Marston and ends shortly after the birth of the couple's first child.

As a lifelong Wonder Woman fan I learned more than I expected from this book. For instance, I was engrossed by the chapter in which Wood discusses Marston's DISC theory which has been recognized for its importance in the history of psychology. Marston's theory, which stands for Dominance, Inducement, Submission and Compliance, is explained via examples from Wonder Woman's own history which makes it easy to understand and engaging. Another highlight for me was the chapter by Mike Madrid and Rebecca M. Langley, dealing with "Parenting Issues in Paradise." I found the discussion on the attachment theory to be very insightful to both Wonder Woman's psyche and my own.

The wide array of contributors, who range from comic book historians, martial artists, therapists, and Ph.D.s in psychology among other professions, makes this non-fiction book about a fictional character very appealing. Each essay sheds light on the complexities of Wonder Woman's character while also equating her issues with themes and topics that are relevant in the real world.

Wonder Woman Psychology: Lassoing the Truth is thought-provoking and educational, but delivered in a format that acknowledges the character's enduring entertainment value and celebrates her well-deserved return to prominence in a traditionally male-dominated field. A must read for fans of Wonder Woman, both old and new.

Review: Blueprint for a Battlestar by Rod Pyle

Blueprint for a Battlestar: Serious Scientific Explanations Behind Sci-Fi’s Greatest Inventions
Author:  Rod Pyle
Publisher:  Sterling, October 11, 2016
Format:  Hardcover, 192 pages
List Price:  US$24.95
ISBN:  9781454921349

Review: Blueprint for a Battlestar by Rod Pyle
Through stunning images, including 75 illustrations created exclusively for this book, 25 remarkable and memorable technologies from the world of sci-fi are explored.

With expertly written text by NASA insider Rod Pyle, each concept is explained and dissected to reveal the real science behind it. Some are temptingly within our reach—such as cyborgs and artificial intelligence—others are further off, but fast approaching reality (think bio-ports or cloaking devices). All are fascinating and make wonderful explorations into the science of the future as we understand it today.

Brannigan's Review

Rod Pyle has spent 10 years working at the Griffith Observatory in California as well as working as the Vice President in Communications for the World Space Foundation. He’s written several books on space and technology. All this shows his qualifications for writing about space age and future technology.

Blueprint for a Battlestar is a very entertaining and educational read by Pyle. He breaks down his book into different sections: Weapons of the Future, Fantastic Voyages, and Life - But Not As We Know It. Within each of these sections he has 8-10 different topics he explores, such as: Swords of Heat, My Pet T-Rex, and Wormholes. To give more weight to his words and place of authority, he provides additional readings and sources at the back of the book.

Each article explains where the idea first shows up in popular culture, how the item would have to work if you use actual science and then goes into how or if the item is currently being developed. If it’s currently not possible, he theorizes how it might be possible to accomplish in the future.

It’s amazing the amount of detail and scientific laws he explains in such short articles. It feeds your mind completely. Each topic or item he discusses range from 4-8 pages. He also includes pictures or actual blueprint mockups. After reading the articles, you get a real sense of how ingenious some of our early Science Fiction writers were and also how their words have truly inspired science to try and emulate their created worlds. It’s a wonderful reminder how powerful art can inspire science and then how science can inspire art in return.

Blueprint for a Battlestar is a must have for any serious fan of science fiction either in the medium of books, movies or comics. It should also be a must read for any scientists who are currently working on future tech. I know this is going to be a much loved and much used book in my family as I use it to teach my children and to inspire them. This is appropriate for all ages and should be shared with everyone.

About Rod Pyle

Rod Pyle is a NASA and JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) insider, as well as being a writer and documentary filmmaker. He has written for numerous science and science fiction publications, including Astronautics Notebook, Foundation Journal, Starlog, and DreamWatch. He has written several books, including Destination Moon (Smithsonian Books), Innovation the NASA Way (McGraw-Hill), Missions to the Moon (Sterling), and Curiosity: An Inside Look at the Mars Rover Mission and the People Who Made it Happen (Prometheus Books). He has also worked as a visual effects coordinator for Star Trek: Deep Space 9.

Review: A Field Guide To Fantastical Beasts by Olento Salaperäinen

A Field Guide to Fantastical Beasts
     An Atlas of Fabulous Creatures, Enchanted Beings, and Magical Monsters
Author:  Olento Salaperäinen
Publisher:  Sterling, October 11, 2016
Format: Flexibound Paperback, 192 pages
ISBN:  9781454920946
List Price: US$14.95

Review: A Field Guide To Fantastical Beasts by Olento Salaperäinen
A beautiful, illustrated guide to the most magical creatures of legend and myth. 

Fairies, demons, four-legged fiends, and, of course, zombies: the world is filled with fantastical beings, beautiful and scary. Come meet them in this magnificently illustrated menagerie, which includes many creatures made famous by popular fantasy and sci-fi film franchises. Take a detailed look at everything from goblins, pixies, and gnomes to vampires and dragons, and discover their origins in literature, folklore, and ancient history.

Brannigan's Review

Olento Salaperäinen’s A Field Guide To Fantastical Beasts is the perfect book to take with you on a fairy hunt into the woods. Salaperäinen groups the beasts by category: Fairies & and Little People, Demons & The Undead, Water Creatures, Hybrid Beasts, Humanoid Creatures and then The Sacred & The Divine; with about seven to ten creatures listed alphabetical in each of those subcategories.

Each beast has one to two pages of information about it with an illustration. Salaperäinen tells us where the beast originates from and some interesting tidbits from history. One that I found interesting for example is Gremlins weren’t created until World War I. They gave pilots a lot of trouble, since the Gremlins like to eat and destroy engines and machinery. Salaperäinen also includes information about each beast and how they interact with pop culture. There’s a great reference of Michael J. Fox’s Teen Wolf in the Werewolf entry.

The art in the book is wonderfully folky and gives the book its very own characters. Salaperäinen also added a glossary, index and bibliography in the back in case you want to go deeper into the subject.

One of the weaknesses of the book is its limited scope of beasts. As a fan of all things mythical and fantastical, I want to learn about new creatures. I would be surprised if the everyday non-fantasy fan hasn’t heard of each of the beasts. I will say that even though the entries are small they do pack a big punch of information.

A Field Guide To Fantastical Beasts is the perfect beastiary for young adults or people new to the subject. The only warning a parent or reader needs to be aware of is there is a subcategory dealing with Demons and the Undead, so depending on your own personal beliefs you may want to steer clear. Otherwise, I would feel comfortable suggesting this to Tweens and Adults.

You may view part of A Field Guide To Fantastical Beasts at Issuu here.

Review: Song of the Deep by by Brian Hastings

Song of the Deep by
Author:  Brian Hastings
Illustrator:  Alexis Seabrook
Publisher:  Sterling Children's Books, July 12, 2016
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 176 pages
List Price:  US$12.95 (print); US$9.99 (eBook)
ISBN:  9781454920960 (print); 9781454921455 (eBook)

Review: Song of the Deep by by Brian Hastings
Twelve-year-old Merryn lives with her fisherman father in a little cottage by the sea. Each day, her father braves the tumultuous waves and returns home in time for dinner. One stormy evening, he doesn’t come back. Merryn has a vision that he’s been dragged underwater by a terrifying sea creature, and he needs her help. Determined to rescue him, Merryn builds a tiny submarine and embarks on a journey through the undersea worlds she’s only heard about in her father’s lullabies. As she faces the dangers and wonders of the world below the waves, she realizes that her father’s stories were all real.

Readers can also experience Merryn’s daring journey firsthand in the new Song of the Deep video game from acclaimed developer Insomniac Games.

Brannigan's Review

Song of the Deep is a charming, nautical-themed fairytale. It's both a book based off a video game and a children's book. I haven't heard of the video game and I'm not a child so I'm not the target audience. Yet I still found moments of enjoyment out of the story. Merryn is a young girl who has to go save her father after he doesn't return home from a day of fishing. She does this by building her own submarine and along her journey discovers many friends and foes in a magical underwater world.

I really wish my kids were old enough to read this to them, but sadly they are just a few years too young to grasp some of the concepts and some of the darker moments of the book. I do plan to keep the book to read to them in the near future and maybe I'll update my review then.

The story moved along at a nice pace and was filled with plenty of adventure and was short and sweet. The character of Merryn held more depth than I would expect from a children's book.

Song of the Deep would be a great bedtime story. I think it would give children plenty of excitement and wonder as fuel for dreams. However, it's too simple to really tempt a parent into sneaking ahead on their own. A little heads up to parents, the book deals with the death of the mother, so use your own discretion.

Review: Wonder Woman Psychology: Lassoing the TruthReview: Blueprint for a Battlestar by Rod PyleReview: A Field Guide To Fantastical Beasts by Olento SalaperäinenReview: Song of the Deep by by Brian HastingsReview and Giveaway: Robot Universe by Ana Matronic

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