Related to: 'A Brief Guide To The Hunger Games'

Robinson

A Brief History of Gangsters

Brian J. Robb
Authors:
Brian J. Robb

The romanticised American gangster of the Prohibition era has proved an enduringly popular figure. Even today, names like Al Capone and Lucky Luciano still resonate. Robb explores the histories of key figures, from gangs in the Old West, through Prohibition and the Great Depression, to the likes of John Gotti and Frank Lucas in the 1970s and 1980s. He also looks at the gangster in popular culture, in hit TV series such as Boardwalk Empire. Although the focus is strongly on the archetypal American gangster, Robb also examines gangsters around the world, including the infamous Kray twins in London, French crime kingpin Jacques Mesrine, the Mafia Dons of Sicily, and the rise of notorious Serbian and Albanian gangs. Infamous Australian outlaw Ned Kelly makes an appearance, as does Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, while other sections provide details of the Chinese Triads and the Yakuza in Japan. Robb also explores the gangster in popular culture, especially in film and television. Recent hit TV series such as The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire and blockbuster movies like Public Enemies and Gangster Squad show that the gangster is here to stay.

Robinson

A Brief History of Walt Disney

Brian J. Robb
Authors:
Brian J. Robb

Both a fascinating account of Walt Disney's own significant artistic creations, from the iconic Mickey Mouse to the groundbreaking Snow White in 1937, and an insightful history of the hugely successful entertainment behemoth he created, from Dumbo to Pixar's Toy Story, as well as the hugely popular theme parks. But Disney's dark side is also explored: his disputed parentage; industrial disputes; his work for the FBI; and his anti-Communist and allegedly racist and antisemitic views.The company Disney built is today stronger than ever, encompassing not only the ongoing legacy of Disney animation, but also acting as the guardian of other well-loved creative endeavours, such as Pixar, The Muppets, Marvel Comics and now Star Wars.Sections include 'Before Mickey: The Road to the Mouse House', covering from 1901 to 1945 - the creation of Mickey Mouse, the creation of the world's first full-length animated feature film, the Golden Age of animation and Disney's help for the American war effort, despite labour disputes; 'Disney Studios: The Disney Genius' - difficult times, theme parks and television, live-action movies, including Mary Poppins; 'Animation's Second Coming', from the Lady and the Tramp to The Sword in the Stone, and Walt Disney's death; 'After Walt: The Disney Legacy' - family attempts to keep the studio afloat, decline and the loss of lustre in the 1970s and 1980s; 'Disney Resurgent' - a triumphant rebirth under new management with Who Framed Roger Rabbit? The Lion King and other blockbuster hits; 'From Eisner to Iger' - the corporate battle for the soul of Disney; 'Disney Goes Digital' - from Pixar to Star Wars, via Marvel Comics and The Muppets, Disney buyy up other studios, themselves often enough inspired by the original.

Robinson

A Brief History of Superheroes

Brian J. Robb
Authors:
Brian J. Robb
Robinson

A Brief Guide to Star Wars

Brian J. Robb
Authors:
Brian J. Robb

George Lucas was a rebel, refusing to make films in the style of the dying studio system, relentlessly pushing the technology of the day, and almost alone in understanding the potential of merchandising; but he was a rebel who built an empire. From the staggering unexpected success of the original Star Wars in 1977, when cinema attendances exceeded 20 million for the first time since 1963, through The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, then the 'dark times', the 16 years leading to the blockbusting prequel trilogy - this is the fascinating story of how it all happened.Life-long Star Wars fan and movie journalist Brian J. Robb edited the official Star Wars magazine for a decade and visited the sets of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith in Australia (observing director George Lucas at work), as well as the famous Skywalker Ranch. He has interviewed many of the stars and crew of all six Star Wars movies.

Alex Wheatle

Alex Wheatle is the bestselling author of several books including the modern classic Brixton Rock, and the multi-award winning Crongton series. He was awarded an MBE for his services to literature in 2008, has been twice nominated for the Carnegie Medal, and has won numerous awards including the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize.

Claire North

Claire North is a pseudonym for Catherine Webb, a Carnegie Medal-nominated author whose debut novel was written when she was just fourteen years old. She has fast established herself as one of the most powerful and imaginative voices in modern fiction. Her first book published under the Claire North pen name was The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, which became a word-of-mouth bestseller and was shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award. The follow-up, Touch, was described by the Independent as 'little short of a masterpiece'. Her next novel The Sudden Appearance of Hope won the 2017 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, and The End of the Day was shortlisted for the 2017 Sunday Times/PFD Young Writer of the Year Award. Her latest novel 84K received widespread critical acclaim and was described by bestselling author Emily St. John Mandel as 'an eerily plausible dystopian masterpiece'. She lives in London.

Drew Karpyshyn

Drew Karpyshyn is a writer/designer for games company, Bioware, and is one of the lead writers on the Mass Effect videogame. He lives in Alberta, Canada.

Elizabeth Moon

Elizabeth Moon served in the US Marine Corps, reaching the rank of 1st Lieutenant during active duty. She has also earned degrees in history and biology, run for public office and been a columnist on her local newspaper. She lives near Austin, Texas, with her husband and their son. Twenty-six of her books are in print, and she won the Nebula Award with her science fiction novel Speed of Dark (also shortlisted for the Clarke Award), and was a finalist for the Hugo in 1997.

Heather Child

Heather Child's experience in digital marketing has brought her into close contact with the automation and personalisation technologies that herald the 'big data' age. She lives in Bristol. Find her on twitter at @Heatherika1.

K. S. Merbeth

K. S. Merbeth is obsessed with SFF, food, video games and her cat, and resides in Tuscon, Arizona.

Katy Sobey

Katy Sobey BiographyKaty is from Bristol and trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.Theatre includes: Orpheus & Eurydice (Insane Root, Suspension Bridge Vaults), Rocky: A HorrorShow (The Wardrobe Theatre), The Woodlanders (Hammerpuzzle/Cheltenham Everyman), Othello(Stafford Gatehouse), Here Be Monsters (UK Tour), Hot Air (Tobacco Factory Theatre/MyrtleTheatre Co.), King John (Hammerpuzzle/The Egg), A Midsummer Night's Dream (UK Tour), Flood(Bike Shed Theatre), Sleeping Beauty and Aladdin (Little Wolf/Loughborough Town Hall), EarlyDoors (Edinburgh Festival) and The Taming of the Shrew (Sam Wanamaker Festival, The Globe).Katy has appeared in several radio plays for BBC Radio 4, including Tess In Winter, The All-Clear,The Shining Heart and Writing the Century: The Dock. She has also featured in multiple episodesof Poetry Please with Roger McGough.On television, Katy has appeared on BBC 1's daytime drama, The Indian Doctor.Katy has recorded numerous audiobooks and is a featured artist on Audible UK's Narrator'sGreatest Hits. She is the voice of the popular young adult series, Geek Girl.

Kevin J. Anderson

Kevin J. Anderson has over 16 million books in print, in 29 languages worldwide. He is the author of The Saga of Seven Suns, numerous X-FILES and STAR WARS novels, and the co-author of the bestselling DUNE prequels and sequels. He lives in Colorado with his wife, author Rebecca Moesta.

Louisa Hall

Louisa Hall grew up in Philadelphia. After graduating from Harvard, she played squash professionally while finishing her premedical coursework and working in a research lab at the Albert Einstein Hospital. She holds a PhDin literature from the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of Trinity and Speak and lives in New York.

Matthew Crow

Matthew Crow was born and raised in Newcastle. Having worked as a freelance journalist since his teens he has contributed to a number of publications including the Independent on Sunday and the Observer. He has written for adults and YA. His book My Dearest Jonah, was nominated for the Dylan Thomas Prize.

Megan E. O'Keefe

Megan E. O'Keefe was raised amongst journalists, and as soon as she was able joined them by crafting a newsletter which chronicled the daily adventures of the local cat population. She has worked in both arts management and graphic design, and has won Writers of the Future and the Gemmell Morningstar Award.Megan lives in the Bay Area of California and and runs the homemade soap store, Blushie.

Michael Cobley

Michael Cobley was born in the city of Leicester, has lived in Perth (Australia) and Glasgow but now resides in North Ayrshire. His previous works have included the Shadowkings trilogy (a dark and grim fantasy epic), Iron Mosaic (a collection of short stories) but he is best known for his epic space opera series - Humanity's Fire. Splintered Suns is a stand alone adventure set in this universe.

Peter Kenny

Thirty years working as an actor, musician, designer and director in Theatre and Radio; Peter has worked for: A&BC Theatre Co. The Royal Shakespeare Co. and The BBC Radio Drama Co. An award winning narrator of audio-books he has recorded over 100 titles, everything from: Iain M. Banks, Neil Gaiman, and Andrzej Sapkowski to Claire North, Jonas Jonasson Jeremy Vine and Paul O'Grady. He has worked with many of the major publishing houses including, Little Brown, Orion/Gollancz, Hachette, Harper, Hodder, Pan MacMillan, ISIS, RNIB, Podium and Penguin. Visit www.peterkenny.com @PeterKennyVoice

Robert Dickinson

Robert Dickinson lives in Brighton and his life to date has been shockingly uneventful. His two previous novels were published by a small press. The Tourist is his third novel.

Robert Jackson Bennett

Robert Jackson Bennett lives in Austin, Texas.

Running Press

Running Press, Running Press Kids, and Running Press Miniature Editions publish books that inspire, entertain and delight readers with innovative formats and irresistible packages for humor, pop culture, activity, cooking and self-help titles. The long-running miniature editions program features original bestsellers like Grow Your Own Mini Bonsai and top licenses like Harry Potter.