Do you think you’re good at spotting fake videos, where famous people say things they’ve never said in real life? See how they’re made in this astonishing Ted talk. Computer scientist Supasorn Suwajanakorn shows how, as a grad student, he used AI and 3D modeling to create photorealistic fake videos of people synced to audio. Learn more about both the ethical implications and the creative possibilities of this tech and the steps being taken to fight against its misuse.
This month we’re giving you a heads up as to what is about to hit the bookshelves. Today’s Pre Order with Booko is by two of the most hilarious Blue Healers that are taking the world by storm, My Dad is Awesome by Bingo and Bluey.
Books being adapted into films have always caused a stir as some will always prefer the book and others are die-hard movie fans. Later this week we’ll be taking a look at the latest books being transformed onto screen.
This is a timely and timeless story that juxtaposes the beauty of an ancient, vibrant culture with the brutality of an oppressive political regime. It’s The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree.
Founded in 2007, the Inky Awards celebrate the increasingly popular Young Adult (YA) genre. Each year, Australia’s young adults are given the opportunity to vote for their favourite YA release of the year. The awards are divided into two categories: the Gold Inky is for Australian fiction and the Silver Inky is for International fiction. Unfortunately, due to the global pandemic the awards will not run this year so we are going to dive a little deeper into the 2019 Gold Award shortlist and its winner.
After the Lights Go Out by Lili Wilkinson
This is a gripping tale that was super popular. Seventeen-year-old Pru Palmer lives with her twin sisters, Grace and Blythe, and their father, Rick, on the outskirts of an isolated mining community. The Palmers are doomsday preppers. They have a bunker filled with non-perishable food and a year’s worth of water. One day while Rick is at the mine, the power goes out. At the Palmer’s house, and in the town. All communication is cut. No one knows why. It doesn’t take long for everything to unravel. In town, supplies run out and people get desperate. The sisters decide to keep their bunker a secret. The world is different; the rules are different. Survival is everything, and family comes first.
Hive by A.J. Betts
This one is for all of the science fiction lovers. Hayley tends to her bees and follows the rules in the only world she has ever known. Until she witnesses the impossible: a drip from the ceiling. A drip? It doesn’t make sense. Yet she hears it, catches it. Tastes it. Curiosity is a hook. What starts as a drip leads to a lie, a death, a boy, a beast, and too many awful questions.
You can find Rogue, the sequel to Hive, here.
Ice Wolves by Amie Kaufman
This story is a heart-pounding adventure with magical inventions about finding one’s place in a sharply divided world.
Everyone in Vallen knows that ice wolves and scorch dragons are sworn enemies who live deeply separate lives.
So when twelve-year-old orphan Anders takes one elemental form and his twin sister, Rayna, takes another, he has to question whether they are even related. Still, whether or not they’re family, Anders knows that Rayna is his best and only true friend. She’s nothing like the brutal, cruel dragons who claimed her as one of their own and stole her away.
In order to rescue her, Anders will have to enlist at the foreboding Ulfar Academy, a school for young wolves that values loyalty to the pack above all else. But for Anders, loyalty is more complicated than blind obedience, and friendship is the most powerful shape-shifting force of all.
You can find the whole Elementals series on Booko.
The Art of Taxidermy by Sharon Kernot
Lottie collects dead creatures and lovingly cares for them, hoping to preserve them, to save them from disintegration. Her father understands; Lottie has a scientific mind, he thinks. Her aunt wants it to stop, and she goes to cruel lengths to make sure it does. And her mother? Lottie’s mother died long ago. And Lottie is searching for a way to be close to her. The Art of Taxidermy is a heartbreaking verse novel exploring love and death, grief and beauty, and the ways we try to make sense of it all.
Whisper by Lynette Noni
Whisper won the Gold Inky Award in 2019.
Lengard is a secret government facility for extraordinary people, they told me. It’s for people just like you. I believed them. That was my mistake. There isn’t anyone else in the world like me. I’m different. I’m an anomaly. I’m a monster. For two years, six months, fourteen days, eleven hours and sixteen minutes, Subject Six-Eight-Four, Jane Doe, has been locked away and experimented on, without uttering a single word. Life at Lengard follows a strict, torturous routine that has never changed. Until now. When Jane is assigned a new and unexpectedly kind evaluator, her resolve begins to crack, despite her best efforts. As she uncovers the truth about Lengard’s mysterious program, Jane discovers that her own secret is at the heart of a sinister plot and one wrong move, one wrong word, could change the world.
Jane Doe’s story finishes in the sequel, Weapon.
White Night by Ellie Marney
In Bo Mitchell’s country town, a ‘White Night’ light-show event has the potential to raise vital funds to save the skate park. And out of town, a girl from a secretive off-the-grid community called Garden of Eden has the potential to change the way Bo sees the world. But are there too many secrets in Eden? As Bo is drawn away from his friends and towards Rory, he gradually comes to believe that Eden may not be utopia after all, and that their group leader’s goal to go off the grid may be more permanent – and more dangerous – than anyone could have predicted.
This Ted talk is equal parts passionate and hilarious, David Peterson shows how studying, preserving and inventing new languages helps us understand our collective humanity and conveying what it means to be human.
Children’s books are an amazing genre. Stories are told from the point of view of animals, talking trees and even crayons. If you had to write a children’s book, what would it be about?
Today’s Book of the World is an extraordinarily powerful and personal meditation on race, culture and national identity. It’s Stan Grant’s Talking to My Country. Have you read it?
This week on the blog we’ll take a closer look at the Inky Awards, share a great Ted talk and we’ll be asking about your hypothetical book writing plans. But to start the week off, we have this little gem for you.
In an exclusive preview of his book ‘The Stuff of Thought’ Steven Pinker looks at how language expresses what goes on in our minds and how the words we choose communicate much more than we realise.