The Waking Land by Callie Bates

The Blurb On The Back:

Magic.  Romance.  Revolution. 

It’s been fourteen years, since King Antoine took Elanna hostage.  Fourteen years since her father’s rebellion failed.  Fourteen years spent being raised by the man who condemned her people to misery.

Now twenty, Elanna is about to be taken prisoner once again … but this time by her father.

He wants to reignite his rebellion, this time using Elanna as a figurehead.  He will tell his followers she is the legendary Wildegarde reborn, a sorceress who could make the very earth tremble.

But what no one knows is that magic really does flow through Elanna’s veins.  Now she must decide which side she’s on, and whether she’ll use her powers for mercy … or revenge.  

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Will China’s Economy Collapse? by Ann Lee

The Blurb On The Back:

The recent downturn in the Chinese economy has become a focal point of global attention, with some analysts warning that China is edging dangerously close to economic meltdown.  Is it possible that the second largest economy in the world could collapse and drag the rest of the world with it?

In this penetrating essay, Ann Lee explains both why China’s economy will not sink us all and the policy options on which it is drawing to mitigate against such a catastrophic scenario.  Dissecting with realistic clarity the challenges facing the Chinese economy, she makes a compelling case for its continued robustness in multiple sectors in the years ahead. 

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Will Robots Take Your Job? by Nigel M. de S. Cameron

The Blurb On The Back:

The trend that began with ATMs and do-it-yourself checkouts is moving at lightning speed.  Everything from driving to teaching to the care of the elderly and, indeed, code-writing can now be done by smart machines.  Conventional wisdom says there will be new jobs to replace those we lose – but is it so simple?  And are we ready?

Technology writer and think-tank director Nigel Cameron argues it’s naïve to believe we face a smooth transition.  Whether or not there are “new” jobs, we face massive disruption as the jobs millions of us are doing gets outsourced to machines.  A twenty-first century “rust belt” will rapidly corrode the labour market and affect literally hundreds of different kinds of jobs simultaneously.

Robots won’t design our future – we will.  Yet, shockingly, political leaders and policymakers don’t seem to have this in their line of sight.  So how should we assess and prepare for the risks of this unknown future?

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Can The Internet Strengthen Democracy? by Stephen Coleman

The Blurb On The Back:

From its inception as a public communication network, the Internet was regarded by many people as a potential means of escaping from the stranglehold of top-down, stage-managed politics.  If hundreds of millions of people could be the producers as well as the receivers of political messages, could that invigorate democracy?  If political elites fail to respond to such energy, where will it leave them?

In this book, renowned scholar of political communication Stephen Coleman argues that the best way to strengthen democracy is to reinvent it for the twenty-first century.  Governments and global institutions have failed to seize the opportunity to democratize their ways of operating, but online citizens are ahead of them, developing practices that could revolutionize the exercise of political power. 

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