Cyberpunk classics


“I’ve… seen things… you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion; I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate… All those… moments… will be lost, in time, like tears… in… rain. Time… to die.

Wester Hailes Library are celebrating all things cyberpunk at the moment, with a special display of books, films and music.

If you’re new to this sci-fi sub-genre, here are some recommendations:

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
‘Willy Wonka meets The Matrix’ – USA Today. A jaw-droppingly cinematic, genre-busting debut that’s part virtual space opera, part classic coming-of-age story, part brilliant pop-culture mash-up

Neuromancer by William Gibson
The most influential science fiction novel of our time. Cyberspace and virtual reality were invented in this book.

Hardware (DVD)
Based on the story ‘Shok’ by Steve McManus and Kevin O’Neill. Iggy Pop stars.

Snow crash by Neal Stephenson
If you’re new to the work of Neal Stephenson this is a good place to start.

Ghost in the shell (DVD)
Japanese animation and sequel following a federal agent on the trail of The Puppet Master” who illegally hacks into the minds of cyborg-human hybrids.

The System by  Gemma Malley
The third book in ‘The Killables’ trilogy features a world with no secrets, where the only currency is being interesting and liked. And for those who fail to ‘update’ every 15 minutes, the consequences are deadly.

Do Androids dream of electric sheep? by Philip K Dick
Filmed as Blade Runner. We couldn’t not include this.

Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan (downloadable audiobook)
Pacy, violent thriller set in 25th century San Francisco, by an author based in Scotland.

Tracer by Rob Boffard
Recent addition to the genre set on a space station with a population of one million.

The Holy Machine by Chris Beckett
Interesting, and at times violent, take on religious and scientific intolerance.

Agnes says “You can only win!”

AgnesAgnes, a member of one of our ESOL (English for speakers of Other Languages) Chatabout Book Groups, writes about what the group means to her:

I’m originally from Hungary. I’ve been living in beautiful Edinburgh  more than 5 years now. As I’m a passionate reader I joined an ESOL Chatabout reading group at Fountainbridge Library a couple of years ago. It turned out to be an excellent decision as I gained a lot of benefits from it.

Firstly, I really enjoyed the short stories which we were given to read and I also enjoyed our discussions over the books. As well, my mind broadened through reading historical stories, I found it very interesting to hear other people’s different opinions about the same book.

Moreover, it helped me to learn to express myself better in English, extended my vocabulary and thanks to the friendly, encouraging environment my self-confidence grew. The reading group also provides a great opportunity for socialising, meeting new people or even making friends. If you have an opportunity to join a reading group then grab it, you can only win!

ESOL Chatabout Groups resume in September and are most suited to those who already have some English language skills (intermediate level).

There are two groups. One at Fountainbridge Library on the second Tuesday morning of each month, and another at Central Library, meeting on the first Monday evening of each month.

You are welcome to join us and practice listening, speaking and reading English.

For more information contact

Neil Oliver at Central Library

Archaeologist, historian, writer and broadcaster Neil Oliver (Coast, A History of Scotland, The History Detectives) is coming to Edinburgh Central Library.

Neil will talk about and read from his debut novel Master of Shadows – a gripping historical thriller which takes the reader from the highlands of Scotland to the crumbling majesty of Constantinople.

Edinburgh Central Library, Thursday 10th September, 7pm

Book your free ticket now! 

Chatterbooks: helping younger readers with dyslexia

‘I like getting to pick books and showing off my acting skills! I like playing ’just a minute’ Hannah, Chatterbooks member

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Our very popular Chatterbooks Group for  P4-7 children with dyslexia meets once a month in the Central Children’s Library.

We have lots of fun with stories and words. There is always time for reading together in small groups, playing some crazy games and exploring stories together. Usually we make A LOT of noise!

Email or call 0131 242 8022 if you or someone you know would like to join us. We start up again on Tuesday 26th August, 6.00 – 7.30pm

‘I really enjoy helping with chatterbooks, it’s such a happy environment! It’s incredibly rewarding to work towards engaging the group in reading. It’s amazing to see the transition in going from struggling and disliking reading, to becoming involved and choosing books to take away and read in their free time!’ Ali, volunteer.

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‘I love chatterbooks! It’s great because I get to play and meet others who need extra time to read, like me. I like the books and hearing the stories too’. Charlotte, Chatterbooks group member.

Dr Book comes to the urban garden

The George Street Urban Gardens are looking good, and we especially approve of the new book benches which were tried out by local literati Ken Macleod, Lizzy MacGregor and Ron Butlin.

We’re looking forward to paying a visit ourselves and meeting some of our younger readers.

So bring along your wee ones to the George Street ‘parklet’ week beginning 27th July to enjoy a storytime (Monday, Thursday and Friday from 11am and again at noon) or get a reading prescription from Dr Book! (Tuesday and Wednesday from 11am until noon)Tomi, dr book sign & child

Look out for us around the Assembly Rooms!

And if your kids haven’t signed up for the Summer Reading Challenge yet don’t worrry –  there’s still time!

How to get OverDrive working again on your iPad or iPhone – a guide for TalkTalk customers

Do you use the OverDrive ebook and audiobook app on your iPad or iPhone?

If you have TalkTalk Wi-Fi and have recently upgraded your device to IOS 8.4 you might have been experiencing some problems with the app hanging or running slowly.

apple-cryWe’ve traced the problem to TalkTalk’s DNS settings which you’ll need to amend to get your app working happily again. Here’s one way round it:
1. Go into Settings on your iPad or iPhone and then on Wi-Fi.
2. Click on the information button (an “i” in a circle) to the right of the link to TalkTalk.
3. Scroll down till you see the DNS section and click on the numbers to the right of this. A keyboard will appear – replace the existing DNS numbers with
4. Click on Wi-Fi and then Settings to come out of this page.

If you ever do experience issues with OverDrive advice is always available on our help page which also has a link to an online help request form .

Who’s your favourite villain?

Which evil character do you secretly, or openly, want to win?

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, every story and game needs a great antagonist and when that villain is at their best the other characters shine and the story comes alive. Or in the case of games, it makes you train harder and build up your skills to frag the wee twerp out of existence and claim your prize!

Every day this summer @LVLUPxp, our reading / gaming account for teens will be tweeting a selection of the worst of the worst from books, comics, video games and films. We hail all that is evil and rotten and kneel before their glorious wickedness!


Follow us @LVLUPxp to see who we love to hate and tweet us your Top 5 Baddies!