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X-Files Book of the Unexplained
by Jane Goldman
ISBN 0061053341 / 9780061053344 / 0-06-105334-1
Publisher HarperCollins Canada, Limited
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The X-Files Book of the Unexplained is the perfect synthesis of popular media, folklore, theory, and fact. Author Jane Goldman appraises the merits of episodes such as "Ghost in the Machine," in which special agents Mulder and Scully investigate a murderous computer system. However, Goldman's exploration of the inspirations for these episodes is what sets The X-Files Book of the Unexplained apart from a mere episode guide. For "Ghost in the Machine," Goldman interviews experts in the field of artificial intelligence such as MIT's Mark Torrence. She also recounts reports of Japanese workers killed by assembly-line robots that run amuck and the bizarre case of chess champion Nikolai Gudkov, who was electrocuted by the computer opponent he had just checkmated. The photographs and quotes from the television show, interspersed throughout, are a bonus for X-philes and accentuate the book's truth-is-stranger-than-fiction theme. If you enjoy this book, be sure to pick up volume two as well. --Brian Patterson [via]