Lois Lowry says she didn't think of The Giver as "futuristic or dystopian or science fiction or fantasy" — it was just a story about a kid making sense of a complicated world. Matt McKee/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt hide caption

itoggle caption Matt McKee/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Thrity Umrigar has authored six novels and is a professor of English at Case Western Reserve University. Robert Muller/Thrity Umrigar hide caption

itoggle caption Robert Muller/Thrity Umrigar

Mary Lou Longworth has set most of her mysteries in Aix-en-Provence, a small city in Southern France. "I liked the idea of this beautiful, beautiful place having a dark side," she says. Ben Bowes via Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Ben Bowes via Flickr

The Titan II intercontinental-range missile, pictured in 1965, sits ready for launch on its 150-feet-deep underground launchpad. "The one warhead on a Titan II had three times the explosive force of all the bombs used by all the armies in the second world war combined — including both atomic bombs," says investigative reporter Eric Schlosser. Keystone/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Keystone/Getty Images