William Seabrook was once one of America's foremost literary stars; now he is all but forgotten. Seabrook travelled the world, writing a series of (decreasingly sympathetic) accounts of indigenous people and their culture, outselling the literary giants he kept company with, and who pretended not to mind the women he paid to let him tie them up and keep around his home. In The Abominable Mr. Seabrook
, graphic novelist Joe Ollman presents an unflinching look at Seabrook, his literary accomplishments and failures, his terrible self-destructiveness, and the awful spiral that took him from the heights of American letters to an ignominious suicide after his discharge from a psychiatric facility.
The "nonpology" is a corporate standard: a company does something terrible, and then it tells you it's sorry that you found its behaviour upsetting. But HP's October 2016 public statement
on its secret, aftermarket attack on its customers' property has made important advances in the field of nopologyology.
Doubtless you've laughed at the ideological war between the Judean People's Front and the People's Front of Judea
. I laughed along with you: having grown up in politics, I know firsthand about the enmities that fester between groups that should be allies -- groups whose differences can only be parsed after months of study, but who are seemingly more at odds with one another than their obvious political opponents on the "other side" of the debate.
Fletcher Hanks comics are incredibly violent, incredibly stupid, and incredibly beautiful. His first published work appeared in 1939, only months after the first Superman story ran, and his last work appeared in 1941. Then he disappeared.
All 53 of his batshit crazy tales have been reprinted in “Turn Loose Our Death Rays And Kill Them All!: The Complete Works Of Fletcher Hanks
.” They are likely to pop your eyes, blow your mind, and leave you speechless. Shortly before his death, Kurt Vonnegut wrote that, “The recovery of these treasures is in itself a major work of art.”
We've followed Annalee Newitz's career here
for more than a decade, from her science writing fellowship to her work as an EFF staffer to her founding of IO9 and her move to Ars Technica and the 2013 publication of her first book
, nonfiction guidance on surviving the end of the world and rebooting civilization: now, I'm pleased to present an exclusive excerpt from Autonomous
, her debut novel, which Tor will publish in September 2017, along with the first look at her cover, designed by the incomparable Will Staehle. As her editor, Liz Gorinsky, notes, "Autonomous takes an action-packed chase narrative and adds Annalee's well-honed insight into issues of AI autonomy, pharmaceutical piracy, and maker culture to make a book that's accessible, entertaining, and ridiculously smart." I'm three quarters of the way through an early copy, and I heartily agree.
An evening of police brutality in 1965 ushers in one of the most pivotal moments in Civil Rights history. From John Wilcock, New York Years
, a history of the 1960s underground press and related events. (Also, Happy MLK Day
, Jan 16)
Nintendo's nostalgic instant sellout NES Classic (still available from scalpers) only comes with 30 games and no way to add more: but it only took two months from the announcement date for intrepid hackers to jailbreak the device and come up with a way to load your favorite ROMs, using a USB cable and a PC.
Last October, Penguin released its Galaxy boxed set
, a $133 set of six hardcover reprints of some of science fiction's most canonical titles: The Left Hand of Darkness
by Ursula K LeGuin; Stranger in a Strange Land
by Robert A Heinlein; 2001: A Space Odyssey
by Arthur C Clarke; Dune
by Frank Herbert; The Once and Future King
by TH White; and Neuromancer
, by William Gibson.
Margaret Thatcher's 1979 declaration that "there is no alternative" to neoliberal capitalism is more than a rallying cry: it's a straitjacket on our imaginations, constraining our ability to imagine what kinds of other worlds we might live in. But in science fiction, alternatives to market economies abound (and a surprising number of them are awarded prestigious awards by the Libertarian Futurist Society
!), and it is through these tales that sociologist Peter Frase asks us to think through four different ways things could go, in a slim, sprightly book called Four Futures
-- a book that assures us that there is no more business as usual, and an alternative must
Ever since I found
the Unfuck Your Habitat Tumblr
, I've been addicted to its brand of frank, compassionate, sweary advice for people who want to be organized but don't know where to start. Now, unfucker-in-chief Rachel Hoffman has distilled the UFyH philosophy into a brilliant, breezy book that is a must-read for people who are terrified by Marie Kondo
but intrigued by being able to see their floors again: Unf*ck Your Habitat: You're Better Than Your Mess
. Read the rest
"The Hard Problem" is a new episode of the Into The Impossible podcast
from the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination
: it features the outcome of a collaboration
between legendary performance artist Marina Abramović (previously
) and environmentalist science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson (previously
): a short story about an interstellar journey incorporating elements of Robinson's outstanding 2015 novel Aurora
-- a novel that is pitiless in its insistence on rigor
in our thinking about the problems of living in space and on other planets.
I've been writing about genius hardware hackers Andrew "bunnie" Huang since 2003, when MIT hung him out to dry
over his book explaining how he hacked the original Xbox; the book
he wrote about that hack has become a significant engineering classic, and his own life has taken a thousand odd turns that we've chronicled here as he's founded companies, hacked hardware, become a China manufacturing guru, and sued the US government
over the anti-hacking provisions of the DMCA.
In Like Clockwork: Steampunk Pasts, Presents, and Futures
, Rachel A. Bowser and Brian Croxall present a lively, engaging collection of essays about the past, present, future (and alternate versions thereof) of steampunk culture, literature and meaning, ranging from disability and queerness to ethos and digital humanities. We're proud to present this long excerpt from the book's introduction.
Welcome to another edition of “Mystery No Science Theatre 3000.” In this episode, the Texas Department of State Health Services, (a place where medical evidence is given the same weight as the results of a Magic 8 ball) has approved a regulation that requires burials for ALL fetal tissue
that comes from a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or an abortion performed at a Texas healthcare facility.
Brian K Vaughan is one of my very favorite comics creators, though the erratic schedule of Saga
, the psychedelic, sexy space opera he and Fiona Staples created has frustrated me at times -- and then I remember that Vaughan is so erratic because he's so busy
, creating new titles like 2015's Paper Girls, which Image Comics began to collect in two volumes this year: Book 1
last April, and Book 2
on December 6.
Traditionally, the end of year (New Year's, especially) is a time when many on the planet indulge in LSD. To commemorate this good-minded season, here's a compact history of East Coast academic acid, including John's experience dosing at Millbrook with Tim Leary, Charles Mingus, others. Happy Holidays.
When ex-CIA agent Tom King teamed up with a group of extremely talented writers to reboot Marvel's "Vision" in 2015, he had a lot of material to work with -- the character had begun as a kind of super-android in the 1940s and had been reincarnated many times, through many twists and turns: what King & Co did with Vision both incorporated and transcended all that backstory, in an astounding tale that Ta-Nehisi Coates called "the best comic going right now." With the whole run collected in two volumes
, there's never been a better time to see just how far comic storytelling can go.