Max Barry's Machine Man is a disarmingly funny and light-feeling novel about an antisocial engineer who decides to create his own prosthetic leg after he loses his own in an industrial accident. Charles Neumann is an antisocial, technology-dependent scientist at a top secret military contractor's skunkworks. Dissatisfied with the prosthesis he is fitted with after he accidentally crushes his leg in a materials-testing machine, he sets out to create a better leg -- a leg that's so good you'd chop your own off to get it (this is also the battle-cry of the real-world open-source prosthetics movement). Which is precisely what he does.
What unfolds is a superficially simple, absurdist tale about a misfit geek who pursues a relentless and seemingly logical program of amputation and replacement. Barry uses this narrative to smuggle in a sly and insightful critique of the anti-human edges of the transhumanist movement, the place where transcendence of nature meets mortification of the flesh.
As with all of the best thought-provoking sf, Machine Man pulls this off without slowing down the action -- which involves some properly cinematic cyborg duelling and such -- and without sacrificing characterization. This is a really fantastic read and a thought-provoking one, too -- a great companion to such books as James Hughes's Citizen Cyborg.
Tony “Coyote” Perez is a helluva storyteller. Built to Burn: Tales of the Desert Carnies of Burning Man is his much-anticipated book about the “wild west” days of “that thing in the desert.” It’s available for pre-order (ebook now, paperback later). Notably, it’s the first book that the Burning Man Project has ever published. BUILT […]
Australian illustrator Steven Rhodes’ art has an unmistakable retro-kid-book-creepy aesthetic that’s both dark and hilarious. You’re probably familiar with his work through his line of t-shirts (the “Easy-Bake Coven” one is a personal favorite). Well, now he’s announced an actual book based on his parody children’s book covers (the preview pages literally made me laugh […]
“I made this huge leather bound “spellbook” with traditional bookbinding techniques,” says Nerdforge7 of NERDFORGE, on IMGUR. What an amazing project.
Building blocks are among a child’s first, and arguably, most important, toys. Once they start stacking one tentatively on top of another, the blocks not only spark waves of creativity, but actual real-world understanding of scientific principles like engineering and physics. It wouldn’t even be a stretch to call blocks on of the first true […]
Time management and self-motivation, the ability to stay on task and achieve in the office or when you’re working with home, is the true test of any person’s professional mettle. While that’s easier said than done, those skills can be taught and developed as you’ll find in The 2020 Work From Anywhere Hacker Bundle. The […]
It’s easy to be instantly dismissive about most Bluetooth speakers, especially small travel-sized units. Over the past few years, makers of every shape, size, and variety have started pounding out Bluetooth speakers, many barely able to sound much better than your smartphone speaker, let alone provide the bass and volume heft of legitimate portable speakers […]