I've written before about my love for Jack Womack's Random Acts of Senseless Violence, a masterful, dark, apocalyptic novel told by means of a young girl's diary. Now, on Tor.com, Alyx Dellamonica has written her own essay about all the reasons to love this extraordinary, and too-often-overlooked novel:
It’s a kid’s eye view of a very believable apocalypse. This isn’t planet death by alien invasion. It isn’t some post-nuclear anime wasteland (though it does feature a few wide-eyed little girls) or a triffid invasion or a rising tide of zombies. This is the story of global economic stupidity taking down the upper middle class, the sort people who have confused having credit cards with being safe from disaster. It’s told by a teenaged girl who starts out by grappling with calamities like Mom having to fire the maid, a girl who has no idea how far her family has, yet, to fall.
It’s a diary. I love a well-written fictional diary, and they are rare treats. It’s a hard form to pull off—sort of the durian ice cream of POV choices—and even when they go for it, many writers settle for just sprinkling a little journal in, here and there, to flavor more traditional narratives. But there’s something so intimate about a person writing just for themselves, imposing order on their reality by writing down their experiences, coming to that understanding of the world around them, just for themselves, and then keeping it secret. There’s power in reading something written by someone who has no apparent intention of sharing a single word.
Surprise, Fear, and an Almost Fanatical Dedication to the Womack
Veteran reviewer/interviewer Rick Kleffel (previously) has just posted a long podcast interview (MP3) with Neal Stephenson, discussing his latest novel, Fall; or, Dodge in Hell ("a science fiction novel with a fantasy novel stuck inside of it").
A couple of weeks ago, I was thrilled to hear Subgenius founder, the Reverend Ivan Stang, interviewed on the Comedy on Vinyl podcast (previously) and to discover that the Church of the Subgenius was selling a $35 Salvation/Membership/Ordainment kit that was chock full of goodies.
[Randall Munroe traces the phenomenal success of his webcomic XKCD with this Boing Boing post; and I've avidly followed his career ever since (he's returned the favor), so I was delighted to learn in February that he had a new book coming out and I'm more delighted still to host the official announcement of his […]
Even if you feel like AirPods are worth the price tag, you’ve got to admit there’s a certain anxiety that comes with using them. What if I lose them? What if they get wet in the rain? Or drenched in sweat? Or fall into the drink you dropped them into? Shiny tech is great, but […]
With the quick-fix appeal of video games and their own cell phones, it can be tough to keep kids focused on supposedly “educational” toys. And while it may seem counter-intuitive to fight tech with more tech, we’re all in when it comes to the Toybox 3D Printer. We’re not sure if anyone had envisioned a […]
Whether you’re an artist, designer or just organizing a photo album, photo editing software is a must. And software designers know it: Platforms like Photoshop and Lightroom have a ton of helpful features, but you’ll pay for them in spades. Luckily, there’s some competition in the photo editing arena. Right now, Skylum’s Luminar software is […]