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
Librecorps is a program based at the Rochester Institute for Technology's Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) initiative that works with UNICEF to connect students with NGOs for paid co-op placements where they build and maintain FOSS tools used by nonprofits.
Connor Krukosky's lifelong hobby was collecting and refurbishing superannuated computing equipment, which is surprisingly cheap provided you have a lot of space -- Krukosky scored things like keypunch machines for a mere $7 (though he had to drive 1,000 miles roundtrip to get it home).
Jen "Klingon Pop Warrior" Usellis records covers of pop songs, translated into Klingon, the apex of which is surely her rendition of "Let it Go" ("yIbuSQo'") from Frozen. (via Borderlands)
With all the revolutionary tech that’s out there, it’s pretty sad that finding a simple stud in your wall can feel like dowsing for water. This can be equally true whether you’re using a magnetic finder and it’s reliance on “feel,” or an electronic unit that can give fuzzy readings (especially when the batteries are […]
Do you have any Star Wars fans on your list? Given the reach and output of its new corporate masters these days, it might be easier to ask if there’s anyone out there who isn’t a Star Wars fan. So let’s narrow it down further: Do you know a Star Wars fan who likes to […]
There’s much ado about coffee brewing methods these days, but most of us – at least on the busy weekdays – just want our morning joe to be consistent, easy, and most of all, fast. If that sounds like anyone on your Christmas list, they’re going to get a lot of mileage out of the […]