Eutopia: horror novel about Lovecraftian racism
David Nickle's horror novel Eutopia confronts the racial overtones of Lovecraftian fiction head on, revealing a terrifying story of the American eugenics movement and the brutality underbelly of utopianism. You may recall David Nickle's essay about the inseparable nature of HP Lovecraft's support for eugenics and his horror. It made an excellent intellectual argument, but that's nothing to the emotional punch of the novel inspired by the subject, 2011's Eutopia: A Novel of Terrible Optimism.
Doctor Andrew Waggoner -- a Paris-educated Black American doctor -- is hospitalized by Klansman in the utopian settlement of Eliada, Idaho, where he soon encounters Jason Thistledown, the sole survivor of a plague that wiped out the town of Cracked Wheel, Montana. The two of them become unlikely allies in uncovering the mystery of "Mr Juke," a strange creature housed in the hospital's enormous quarantine.
Mr Juke is a monster, of an ancient race of parasites whose offspring incubate in the wombs of human women, and who are able to inspire religious ecstasy in the people who serve them. Mr Juke and his kind might have lived undiscovered in the back country, in grotesque symbiosis with the hill people, if not for Eliada's eugenics project, through which hill people are systematically catalogued and sterilized "to improve the race."
The biology of the monsters is handled beautifully, and may call to mind the books of Peter Watts, such as Blindsight and its recent sequel, Echopraxia -- no coincidence, as the two workshop together in Toronto's Cecil Street group.
It's a story of piano-wire suspense, grotesque horrors, and, above all, visceral insight into the race politics of American horror, and how they are bound up with the American project itself, the many groups who set out to carve themselves utopias in the "endless" wilderness of the frontier, treating it all as terra nullus and the other humans -- especially poor, indigenous and black people -- as inconveniences to be despatched.
This is a story with many different villains, all of whom seem to be on the same side, but each of whom is eventually revealed to be playing their own game. What seems like a unified ideological front at first is revealed as a marriage of convenience or an emergent property. This complex story of how unthinkable evil can arise from so many disparate incentives is one of the best of the many truths in this book.
Nickle is a versatile writer -- from the Christmas horror story he wrote with Karl Schroeder to his Rob Ford knife-fight story to his masterful take on ghost stories. But Eutopia shines even in this company.
Eutopia: A Novel of Terrible Optimism [David Nickle/Chizine]
Taking one cent, ever, from the NRA should disqualify you from ever running for office as a Democrat
New Jersey State Senator Jeff Van Drew wants to run for Congress as a Democrat; he visited 17-year-old Emily McGrath's school, Egg Harbor Township High, where McGrath questioned him about whether he'd taken money from the NRA; Van Drew said he hadn't, and he was lying.
Fully Automated Small Screen Luxury Communism: Amazon is making a TV show out of Iain Banks's Culture novels
The late, lamented Scottish writer Iain Banks (previously) was several kinds of writer, but one of his main claims to fame is his role in developing the idea of fully automated luxury communism, in his beloved Culture novels, a series of wildly original space operas about a post-singularity, post-scarcity cooperative galactic civilization devoted to games, […]
In 2009 a NJ judge banned hooking up voting machines to the internet, but that's exactly how ES&S's "airgapped" machines work
Connecting voting machines to the internet is a terrible idea: the machines are already notoriously insecure, and once they're online, anyone, anywhere in the world becomes a potential attacker.
Many of us enjoy the aesthetic of vintage electronics, but trying to use most hardware from the 1950’s isn’t necessarily practical. This is especially true where speakers are concerned. While most of us can appreciate the old-school feel of retro speakers, they have a hard time matching the convenience and power delivered by today’s Bluetooth speakers. […]
Python is one of the most popular and versatile programming languages used by developers today, making it an ideal first choice for those looking to kickstart a career in programming. While you could go back to school or sign up for a pricey coding bootcamp, you can learn the essentials of coding with Python at […]
Going back to school isn’t necessarily an option for everyone. Between the time commitments and steep tuition rates, there are obstacles aplenty as far as furthering education is concerned. However, that’s not to say it’s impossible to learn new skills. Excel with Business lets users access thousands of hours of online learning in Microsoft, business, technology, […]