Actually, James Comey is not your homie

"[T]he virtuous & forthright Comey resembles the degenerate & deceitful Trump. Both are the main characters in their own cinematic dramas... a mindset that blinds each of them to the consequences of their actions on other people." Adam Serwer brings the truth in this Atlantic piece on the James Comey book everyone's losing their goddamn minds about this week.

Read the rest

Paper Girls 4: duelling invisible megabots, time travel and the prime directive, now with more Hugo nominations!

Paper Girls is the outstanding Stranger-Things-esque graphic novel series by Brian K Vaughan and Cliff Chiang, a tale of time-travel, meddling, war and coming of age whose mind-bending twists and turns earned it a Hugo nomination this year. Now Paper Girls 4 is on shelves, and it's time to party like it's 1999.

The Secret History of Mac Gaming

Richard Moss's been working on The Secret History of Mac Gaming [Amazon] for years, and now it's finally out.

Written by Richard Moss , with additional contributions by Craig Fryar Designed by Darren Wall Illustrated by JJ Signal Published by Unbound Made possible by 1,265 crowdfunding backers

Available March 22 online and in the UK; April 15 in Australia

You can read excerpts on Ars Technica and Gamasutra .

The Ars Technica excerpt is the chapter on Apple's doomed game console; Gamasutra's is on the legendary Mac-first game Dark Castle, video of which is embedded below. The official website has more, and a great Mac OS Classic theme to boot.

Read the rest

Book review: Melancholy Accidents

With guns on the public mind, now might be a good time to read Melancholy Accidents: Three Centuries of Stray Bullets and Bad Luck, an anthology of newspaper accounts of accidental shootings, mostly fatal, compiled by Peter Manseau. Spanning 1739 to 1916, they’re brief, only a half-page on average, but their old-fashioned diction, formal as a wing collar, and the ironic distance between their deadpan recitation of the facts and the mayhem they recount gives them a prosaic poetry. They uncover the matter-of-fact madness of what Manseau calls “a nation that fancies itself created and sustained by guns, yet remains resigned to being culled by them with unnerving frequency.”

Some of the book’s entries have a Fortean absurdity that splits the difference between tragic and comic, like the February 13, 1739 item from The New England Weekly Journal about some men trying out a new firearm on the broad side of a barn. As fate would have it, “one of the Bullets struck upon some piece of Iron and split it (the Bullet) in two, one piece of which flew to a considerable Distance from the Barn.” A Doctor Rice was traveling along the road; it cut him down. The other half came to rest near a cluster of people but “did no Hurt.” One of them, the Reverend Mr. Sterns, “sent the piece to the Men who were firing, with a desire that they would take more Care for the future.”

Other reports are contenders for the Darwin Award, testimonials to the stupidity of the species. Read the rest

Peter & Ernesto: A Tale of Two Sloths

Peter & Ernesto have a good life: the two sloths sit in their Amazon treetop and make up songs about the animal shapes they see in the clouds. But one day, Ernesto gets it into his head to see the whole sky, from every place on Earth, and sets out through the jungle.

A chair that's also a library

Seoul-based designer Yang Si Young created the "Library Chair" in answer to a personal challenge: to design a piece of furniture that's also a library; with built-in shelving and a place to read. Read the rest

2017 Hugo nominees announced

The 2017 Hugo nominees were announced yesterday; attendees at this year's World Science Fiction Convention in San Jose, California will choose from among them to pick this year's Hugo Award winners. Read the rest

Paypal blacklists payments for a World Socialists pamphlet about the Iranian opposition

The Struggle Against Imperialism and for Workers' Power in Iran is a $3.50 pamphlet by Keith Jones of the Socialist Equality Party of Canada; published by Mehring Books and distributed by the World Socialist Web Site. Read the rest

Children's book about Mike Pence's gay pet rabbit storms Amazon

A childrens' book about a fictional gay bunny belonging to Mike Pence has stormed Amazon, displacing the memoir of fired FBI chief James Comey from the #1 slot and outpacing another childen's book about a presumptively not-gay bunny belonging to Mike Pence, written by his daughter, Charlotte, and wife, Karen.

The real Marlon Bundo is already adorable enough, and now fans have two fictional variants to enjoy.

The Pences are being good sports. Here's Charlotte: "We have two books giving to charities that are about bunnies, so I’m all for it really."

Mr. [John] Oliver revealed the book, which was written by Jill Twiss and credits the titular bunny as a co-author, on his weekly late-night show on Sunday. He described it as a mocking rebuke of the vice president’s longtime opposition to gay and transgender rights.

“Please buy it for your children, buy it for any child you know or buy it because you know it would annoy Mike Pence,” Mr. Oliver told his viewers. Parody aside, he assured them, “This is a real book for children.” ... Ms. Pence’s book on Marlon Bundo had reached No. 4 on the list by late afternoon.

Ms. Pence’s book appears to be "more sober children’s fare," adds the times, noting that "it is not known if it identifies Marlon Bundo’s sexual orientation at all." Read the rest

This artist alters books into haunting 3D sculptures

Isobelle Ouzman turns altered books she finds in SEattle dumpsters into fantastical nightscapes and placid forest scenes. Read the rest

Sara Varon's New Shoes: a kids' buddy story about the jungles of Guyana and redemption

Sara Varon is co-creator, with Cecil Castellucci, of Odd Duck, the 2013 outstanding kids' picture book, and her latest solo venture, New Shoes is a brilliant reprisal of the themes from Odd Duck: camaraderie among eccentric animals, charming small-town life, fascinating technical details, humor, and beautiful, engaging illustrations.

Steven Brust's "Good Guys," a hardboiled noir urban fantasy, with everything great about Brust on proud display

Steven Brust is a literary treasure and his longrunning Vlad Taltos series, now nearing its final volume, is a good example of where his strengths lie: hardboiled plotting, snappy dialog, weirdly realistic and plausible depictions of magic, and a sensitive eye for power relationships and their depiction, all of which are on display in his latest, outstanding novel, Good Guys, about the minimum-wage sorcerers who investigate magical crimes on behalf of a secret society.

Syndicated strip or graphic novel? Lynn Johnston on doing For Better or For Worse in the internet age

In honor of the Library of American Comics' publication of For Better or For Worse: The Complete Library, Vol. 1 (Volume 2 is out this summer), we are delighted to publish this essay by Lynn Johnston, contemplating the nature of writing a serial for decades and how she might approach her life's work today.

Interview with Daniel Mallory Ortberg

One of my favorite writers has a new book out and was interviewed by The Cut. He talkes about his transition, gender identity, bylines, and the new context of his past work. Read the rest

Monsters Beware! is the long-awaited sequel to Giants Beware! and Dragons Beware! and it is AAAAAAMAZING!

Rafael Rosado and Jorge Aguirre's middle-grades graphic novels Giants Beware! and Dragons Beware! are two of my family's favorite books: Rosado and Aguirre's character design, comedic dialog, plotting, and scenarios are so charming, so funny, so overwhelmingly, compulsively great that we've re-read these dozens of times; now we've got Monsters Beware, the third volume in the series, where the mysteries of Mont Petit Pierre and the intertwined lives of the huge cast of characters from the previous volumes come together.

The Necronomicon pop-up book

Skinner, a "psychedelic nightmare painter," created a pop-up edition of HP Lovecraft's Necronomicon, available in a $50 Earth-Dweller edition and a $200 Elder God edition (with embossed foil casewrap, around a custom, laser-engraved acrylic slipcase and an art-print). Read the rest

Thinking in Bets: a poker-master's Jedi mind-trick for being less wrong

Annie Duke dropped out of a PhD in cognitive psychology to become a professional poker player; now she runs a nonprofit devoted to improving decision quality by merging the practical cognitive tools of the world's greatest poker players with the leading edge of cognitive psychology, a method she describes in an excellent and charming new book called Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts.

More posts