Matt Ruff is one of science fiction and fantasy's most consistently brilliant and innovative authors, whose recent work includes The Mirage
(an incredible alternate history in which the Global War on Terror is kicked off when Christian crusaders from the blighted, tribal USA fly a plane into the United States of Arabia's Twin Towers in Dubai, giving the hawkish CIA chief Osama bin Laden the chance to launch the all-out war he's been champing for), and Lovecraft Country
(an anti-racist reimagining of Cthulhu set in Jim Crow America where the real horror is white supremacy -- now being adapted for TV by Jordan Peele
). In his new novel, 88 Names
, Ruff adds to the canon of MMORPG heist novels (Charlie Stross's Rule 34
, Neal Stephenson's Reamde
, and my For the Win
, to name three) with a unique take that he dubbed "Snow Crash meets The King and I."
A Brooklyn resident is lucky to be alive. After allegedly accepting a gift of poisoned cheesecake from Viktoria Nasyrova, she began to feel ill. A friend later found the Brooklyn-ite unconscious and surrounded by scattered pills, as if she had apparently attempted suicide. Rushed to a hospital and survived, remembering only a hovering Nasyrova nearby as she passed out.
Apparently the victim's passport and other critical identification/work enabling paperwork had been stolen from her apartment, and Nasyrova looks an awful lot like the victim. Someone is in custody. Hope it is the right one. Read the rest
The first two volumes of Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky's Sex Criminals
were a dirty romp: a pair of lovers who discover that they can stop time at the moment of orgasm start robbing banks to save a local library from demolition, and run into a posse of other time-stopping fuckers who are set against them. But in volume three, Three the Hard Way
, the story transcends the sex and the jokes to take a hard, wet look at what humans do when we do sex.
From one of science fiction's most versatile writers comes a caper novel about corporate sleaze and net-savvy guerrilla activists that is as thrilling as it is trenchant. Cory Doctorow
reviews Paolo Bacigalupi's The Doubt Factory
Nineties Irish indie feature HOW TO CHEAT IN THE LEAVING CERTIFICATE was recently remastered, and the 1080p telecine created from the original camera negative and is now available in full on YouTube