The first chapter will hook you, line and sinker. It's somewhat ironic that the first chapter is so off-the-wall and hilariously awesome that the restThe first chapter will hook you, line and sinker. It's somewhat ironic that the first chapter is so off-the-wall and hilariously awesome that the rest of the otherwise superb book pales in comparison.
Otherwise, this book does an excellent job of simultaneously lampooning and paying homage to Neuromancer and the entire cyberpunk mythos. That, mixed with its tongue-and-cheek writing style and deeply detailed central theme of Sumerian linguistics will quickly enthrall the reader.
If you read this and William Gibson's Neuromancer (the book that started Cyberpunk), you've filled up on your minimum cyberpunk quota....more
Comic content is pretty bare-bones, but the book feels wonderfully constructed and the comic's form really benefits from being laid out in coffee-tablComic content is pretty bare-bones, but the book feels wonderfully constructed and the comic's form really benefits from being laid out in coffee-table-book fashion.
The real gold comes at the end, out-takes to show what happens when PBF fails (since it's rarely anything less than a punch to the gut) and a few sketches that let you into the mind of the author.
The final interview is a beautiful read, inspirational even. I would recommend it to the same people who I recommend my self-help collection to....more
For perhaps the first time, computer science instruction and /literature/ fuse into one perfect specimen.
Whenever I feel down and out about my professFor perhaps the first time, computer science instruction and /literature/ fuse into one perfect specimen.
Whenever I feel down and out about my profession, I come back to this book to remember that there are people who may one day actually overcome this supposed split between the humanities and the technologies that modern society seems to function under. This is the first positive answer to the question of whether computer science can be adapted (without appropriation) into works of art.
Beyond that, this is actually a pretty excellent Ruby tutorial. As an experienced programmer, I may be banking on previously earned knowledge which means I cannot necessarily speak for a total newcomer.
However, you'll spend half an hour reading up on some seemingly nonsensical tale of Dr. Charn or Why's daughter's organ teacher or what have you, only to find that underneath the whim you have been shown exactly the principles that you will then take ten minutes internalizing in Ruby code.
The only knock is that sometimes the whimsy runs on a bit thick and doesn't hold well enough to be more than charmingly bloated words of wonder. At those moments you may either wish for another code example or perhaps just for the foxes to get on with their tale instead of wallowing in existential despair....more
I thought this was a pretty awesome addendum to the Dark Crystal universe.
First off, if you loved Dark Crystal's aesthetic, you will probably be rubbiI thought this was a pretty awesome addendum to the Dark Crystal universe.
First off, if you loved Dark Crystal's aesthetic, you will probably be rubbing your hands up and down this book all the time, especially the cover, which is textured in a way you'll want to cradle on nights beside the fire.
The "creation" part of the creation myths is a little murky, no worse than many actual traditions where cornerstones of the world were ... always there, or manifested without further explanation.
The later myths is where the payoff happens. New characters that (in this book) seem like world-building asides, similar to the tapestry of unrelated myths in other cosmologies. The tale of the first conjunction and arrival of the Urskeks fleshes out things quite satisfactory. A significant new character, Aughra's son, promises to be a very important character (and since he's not part of the mythos until now, he'll probably do something profound that makes him worth forgetting? Very promising......more
Bought this book under a kind of duress, but it was totally worth it.
As the summary says, Magic Boy is an old man who builds a robot which goes back iBought this book under a kind of duress, but it was totally worth it.
As the summary says, Magic Boy is an old man who builds a robot which goes back in time and kills him to take his place.
It's a crude book which reveals the author's crude mind, but it's one of vulnerability. Magic Boy struggles with being old, but also enjoys it, and reminisces about his life. There's a lot of vulnerable frailty, magic boy's nudity is not avoided as the capabilities of his own body are part of the exploration.
There's also a lot of weird shit that doesn't make all that much sense. But if you like things like Ivan Brunetti's Schizo, this will be right up your alley.
If you like robots who are killer and confused and vulnerable, if you like cats with agendas, if you like dopey old men, if you like very unstylized violence and people unafraid of having caused their own deaths, you will enjoy this book....more
I absolutely loved this book. There are at least three moments where I either cried or wanted to and restrained myself because I was in public. I wantI absolutely loved this book. There are at least three moments where I either cried or wanted to and restrained myself because I was in public. I want to touch and caress this book forever, and if I died with it in my arms I'd be happy. There are a lot of legitimate issues with it, though.
At its heart, Habibi is a love story between a woman in an Islamic/Arabian setting and a boy she helped raise into adulthood (and manhood in particular) The world is harsh, of course the "best" way to demonstrate a craptastic world is through rape and slavery, so.... But the two get split and reunite after six years of discovery and tragedy.
Reasons I love this book: * The art is gorgeous. It's one of the most beautifully drawn books I've ever seen. * Having grown up in the middle east and being a person of colour myself, books that centre on people like me are really appealing even if I'm not middle eastern or from northern Africa myself. * I have a soft spot for books that deal with religion, having grown up Catholic in an Islamic world. * The book in many ways covers a lot of women's issues (I don't want to say feminist, it's not my place) and more importantly for me, covers a man dealing with his own manhood in relation to the treatment of women. In some ways the man's narration mirrors, for good or ill, the journey I've had to make as a cis dude of colour who supports feminism. * The subtle revelation of (view spoiler)[the setting, where it turns out this is not set in the past but in the future due to environmental issues (hide spoiler)], is very subtle and very powerful. It's amazing when and how you see it revealed.
Criticisms of the book: * The author is a white North American male. Don't get me wrong, he researched heavily and wasn't just talking out of his ass. But at the same time, even the few parts of the book that dealt with Indian culture, as an Indian I was like that's an interesting spin you have on it, accurate but... * The book is orientalist, it feels like a survey of Islamic features with none of the subtlety that someone who actually lived there (Having lived in Saudi, I can probably say that with a miniscule sense of authority.) Comparing this book to something like Persepolis or Reading Lolita in Tehran shows a lot of nuance from people who understand the day to day rather than an implicit comparison to Eurocentric backings. * As said above, while I sort of get that sexuality was an important part of the book, it felt more like the various rapes in the book were to make men feel uncomfortable in a narratively-sloppy way, in many ways reducing the woman to a story for men to change. While I think that there were some powerful moments, the amount of it felt de-sensitizing. This being said, I'm a pro-feminist dude, so what do I know. * While I get that there were purposeful neologisms in the book to offset the serious tone, some of the casual affections of the African characters seemed a bit ... reductive and trite and reducing people down to a stereotype. * This book gladly displays women nude and vulnerable in all sorts of nasty positions, but the few times it is important for a man to show his penis, nothing (or it's so hidden as to be virtually non-existent.)
All in all, I felt the book was incredibly ambitious and it failed a lot. But at least it tried and I'm glad it can be educational even in a critical form. While it's obviously better of women and people of colour write about their own experiences themselves (and that we as a society support that), for a book written by a white male cis comic book author, I think this book did a really good job.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
What a bastard! Greil Marcus sucked me in with 70s punk trivia and turned out to be an introductory text on Dadaism, Situationist International and thWhat a bastard! Greil Marcus sucked me in with 70s punk trivia and turned out to be an introductory text on Dadaism, Situationist International and the May '68 riots that shaped contemporary France.
But, if this book as anything to say, it shaped punk too. By bookending philosophy with punk histories it convinced me that listening to protest music was not enough; it uncovered a philosophy that demonstrates the true danger and disruptive joy that should have informed the instruments and ears of everyone under the punk tag. Assuming, of course, that all punks were academic at heart.
The book is definitely rewarding but, given its spirit, tends to gleefully confound the reader just as its focus organization once did.
The question is: being not a punk but mere punk listener 20 years too late, how do I take my new understanding of SI, '68 and continue their good work in business casual and the grocery?...more
I first found out about this book when a friend told me that the author, Susan Cain, was speaking at our university and that she felt I would really aI first found out about this book when a friend told me that the author, Susan Cain, was speaking at our university and that she felt I would really appreciate her. When Susan Cain spoke, I was somewhat suspicious that a person who seemed so capable of putting presenting herself in a public lecture setting could be someone who set out to write a book about introvert advocacy.
Her speech was a capsule summary of this book, one that went over the main points and convinced me that this book would be worth buying. Afterwards, since she was hanging around selling her books and I figured I might as well get her to sign a copy for my friend who couldn't make it, I decided to talk to her, figure out some questions that were appropriate for book-singings like this, and go home. What really impressed me about Susan Cain was how weary she appeared while signing people's books. She had claimed to be an introvert and not naturally comfortable with public speaking, but it was here that I could see that she truly meant it. This was when I decided I could trust her.
This book's take on introversion seems more about particular qualities than attempting to lay people on any particular continuum. While she mentions ambiversion, I find that the book tends to work more along the lines of people finding energy in particular ways while being more or less capable of switching into other modes when they feel the need to. This may be because she isn't focused on the whole set of possibilities, but only on introversion regardless of how dominant and it is.
The book generally takes the following thrust: 1) Society has moved from a model that appreciated quiet, thoughtful, isolated thought to one that exclusively promotes gregariousness and vivacity. 2) People who are introverted are so not because they are unhealthily shy or taciturn: there is scientific evidence that introversion is real, and is the result of biological factors. Introverts draw their energy from different sources than extroverts. 3) Introversion and extroversion have their strengths and weaknesses. Introverted people and extroverted people often complement each other, and when well-aligned can play to each other's strengths. Also, it would be beneficial for introverts to practice extroverted behaviour and vice-versa if they are to strive towards being more well-rounded individuals. The book ends with strategies for how to deal with opposite pairings in both romantic and parent-child relationships.
I don't have a scientific background, but the book seems to do a decent job of providing credible sources and claims given that it's a book for popular consumption and making a relatively (novel) argument. I feel the details are less important than the message, though; introversion is not purely a chosen or adopted behaviour.
More importantly, this is the first time I've seen someone attempt to put down a clear treatise of why I do the things I do, and why the values I have seem so at odds with the unspoken rules of social engagement. It is both inspiring and comforting to have someone tell me that my behaviour is not a defect but an alternative, and that my intuition that I am underrepresented in social dialogue is a very real one. It also (annoyingly :P) points out ways in which I could challenge myself to grow beyond my comfort zone.
This book has definitely provided some clarity into my life, and both made it easier to accept myself and given me some ideas as to how I can more affectively achieve some of my goals by understanding my character rather than constantly trying to override it. I highly recommend it to people who significantly identify as introverts in order to better understand themselves. Other people attempting to understand introverts will also gain much insight into how they work, while also being exposed to an articulate set of common frustrations that non-introverted people inadvertently (and well-meaningly) cause....more