"The promoters of the systemic evil involved in killing President Kennedy counted our our repression and denial of its reality. They knew that no one...more"The promoters of the systemic evil involved in killing President Kennedy counted our our repression and denial of its reality. They knew that no one would want to deal with the elephant in the living room. The Dallas and Bethesda doctors who saw the truth staring up at them from the president's dead body, and who then backed away from it, were not unique. They are symbolic of us all." p. 315
"The extent to which our national security state was systematically marshaled for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy remains incomprehensible to us. When we live in a system, we absorb a system and think in a system. We lack the independence needed to judge the system around us. Yet the evidence we have seen points to our national security state, the systemic bubble in which we all live, as the source of Kennedy's murder and immediate cover-up." - p. 370(less)
Boing Boing's Cory Doctorow has evidently written some great short stories, six of which are presented here in graphically adapted form. All of these...moreBoing Boing's Cory Doctorow has evidently written some great short stories, six of which are presented here in graphically adapted form. All of these stories but one--"When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth"--really struck me and made me want to read the original, un-adapted versions. Doctorow is the first SF author I've read who deals with our mash-up/remix culture's concerns about intellectual property vs. free speech, piracy vs. legal controls over research and communication, and corporate profits vs. human needs. He revisits many of the themes of classic SF and rethinks their implications for a radically changing, and changed, world. In addition, the artwork in most of these graphic adaptations was excellent and really added to the storytelling. (less)
"Unapologetically didactic..." Indeed! Thanks to Cory Doctorow's lectures and footnotes, I now know where to look to learn how to do the stuff describ...more"Unapologetically didactic..." Indeed! Thanks to Cory Doctorow's lectures and footnotes, I now know where to look to learn how to do the stuff described in this work of repression and resistance in near-future, all-too-real, dystopian Fortress America. Cool.
I harbor strong doubts about the long-term future of our current technoscience fetishes. That said, while these technologies dominate the near-term, young people need to be encouraged to analyze, to tinker, to explore, to dismantle, to dissect, to synthesize, to rebuild, and to hack; so that they approach the technologies in which they are immersed as they grow up (including the political technologies of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights) in the same way that we all approach written language, i.e. those who read can also write. In other words, they need to program, rather than to be programmed (to steal a phrase from Douglas Rushkoff). To that end, this is definitely something I want high schoolers to read, even if it does encourage "anti-social" behavior like cutting class to play inane Japanese alternate reality games, losing your virginity to the one you love, questioning teachers and principals, and standing up to the Department of Homeland Security.
In this case, "another planet" is an Earth which has received its first signal from intelligent life in space. An SF author might have used that as a...moreIn this case, "another planet" is an Earth which has received its first signal from intelligent life in space. An SF author might have used that as a springboard for ruminations on information theory, xenobiology, and engineering for space exploration, but Eisner was not an SF author. He instead chooses to explore what would happen to those of us here on Earth, or more correctly on an alternate 1978 Cold War Earth with its whacky Sub-Saharan dictators and umbrella-injected ricin assassinations, if intelligent life elsewhere in the cosmos were no longer a matter of speculation. Dated, with its emphasis on Cold War cloak-and-dagger stuff, but still insightful, perceptive, entertaining, and well drawn.(less)
For the first 450 pages or so I was hooked. I couldn't put this book down, and it was on track to receive four stars. Necroscope, despite its cover an...moreFor the first 450 pages or so I was hooked. I couldn't put this book down, and it was on track to receive four stars. Necroscope, despite its cover and marketing, is not really a horror novel, but more a work of supernatural, Cold War espionage and intrigue. The reader follows the lives of two characters, each of whom can commune with the dead; one, the necromancer Boris Dragosani, through violation and butchery, the other, Harry Keogh, through the art of listening. Vampires are central to the development of Dragosani's character but they are usually off-screen (or more accurately underground) or in the shadows when they do appear. Unfortunately, in the last 50 pages or so, the plot really jumped the shark, so to speak, bringing in hyperspace-time travel and zombie armies, and in so doing managed to undo much of my earlier, higher opinion of the book, turning four stars into two. But I guess Lumley gets a point for making his vampires literally alien creatures, although even their alien qualities are only ever alluded to and never described in great detail. That compensates somewhat for the really bad ending.(less)