Posts tagged with "books"
Review: The Gig Economy

The Gig Economy, which is as of this writing the single post on a WordPress blog entitled Zero HP Lovecraft, is of and about the internet. Specifically, the internet of 2018, its social media and blockchains. What initially appears to be a particularly flowery and rambling blogpost reveals itself as a fictional story at whichever point you start curiously googling its references to invented subreddits and cryptocurrencies. It’s an ambitious work that doesn’t completely hang together: the strong introduction is let down by an jarring change...

Review: What the Hell Did I Just Read

Almost ten years ago, someone recommended I read a horror-comedy web serial called John Dies at the End, the opening paragraph of which read: Solving the following riddle will reveal the awful secret behind the universe, assuming you do not go utterly mad in the attempt. If you already happen to know the awful secret behind the universe, feel free to skip ahead. About a page later came this exchange: “Dave? This is John. Your pimp says bring the heroin shipment tonight, or he’ll be forced to stick you. Meet him where we...

Review: The Sense of Style

Most writing sucks. Academic writing is dull and turgid, business and political writing is incoherent and stuffed with mostly meaningless jargon, and much journalism is borderline illiterate. The internet, for all that it has done to advance humanity’s knowledge, has also perpetrated the heinous crime of making everyone a writer – and just like most people can’t draw a portrait, assemble an engine, sing an opera or jump a salchow, most people can’t write. In the face of all this bad writing, it’s very easy for people of a certain temperament...

Review: Why's (Poignant) Guide to Ruby

Out of an anal-retentive desire to put as much of my output in a central place under my control, I’ve added and appropriately back-dated a bunch of old book reviews I like and still agree with to this blog. This was going to be one of them, but I ended up expanding it enough that I decided back-dating would be dishonest. Why’s Poignant Guide to Ruby, available for free on this lovely domain hack, is the strangest book about programming you’ll ever read, combining instructional...

Review: The King in Yellow

Having read enough HP Lovecraft, I’m slowly, unsystematically making my way through his many influencers and contemporaries: writers like Edgar Allen Poe, Lord Dunsany, Arthur Machen, Algernon Blackwood, Clark Ashton Smith, William Hope Hodgson and many others mentioned in passing in ST Joshi’s Lovecraft biographies. One such minor influence is Robert W Chambers, particularly his 1895 collection of short stories, titled The King in Yellow. Chambers, while a popular author in his day, did not prove to be a timeless one and has mostly fallen...