Thursday, December 29, 2016

Natsuo Kirino, Out (1997)

Merry Christmas an' Happy New Year.  Here's some contemporary Japanese noir.  Weirdly enough, it's also the second novel called "Out" I've read this year. What does that mean? Not a whole lot.
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Saturday, December 17, 2016

Nicola Barker, Darkmans (2007)

"Darkmans" is apparently Elizabethan thieves' cant for "night," however much that helps. Not much, probably. I'll tell you, the description of this book made it sound kind of interesting, but I probably wouldn't have ended up reading it except for one key factor: it's eight hundred fifty pages long. I know it's not rational, but I have a strong tendency to fetishize sheer length in fiction. Not bloated, multi-volume fantasy and the like, but for individual novels, there's a real mystique. It probably has something to do with the way I was so fucking intellectually timid in my younger years, and would see such things as terrifying, insurmountable obstacles. Now, they're just good fun. True fact: if I'm browsing through books on amazon, and I see something that looks interesting, my interest level will jump ten-fold if I scroll down and see that the page numbers are closing in on four digits. I might even become interested in something that hadn't previously seemed appealing. Not--obviously--that shortness is a deal-breaker, or indeed that length has any relationship to quality. None of Angela Carter's novels are particularly long, after all. But when it comes to appealing to me, it helps! Naturally, sometimes these books turn out to be what critics accuse them of being--pointlessly over-extended and self-indulgent--but it's actually surprising how infrequently I come away with that impression. Mostly with pre-twentieth-century stuff, I think--Armadale, Emancipated Women, The Last Chronicle of Barset. Although you can consider the fact that I don't see Infinite Jest as excessive (even though it clearly is), and take my opinions for what they're worth.
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Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Tidings of Comfort and Joy

...for reference, this is not my own work from back in the day, or now; it comes to us courtesy of an Indonesian student.  A female student, for the record.  Cheers!

Friday, December 02, 2016


One good idea is not to think about politics more than one can help. And one good way to do that is by taking refuge in old videogames of which one has nostalgic memories. And Robotrek is such a game. Is it actually any GOOD?’s wildly rare for me to actually finish RPGs that I restart out of nostalgia, but I finished this one, so take that for what you will.

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