Sunday, April 29, 2007

Some Book Reviews

I've got to keep up on these things...

Here are a few recent ones:

99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style

Inspired by Raymond Queneau's Exercises in Style, in which the author presents the same short story, writen in 99 different styles, Matt Madden gives us the same eight-panel comic, drawn 99 different ways. A very quick read but an interesting an perspective-broadening one. Some of the takes on it are a stretch and feel like he was struggling to come up with a just a few more to make the 99. Others though make up a really wide variety and show us what a different presentation can do to a story.

Geek Mafia

Draw a Venn diagram with 3 intersecting circles. Label one "Hackers", another "Ocean's Eleven", and the last one "Electric Kool-aid Acid Test". Look at the spot where the three intersect and you should find Geek Mafia.

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom

Gripping sci-fi a la Snowcrash, only substitute the motorcycle-n-swordplay for amusement park rides. What Stephenson does to envision the metaverse, Doctorow does to envision life in the age of abundance and immortality.

I have to confess that I feel a bit fraudulent in posting the last of these as an Amazon associates link though, as I didn't buy the book! Cory Doctorow has licensed the book under creative commons and thus it's available in forms other than print, most of them free. I read it via DailyLit, which will mail you many books in bite-size chunks, daily.

1 comment:

Duncan M said...

I just finished Down and Out today via Dailylit. Excellent read, and excellent service. I'm glad that you can get them to immediately send the next chunk. I read the last 4 one after another.