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Austrian Conscript 1915

133 days in Przemysl
i just finished reading Bodega: tales from the Bodegaverse by Edward Forsyth AKA Pyrion flax, and it's a masterpiece. A lot of funny moments in the beginning but by the end there are a couple big moments where the book just throws things at you that makes you question the entire story. There are a couple plot points which go unresolved, but that's fertile ground for a second Bodega book which I'm eagerly awaiting.

The part where bodega goes to hell for 20k years is awesome but soul crushing. I didn't like how the entire prison complex where Tamira was station was never explained even though the entire idea was very intriguing. What happened to Bodega's dog? we never met the actual brodega, which is very dissapointing and I'm doubting as to whether or not he exists at all. Jabuul's world was honestly one of the most depressing things I ever read, it was actually painful reading how he had slept for like 20 million years and there was no trace of his civilization left. The very opening part with "big swinging titties" and "fuck monster" was also one of the funniest things I had read in a long while. The only real big complaint I have about the plot is that we don't get enough time to get attached to Tamira, so when Bodega goes on a big adventure to save her I don't feel like the stakes are high enough, especially for the end of the book.

9/10, will read again soon
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Cast Iron Pan

A trauma-informed, gender-affirming praxis
He was reviewing his finances. He’d worked two years. Now he had six months of money.

If I get fired tomorrow and couldn’t collect unemployment. Six months of the lifestyle to which I’m accustomed. About half to rent. Car payment. 30% of it’s interest even though the loan is 6% interest. The car was 16 grand but I’ll end up paying 29 grand if I stay on schedule. How financing works.
What do I have, he thought. The car. Some guitars. What else. My bike got stolen by the citizen offspring of undocumented whatever you call them now. Rent sixteen grand a year, shit not bolted down always stolen instantly. Like a doughnut on the beach snatched by seagulls. A laptop. An Xbox One with a used copy of The Witcher 3, which replaced a wife or girlfriend. 20 grand cash. 8 grand in credit card debt that had been charged off by the bank for two years now. That he’d been paying down 1% and 1% and 1% to keep Bank of America– actually Banc of America, their credit card division, from suing him. Garnishing wages. After paying 8 grand I owe $13,000 on a $16,000 car. If I pay a grand a month I’m out in about a year. Then hack away at the charge card. Call your creditor, Suze Orman told him. Ask to negotiate up to 50% off by offering one lump sum. They said fuck off.

Once the debt’s zeroed out I’ll still have the 20 grand. At that point I’ll have paid 21 thousand for the car; it’ll be worth 12. Other possessions clocking in at $1,100. I’ll have a net worth of thirty three thousand. The median for Americans my age. Except for school and a few months here and there he’d worked since fourteen. Farmhand on a cranberry bog. House painter. Laborer scraping pipes on a ladder on a scaffolding. 90 degree heat, face by a fan with sharp blades that sucked up every fume for miles. Brain damage. Body damage. Assembly line at a candle factory. Short order cook. Door to door salesman. Telemarketer. Register at a drug store in a neighborhood filled with Soviet Bloc Jewish elderly yelling and yelling about the flyer not applying to 32 oz. vs. 48 oz. Sunsweet Prune Juice with a Hint of Lemon. Views on Hitler softening. $4.25 an hour. Minus taxes. Janitor.

When I’ve paid off the car it will break. Wouldn’t put it past them to have a chip in it. It reads the balance from J.P. Morgan Chase. If you read that in the paper it wouldn’t surprise you.

Another year and a half and the debt’s gone. If no additional purchases. No new TV with a higher contrast ratio. Deeper blacks. Even though a lot of The Witcher 3 takes place in caves. He needed a new mattress. Hips like an Irish wolfhound about to get mercy killed. Bones grinding into old springs. He needed new pants but $24.95 from H & M was fine. Who gave a fuck what he looked like anymore. He’d taken a work trip to Japan. An audition for his promotion. Selfie at the Imperial Palace. His eye bags in sunlight like a skin graft from shaved scrotums stitched together. Black people get stomped by cops but white people wake up in their 30’s with a face that better be rich.

He was eligible for a 401(k). He read up. You can retire comfortably at 65 if you start saving at 23, said Forbes.com. Even with a relatively low yield of 6%. Every 401(k) he’d had earned 1%, lost 2.5% in fees. As for saving at 23: median household pre-tax income is $51,989 per year. Who saves on 40 grand net with a kid. It costs twice that for a school where gas huffing sasquatches don’t commit Rwandan machete genocide. Nobody has money. Nobody gets returns. We’ll all work till we’re dead. Eating shit, having to smile about it.

If I was married– if my wife could work part time. Cover rent. That’d be something. But there aren’t wives now.

If you’d invested back then you’d have money now, stupid, said Forbes.com. The interstitial Quote of the Day brought to you by Hewlett Packard. Hewlett Packard made printers that existed to lie about how much toner they had. So you’d have to buy more toner from Hewlett Packard. When the machine told you your half full toner was empty you were encouraged to mail the old cartridge to Hewlett Packard, for the environment. Hewlett Packard then sold it to someone else. The CEO of Hewlett Packard ran for president. No one shot her.

If I cut back I can save two grand a month. How much more do I need. He searched Windows for “calculator.” It tried to sell him something. A feature of Windows 10 was you couldn’t just search files. You simultaneously searched the web with Bing, which offered monetized suggestions. They sold you the machine and the machine sold you things you auto-paid every month until they became invisible. He paid for Microsoft Office every month, for iCloud every month. He paid for his car every month; when he took it in for service the man told him he couldn’t check the brakes. These tires are so bald it’s dangerous for me to take the wheels off. You shouldn’t even be driving this car. They’d sold it to him a year ago. We offer factory spec tires: 900 parts, 400 labor. Financing was available.

He went to another web site and typed what he had and what he made and a 6% return and waited to hear how long until he could stop. The phone was ringing. The web site said 25 years. It was his birthday. He was 40.
Reading 'Finally, Some Good News' by Delicious Tacos. He writes like a hyperactive gutter Donald Barthelme. This is fantastic.


Trying to make it through Monster Hunter International.

Got to be honest though, it's pretty bad. it creates nothing novel, and doesn't even really arrange the supernatural ideas in interesting ways.

It's autofellatio for military larpers.

Kill your wage slave boss.
I'm carrying with extra rounds when working late in accounting.
My OC can kill a werewolf by himself, and he's secretly the bestest at killing even though he was turned down by the army
Arch rival is a new england rich ivy league grad
Surrounded by gun toting hotties
Only character flaw is how charmingly awkward he is around said hotties.

It's pretty painful.


Walt Disney is a wonderful person.

Does this count as good reading material?
This was a book that jokingly gets called “a book from the 80’s that existed way before the Internet would give us everything we ever wanted to know about”


So you want to become an elite businessman?
True & Honest Fan
'Demons' by Dostoevsky. I thought about tackling it in Russian, but Ithat;s take a long time so I settled for English. I love it so far, it's a lot funnier than I had expected (I was similarly pleasantly surprised reading Dickens). I'd read Dostoevsky's shorter stories and books before, but I haven't read a great real of Classic Russian Literature since I generally prefer mid 20th century stuff.

Chan Fan

You're the man now, dog
I want to knock out a few YA books I've had on my shelves for a while. Not sure if I'll like any of them but I want to give them a shot. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Strange the Dreamer a few years ago and it's made me open to trying YA books more often.

- Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
- The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu
- Red Sister by Mark Lawrence

Ginger Piglet

Burglar of Jess Phillips MP
True & Honest Fan
Lavondyss by Robert Holdstock.

This is a mindfuck of a novel. But in a good way. Our heroine, Tallis Keeton, has visions of a Bronze Age warrior dying in a forest glade somewhere in the Ryhope Wood where her elder brother got lost. She discovers the ways of the shamaness and enters to try to extract him. Unfortunately the wood is actually its own dimension and much bigger on the inside than the outside, and time is all a bit fucky there as well. As in, it might only be a year on the outside, but on the inside it's been an ice age. Oh, and the wood is inhabited by folk tales and legends going back millennia and they're not all that nice and it's claimed that these "mythagos" are actually the source of them in the first place.

The scene where
Tallis literally becomes one with the forest and experiences lifetimes from the viewpoint of a great oak tree which is cut down and burnt during a harsh winter to provide warmth
actually made me tear up. It's wonderfully written.

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence
Is not as good as I thought it might be. I mean, the dying-earth setting is pretty cool and the concept isn't bad but it felt like "common or garden intrigue in a girls' school" and frankly I didn't give a shit what the trainee assassin nuns got up to to stuff each other up. The opening four or five chapters were so promising but after that I gradually lost interest.
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Osama bin Ladkin
Finally got around to reading Angela Nagle's Kill All Normies. It's not that great. I basically agree with the thesis (that the rise of the alt-right was as a reaction to extreme leftist identity politics on the internet), but most of her observations about the alt-right are just things alt-righters were saying years before. It's not new or interesting to me, though it might be to somebody who doesn't know that much about the alt-right.

The writing is pretty sloppy at parts (Nagle was also accused of plagiarism but idk), and the research is very basic stuff that seems like it's cribbed from the first page of google results for "manosphere" "incels" "alt-lite" etc. The parts about the alt-right specifically are the weakest and the ones about Leftist history are strongest (since it's something most of Nagle's other work is based on meta-criticism of). Incels, for example, started out as an apolitical phenomenon in the Loveshy community and others, but she paints them as something that grew out of the alt-right instead.

She completely neglects the history of race relations, cultural backlash, and reactionary thought IRL post-WWII (except for in a section about the French New Right) in service of her narrative that emphasizes the internet and post-2012 culture wars exclusively. To say SJWs, tumblr, and gamergate are the main causes of right wing backlash is saying a tiny flea on the tail of the dog is wagging the dog. Donald Trump was not elected because of these petty symptoms of liberalism, but a dissatisfaction with the liberal order as a whole among white men that goes beyond people bitching in subreddits.

Nagle doesn't try to understand rightist ideas on race, gender, etc. To her, these sentiments are just lashing out for the sake of it, instead of things people could rationally evaluate and accept as true on their own merits. Reading between the lines a little, she seems to think of right-wingers as temporarily embarrassed lefties who'd stand with their multicultural comrades if the left hadn't failed them. And to that I say: fat fucking chance, Angie! TBF though, if she admitted righties were right about stuff, she would lose her sinecure (she was cancelled shortly after KAN was published for arguing against open borders and going on Tucker Carlson about it).

Overall a 5/10, maybe would be 6 or 7 out of 10 if she cleaned up the writing and got some better sources.
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Hermann the German

Niemand lügt soviel als der Entrüstete.
I've got quite a backlog of books building up on the shelves because I like to have them as ornaments and eventually get around to reading them.

Jokes aside, Neuromancer, by Gibson, and very soon Count Zero by Gibson as well. It's interesting to read conceptualizations of technology coming from a man who didn't even use a computer to write his first successful novels and generally isn't terribly familiar with technology. Being someone who is the writing is sometimes cringeworthy--and his sense of pacing is rather unfortunate as well, but to be pragmatic Gibson intended the book to be a cheap Ace paperback, one of thousands that are probably now out of print, sitting in your local Goodwill, and not a cult hit. Had some of the scenes and concepts been more fleshed out, I feel like Neuromancer would be more satisfying, meatier as a read, but as it stands it still touches on a lot of my interests and an aesthetic that is often copied/replicated but not always as well paid-off.

My closest comparison in the "cyberpunk" subgenre would be Snow Crash by Stephenson, a book which I feel is better paced and more competently written, but which takes itself, probably intentionally, much less seriously, and as a consequence feels more at home in an advanced high school lit class than as something avidly read by young adults; i.e. "course material-level" content. By no means is Snow Crash a *bad* book, but I think Gibson was more at home in the societies he tried to portray in his work, adding to its grit and street appeal. Gibson was well-traveled, a drug user, worldly. Stephenson's Snow Crash feels at times like it was written by someone in a cyberpunk fan Reddit.


Token Hispanic Friend
True & Honest Fan
"What emerges from the best of this fascinating book is that the need for love is deeper than the quest for knowledge. Jesus must don a space suit, Cleopatra become a computer."

- "CYRIL CONNOLLY in The Sunday Times"


(It's on the back cover of "SF THE BEST OF THE BEST PART TWO", a book edited by Judith Merril, from 1970.)
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Commander X

Re-reading this, having last read it in high school.


Peters' novel, released shortly before the fall of the Soviet Union features a USSR on the ropes in the early 21st century. Still, it holds up pretty well. Substitute "China" for "Japan" everywhere in the book, and it basically "gets" more things right than wrong.

An Asian power rises and challenges the US

Mexico is a failed narco-state

Plague and urban rioting in the United States

Cyber warfare.

However, China doesn't yet as far as I know, have laser-firing helicopter super-drones.
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Ki ki ki ma ma ma
I know we have a comics thread but I'm rereading the comics that are said to kick off the dark age of comics

The dark knight returns
Batman year one
Batman the killing joke

The only ones I'm missing are crisis on infinite Earths and the marvel title's like secret wars and Spider-Man kravens last hunt

Chan Fan

You're the man now, dog
I'm still in my "read the YA books I have and get rid of the crappy ones" phase. Tried to read The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu and while I am familiar with the Mozarts in history the book was so concerned with feminism that it ruined what could have been a great (if unoriginal) premise. So that's in the sell pile now. Next up, Nevernight.