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Showing posts from January, 2018

Damien Ober - Gore Vidal’s 'Burr' meets Neal Stephenson’s 'Snow Crash' in this blazingly original alt-history that weaves 21st century technology into a saddle-punk retelling of the American Revolution

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Damien Ober, Doctor Benjamin Franklin’s Dream America, Equus Press, 2014.
excerpt



1777. Colonial America. A year after uploading the Declaration of Independence, a mysterious internet plague has broken loose in the cloud, killing any user who accesses a networked device.  Seven in ten Americans are dead. The internet is abandoned. The entire continental militia has vanished. Seizing the moment, the British take control of New York and Philadelphia, scattering what little remains of the rebellion.

Just when all seems lost, George Washington reappears from off-the-grid to pin the remnants of the British army at Yorktown. Independence is won, but with the countryside in ruins and internet commerce impossible, the former colonies teeter on the brink of collapse. Meeting in secret, a faction of the Signers of the Declaration code a new error-proof operating system, designed to stabilize the cloud and ensure ever-lasting American prosperity.

Believing the draconian regulations of t…

M. H. Benders - I have nothing against Mr Goldsmith, he is my American counterpart and we Europeans have always been apt in making America do the dirty work for us. We don’t play warmonger, we let America do it for our evil empire.

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M. H. Benders, Stubbing out a Cigarette on a Nightingale, Vlak Publishers, 2014.


Stubbing out a Cigarette on a Nightingale the conceptual, jovial, satirical workrecently published by VLAK editions (PDF), is footnoted here with some contextual comparison & contrast with self-confessed lazy poet Kenneth Goldsmith. Benders:
writes, among other polemical witticisms about Goldmsmith:
“I have nothing against Mr Goldsmith, he is my American counterpart and we Europeans have always been apt in making America do the dirty work for us. We don’t play warmonger, we let America do it for our evil empire. Very lazy and effective.”
& further down:
“Kenneth Goldsmith is the machine, and I am the brain inside the machine. Don’t go after him, go after me. He is just the visible puppet, put out there as a decoy so people attack the wrong part of the machine. He is the perfect antihero, I am the brain of the antihero, a brain that attacks itself to prove its perfect.”


Ready yourself for the Stubb…

Edward Powys Mathers - a puzzle in the form of a novelette whose 100 pages are bound out of order—by rearranging them into the right order, murders are solved

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EdwardPowys Mathers,Cain’s Jawbone – A Novel Problem, 1934.
[The Torquemada Puzzle Book. A miscellany of original crosswords, acrostics … etc., & Cain’s Jawbone. A Torquemada mystery novel. Compiled by “Torquemada.”]


James Ryan on Twitter: ""Cain's Jawbone" is a pioneering work of ...


My forgotten book for today is actually entitled The Torquemada Puzzle Book. It is described on the title page as a "miscellany" of original crosswords, acrostics, anagrams, verbal pastimes and problems, etc, but also includes Cain's Jawbone, "a Torquemada Mystery Novel." And suffice to say, I've never encountered a mystery novel like it.
But who was Torquemada? The pseudonym concealed the identity of Edward Powys Mathers, who compiled crosswords for "The Observer" for 13 years. His puzzles were noted for their fiendish complexity, and although so far I have only tried one or two, suffice to say that I think his reputation and pseudonym are well-ea…