REVIEW: Clean Living under Difficult Circumstances: Finding a Home in the Ruins of Modernism, by Owen Hatherley

As the title implies, Owen Hatherley is trying his best in trying times. This collection of his essays covers everything from tributes to Black Box Recorder to shop signs in Walthamstow High Street, from early blog posts to recent essays for the London Review of Books, as Britain staggers from late Blairism to coalition austerityContinue reading “REVIEW: Clean Living under Difficult Circumstances: Finding a Home in the Ruins of Modernism, by Owen Hatherley”

REVIEW: Everything, all the time, everywhere, by Stuart Jeffries.

I was an undergraduate during post-modernism’s golden age. It was 1998 and things, we had recently been assured, could only get better.  Warwick uni was the quickest to embrace New Labour’s neoliberal reimagining of higher education. Private security goons stalked campus roads to nowhere. Treatises as brazenly unserious as Francis Fukuyama’s End of History wereContinue reading “REVIEW: Everything, all the time, everywhere, by Stuart Jeffries.”

“It is lumber, man – all lumber!”

Today I had a book returned to me by an old friend. I lent it to her in 2006; she took it back to Canada with her, where it languished in storage for many years. Then it was found in a clear-out, brought back to England, and finally, eventually, unexpectedly, fell back into my possession.Continue reading ““It is lumber, man – all lumber!””

Review of The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

“Prediction is the business of prophets, clairvoyants, and futurologists. It is not the business of novelists. A novelist’s business is lying”. Le Guin, in her own introduction to the novel My journey to Le Guin started with a dim awareness of her via a Ghibli adaptation, falling in love with Earthsea, and then carving myContinue reading “Review of The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin”

Review: The Word For World Is Forest – Ursula K. Le Guin

It starts with the title. I loved this book before I had read a single word because of it. I am happy Le Guin was talked out of calling it “The Little Green Men“, as was her initial intention. The word for world is forest. Not earth, or rock, or soil. Or mall, or semiContinue reading “Review: The Word For World Is Forest – Ursula K. Le Guin”

Pattern Recognition

I just finished reading Pattern Recognition by William Gibson. It’s a book an erstwhile colleague of mine was pretty obsessed with, to the extent of owning the Buzz Rickson jacket owned by its main character. Gibson imaged the internet, and made it cool and sexy. As a teenager reading Neuromancer or Idoru, while watching ludicrousContinue reading “Pattern Recognition”

The Circle by Dave Eggers and Apollo’s Song by Osamu Tezuku

We’re all fucked, aren’t we? That was my initial reaction on finishing The Circle by Dave Eggers. A romp through a near future dominated by the eponymous Google/Facebook-like corporation, the novel sees events quickly snowball into the creation of an all-pervasive totalitarian state, where privacy is theft and ignorance and stupidity reign. All this seenContinue reading “The Circle by Dave Eggers and Apollo’s Song by Osamu Tezuku”