|Submitted by J. Teager |
(Jan 03, 2008)
Installing Linux on a Dead Badger (And Other Oddities) is Lucy A. Snyder's second literary offering, following her first collection Sparks and Shadows.
Probably the biggest praise I can give of this collection is its self-consistency. The stories that are related really feel like they belong to a well fleshed-out setting, and the subtle details of each relate to each other without any dissonance. I am absolutely enamored with this technomagical world the author has painted, and would love to see more. A world of insourcing (like outsourcing, but bringing in the undead), the Aetherweb (imagine if Mana flowed down cat-5), and Linux Gangs (which are exactly what they sound like) is just irresistible to my sensibilities. One thing that isn't explained is if this is all the result of some magical breakthrough, or if this world has always been this way. This only bothers me a little, however, as the stories hold up remarkably well without that sort of historical information.
Lucy is funny. There's no way to put a different spin on this, but this book is darkly, terribly hilarious. It's difficult for me to put my finger on it sometimes, but these stories make me smile in ways not a lot of things have -- the last paper-based read I had that did this was Sparks and Shadows. That may be some indication, but that aside, if you have an appreciation for comedic technocyberpunk (as I call the genre) or darkly humorous horror, this is what you want to be reading.
And the last story even has a squid. I mean, come on!
Malcolm McClinton and DE Christman illustrated, or more often photomanipulated, the collection as well. The images fit the stories they're with quite well, and are funny in their own way. There's a rate of about one picture per story, with the exception of "Your Corporate Network", which has four. All of them add to the stories they're with, and the only story missing an illustration, "Wake Up Naked Monkey You're Going To Die", the absence adds in its own way to the strangely Lovecraftian tale.
With twelve stories, the book clocks in at 110 pages. The book has been rated S for Satire, recommended for ages 14+ for "Scattered Profanity", "Dodgy Tech Advice", and "Lurid Acts of Linux".