Great American Parade

Gene Weingarten interviews the author of what he thinks is the worst novel ever published.

Me: It is possible that some people might have found the plot a little improbable. They might find it hard to believe that, in order to garner political support for his tax cuts, George W. Bush would secretly arrange a giant parade in Washington honoring the richest people in America, who would march front to back in order of their net worth. Or that a cadre of earnest, teetotaling college students would get wind of this and, encouraged by Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, rise up to stage a heroic counter-parade honoring basic American values like morality and hard work. Was this perhaps deft satire, a nifty Swiftian touch?

Burrows: No.

Me: Ah.

Listen.com Rhapsody

Last week I tried out Listen.com‘s Rhapsody music service for free and now I’m hooked. Kuro5hin has a pretty detailed review of Rhapsody but I don’t use the service like the author does. I don’t really have any interest in using the CD burning aspect of Rhapsody, the price is just too high. However, I have broadband net access about 95 percent of the time I spend listening to music, so Rhapsody’s streams are perfect for me. Instead of spending hours downloading poorly tagged and incomplete MP3s from KaZaA I just pick my music and start listening. There’s no need to sync my MP3s between computers and no no chance of losing my collection to a harddrive failure. There are still numerous holes in the available selections, but there’s plenty to keep me happy.

Here a couple of other blog reviews of Rhapsody.

The Gamers

The Gamers is now available on VHS. Monte Cook described it this way:

A bunch of college guys are in a room playing D&D. The movie switches back and forth between them playing the game, and showing what their characters are doing in the fantasy world. Of course, the same actors play their characters, so you know who’s who. But this is a comedy, not some sweeping fantasy, because these guys are playing D&D the way people really play it. That means they crack jokes, they change their minds, their characters do unwise things now and again, and they argue with the DM. And when they do, it affects what we see in the fantasy world.

I ordered my copy today.

Pattern Recognition

Cory Doctorow reviews William Gibson’s latest novel.

If Case, the console cowboy of Neuromancer were alive today, he’d deinstall whatever proprietary crapola OS shipped with his Ono-Sendai Cyberspace Deck, find a decent Debian build, and install [Mozilla]. Then, before his first run on the black ice, he’d right-click on its representation and select “Block lethal shocks from this server” from the pop-up menu.