Perhaps puzzles matter to people — a lot. Even more than existence, in the end.
With little warning, Nick Land has struck again with a novella that blends creeping horror with science fiction.
Since it’s a short book, and because horror is easily spoiled, I’ll stay away from most of the particulars. Before I bought it, I was a little nervous that this would just be a piece of Lovecraft fan-fiction. But apart from one obvious reference and some plot-lines, it manages to avoid being derivative while still being familiar enough to get the characteristic dissonant strangeness that makes for suspense and fright.
It’s unclear, in this tale, whether or not the role that technology plays is good… bad… or outside entirely human conceptions. Peter Thiel would probably be unhappy with the central theme, with respect to his criticisms of contemporary science fiction for being too gloomy. But in Land’s particular case, what makes most people gloomy seems to fill him with glee, so it may be a matter of perspective.
The book will probably be especially creepy for parents of young children. It could be re-formatted, also, into a televangelist’s ranting, mixed with speech in tongues, about the impact of video games on impressionable minds.
Not entirely related to the content of this book, but the Kindle Single-style format of roughly 70 pages was about right, but my attention could have been held for longer. Authors publishing through Kindle Direct are also tending to use this short format to both get more Kindle Unlimited payments, so we should expect more people to adopt it, especially if they have lots of short format publications that a reader might go through quickly.
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[…] Book Review Thursday was a two-fer. Henry reviews How to Read a Book, which, to do it well, is a lot harder than I thought. And also, a review of Nick Land’s latest (?) Phyl-Undhu. […]