BOOK REVIEW: The airing of grievances in Donna Brazile’s “Hacks” comes at her true crime memoir’s expense

Source: This Week/ABC

Given her media blitz leading up to the release of her 2016 campaign memoir Hacks, Donna Brazile’s recollection of what it was like to be on the receiving end of the Russian cyberattack against the Democratic National Committee was far more enlightening than I’d had any expectation.

That’s because, ahead of the Virginia state elections in November 2017, Brazile’s press interviews and excerpts tended to be internecine and conspiratorial, focusing on how the Hillary Clinton campaign had unethically bought the DNC at “Bernie’s” expense, or how Hillary didn’t call Brazile for a while after she lost the Electoral College, or how staffer Seth Rich’s murderer still needed to be found.

Now, this is not what most of the book, subtitled The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House, turns out to be about, but the strategy was successful. It reached No. 5 on the New York Times bestseller list, sold out on Amazon, then was subsequently completely forgotten.

The modern political memoir and tell-all has become the publishing equivalent of Hollywood’s superhero and sci-fi franchise films.

Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: The airing of grievances in Donna Brazile’s “Hacks” comes at her true crime memoir’s expense”

#WIREDBACKPAGE: Mysteries set in 2049 after the first six words

The other day, I came up with 10 six-word story beginnings for a contest/prompt by Wired Magazine. That got me thinking they might also work for slightly longer flash fiction, so I’m going to work them up a bit over the next few days.

They might not all be able to sustain more than the first sentence, but I’m going to give it a go anyhow, and we’ll see where they end up. Continue reading “#WIREDBACKPAGE: Mysteries set in 2049 after the first six words”

Fear is the mind killer, so burn brass

I recently read two books back-to-back and ended up comparing them the way you do when things are sort of similar and still fresh in your mind.

I first read Frank Herbert’s Dune. Somehow — or rather, intentionally to make it easier to sell posthumous related-media — the brand of the author has gotten ingrained in the culture enough that it takes quite a lot of effort to state the title or franchise any other way.

It is an amazing work of science fiction, but shares as many elements and tropes with fantasy that when I next read Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn: The Final Empire, I kept drawing parallels.

Continue reading “Fear is the mind killer, so burn brass”

‘The last Metroid is in captivity; the galaxy is at peace’

The other day (Saturday), marked the 25th anniversary of something very special: the release of Metroid, a science-fiction action-exploration video game for the original Nintendo console.

I could talk to you about how important this was, what the gameplay and music did that was so innovative and all that, but do you really care? No, you don’t really care. And anyway, I didn’t play it when it first came out. Metroid was only available in Japan, and around that time, I was mostly focused on trying to become an embryo.

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The future is bright, unfortunately

Reading books is a wonderful thing, and something no one seems to do as much as they want, myself included.

Imagine if we read things the way we eat.

Continue reading “The future is bright, unfortunately”