Don’t Define It: Dan Simmons’ Hyperion

Don’t Define It: Dan Simmons’ Hyperion

When asked to describe what kind of music his band plays, Andy Dwyer—the kindhearted lug played by Chris Pratt on Parks and Recreation—states that he "doesn't like to define" their sound but that they sound like Matchbox 20 and The Fray. "So ... rock," someone responds. "Well, again," explains Andy, "I don't really like to [...]

Internet Famous: Hank Green’s An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

Internet Famous: Hank Green’s An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

Roughly halfway through Hank Green's debut novel, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, protagonist April May steps back from her story of alien statues, cable news blowhards and contagious dreams to evaluate and identify the varying tiers of celebrity. It's an instructive moment that allows Green to examine his own position in the hierarchy of the famous [...]

The Author of the Quixote: On Pierre Menard, Miguel de Cervantes and Jorge Luis Borges

The Author of the Quixote: On Pierre Menard, Miguel de Cervantes and Jorge Luis Borges

In his short story “Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote,” Jorge Luis Borges—that miraculous, mind-fucking Argentinian—proposes an unusual premise. The titular Menard is shown to be obsessed with unusual literary feats and, as such, he decides to take it upon himself to rewrite Cervantes' classic, Don Quixote. He's not planning to translate the book or [...]

We Are the Library: Borges and the Search for Meaning

We Are the Library: Borges and the Search for Meaning

This much is already known: for every sensible line of straightforward statement, there are leagues of senseless cacophonies, verbal jumbles and incoherences. - Jorge Luis Borges, “The Library of Babel” In one of his most famous stories, Argentine metaphysical author Jorge Luis Borges positions his narrator in the fictitious and eponymous Library of Babel, wherein [...]

2014: What I Read

Following up on Monday's musical retrospective, it's time to award some superlatives to the books that I read in 2014. Straying even farther from release dates than with my musical entry, this list reflects books that I read in 2014, not necessarily books that were released this year. Most Hyped Book (That I Didn't Really Like) - [...]

Let It Snow

Let It Snow

At this point I've read all of John Green's books and enjoyed each of them immensely. I've also become a big fan of the VlogBrothers as I slowly make my way through their massive catalog of videos. Despite my age placing me slightly outside of the group's target demographic, I am proudly a Nerdfighter. If [...]

Soon I Will Be Invincible

Austin Grossman's Soon I Will Be Invincible is a book about superheroes that is neither a comic book nor a graphic novel. Drop the comic, drop the graphic. It's simply a book, a novel. About superheroes. And it is awesome. The story is told through the alternating viewpoints of a literal evil genius, Dr. Impossible, who suffers [...]