Reading guide for Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro is on the 2005 Booker Prize shortlist. As Ishiguro won the Booker in 1989, his nomination here isn’t a compelling endorsement; the judges like to reward their favorite authors based on their past accomplishments rather than their most recent work.
Never Let Me Go is written in an unrelenting confessional voice using a limited vocabulary. It was only after at the halfway mark, when I put the book down to find something else to read, did I realize that the “students” of the story, including the narrator, were intellectual simpletons. Oh, of course there is the whole being-cloned-for-their-vital-organs thing, but that is just so much window dressing.

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Brandon Rickman, printmaker

I have the following print for sale, right now in the Art by B Rickman store:

This print was completed in 2004. This is a reduction woodcut in two colors, 7.75″ x 10″ on white Stonehenge paper. There are 15 prints in the edition.
It is currently listed on eBay for $12 plus $5 for shipping, which is a way, way low price for the quality of the print.

20th Century Novels: Wizards

A minor update to Handicapping the Great 20th Century Novels, I have added some new categories:
- Wizards
- Dead-ly titles
- Heart-y titles
- Modern Library Top 100
I have started to add Hugo Award winning novels to the list.
I need your help! If you have a category you would like to see, and a list of authors/titles that would fit, please post them or send me an email. Plus please post any errors or omissions.
There are 324 books in the data set.

Google starting to suck

Google’s value as a search engine has really taken a nosedive. You search for something and you get dozens of pages that are nothing but linkfarms. Now you may say that it isn’t Google that is the problem, the problem is with the people who create linkfarms, but Google is the company that has encouraged this behavior with their increasingly annoying text ads everywhere.
What to do?
I’m looking for a printer’s drawer, sometimes called a shadow box, that IKEA used to sell but has now discontinued. There are probably thousands of these in a warehouse somewhere.

podcasting with Movable Type

I’ve been fooling around with using Movable Type to generate a podcast feed. (Are people still using pre-3.0 versions of MT? I am.) First I took an RSS 2.0 template (here’s one). Then I added some “enclosure” bits. But an enclosure wants to provide a “length” field (the file size), so I hacked up a quick MT plugin:

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Even more cards in the eBay store!

Now for sale in the Art by B Rickman eBay Store: even more original handmade cards. This is the silly face set:

Don’t buy cards at the store! Buy handmade cards from me!

Reading for August, 2005

You know how sometimes you just try to read too many clumsy books in a row and lose all reading momentum? I think I’ll call this “reader’s block”, and here’s hoping I’m not the only person in the world who has had this experience.
It is hard to say when it started. I’ve been working on Dreiser’s An American Tragedy, which is… very long. After four hundred pages, Clyde still hasn’t killed Roberta.
Then there was the disaster of The Rise of the Creative Class by Richard Florida. For statistical purposes, Florida considers medicine and law as creative practices. They aren’t part of the “super creative core”, however. Whatever. I don’t need a fake book to affirm my creative impulses. But to be fair, you can ignore my opinion, I didn’t come close to reading the whole book.

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More Prison Tycoon notes

Okay, I’ve figured out one or two more mechanisms for this game.

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