The People’s Republic of Everything by Nick Mamatas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I've had Nick Mamatas on my reading radar for quite some time but only now decided to jump in. It helps that I was given the opportunity by Netgalley.
What did I expect? Um. Almost nothing at all. I just saw that gnome on the cover and went, "That's pretty sarcastic." Okay. I'm on board.
So! Short stories!
I'm not going to do a breakdown other than to mention the ones I loved and briefly mention what stood out with the others, but that should be enough. For the most part, I really enjoyed everything. The sarcasm and the black-mirror type punch to the gut were probably the very best aspects. :)
To start out, I absolutely loved the AI HP Lovecraft. To make a composite of the man from his letters and hear about how much he feared to be a consciousness trapped in a bottle to be a self-aware composite of the same man TRAPPED IN A COMPUTATIONAL BOTTLE. It's sick. It's plausible. It's a great commentary on Lovecraftian fiction while striking out on its own and owning it. :)
I loved the Marx and Engles mystery solving duo, too.
But you know what really stood out for me? It was the deadly real-to-life story of a woman who was mercilessly brutalized on twitter and facebook, being called a SJW, and how it ruined her life and how she finally got to the point where she could start living again without being harassed. Only the internet never forgets. ... her revenge was hardly enough and this story actually made me cry with the injustice of it.
I liked most of the others well enough but none of them except the very last short novel really stood out like these other three. The last one had a great concept explored a bit more deeply than I've seen elsewhere, but not quite as deeply as, say, Corey Doctorow's Walkway. I mention that because there's a TON of similarities.
Let's make our own country! Secede from the USA! Make sure we back it up with a homemade atomic bomb! Lol, good start, and excellent exploration, including peace treaties across the world, societal ramifications, a bit of kidnapping and extraditions. :) It was easily the most fun, especially when the guy with the lawnmower made the US government back up and do some chores. :)
This is definitely an author I need to keep my eyes open for. :)
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