Functional Thought Experiment

Imagine, if you will, that you are interviewing a young programmer for a software engineering job. She’s bright, she’s friendly, and she can solve all your interview whiteboard questions easily. But she solves every problem with reflection, even in cases where reflection is completely unsuitable and adds unneeded complexity, and probably bugs to the program. (Assume it’s a Java shop as well.) It doesn’t matter what problem you give her. … (Read More)


Review and thoughts on the book Lancelot by Walker Percy. Warning: this contains spoilers. Don’t click through if you haven’t read the book and don’t want to know what happens in it. … (Read More)

What a Disagreeable Old Man I Have Become

A lot has happened in the world of Vanyanan since I last wrote. Calemorrinna is here, and the two households have been joined. My servant Alassë is anything but alassenen. She is faithful as always, and after great difficulty accepted Calemorrinna. But she has not at all accepted Turë or Yara. Despite constant effort, she isn’t any closer to accepting. And Turë has had enough… … (Read More)

This Strange Way of Dying

I discovered Silvia Moreno-Garcia through the late Larry Santoro’s “Tales to Terrify” podcast. In episode 9, Amy Sturgis does an awesome job narrating the story “Flash Frame” from this collection. All you need to know about ‘Flash Frame’ is that it is still, in my head, titled “The Queen in Yellow.” I have to look up the real title everytime I think of it. And despite hearing it for the first time two and a half years ago, it has stuck with me. Except for the title. It’s not a bad title, it’s just that it is the “Queen in Yellow,” a psychosexual/punk twist on Robert W. Chamber’s “King in Yellow” set on the sleazy side of Mexico City. … (Read More)


It’s cold here in the dungeon; cold and lonely. … (Read More)


I realize that I stand (almost) alone on this, but ever since it came out, I’ve felt that Signs was among the best horror movies ever made. Watching it again last night, I still feel that way. It easily makes my top ten. … (Read More)

Expository Fiction

I am starting another blog devoted to works of Expository Fiction. What, I imagine you asking, is expository fiction? The simplest answer is: “fiction written in the style of nonfiction.” Some examples of expository fiction include: Gnomes by Wil Huygen The Islanders by Christopher Priest Dragonology by Dugald Steer Goblins of the Labyrinth by Brian Froud and Terry Jones The Feasts of Tre-Mang by Eli Brown The Dictionary of the Kazars by Milorad Pavić … (Read More)

My Submissions to the Lyttle Lytton Contest

The Lyttle Lytton Contest is a bad short fiction contest organized by Adam Cadre. Yes, the same Adam Cadre that wrote Photopia, Shrapnel, 9:05, etc etc. The purpose is to write a plausible beginning to an unintentionally bad novel. For example, this winner of the 2012 contest: “Agent Jeffrey’s trained eyes rolled carefully around the room, taking in the sights and sounds.” Or this one from 2006: “His eyes were brown, although you wouldn’t know it just by looking.” Below the jump are two of my own entries. … (Read More)

Merry Elven Christmas

Happiness to you from the feast of Christ! … (Read More)

My Dinner With André

Two nights ago I watched the famous “My Dinner with André” for the second time and, with at least two viewings under my belt, I feel confident to write down some thoughts. Just a fair warning, I’m going to assume you’ve seen the movie, or don’t care about seeing it, or at least don’t care about knowing what happens in it. So, spoiler alert. I’m not 100% sure I really can spoil the movie, but I could taint your first viewing. Better that you see it at least once and decide what you think before you read. If you just come baldly out and say it, “My Dinner with André” is a movie about two guys, who had not seen each other in years, having a conversation together over dinner. The movie begins with one of them, Wallace, taking the subway to the restaurant. It ends with Wallace taking the taxi home. And the subject of the movie is their meal and their conversation during the meal. There is no catch, there is no twist. … (Read More)

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