Corporate Necromancy and You

Installing Linux on a Dead Badger (And Other Oddities) by Lucy A. Snyder

Taking a short break from comics stuff to review some non-comics lit. This is “Installing Linux on a Dead Badger (And Other Oddities)” by Lucy A. Snyder. It’s a short story collection about cybermancy and necrotechnology — most of the stories are set in a parallel reality where you can use the dark arts to raise the dead, and then use the other dark arts — computer programming — to control them.

One of Snyder’s strengths in this collection is disguising her fiction as news articles or technical writing. The title story is actually written like a software guide, instructing readers on what kinds of software will need to be installed to raise the dead (like a Duppy card, FleshGolem software, or ItzaLive programs, for you Mac users), and well over half of the other stories read like something out of the business or technology sections of your local paper or a national newsweekly.

Can’t imagine necromancy as big business? Obviously, you’ve never considered the financial benefits of replacing your living employees with zombies who will work for 20 hours a day for a bucket of cow brains. Not to mention the benefits of networking your office computers with eldritch extra-dimensional demons who will deliver your e-mail and make market predictions for the price of a few delicious kittens. Sure, there’s a problem with cthonian horrors sucking out your soul, but everyone’s gotta make sacrifices in business, right?

Business trainer Laura Loveblut, author of Who Moved My Spleen?, stresses that new vampires need to educate themselves to stay competitive.

“Knowing the ins and outs of being a modern corporate vampire is like knowing how to dress properly for an interview, knowing to send a thank-you note, or knowing that you shouldn’t slaughter the secretary on your way out of the building. It’s simply not your prospective employer’s job to tell you these things,” says Loveblut.

Verdict: Thumbs up. If you like your fiction with healthy doses of humor, horror, and computer in-jokes, this is definitely something you’re going to enjoy. It’s a fairly slim book, at just over 100 pages, but it won’t cost you but about eleven bucks. You can find ordering information on Snyder’s website, so go pick up a copy for yourself or the Linux geek in your life.

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