What We're Reading

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Neil

How To Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu (Corvus)

This is like a demon child of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhikers series – a hilarious, confusing and completely nuts time travel caper, full of paradoxes and contradictions, but slick, fast paced and kind-of exciting. And it has a sentient computer called TAMMY..

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Neil

Zero History by William Gibson

I’ve been a fan of William Gibson’s unique blend of science fiction and thrillers for a while. I seem to have missed Neuromancer and the earlier, more sci-fi novels he first made his name with, but I really like the way he drives his technology laden plots through seemingly unconnected threads, which always pull together into an exciting and satisfying climax.

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Neil

Just My Type: A Book About Fonts by Simon Garfield. (Profile)

A really charming and informative look at the history, development and meaning of fonts and typefaces – how and why they were designed, the larger than life characters behind them, why we respond in different ways to different fonts. It’s full of stories and diversions, fascinating facts and bizarre incidents. We learn about the importance of a well-tuned ampersand, the controversy around IKEA’s change from Futura to Verdana, the history of the London Underground’s design of Johnston Sans, the impact of computers and Microsoft on type design and much more.

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Neil

The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories by Tim Burton. (Faber)

This is a collection of truly macabre illustrated stories, about outsider characters trying to survive and find meaning in a cruel and unforgiving world. The stories are very short, usually in a kind of naïve rhyming verse, and accompanied by sinister and unsettling drawings. They are classically Tim Burton: childlike, but not for children; tragic, but not without hope; dark, sinister and very, very funny. If you like that kind of thing. I do.