It's the Most Terrifying Time of the Year

Over at Tor. com, 'tis the season for alien horror: December brings a full month of H.P. Lovecraft features under the rubric of "Cthulhumas."

 

And why not? When you find yourself facing down the seething crowds in the mall on a Saturday afternoon in mid-December, with those dogs barking "Jingle Bells" over the P.A. and a knowledge that it's going to take you another 45 minutes just to navigate out of the parking lot...well, then, the confrontation with fungoid horrors from beyond the edge of space can seem soothing by comparison.

 

Things get off to a particularly good start with Stephen H. Segal's essay on Lovecraft as the original science fiction nerd -- "Geek Prime. Fanboy Alpha."

 

-BILL TIPPER

 

April 23: " 'A job,' the woman repeated again, smiling, as if I hadn't heard her. 'Would you like one?' "

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In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.