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Success! pdotb has read 104 of 52 books.

Dracula's Guest and Other Weird Stories (EBook, 2008, Penguin Group UK) 1 star

Truly bad

1 star

This volume is really two books in one. The first collects various of Stoker's short stories, beginning with "Dracula's Guest", and could reasonably be described as "Late Victorian Gothic meh". Not bad, per se, but they're just sort of... there. The remainder of the volume is Stoker's last novella "Lair Of The White Worm", and here's where things really go off the rails. Now, I saw the film years ago and vaguely remember it being terrible, but being Ken Russell, it was terrible in an entertaining way. This is very much not. If you can get past the eye-watering racism (and it's really, really bad) and the sexism, what you're left with is a story that's absolutely all over the place, a meandering plot, opaque character motivations, and unbelievable dialogue. There's literally nothing to recommend this unless you're on some sort of Stoker completism kick.

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Blood in the Machine (2022, Little Brown & Company) 5 stars

The true story of what happened the first time machines came for human jobs, when …

One can lazily claim that all of this has simply been inevitable, and it will always be thus-that technology, not people, creates winners and losers, and because it eventually makes more of us winners, allegedly, then it is absurd to protest its march.

But it is much more absurd to pretend there are no possible alternative arrangements to think that technology, the product of concerted human invention and innovation, can only be introduced to society through reckless disruption, or that it's unthinkable that advancements in technology might be integrated into our lives democratically and with care. If we are ingenious enough to automate large-scale production, build spacecraft, and invent artificial intelligences, are we not ingenious enough to ensure that advancing technology benefits all, and not just a few?

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