Linkfest 2023-02-11: Declare if thou hast understanding

Crisis Magaine: Declare in a Nutshell

Tim Power’s Declare is a remarkably powerful novel. It is perhaps the peak of Powers’ craft of secret histories, that I have to actively watch my own mind as this story threatens to displace real history, the narrative is so compelling.

Attorney and author Conan_esq shows you the basics of what specific clauses in a contract mean, and why you should care. Think of contracts as being written in something like medieval COBOL, each one has a specific function and meaning, once you know what to look for.

The Obelisk is one of my prime sources for information on the pulps, and this newsletter on Carroll John Daly is a great example. Dashiell Hammett is probably better known than Daly, but Arbogast makes a powerful case that he shouldn’t be, and also provides some fascinating links.

For example, did you know Hammett worked as a private detective himself? Or that his most famous case was the Fatty Arbuckle scandal?

Agile fat men like Fatty Arbuckle are a tradition in American comedy.

Dashiell Hammett’s list of rules for mystery writers was fascinating, but I noticed a couple of odd bits:

When a bullet from a Colt’s .45, or any firearm of approximately the same size and power, hits you, even if not in a fatal spot, it usually knocks you over. It is quite upsetting at any reasonable range.

While it is certainly true that .45 ACP has more stopping power than smaller calibers, you can find plenty of video footage to back up that this isn’t true. People sometimes do fall down after you shoot them, but they can also simply remain standing. I’ve heard a theory that sometimes people fall down after getting shot simply because this has become common in movies.

It is impossible to see anything by the flash of an ordinary gun, though it is easy to imagine you have seen things.

I wonder whether this is simply a mistake, or whether the past 100 years has seen enough change in powder that you get more light now. Using muzzle flash light for follow-up shots is a technique I’ve seen taught. Admittedly, this is very short range stuff, but you can see quite clearly.

With Both Hands: Tales to Make you Vomit #1

J. Manfred Weichsel has a new volume in the Tales to Make you Vomit series, Savage Headhunters, that I will be reviewing soon.

The Long View: TechGnosis

John J. Reilly’s review a book about the weird intersection of Silicon Valley/Tech culture with occult apocalyptic