the Little Red Reviewer

Installing Linux on a Dead Badger, by Lucy Snyder

Posted on: April 17, 2014

installing-linux-on-a-dead-badger-by-lucy-a-snyder-largeInstalling Linux on a Dead Badger, by Lucy Snyder

published 2007

where I got it: purchased (and she signed it!  awesome!)

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How is anyone supposed to say “no” to a book with a title like that??   And I promise, you do not need to know anything about Linux, or be an IT geek or professional (same thing?) to enjoy this book.  All you need to enjoy this  book is a sense of humor.

Weighing in at barely a hundred pages, you can easily read this collection in an evening.  It might only take you an hour or two to read, but you’ll be reading snippets of it out loud to friends and family for at least a week afterwards. The opening chapter is exactly what the title refers to: how to install Linux on a dead badger, with details instructions of which shareware to download for which devices, how to draw the blood rune, what to do with the origami, and most importantly, what to do if something goes wrong (take shelter in the nearest church. You may require an exorcist). I can already see the side of your mouth curling up.   Did I mention the book is illustrated?

Following the technical writing opening is a collection of journalism style articles about the new state of the world. With titles like Dead Men Don’t Need Coffee Breaks, Unemployed Playing Dead to Find Work, and the gut bustingly hilarious Trolls Gone Wild, Snyder takes aim at corporate bureaucracies, human resources departments with good intentions, how to make a fortune with a video camera, jobs you’ll take when you’re really *really* desperate, and how businesses  keep up with the fast pace of changing technology.  There are a few short stories right at the end, but I liked the business magazine article-esque pieces much better.

Satire. This is how you do it.

Cybermancy, as it’s called, is the new trend of wiring up dead people with software, and letting them loose as the night shift in call centers, fast food joints, factories, farms, basically the places where it’s hard to fill positions at shitty times of the day. It’s saving companies a fortune!  Sign a year’s contract with a cybermancy firm, and your third shift is all taken care of!  Zombloyees for call centers are programmed with a basic script, and can answer basic questions, and night shift zombloyees at the 24 hour fast food drive through are just as likely to get your 4am order right as a living human.  Sure, they smell like rotten meat, tend to try to eat the brains of their still living supervisors, but they don’t need health insurance or life insurance, they don’t even need potty breaks!  You don’t even need to worry about hiring a brave and armed-with-a-shotgun supervisor when business colleges offer Vampire Turning services alongside their resume seminars and mock interview sessions.  The zombies don’t even register a vampire in their midst, the brains just don’t smell as tasty.

And then some idiot at Miskatonic whose textbooks had been hidden unleashed the most powerful un-visibility spell ever, making all the supernatural creatures who had been safely living under invisibility spells suddenly visible. All those witches of yore and their cat familiars? Turns out one of them one crossed her cat with a crow and the resulting kitties had wings.  and oh lordy did they breed.  Forget purse dogs, it’s faery cats that are the trendiest pets ever.    There are also working breeds of faery cats, who  often  live as office cats at IT firms.  Like barn cats and mice, the faery cats catch and eat the faeries who are often caught chewing on wires and sleeping on top of CPU exhaust fans.

And don’t even get me started on the trolls.  Because that chapter on the troll experts trying to understand what the troll was saying?  I was dying laughing! absolutely dying!  Couldn’t breathe, couldn’t talk, and troll jokes are not supposed to be that funny!  okay, they *are* supposed to be that funny, and now I want to stalk the internet looking for some jackass trolls and watch these jokes unfold in reality.   Because I know they all will, such is the nature of trolls. trolls gone wild indeed!

You all need to read this book (it’s short!  it’s cheap!) because I desperately need someone to share these jokes with! I’m tempted to buy a copy for my IT guy at work, and leave it as an anonymous gift on his desk.  Mission Accomplished if I can hear him laughing all the way down the hall.

and oh, the spider poem in Lucy Snyder’s About the Author section?  I am so very terrified of spiders. Loved that little spider ditty so much that I memorized it, and told it to my mother over breakfast. she laughed, but I don’t think she was thanking me.

 

 

15 Responses to "Installing Linux on a Dead Badger, by Lucy Snyder"

This may be my favorite title in history — but, as C.S. Kewis said of The Well at the End if the World, how do you live up to it? (Still. )

Sent from my iPhone

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You top it by naming the articles inside with even funnier, more satirical names! And she did.

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OK. Requesting from library now. Like right now. Like, people, y’all know I love to laugh how do I not know about this book?

Also…

Badgers, we don’t need no stinking badgers!

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I should request this from the library too. I don’t need to take it out when it comes in …. but i want them to buy a copy for their collection.

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Sorry to disagree with Nathan, but we DO need badgers. Read Wind in the Willows.

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zombie badgers. what we need is *zombie* badgers.

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This book sounds like something that would be right down my alley. As a Linux geek it is PERFECT. thanks for the great review.

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you’ll love it! and you can explain all the techy jokes to me that I didn’t get.

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I would be happy to give you and handle with the techy jargon that may be over your head..:)

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“may be over my head”? I can build you an excel database that will blow your mind, but when it comes to operating systems, networking, and all that crap, it is ALL over my head!

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How did I not hear about this sooner? I needs it. I needs it now.

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it came out like 6 years ago, so has fallen totally under the radar.

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HA. I love this title. Need this asap.

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If i get to see Lucy Snyder at a convention again later this year, I’m just going to buy up every copy she has on her and mail them to all my blogger friends.

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Add me to the list of people who have to read this, especially because I compulsively install Linux on things.

And bonus points to Nathan for a movie reference that not enough people get anymore.

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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