Thursday, October 6, 2011

Installing Linux on a Dead Badger (And Other Oddities)/ Lucy A. Snyder

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Humor/Science Fiction/Satire/Short Story

Approximate word count: 15-20,000 words

Kindle US:
YES UK: YES Nook: YES Smashwords: YES Paper: YES
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


Growing up in San Angelo, Texas, Lucy Snyder longed to live somewhere with four seasons. This wish was fulfilled, as she now lives with her husband in Ohio. Also available from Snyder for your favorite e-reader are three novels, another short story collection, Sparks and Shadows, and Chimeric Machines, a collection of poetry that won the 2009 Bram Stoker Award: Superior Achievement in Poetry. For more, visit Snyder’s website.


A collection of humorous short stories or essays, with a technological or science fiction slant. Some have appeared elsewhere, including the title story, which was the most popular ever to appear in the science fiction magazine Strange Horizons.


Although each of the short stories or essays in Installing Linux stands alone, you’ll find a few common themes. Most touch on technology. Many have mythical creatures: zombies, fairies, trolls, and such. Some may have a dark side, but all are humorous, with many satirizing something or someone in the process.

The title story gives directions for installing the Linux operating system on a badger. When you’re done you’ll have a zombie badger that can be operated like a robot. Doesn’t that sound like fun? This piece satirizes computer installation manuals.

Multiple stories imagine a future where reanimated corpses or zombies provide a cheap workforce for corporations. This example passage is the response of the owner of a fast food restaurant, addressing concerns that his “zombloyees” (zombie employees) present a health risk, and clearly satirizes a typical corporate spokesperson putting a positive spin on a situation for good public relations:

There's still this perception that they're these oozing corpses dropping parts everywhere, but that's completely outdated. When properly plasticized, our zombloyees are cleaner than our regular employees – all you do is wipe them down with orange cleaner every shift to get the grease residue off.

Of course this brave new world isn’t good for everyone. We also get to meet the IT employee injured while trying to exterminate trolls from his company’s computer network and the unemployed worker who masquerades as a zombie to get a low paying job in a call center. Overall, I found Installing Linux to be a quick (just shy of 20,000 words) and fun read.


Some adult language.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant errors.

Rating: **** Four stars

1 comment:

Vicki said...

Love, love the title. That alone is enough to make me want to buy the book.