An Oxfam treat, this. S?awomir Mro?ek’s 1957 collection of ultra-short stories are bizarre and compelling. From elephants made from rubber to save money, to a world of tiny people that live in a drawer, Mro?ek is satirical and surreal in equal measure and tell the everyday tales of bureaucracy in a similar style to Franz Kafka's surreal vision.
As you may know, I am a huge fan of Stross’s work, especially his Laundry novels. This is the followup to The Rhesus Chart, following the naive mathematical genius (and vampire) Alex as he and the rest of the British Civil service battle the most terrifying existential threat yet — elfin aliens from another dimension. As always fun, intelligent and entertaining.
A compendium of software architectures that are somehow "beautiful" — a word that is hard to define, other than perhaps by paraphrasing United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart on obsceenity
I know it when I see it! In fact the authors try and establish some features that beautiful architectures are commonly thought of as possessing. The essays that comprise the book’s content cover architectures ranging from Xen, to Facebook to Emacs and much in between. Particularly provocative was Bertrand Meyer’s piece arguing for the superior expressive power of OO languages when compared to functional ones.