The Gone-Away World

Today, I started reading The Gone-Away World, a novel by Nick Harkaway, which was a gift to me by Jim and Tex, quite a while ago. It was put on the big To Read pile and finally I got to it, after I struggled with Full Metal Apache for a long time and placated my low intellectual self-esteem (especially after that book) with some pulpy 40K stories. It’s weird and hilarious and I think that out of all my friends Sam would probably dig it the most. Here are two sections that I found hilarious from the first twenty pages.

“The Gone-Away World, p. 16” wrote:
Without genetic engineering, without intervention or expense, Jorgmund Company has remade him, barracked him in some halfway ville dortoir and stripped him of his connection with the world in a crash course of management schools and loyalty card deals, surrounded him with psuedo-spaces, malls and water features, so that he is allergic to pollen and pollution and dust and animal fibre and salt, gluten, bee stings, red wine, spermicidal lubricant, peanuts, sunshine, unpurified water and chocolate, and really to everything except the vaccum-packed, air-conditioned in-between where he spends his life.
“The Gone-Away World, p. 16-17” wrote:
Dick Washburn, known for evermore as Dickwash, is a type D pencilneck: a sassy wannabe paymaster with vestigial humanity. This makes him vastly less evil than a type B pencilneck (heartless bureaucratic machine, pro-class tennis) and somewhat less evil than a type C pencilneck (chortling lackey of the dehumanising system, ambient golf), but unquestionably more evil than pencilneck types M through E (real human screaming to escape a soul-devouring professional persona, varying degrees of desperation). No one I know has ever met a type A pencilneck, in much the same way that no one ever reports their own fatal accident.

I love it.

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