nthposition online magazine

Jim Chaffee

Chaffee is a former Vietnam medic who kept himself sane by studying mathematics and writing fiction and essays. He runs The Drill Press.

Pseudoscience fiction in Louis Armand’s Cairo

[ bookreviews ]

"The novel itself is a new genre, a sort of horror that I believe might be called pseudoscience fiction, this one rooted in alien technology and ancient astronaut beliefs linked to ancient Egypt."

Clueless in Laboe

[ bookreviews ]

Beyond brown and bubbly

[ bookreviews ]

Reading Louis Armand’s Breakfast at Midnight

A sickness called America - Thor Garcia’s The News Clown

[ bookreviews ]

"Thor’s coming of age is not set against an adolescent nation establishing borders or growing through hard times to become a major power, but rather against a decaying and degenerate nation populated with inbred, narcissistic adolescents long past their second decades."

The Gospel of Wealth: towards a new generation of American consumership

[ bookreviews ]

A review of Economics and Finance for the American Way of Life

Les Apaches de la bibliothèque infinie

[ bookreviews ]

“In essence, Faucher has made literature as real as mathematics and made the world outside the reader’s head as unreal as mathematics.”

Pseudo-scientists, pseudo-shamans and mass delusion: contemporary US culture

[ opinion - december 10 ]

US citizens are as superstitious as any residents of so-called third-world nations. There have recently been localized delusions regarding witches in parts of Africa and New Guinea. But the operative word is localized. In the US it is national.

A film too far: The Battle of Hormuz Strait

[ politics | opinion - september 10 ]

A reflection on American foreign policy truthiness

Night of the Living Dead: The party of Palin

[ opinion - february 10 ]

An unguided anabolic verboid for Reverdy Gliddon and Karl Johnson.

Fear of merging - a Christmas tale

[ bookreviews ]

Book review as an excuse for social commentary

Meat puppet

[ fiction - august 09 ]

"I remember the poor bastard's blood. Infested with fauna from hell: plasmodium falciparum scattered within and between the dead and dying cells, platelets, schistocytes, the stuff of disseminated intracellular coagulation halting capillary flow, strangling brain, kidneys, everything."

A Farewell to Schmaltz

[ bookreviews ]

Tom Bradley's Even the Dog Won't Touch Me.

Science in contemporary fiction

[ opinion | bookreviews ]

Variations on a theme of Richard Powers.

Performance piece

[ fiction - may 09 ]

"The particulars of the crimes held my attention, though the methods seemed uninspired and the rationale sadly predictable."

Perfect night for leeches

[ fiction - april 09 ]

"We stabilized the poor bastards, got them out of triage and off to surgery. All the time carefully collecting the leaches we’d picked off them, for later."

Meaning and almostness

[ opinion - march 09 ]

As far as existential dilemmas go, the God-no God question is at best meaningless and really a yawner. Consider, instead, a chilling ontological-epistemological cocktail with the potential for profound existential hangover...

Noise in the Machine: the homogeneous chaos blues

[ opinion - january 09 ]

"This mushy-headed blather arises as an attempt to simulate science-talk to people inured to comic book encapsulation of the most complex ideas."

The ekonomics of Fantasyland

[ opinion - october 08 ]

"In reality the US is not now a capitalist nation, at least not in the classical sense of the word capitalism. Since the time of Reagan (and perhaps nascent since WWII), the US has become a military-socialist nation, or as some call it to point out how this variant of socialism is mechanized, a military-Keynesian nation."