“Civilization is the agreement to have gaps between wars,” writes
Jeff Lint, subject of the biography Lint. This is an unusual
book that I picked up at the library on a whim. Parts of it are
outrageously funny, for instance the whole “Belly” sequence, Lint’s
cartoon TV show, and the description of his proposed Star Trek
episode. At the same time parts of this book disturbed in a way, as
though reading the description of someone unknowingly in the midst of
a mental breakdown, and then slowly realizing that, hey, maybe that is

In any case, I think Aylett has achieved something remarkable
here, in that he was able to write a “writerly” book which did not
make me want to retch. While at times the relentless
other-worldliness and just-barely-incoherence of Lint was tiring, at
other points I was struck by the sustained creativity that was
required to have written this book — like a sci-fi version of The
, only not so deep. Several times I thought, “I wish I
had thought of that.”

I recommend reading this book, though I wouldn’t classify it as
an SF essential (say, The Female Man or so).

Oh, by the way, due to this book otters have now been added to the
list of animals which may no longer be used in jokes. You may
remember that penguins, platypuses, weasels, and newts are already on
this list.

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