I cannot reproduce it here because of copyright, but I think that today's Dilbert strip sums up our present age in a perfect nutshell. "I think I died, am I in heaven or hell?" asks a man in a white gown to another man sitting at a desk. The reply: "You're in helven; heaven and hell have been outsourcing souls to us since the demons and angels unionised". (Rather than "unionised" I'd have written "merged after a company takeover".)
There is a punchline window also, but don't think it necessary. (Punchline: "So is this place good or bad?" "Well, you get a harp but you won't like how we give it to you.")
Moving on, to last week's (5 Feb) Bookseller, in which new books being published in the UK in May are highlighted in the preview section. Just picking a few of the very many of these, I'm looking forward to: Innocent, by Scott Turow, the prequel to his brilliantly nailbiting 1987 debut bestseller Presumed Innocent; Shadowplay, by Karen Campbell, third Glasgow-set Anna Cameron novel; The Liar's Lullaby, by Meg Gardiner, sequel to The Dirty Secrets Club and featuring Jo Beckett again; Hailey's War by Jodi Compton, if this is the same Jodi Compton who wrote two good novels a few years ago and with whom I have lost touch since; and Afterlight, by Alex Scarrow, sequel to Last Light (yet to be read but I am looking forward to it after a recommendation from Material Witness).
Other new May novels that look interesting are some debuts: Death in the Latin Quarter by Raphael Cardetti, set in Paris, about the restoration of a medieval palimpsest; The Whisperer by Donato Carristi, a bit of a grim-sounding plot about severed arms being found in a forest, but apparently a very popular book in its native Italy; and Down Among the Dead Men by Robert Gregory Browne, about a disgraced newspaper reporter trying to find the truth behind the killing of some nuns in the Mexican desert.
There are also some best-selling authors who have new novels coming out in May: Lynda La Plante has written a third in her Anna Travis series called Blind Fury; P J Tracy's latest is Play to Kill, in which Grace MacBride is recruited by the FBI to find a serial killer on the internet; Silent Scream by Karen Rose, an author who is becoming increasingly popular in the UK; Private by "James Patterson", start of a new series (!) featuring Jack Morgan, former war hero, now head of a global private detective agency; and A Better Quality of Murder by Ann Grainger, a third Victorian crime novel starring Inspector Ben Ross of Scotland Yard and his wife Lizzie.
(Apologies for the lack of links in this post, due to a sore hand which means I can type only for a limited time.)