You may not have heard of Stuart Ashen - more commonly known as Ashens - but there is nothing terrible about him, and he is of indeterminate age.
If you're not tuning in regularly to his hugely popular YouTube channel then you need to rectify this immediately; it's exactly the sort of thing Digitiser2000's YouTube channel would aspire to be, were I not too busy/lazy to update it.
In short: Stuart reviews rubbish. Rubbish food, rubbish toys, rubbish products, and - on occasion - rubbish games. His new book is all about the latter. It is entirely possible that you guessed this from the title.
Peppered throughout are contributions from chums of Digitiser such as former columnist Violet Berlin, Ste Pickford, Larry Bundy Jr, and (ahem) Jeff Minter - as well as an entry by none other a luminary than my good self, detailing my own most terrible old game experience.
It's a funny little book, in as much as it is both funny, and little. Though it doesn't scrimp on word count, or lovely pictures of the awfulness it details, it's simply small in dimensions - the perfect stocking-filler for the retro-gaming lover-of-tat in your life.
One tip: don't drop it down the side of a sofa bed while you're putting the bed away, or you may end up bending it in half, like I did at the weekend. Buy it here.
I've mentioned in unnecessary gut-wrenching detail exactly what the ZX Spectrum has meant to me, and so I've been looking forward to this book ever since it was announced.
I've loved all the Bitmap Books visual compendiums thus far - yes, even the Amiga one - but this time they succeed in compiling a selection of iconic images and anecdotes from those who were there at the time, which tickle me in the love tank.
Best of all, it's just the pictures, so you don't actually have to play any of these games - avoiding doing this will maintain their perfectness in that rose-hued corner of your brain reserved for ill-remembered nostalgia.
Oddly, one of my favourite parts of the book was the introduction by Ste Pickford (yes, that guy again), in which he describes his disdain for the current trend for retro 8-bit visuals. He explains that the designers at the time were simply doing the best they could with the tools they had to hand (as a former teletext artist I could relate - d'you think I would've drawn like that if I'd had better technology to play with?).
Nicely, pretty much every aspect of the era is covered - not just the games. There are sections on Your Sinclair, Sinclair User and Crash magazines, a look at the various iterations of the Spectrum hardware, and the Russian home-brew scene. Throughout the book are interview snippets with anyone who was someone from the Spectrum days. Not me though. I wasn't asked. Perhaps the editors hate me, or were worried I'd depress their readers. Highly, highly recommended. Buy it here.