Tuesday, December 23, 2008

New essay

My latest political diatribe is up at Menda City Review. Happy holidays!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

More new work & Pushcart

The monotony of Christmas music. The threat of unemployment. The daily sight of your retirement plan plunging downwards into the light-less elevator shaft of ruin and despair...rest assured, I'm there with you. Since misery loves company, I offer you my latest jar of acid - something to throw in the face of adversity. It's a little flash fiction called The Flat Hour, in the December online edition of Underground Voices.

In other news, I received notice a few days ago that my story "Why The Letter To Your Congressman Will Not Be Read," from this summer's Mud Luscious, is now a Pushcart nominee. Also nominated from Mud Luscious are "an excerpt from Degenerescence" by James Chapman and "Reading to Sleep" by Jack Martin. Both are luminous and haunting. They are in issues #5 and #4 respectively. I recommend a visit.

Friday, October 17, 2008

New story

My latest story, "The Fourth Room," is in the new October issue of The Dream People. This one represents an early example of something I've been experimenting with recently - embedded mythology. Another experimental flash-fiction story of mine will be appearing in the December issue of Underground Voices.

I seem to be sharing a lot of space recently with the talented and ridiculously prolific J.A. Tyler. My story "Why the Letter to Your Congressman Will Not Be Read" appeared in his online lit mag Mud Luscious earlier this year, and he has a piece called "Horse" in the latest update to Menda City Review, where I'm associate editor. And now here we are together in The Dream People! Of course, if you check out the list of publications on his website, you'll see he's been in about a bazillion publications, so he's pretty much inescapable. His work is vivid and distinct, and definitely worth tracking down.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Latest Publications

Two new micro-fictions, one political essay, and one book review all out since the beginning of June. The fiction appears in the newest online issues of Sein und Werden and Mud Luscious. My review of The Book of Rude and Other Outrages: A Queer Self-Portrait by Stephen Sure, is in the latest issue of American Book Review (print only), and I contributed an essay about the Supreme Court's decision on the Indiana voter ID law to the June issue of the Cold Type Reader, available as a free PDF.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

New stuff

New short story out on Pindeldyboz, and a book review of Stephen Duncombe's Dream in the latest issue of American Book Review (print only).

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Recently read

Atom by Steve Aylett
The Zap Gun by Philip K. Dick
Inter Ice-Age 4 by Kobe Abe
Why I Am Not a Christian by Bertrand Russell
Solaris by Stanislaw Lem
Cerebus by Dave Sim
Surfacing by Margaret Atwood
On the Genealogy of Morals by Freidrich Nietzsche
Shooting War by Dan Goldman & Anthony Lappe

Thoughts on some of the above...Solaris was better than the movie with George Clooney by many orders of magnitude. I was under-whelmed by Soderbergh's film when I saw it five years ago - now that I've read the book, I think the film was a travesty. It left out everything that the book was about. It is literally like making a movie of Moby Dick, and leaving out the whale . Surfacing is an early Atwood novel, and shows some of the requisite early-novel weaknesses, such as two-dimensional characters and unruly, free-associative prose. The book was compelling however, and I was surprised how much I kept dwelling on it afterwards. Her control of the symbolic layer of the narrative - which is where she put most of her energies on this one - is very disciplined. Aylett's Atom was hilarious, muddled, at times almost impossible to follow, but nonetheless utterly fascinating. Aylett is a true original, a sort of cyberpunk-dadaist - the only writer who can make me laugh out loud, in public, in sometimes inconvenient circumstances, and the only writer capable of describing a politician "deep-throating" a python. Aylett also has the distinction of authoring what I contend to be the funniest short story in the English language: "If Armstrong Were Interesting." It's a four page story (not in this book, but rather Toxicology) about the astronaut Neil Armstrong, and what he would've done during the moon landing had he been "interesting." It takes an hour to read, because you have to stop at the end of each paragraph to catch your breath.

The Zap Gun was above-average PKD. Like almost everything he wrote in the sixties, it has the hurried quality of something pounded out in a rapid, amphetamine-induced blur. This, however is a great book for discovering one of Dick's more under appreciated talents; dialogue. There is also a surprisingly effective love-story at the core of this one. He's done this before of course, but it often amounts to little more than damp fodder for the machinations of the plot. But here, there's a genuine pang of heartbreak and longing. Dick, incidentally, has been done a certain disservice by the film Blade Runner, which was based on his novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" This is not so much a criticism of Ridley Scott's semi-masterpiece, as it is a recognition that the film does not in any way capture the style of a Philip K. Dick novel, even though it has become the cinematic standard on which all other PKD adaptations are modeled. If you've never read his books, and only seen Blade Runner, you'd think that his style was brooding, dark, and incredibly somber. And this, of course, is a serious misdirection, since Dick's writing is actually very witty and satirical, as well as rapidly-paced. His plots are full of details that whiz by as if shot from a fire hose, rich with ideas but mostly bereft of the rococo visuals found in the Scott film.

Cerebus is brilliant and beautiful beyond my wildest expectations. It's one of those absurd ideas that shouldn't work but does. I'm still in the middle of volume 1, so I won't say more until I've absorbed more of it. Dave Sim...what a blessed nut.

Shooting War is reviewed in full, here, in the latest issue of Menda City Review. Which, incidentally, is full of lots of other good stuff - essays and fiction - which you should also read. Now.