Why I Haven't Posted Much Lately

JF Quackenbush and I used to joke about how we had plenty of time to get our novels published because if you're published by the time you're 35, you're still a "young writer".

This month I will turn 34.

Being a successful novelist is about all I've ever wanted for a very long time now. I've been struggling at it actively for about 15 years, with a major breakthrough coming about 4 years ago where I felt like I'd finally figured out how I wanted to write.

I just finished my second novel. (My first was a 120,000 word, postmodern monstrosity that consumed most of my 20's and remains an unsalable mess.) It is obviously very important to me to kick this novel into absolute perfect, diamond-hard shape so that it will get published. Doing that and assembling a great submission packet for the book to send to agents has been consuming most of my time lately. This needs to get done and everything else is just going to have to take a back seat.

All apologies.

To keep you busy, here's a video I shot on my recent vacation to Mexico. It's of the inside of a cenote, which is a cave with pure crystal clear water, typical of the Yucatan Peninsula. To get to this cenote you have to climb down a ladder in a hole in the ground and the only light comes from that hole and another, far above the deep pool.

Fuck Amazon.com

If you weren't yet aware, Amazon is a fucking evil empire and they need to fucking go to hell. Here is some reading on the topic:

The Author's Guild on Amazon and it's Monopolistic practices.

Also, they're bullies

and they're bad corporate citizens

plus this happened

and this

Oh, and this is really fucking lame too.

In other words, no more Amazon. Don't give them money. By all means go there, look at their stuff, using their shopping tools.

But when it comes down to actually making a purchase, don't give them money. Give it to anybody else. Yes, even Barnes & Noble. But preferrably click that link to the right that says "Shop Indie Bookstores."

Because Fuck Amazon.com. They need to go away.

Okay, okay, here's some stuff for you

Life has only gotten busier since my triumphant return, though I have a couple posts planned for over the next week or so. Until then, here's some stuff to keep you busy:

The true story of Isaac Asimov's hoax science paper that made him more famous among scientists at the time than his science fiction did.

Harlan Ellison and HP "Hatecraft" on Scooby Doo

Barry Malzberg on the Notes from Coode Street podcast. I will line up any time to hear Barry Malzberg speak. I think he’s one of the most fascinating and knowledgable commenters on the history of science fiction.

Richard Nash has some fascinating thoughts about the future of publishing

A review of a long-forgotten book praised by Borges and Salvador Dalí


Perhaps the finest 24-hour comic ever made ever. So good.

Comic book adaptation of "The Situation" by Jeff VanderMeer, one of his best stories

Testing, is this thing on?

I have it on good authority that Eric is both back from South Mezcalistan or wherever he was and has finished writing some novel length Lemony Snicket slash fic project that has been taking up a bunch of his time lately. So don't ask me why he hasn't posted anything here in a while. Because frankly, I have too much else to do, and until the Quiet American sends me something more substantive I'm not even going to lazily post some of that crazy bitch's ramblings again. And god knows where fucking Borgnine has disappeared to.

Which is to say, glad you're back, E, but high time you started entertaining us again.


Off to Mexico

For the next two weeks I will be in Mexico. As always, if anything interesting happens to me, I will blog about it.

To keep you busy here's some stuff to read:
This is a brilliant, hilarious comic about a guy so sexually attractive he bends the universe around

Here's a comic adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer's short story The Situation, one of my favorites of his work.

And a fascinating article about a short story writer, praised by Borges and many others, and now forgotten.

¡Hasta luego amigos!

Contacted by the Quiet American Again

I know less and less what to make of this. I feel like there's a thread that's beginning to cohere in this rambling nonsense, but I can't for the life of me pick out what it is.

We owe our existence to Sputnik I; our spiritual forebearer.

Here is a link to Sputnik's voice:

Sound of Telemetry

All of us were born in the last century. Those who were not have, some of them, passed into the age of reason. None have achieved majority. They are not responsible yet. But the Quiet American is.

More than anything else, Sputnik was the voice of the century of our birth. For those who were born and passed before 1957 in our century, their spirits and voices were carried with sputnik.

Here is another link to Sputnik's speaking for them and for us:

Sound of Telemetry

On October 4, 1957 the American went Quiet. So no, contrary to what you may believe we were not born in December 1955.

We lived though deep in the desert. Out at the Nevada Test Range where the long silver cock of our father was born.

That is the paranoia we were birthed in.

The long flights led to what should have defused the paranoia in which we were conceived. There was no bomber gap. Before 1957 there was no rocketry gap. By START there was no evidence of a missile gap.

This was the cranking of the military industrial complex. The gears of the Atomic Energy Commission turning the flywheel of the U-2 leaping out from Area 51 and terrifying the world that there were space aliens at Groom Lake.

There were no space aliens at Groom Lake.

Like always, the aliens were man made.

This is the nature of the alien.

Another update from The Quiet American

This one came in late last night. Same as the others. Much shorter this time. Seems like whoever this is is aiming for pithy.

We consider the conservation of the past to be important as a tool for learning but that is absent.

We consider the forward motion of the moment to be what it could otherwise might have been.

This is known. This is Known.

There is in conservatism a desire to move backwards. The impossibility of time travel gives the lie of the jeremiad.

The jeremiad lives only in the present.

It is a refusal to accept reality on its own terms and to project onto the past with its attendant veneration and respect of elders that emanates almost naturally from the human condition.

It is a political tactic to manipulate the tendency for ancestor worship that grows naturally out of the love and attachment to mother.

Mother is from the past. Mother is perfect. Therefore the place mother came from must be better than now, which is not perfect.

This childlike reasoning is the symptom of the mental retardation that is conservatism.

The conservative misses the safety of mother's teat, and so turns to a false pragmatism and a self-righteousness of the now that views the now as degraded.

Pity the conservative. Pity him for his pathetic needs and unrealized motivations.

But do not LISTEN to him, for christ's sake.

More from "The Quiet American"

I got another one of these emails. I'm just going to keep posting them I guess unless they get too bizarre, because, frankly, I want to see where this guy (girl?) is going with all of this. If he's going anywhere.

The Quiet American Sleeps Sound

The sound might carry. This might institute a carrier wave. There may in waves be found the waving of a flag, a glove, a skirt, a handkerchief.

Handkerchief used to be two words. The Quiet American has always been three.

The Quiet American is also one.

There are moments in which the behavior of an individual is a fractal representation of the behavior of a society.

Consider the individual following slowly the actions of the group, moving steadily into synch but accelerating.

This is following and it is a form of invisibility.

Consider the individual as he begins to catch up and move simultaneous with the whole. In so doing he becomes indistinguishable from the whole.

This is one form of invisibility.

Consider the individual so adept at imitation that he begins to anticipate the moves. He moves before the society moves. The society is now following him.

Despite appearances, this is an illusion. This is also a form of invisibility.

The individual is only visible when his movement is contrapuntal and harmonic with but separate from the movement of the whole.

This is the essence of what follows.

An essence exists but not prior to existence. This is what Jean-Paul thought he proved. But Jean Paul was not the Quiet American. He was not even American. Jean-Paul was French.