Excerpt from Battle #1

Here's an excerpt from "Invective," the first story in my latest fiction collection, Battle without Honor or Humanity: Volume 1. I'm happy not to provide any context.

[Name of protagonist] said, “Long ago I fell in love with a common woman. We indulged in the entire spectrum of human existence in the span of a fortnight. We spoke about everything. We enacted everything. It was a tragedy.”

Palsied, [name of detractor] replied, “I understand. Have you ever been hurled out of a commercial airliner? My father did that to me once. I wasn’t expecting it. I have been mocked before and I will be mocked again. But this business about the ‘entire spectrum of human existence’ is a red flag. ‘Life is nothing more than a sequence of painful separations.’ You said that. Those are your words. At any rate, it is my contention that those are your words. You had stormed the entresol of the P’Zhang Theatre. You had jumped onto the railing and were striding up and down it like a funambulist. ‘We are born,’ you exclaimed, ‘and the doctor takes us away from our mother. He tells somebody to give us a bath and then gives us back to our mother, and then we get taken away again, this time by our father, who wants to cuddle with us. There is a lot of back and forth at this point. Later, we are separated from our parents and sent to school. Just when we get used to school, we must go home to our parents. It’s confusing. Later, we find a woman who we never want to leave; all day long we lay in bed and fuck like banshees. But we must go to work. And then we have kids together and the cycle begins again. Do you understand?’ Something to that effect—that’s what you said. On and on you went, soliloquizing with little, if any, original energy. Your thesis was plain enough: there’s never enough time to grow roots. And yet you, sir, are an enemy of the root, as your behavior and your discourse, time and again, reify. This is not to say that I don’t respect you. Here is my curriculum vitae.” [Name of detractor] hands a c.v. to [name of protagonist]. “As you can plainly see, I have fallen into the proverbial fire pit on multiple occasions; I allowed the flames to consume my flesh, then crawled out of the pit and started again. One must always start again. It is the nature of life. New beginnings. [Name of God] would have it no other way.” Click. “I swear this gun isn’t working.” Click. Click. “This piece of shit. It’s broken.” He moved the barrel from one temple to the other and pulled the trigger again. Click. “I’m going to set the weapon aside. It has ceased to retain a purpose, even as an object of intimidation, even as [name of the Phallus]. There. It’s done. Do you have any cigars? No? Well. We must celebrate. It’s not every day that one fails so excellently to live up to one’s potential. If I may. There. Yes. Ahh. My boneless phalanges dangle into the void like fulminating counterparts. Are you aware that there is a hole in your [brand name of jeans]? Buy some new fucking [brand name of jeans]. If you think that I am spying on you, it is very likely that I am spying on you, even as I kneel before you.” [Name of detractor] kneels. [Name of detractor] realizes he is already kneeling. “My irreconcilable vigilance is doubtless the reason I have come down so hard on you this afternoon. Repairing your ‘text,’ so to speak, may ultimately be a simple matter of linguistic, and hence neurological, fine-tuning. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. The egg of the Word came before the chicken of the Brain. No. When you fall into an inverted lotus pose it frightens me; time and again I am reminded of the crabs. More to the point, I acknowledge your intuition, but do you really think you can get away with any kind of intelligent discussion of [name of discussion subject] in the absence of an invocation of Ronald Reagan? I don’t understand. I . . . Here, let me stand up now. I’m going to stand.” He stood. “There. I’m up.”

October Goodreads Giveaway

The October Goodreads giveaway for Battle without Honor or Humanity: Volume 1 is now closed. Thanks to everybody who entered. There will be another giveaway during the last two weeks of November.

Review of Battle #1

Jonathan Raab has written an excellent new review of Battle without Honor or Humanity: Volume 1 for Muzzleland Press. Here's a blurb:

"Wilson takes a samurai sword dripping with LSD through our assumptions of what fiction can and should be, directly and indirectly skewering literary criticism, the artist’s ridiculous sense of self-importance, and audience expectations and entitlement."

Dog Con 4 Pics

Dog Con 4 in Philadelphia this past weekend was a blast. So was the book signing and multi-author reading at Farley's Bookshop in New Hope yesterday. Here's a few pics from the events.

Farley's Bookshop

Reading at Farley's

Posing with Books at Farley's

Signing Books

After the Saucers Landed

My review of Douglas Lain's new science fiction novel, After the Saucers Landed (Night Shade Books), has been published in Los Angeles Review of Books. Final verdict:

"What distinguishes it from other postcapitalist novels of its kind—spanning from Frederik Pohl and Cyril M. Kornbluth’s The Space Merchants to Max Barry’s Jennifer Government and beyond—is Lain’s sharp and easy voice, cool humor and wit, appetite for the absurd, and understanding of our mediatized nuances."

Read the full review here.

Denver Quarterly on Primordial

My novel Primordial: An Abstraction (Anti-Oedipus Press 2014) has been reviewed in issue 50.1 of Denver Quarterly. Here's are some extracts:

"D. Harlan Wilson's strange, hallicinatory, violent Primordial is not only perhaps the most disturbing novel set on university grounds ever to be published, but is also the world's first Bizarro campus novel . . . Wilson's vision presents the campus as Mad Max-like, post-apocalyptic wasteland—a landscape the narrator runs amok through, his rampage of violence reflecting a Grand Theft Auto-type video game more than any sort of reality-based world . . . There are times where the novel's wild experimentation with form and content, as well as its metaphorical use of arcane academia and institutionalized knowledge, bring to mind a writer like Jorge Luis Borges. But the Bizarro plot compressions and Gonzo acid flashbacks place Wilson in a much more dangerous, nihilistic landscape than anything found in Borges . . . The möbius strip-like circularity of graduate-level academia fits many of the definitions of the Ponzi scheme, and Wilson seems to be arguing that the extinction of this culture is necessary for us to 'reboot' and 'revert' back into a 'natural primitive state' where meaningful connection would be possible once more."

Read the entire review here.

2nd Edition of Goat Heads

The second edition of my fiction collection They Had Goat Heads has been released by Atlatl Press. Throughout the month, the Kindle version is on sale for $0.99.