Fantastique Unfettered #4

The fourth issue of Fantastique Unfettered is now available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I mentioned its availability in an earlier post prematurely; the official release was December 26. The issue includes "Verite," a story of mine that will appear down the road in Battle without Honor or Humanity Vol. 2. Here's a press kit.

Upcoming Reviews

Here's my current queue of books for review in early 2012:

Robert Crossley. Imagining Mars: A Literary History. Wesleyan UP, 2011.
Mark Rawlinson, ed. A Clockwork Orange: A Norton Critical Edition. W.W. Norton & Co., 2011.
Daniel H. Wilson. Robopocalypse. Simon & Shuster, 2011.
Jonathan Lethem & Pamela Jackson, eds. The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick. Houghton Mifflin, 2011.

I'm really excited about all of these titles. I've finished reading Imagining Mars and it's excellent. All reviews will appear in Extrapolation, except for the review of my doppelganger's novel, which will appear in Foundation.

Notes on Aylett

If you know me, you know I can't stand reading other authors, except for Herman Melville, and a few other, mostly dead, assholes. Plus Steve Aylett.

A few items of note:

[1] Here is a recent radio interview Aylett did on NTS Live.

[2] Slaughtermatic is now available on Kindle. This is the book that got me interested in Aylett's work when it came out in the late 1990s. It was a finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award.

[3] My review of Aylett's latest and last Beerlight novel, Novahead, will appear soon in Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction. I will present an extended version of this review at the 2012 annual convention of the Science Fiction Research Association.

[4] If you haven't seen it yet, you probably won't. Nonetheless LINT: THE MOVIE exists.

Personality Rehab

Last night I dreamt that I needed personality rehabilitation. A group of elderly women sentenced me. My wife, mother, and the women in my extended family endorsed the sentence. None of the men in the dream cared one way or the other. The rehab facility was located in Flint, Michigan. At first I agreed to go, but then I got mad and yelled at everybody. The feeling of refreshment I experienced upon waking was laced with idle dread.

Lofton Gitt Reviews The Kyoto Man

In addition to writing a preliminary blurb for The Kyoto Man, Lofton Gitt has written a full review that will be published in the NYT Book Review. Here’s one passage I really liked:

"According to Herman Melville’s foremost biographer, Newton Arvin, the 'aborted author' lived on a diet of 'nostalgia for the venerable and the moribund, and mingled with this was some still more special longing for the Biblical, the Hebraic, the Judaean pastthe past of the patriarchs and the judges, the prophets and the kings. Few men’s minds have been more richly stored than Melville’s with the imagery of Biblical story, of the Old Testament record especially; it had been woven into the fabric of his imagination from earliest childhood, and he had constantly recurred to it; it was a permanent point of reference for his spirit.' Without question, the scikungfi trilogy constitutes Wilson’s Moby Dick—allusions to everything from the White Whale to the plight of the bearded artist are as rampant as they are dubious and ultimately moot—only instead of the Bible, the traumatic kernel that clearly energizes Wilson and determines the flows of his desires is the science fiction genre, the machinery of which materializes in the trilogy, again and again, through the techno-idiotic sieve of pop culture. Of course, it will be some time before readers are ready to attend to the dynamics of science fiction with the same enthusiasm and interest as the Bible, despite the ongoing science fictionalization of reality, and Wilson expects far too much from readers, who grow increasingly more handicapped, disabled and zombified every day. Melville’s readers were neither prepared for nor willing to engage with his texts at the level of acuity he requiredas Arvin writes, his audience failed to 'follow him into the intellectual and imaginative regions that were his true territory.' Certainly Wilson can expect nothing more than this. At best, he might hope to be altogether ignored, forgotten before he is even remembered, and as I understand it, he is doing a good job in this capacity."

Reviewers for Lance Olsen's Architectures of Possibility

As an associate editor of Guide Dog Books, the nonfiction syndicate of Raw Dog Screaming Press, I'd like to call attention to the publisher's latest venture, Lance Olsen's Architectures of Possibility: After Innovative Writing.

If you are interested in reviewing the book, please email me or the publisher for advanced reader copies.

Here's a description:

Ideal for individual or classroom use, Architectures of Possibility theorizes and questions the often unconscious assumptions behind such traditional writing gestures as temporality, scene, and characterization; offers various suggestions for generating writing that resists, rethinks, and/or expands the very notion of narrativity; visits a number of important concerns/trends/obsessions in current writing (both on the page and off); discusses marketplace (ir)realities; hones critical reading and manuscript editing capabilities; and strengthens problem-solving muscles from brainstorming to literary activism.

Exercises and supplemental reading lists challenge authors to push their work into self-aware and surprising territory.

In addition, Architectures of Possibility features something entirely lacking in most books about creative writing: more than 40 interviews with contemporary innovative authors, editors, and publishers (including Robert Coover, Lydia Davis, Brian Evenson, Shelley Jackson, Ben Marcus, Carole Maso, Scott McCloud, Steve Tomasula, Deb Olin Unferth, Joe Wenderoth, and Lidia Yuknavitch) working in diverse media, providing significant insights into the multifaceted worlds of experimental authors' writing.

Lance Olsen is author of more than 20 books of and about innovative writing, including the novelsCalendar of Regrets, Head in Flames, and Nietzsche’s Kisses. His short stories, essays, poems, and reviews have appeared in hundreds of journals and anthologies, such as Conjunctions, Black Warrior Review, Fiction International, Village Voice, BOMB, McSweeney’s, and Best American Non-Required Reading. He serves as chair of FC2’s Board of Directors and teaches experimental narrative theory and practice at the University of Utah.

Collaborator Trevor Dodge is author of the novel Yellow #10 and short-fiction collection Everyone I know Lives on Roads, as well as co-editor of the Northwest Edge anthologies of experimental narrative. He teaches writing, literature, comics, and games studies at Clackamas Community College in Oregon Cityand the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland.