Microfiction? Microfiction.

Remember when I said that NANO Fiction was going to publish a story of mine? Luckily, they didn’t abruptly change their minds in the subsequent weeks.  NANO Fiction Volume 6, Number 1 will be shipping next month. “Mars” will be in it, as will other stories by other wonderful people. If you would like a copy, you can preorder it.

I’m looking forward to receiving my own copy. The cover is absurdly gorgeous, and I can’t wait to stretch out on my couch with a cup of tea and read many sharp bits of small fictions.

In other news, a fine fellow I know created a website that allows you to comfortably ogle at the red planet from the comfort of your favorite chair. It is called The Mars Ogler, and it is very much worth a look.

Hey, Internet: Vol. 8

The articles that end up in my Instapaper queue, and later in Hey, Internet, tend to be a pretty accurate portrayal of what it is I’m thinking about during the time in which those shiny links catch my magpie eye. In May, it looks like I was thinking a lot about libraries, the different ways in which we categorize and access information, and video game storytelling.

Hey, Internet seems to be devolving into a monthly, rather than weekly, collection of links.  Let’s just pretend that makes it especially well curated.

Genre Fiction Is Disruptive Technology

Every so often, I read an article that has me enthusiastically nodding my head at my computer screen and saying, “Yes, exactly, yes!”  This is one of those articles.  I want to kiss Lev Grossman on both cheeks.

SF, Big Ideas, Ideology: What Is to Be Done?

Charlie Stross talks about science fiction and the genre of big ideas.

“Doctor Who”, “Community”, and Cult TV Fans

What’s this? I am a cult TV fan! This is relevant to my areas of interest!

Librarian, Distressed

As someone who worked in a library for three years, this article resonated with me.

New Yorker Magazine; Fiction, Keywording

Mark Athitakis discusses the strange futility of trying to accurately keyword works of fiction.  Very interesting stuff.

Is It Time For A Text Game Revival?

I certainly hope so. I really, really like text as a gaming format, and I’d love to see more of what contemporary  writers and game designers can do with it. In the meantime, there’s always Cave Adventure.

Are Videogames Just Opiates in the Form of Stories?

This interview is really more about storytelling in general than it is about videogames, but that doesn’t make it any less thoughtful.

Hey, Internet: Vol. 7

It’s time for another highly overdue edition of Hey, Internet!

Keith & Fran’s Arty Geodesic Dome Home

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live inside a geodesic dome?  Wonder no more!

Mars Rover Twitter Feeds

A friend recently alerted me to the fact that Spirit and Opportunity, Phoenix, and Curiosity all have their own Twitter feeds.  The feeds are often written in the first person, which produces an interesting sort of anthropomorphized narrative for the rovers.  Why aren’t there more Mars rover POV stories out there?  Get it together, nerds.

The Cartoonist’s Goal

Daniel Clowes talks about art.  I kind of laughed when the narrator of this short suggested that I might not know who Daniel Clowes is.

The Best Recent Stories

HTMLGIANT polled readers on what they thought were the best recent short stories.  The results are worth a look.  The list includes “The Navigators”, a Mike Meginnis story that was one of my favorite pieces of 2011.  Anyone want to get me a subscription to Hobart for my birthday?

Fifty Shades of Fan Fiction

The Millions discusses, among other things, the fact that the latest bestselling erotic novel is really just Edward/Bella slash fiction.

Checking Out

Speaking of erotica, here’s an examination of the sexy librarian trope.

 The Hat, by Rachel Levy

You know what? Just leave the hat on.

Hey, Internet: Vol. 6

I’ve actually been writing lately, so expect some kind of process post in the near future.  In the meantime, more links, including some 2011 lists that you can read from the comfort of early 2012.

The Alternative, The Underground, The Oh-Yes-That-One List of Favorite Books of 2011

A roundup gleaned from The Millions’ excellent Year in Reading series.  I loved the Year in Reading series, partially because it focused on favorite books read, not favorite books published, in 2011.  I should really get around to posting a similar essay.  Unfortunately, I only recently started tracking my reads on Goodreads again after a long hiatus and it turns out I can’t place my readings in time at all without some kind of record.

Kill Screen’s High Scores: Best of 2011

Kill Screen writes about video games differently than most other place write about video games, so it makes sense that their “best of 2011” ranking system and results would also be a little different.  Includes links to all of their lovely reviews.  The game itself didn’t make their list, but I found Kirk Hamilton’s review of L.A. Noire to be particularly great.

The Ghosts of Sex and the City

I find the idea of real places merging with or being superseded by fictional places to be exceptionally interesting and creepy.  There’s a good metafictional existential horror story lurking in there.

THE LONELY VOICE #14: Isaac Babel, Every Grief Soaked Word 

I’ve been working my way through the archives of The Lonely Voice column over on The Rumpus.  It is about short stories, and, as you may know, I really like short stories.

Red Cavalry is one of my favorite collections anywhere, in any language.  Read Babel in Russian if you can, but many of the English translations are okay.  “The orange sun is rolling across the sky like a severed head.” That is a good line in every language.

William Gibson, The Art of Fiction No. 211

As always, I am endlessly fascinated by other people’s processes.  And, of course, William Gibson.

 Tina May Hall’s “Visitations”

My friend J. recently encouraged me to reread this story, and I did, and I was reminded of how much I like it.  It’s a good story to read when you live in a small, freezing house and keep trying to stay warm by drinking innumerable cups of coffee and restlessly cooking things on your gas stove.

Hey, Internet: Vol. 5

Full disclosure.  I’m probably not going to be linking to many stories in Hey, Internet for a while.  This is because I may (may) soon be contributing to a column about great story finds on the web for a particular publication that I just finished interning for.  Maybe.  Essentially, I’m going to be hoarding all the good stories for myself for a while, in the off chance I want to write about them elsewhere.  Sorry.  In the meantime, have some very interesting essays.

Leave Luck to Heaven

Brian Oliu has completed his collection of lyric essays about video games.  I read a few of these essays when they appeared in Hobart, and I’m quite excited to find out that there are more of them.  Oliu links to the ones that have appeared online, so go read a few for yourself.

Towards A More Complete Measure of Excellence

Roxane Gay points out that major presses rule the “best of” lists.  As usual, she is super astute. Small presses are often razor sharp.  They give your brain paper cuts.  I get really excited every time The Collagist comes out.  Or PANK.  I’m submitting my short shorts to Wigleaf.  I’m saving up for a subscription to Hobart.

Poems about Superheroes

Stephen Burt talks about superheroes as poetic subject and point of cultural reference.  A wonderfully well-researched, insightful piece.

An Interview with Lore Segal

Lore Segal’s “Reverse Bug” is one of my favorite short stories. In other places where you’ve discussed this, in the interviews excerpted in Into the Arms of Strangers, you say that for years you replaced the statement (and it is a statement), “Isn’t this intolerable?” with “Isn’t this interesting?”

VQR Fall 2011: The Soviet Ghost

The Virginia Quarterly Review commemorates the twentieth anniversary of the dissolution of the Soviet Union with a themed issue.  Ed Ou’s essay “Under a Nuclear Cloud” is one of many excellent pieces of writing to be found in it.  There’s also short fiction in there.  But, shhh, you didn’t hear about it from me.

Defunct Girl Gangs of North American Drive-Ins

All right, one story.  Just one.  I can’t resist.  Luke Geddes’ latest is one of those stories that I really wish I had written myself.  The title says it all.

Hey, Internet: Vol. 4

BERG Cloud Little Printer

As seen above. This reminds of the internet with things essay I linked to a while back. I’m still forming opinions on the whole papernet concept.   On one hand, working with small presses has gotten me into the idea of texts as tangible, beautiful objects.  On the other hand, I feel like I would end up with lots of little bits of paper cluttering up my house. Either way, I’m still in love with the Little Printer’s design.

The Disappointment Author: Lethem vs. Wood

Metacritical smackdown!  There’s not much I can say about this article besides, “Oh, snap!”  Also, I love this quote. “When the critical work is at its finest, the audience is like a crew of medical students standing around a doctor at work — even when we disagree with the way things are being handled, we can still see the body of evidence and draw our own conclusions.”  Yes!

Unpacking My Library Six different authors discuss their book collections. I’ll admit, I mostly read this for the Gary Shteyngart stuff. “I’m big on sniffing books.” What a dreamboat.

Reasons Not to Self-Publish in 2011-2012: A List I’m leaning heavily on The Millions this week, but my excuse is that The Millions publishes a lot of really great stuff.  I’m always fascinated by the shifting possibilities and markets in the publishing industry, both as a writer and as someone who works for small presses.  Edan Lepucki tells it like it is.

David Foster Wallace’s Syllabi More neat stuff from the Harry Ransom Center’s archive. Can it just be a running joke that every time I post a bunch of links, at least one of them will be about DFW?

Things I Ate in Skyrim Lovely.  Good writing about video games always warms the cockles of my withered, cynical little heart.

SPEKTRMODULE 01: Fire Axes in SpaceWarren Ellis made a little musical audio show broadcast thing recently.  I’m really enjoying it.  It makes me want to write about space ships.  Ghost ships.  Ghost space ships.

Hey, Internet: Vol. 3

Late again, this time by a few weeks.  As a result, some of these links may be kind of dated. But no less interesting!

Rules for Living in a Simulation

Worlds collided this week when I listened to Aubrey Hirsch’s “Rules for Living in a Simulation” on The Drabblecast while typing away at my data entry job and soon realized that a different story of Hirsch’s had been published recently at American Short Fiction, my other job.  Three cheers for literary speculative fiction!

Virtual Reality Needs Real Writers

Another one of those things I think about more than is probably nessecary: video game writing.  Bioware, I’m totally available for hire.  You know, whenever you need me.

Modern Submission Convenience

Roxane Gay, co-editor of the wonderful PANK, talks about the convenience of electronic submissions and how that changes the way we submit pieces for publication.  This is something I think a lot about, both as a writer and as a slush pile reader.  True fact: I have been (very rightfully) rejected by PANK, and they took the time to give me wonderful feedback.  They are stellar folks.

The New Stuttgart City Library – Germany

The internet is very good at combining two things I like into one thing. Sometimes those things are dinosaurs and X-men. This week they’re libraries and design porn.

Just Kids

A fascinating read if you care about David Foster Wallace, or about the strange dialogics of writers writing for/among/about each other.

Meanwhile, 6th and Mission

File this one under “words and pictures”.  A highly effective piece.  In conclusion: gentrification is weird.

Mr. Wells Reviews a “Current Film”

In a 1927 New York Times review, H.G. Wells thinks Metropolis is the silliest film.

Hey, Internet: Vol. 2

A litte late this week.  I’d like to get Hey, Internet out on Sunday mornings, so that you can absorb it while you drink coffee and slowly return to consciousness.  Instead, you can read it tonight while you drink beer and decompress from work.  In case you were wondering, the theme song to the Hey, Internet weekly link crawl sounds an awful lot like this.

ボブ (Bob)

A novella published in three parts by The Collagist.  I loved loved loved this thing.  The point of view is particularly neat; I wouldn’t call it third-person so much as wraith-person.

Alpha 60 Speaks of Fear

A poem, also from  The Collagist.

FLOWCHART: Navigating NPR’s Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books

I have a lot of new things to read now, though I was surprised by how many of these I’ve already read.  I looked over this flowchart and thought, “Wow!  I am a pretty big nerd!”

The Books Business: Great Digital Expectations

I continue to be obsessed with the digitization of literature, despite the fact that I don’t own a digital reader.

Black Lodge: Twin Peaks Video Game

I am absurdly excited to play this.  “A day in the FBI was never like this before! You are Special Agent Dale Cooper and you’ve found yourself trapped inside of the Black Lodge, a surreal and dangerous place between worlds.”

The Big Sexy Problem with Superheroines

I could write an essay about the DC reboot, except I’m never going to go read the DC reboot.  That, and Laura Hudson already did it for me.  There’s a reason why I tend to follow my favorite writers around the legacy series rather than following the series themselves.  One of the many, many things I love about Grant Morrison?  He writes female characters like a champ.

The Libertine Adventures of Scott and Jean, or Genocidal Orgasm and Mystical Unions in the Dark Phoenix Saga

Speaking of female comic book characters, Christopher Lirette wrote a really neat essay about the Dark Phoenix Saga over HTMLGiant.  Despite the essay’s long title, it’s readable and not excessively wanky.  He also points out something I really should have noticed before.  You guys!  CYCLOPS IS THE MALE GAZE!

American Juggalo

When will I stop being endlessly fascinated by juggalos?  Not today.

Hey, Internet: Vol. 1

Homesense Bikemap

Dear reader, part of my job now is to read blogs.  Really.  Fantastic, but true.  When I’m not reading the slush pile or schilling magazines or writing e-mails for ASF, I’m reading blogs.  I’m supposed to stay knowledgeable about the current discussions and trends happening in the great big world of writing.

I thought you might enjoy seeing the more interesting things I found over the last week.  Some of this is pulled from lit blogs, some of it is courtesy of friends, and some of it comes from my personal explorations.  I have, magpie-like, collected the shiny bits and arrayed them for you, dear reader.  I’ll try to make this a regular feature.

This week I have a couple stories, some internet objects, a short critical history of fandom, and, of course, David Foster Wallace.

Concerning the Bodyguard

Donald Barthelme is very high on my list of favorite authors.  And this is one of my favorite Barthelme stories.  With bonus Salman Rushdie!

The Astronaut

This story was published a few months ago, but I’m still reading it and thinking about it.  Melissa Goodrich does exactly what I want to do.  She takes something speculative and renders it in a way that is very ordinary and true.

The Internet with Things

Russel Davies on the Internet of/with Things.  This article makes me want to build personalized LED-and-paper maps that can tell me exactly what I need to know.  Though Davies says I might need to find a tame programmer to help me with the code.  “They’re turning from mucking about with the web to mucking about with the real world because there seems to be a whole new set of interesting things to invent, unoccupied, uncolonised space.”

Reading and Writing Electronic Text

I really wish I could take this course. Developing algorithms to randomize and cycle text seems like it could actually motivate me to learn Python.

Guest Informant: Jess Nevins

A very short critical history of fandom. Specifically, commonplace books of the 19th century.  Apparently Byron used to write poems for his nubile young fans.  Oh, Byron.

Another Thing to Sort of Pin on David Foster Wallace

Maude Newton takes on the rhetorical gambits of DFW. An interesting critique.  I often think about whether my online voice is consistent or not and, lately, as I’ve been producing content for other people, about writing in a house voice versus my own voice.  Whether I’m writing as a magazine asking you to subscribe, or as an individual asking you to read me, I’m still, essentially, trying to get you to like me.

Charlie Rose Interviews David Foster Wallace

I rarely watch or listen to interviews with David Foster Wallace, so it’s strange to hear his voice in real time as opposed to in text.  It may have made me weep a little into my Saturday morning tea.  The DFW segment starts about 23 minutes in.  This is particularly interesting to watch after reading the Maude Newton article.