Reading it now, no longer as 1/65 of a contributor but just a casual reader, in its final No Colony resting place, what I found to be a curious aspect was that it served as a microcosm for the flow of memes. The one meme that holds on throughout is the Ginger meme. Remember that there was no obligation on the part of anyone to keep any character as a protagonist, yet Ginger continued to fill the role, despite efforts to kill her (often in grotesque description). Yet after she would die she would be back at the bar again a few paragraphs later. The plot summary seems to be Ginger at a bar while 65 people impose their will upon her, often killing her, but in doing so over and over again, keep her alive.
The whole work is an unusual example of metafiction. A reader is constantly aware of the struggle of too many people trying to direct the flow of something. There was meta-self-deprecation when writers felt the work as a whole was not meeting their expectations. The use of STOP became a meme as people became frustrated at the flow and wanted to abruptly change it. There is a moment when the meta element becomes literal (Ginger actually becomes one of the 65 and is trying to decide what to write) and from that point on, the work’s meta-ness becomes a meme and it all ends on this note.
So Shya’s comment on the No Colony post got me thinking. Shya said:
I want to get 65 people together, each write 150 words of a cooperative 10k word story, each pay $10, have it published in No Colony, and each get to claim the Pushcart nom. Who’s with me?
At Shya’s encouragement, I’m posting this call for authors.
(For those unfamiliar with No Colony‘s submission guidelines, the editors of No Colony, Blake Butler and Ken Baumann, have offered automatic publication in the magazine and a Pushcart nomination to whomever pays the $650 fee. And we’d like to call their bluff (note: I am not good at poker, and I’ve heard Blake is very good, so take that into consideration before you hitch your wagon to our train))
What we’ll do is this: the first 63 people (Shya is #1 and I’m #65) to sign up in the comments section can take part, as long as they agree to pay $10 towards buying our 10k word story into No Colony plus the Pushcart nomination from No Colony (bonus: nude photos of someone’s mother, which we’ll have to share), and then each write 150word bricks with which to build the story. Each author will write his or her 150words on deadline in the order in which he or she signed up, and we’ll pass the story around so that it grows as each author writes on it. We have to get this done as quickly as possible so we can get into the long story issue. I will cut off signups if we reach the limit or if interest dwindles so that Shya and I can then seek out other authors.
Sign up in the comments section, and be sure to put a working email address in the email address field so that I can contact you with further instructions. If your email address bounces, I’ll move to the next person in line. Remember, the first 63 to sign up will be invited to take part in this project, which, no doubt, will cause all of us a small amount of indigestion.
If it works, it will be fun, and if it doesn’t work and no one cares or is interested, then no worries.
UPDATE: This project is now full. Anyone interested should still comment if you’d like to be in; I can keep you on a list in case someone else drops out.
September 26th, 2009 / 11:27 am
NO COLONY is open for submissions. Details can be found at the source. (Hint: see above)
September 23rd, 2009 / 6:45 pm
*Update* Contest is over, pr won. The answers are Under the Volcano, Lord of the Flies, On the Road, As I Lay Dying, and A Farewell to Arms. Congrats pr!
The drawing above depicts five titles of novels. These novels are all very well known. There are probably many other titles of novels inadvertently contained in the drawing, but the drawing was rendered with five specific novels in mind. The first person to guess all five correctly in the comment section wins. Multiple entrees allowed, but winning answers must be in one comment.
Keep in mind that the winner may be just someone who correctly collates other people’s semi-correct answers, so as important imagination is, so is judgement. The ‘first person’ will simply be assessed by the chronological comments. (If your comment does not link to your website/blog with your contact information accessible, please provide email in comment.)
PRIZE details (after the break):
This morning an anonymous tip sent me to the website redesign of new and insane journal No Colony, which recently began ‘eating face’ all around the literary world.
I discovered that editors Ken Bauman and Blake Butler have moved away from the movie stills this time around and instead have settled upon the color black for their new background. The standard text blocks are still there: submissions information, ordering information, buy-in information, and Pushcart nomination purchasing information. PayPal links seem scattered throughout the page in a helpful manner.
New to the site: a neat cover shot and three online fictions by Sean Kilpatrick, Corey Zeller, and Patrick Leonard. Sean Kilpatrick’s piece is a selection from the print issue. The other two are a surprise for you to read on your own.
Some sort of facial covering is recommended.