October 2nd, 2014 / 8:06 pm
Behind the Scenes

Htmlgiant’s Last Day is October 24th

Today is a few days after our sixth anniversary. Blake Butler and I started this place because we wanted a hub for all of the writing we love, all of the people we enjoy reading, and to do it with a certain openness that we both appreciate. Along with everyone else that came along with us, we succeeded (and occasionally failed) at that for many years.

October 24th, 2014 will be the last day of operation for Htmlgiant. I’m going to step aside as managing editor effective immediately, and in the next few days I’ll open posting up for nearly everyone that has ever been a part of this site. On October 24th I will disable posting privileges for everyone and leave the site up for as long as we can afford it.

The next few weeks will hopefully be interesting, because if there’s anything this website deserves it’s an uncontrolled flameout.

The amount of respect and admiration I have for so many of the writers and editors that we’ve worked with over the years cannot be overstated. There are so many special people I want to hug and thank, and I have a feeling I’ll be doing it in person for years to come.

See you soon.


  1. mimi


  2. Artemis Strong

      … cut a hole in the box.

  3. Ryan Sanford Smith

      Thanks Obama.

  4. bartleby_taco


      this is bittersweet

      feel like this site hasn’t been what it used to be for a while, tho i still enjoy reading it

      htmlg is how/where i discovered the online lit community,
      sometime around 2010, which has, with no exaggeration intended, affected
      my life pretty concretely

      i think more than anything its been something to look forward to reading through on a regular basis

      going to miss it

      thank you

      lots of love

  5. deadgod

      That’s pretty early for Halloween.

      I think you two have done an excellent job. The ‘cesspit of misogyny’ bullshit has been as baseless as it’s been malicious, and I hope you haven’t and don’t take too personally the entitlement toxins sprayed by its purveyors.

  6. mimi


  7. mimi

      like a dick in a …

  8. Daniel Bailey

      come join me in recluse forest. i figured out how to get high off my own pubes.

  9. Mike Crossley

      Bruh, it hasn’t been baseless. But the method in which some who disagree have went about voicing their opinions was more about the short game instead of the long game. But definitely not baseless.

  10. Mike Meginnis

      This makes sense but I am sad to see it happen. I have fond memories of this site but there are folks who will always do their best to make it ugly.

  11. Ethan

      long live htmlgiant

  12. deadgod

      In ~3 years, there’ve been fewer than half a dozen objectionably misogynistic blogicles. Around them, there’ve been hundreds of funny, literary, interesting (or boring or poorly written or -thought) blogicles. In my view, that ratio makes the claim that the site itself is ‘misogynistic’ dogmatically one-sided to the point of nonsensicality — in a word, baseless.

      Many of the blogicles since I’ve been here have been by or about (or both) women; many reviews (of various kinds) by or about (or both) women writers have gotten few or no comments from the frantic condemners of this site.

      And I’ve never noticed any criticism of HTML Giant’s supposed misogyny posted at the site taken down by the site – though yes, there is argument about this at the site, and yes, the arguments have gotten angry. In my view, the fact that there is contest is the ‘problem’ for people who’ve had a problem with HTML Giant.

      Poisoning by self-righteousness euphoria seems to me much more dangerous than content here that’s been threatening or hateful towards women generally or in particular, and I haven’t see more than a couple of exceptions to that generalization here.

  13. Ethan Ashley

      I’m gonna miss you big buddy. Thanks for introducing me to so much cool shit.

  14. EmergencyResponseTeam

      deadgod, are you gonna be okay?

  15. Brooks Sterritt

      i love everybody

  16. deadgod

      Every being tends towards irreversible disaggregation, and thinking clears the fog and thicket of everyday life from being towards that destiny. Probably the only way to fail better is to fail more compassionately towards beings who are destined towards irreversible disaggregation.

      Sure, but rats. You?

  17. deadgod

      boost gene for being a kind man, he’s probably having an odd evening

      unless he’s a packers ‘fan’, in which case things for him are currently tite

  18. Joe Milton

      sad to see htmlgiant closing up shop (also,”understated” in the final graph seems like maybe its intent is opposite)

  19. mimi

      yeah, i talked to my mom on the phone just a bit ago, but she cut the call short, she’s (they’re) packers fans in packer country

      on the other hand, the A’s lost to KC, wild card game, on tuesday night and it was definitely not tite

      so long, deaders
      boost, gene

  20. Gene Morgan

      You’re right. Thank you.

  21. LiteraryCircus

      Since the editor asks for a flameout– will there be a discussion of what’s causing the shutdown? Will there be a discussion of the flawed underlying philosophy of people like Tao Lin– postmodernism– which seems to this observer to underpin their thoughts and actions?
      That said, free speech HAS to be the primary value of all writers. Otherwise we’re nowhere. I especially don’t like to see those I disagree with shut down. There’s no fun in total agreement– and no intellectual progress can possibly come from it.

  22. Mike Crossley

      Yeah, blind-vitriol is pretty dangerous. And yeah, hyperbolic statements are usually in poor taste; but even hyperbolic statements aren’t baseless. And “cesspit of misogyny” is a hyperbolic statement as well as a generalization. But still not baseless. I’ve been around this website in some shape of form, either commenting or being posted about, since its maybe a year after its inception. I’ve seen the naive bigoted remarks, the sexism, classism, and the consistent beauty and dopeness the website has to offer. But you’re still saying, “Swipe left.” to a lot of claims that have validity.

      I mean, I get what you’re saying bruh, that you hope Gene isn’t reacting to that other shit. But in doing that, you’re just kind of devaluing the truthful statements of people by calling their accusations baseless. Even if their statement is hyperbolic.

      Yo, like, I’m not going to weigh these things by how many non-related posts there are regarding a plethora of topics. I’m not going to say, well, “this post” is incredibly anti-semtic/bigoted/whatever the fuck, but I’m not going to say word 1 about it because look at what else the website has to offer. Let’s just ignore. Nah bruh. Ain’t gonna fly.

      That of course is not to say this website hasn’t shown me a multitude of writers/artists that I didn’t know existed, or re-connected me to old friends or to people I’ve never met that someone knew my best friends. Because I’m not someone who works only in hyperbole. I am able to see the multifacetedness of things.

      Fuck tho, I will miss this muthafucka.

  23. MFBomb

      Postmodernism has nothing to do with it. Tao Lin does. HTMLGIANT hitched itself to the alt lit wagon. Commenters as far back as 2010 warned that alt lit was a juvenile fad that wouldn’t last, but they were called get off my lawn types. They warned that alt lit’s nihilism would be its eventual downfall, and they were dismissed as haters. I remember one commenter on here saying something like, “I can’t wait until alt lit buries the old guard,” whatever that means. How’d that work out?

      Lin’s last book wasn’t as successful as expected. Now dude’s facing rape charges. STD, Tull, Smith, were all exposed as sexual abusers too.

      I’m not shocked that this nihilistic scene is dealing with numerous rape charges. I was never fooled by the lovey-dovey, effeminate, boyish masculinity of its male members that attempted to mask predatory behavior.

  24. ekb

      htmlgiant has been a big force but i also feel like this is a good decision. xo

  25. Donora Hillard

      I love you, Gene.

  26. Melissa Broder


  27. Brooks Sterritt

      especially Gene

  28. shaun gannon

      dan look at this on me and mark’s fridge

      u have a wizard child

  29. deadgod

      Well, there’s never been a bigger fan of hyperbole than I am.

      But with ‘cesspit of misogyny’, I’m not referring to people being hyperbolic; I’m talking about a less complicatedly intended analogy. Those people wrongly interpret the empirical immediate source of their feeling, and the numbers are evidence of this misprision.

      I’m also not arguing against calling, say, Strickland’s blogicle that attacked Zambreno “misogynistic”. Ignoring such a sense would be in as bad faith as calling the whole site “misogynistic” on account of that blogicle (which had a long comment thread with much excoriation of the piece). In the month that that blogicle was published, this site had several reviews by and about women writers: how many of Strickland’s angry critics bothered to comment on any of the issues in any of those pieces?

      You see the point of baseless? —not that there’s no misogyny at all, but rather, that finding one pine tree in an oak forest is no reason to call the forest a ‘pine forest’.

  30. deadgod

      Bomb, I think you’re way too sincere in what you say to be a ‘troll’. (If I understood what you’ve said before, we agree: use of the pejoration “troll” far more often discloses a person who doesn’t care about language than one who does.)

      But in my view, bringing up these extremely distressing accusations – indeed, these events – in the context of Gene Morgan shutting this site down is disgraceful.

      Have a look at Emily Swanson’s blogicle for one of many convincing recent arguments that alt lit isn’t two or three (male) writers, but rather, a community of, and supportive of, the same diversity of ‘identity’ as composes contemporary society.

      If you’re suffering PTSD-like symptoms from Fuck List and its book, say so; it would be legit, as far as the claim went. But I would’ve bet that you yourself would’ve been dismayed, had someone else piled on in the way you’ve named these people.

  31. Usedtocould

      It’s not just an issue with Alt Lit that has some really unsavory characters. Kirk Nesset just got arrested on child porn charges. Tao Lin never drew me to the site. I loved reading HTMLgiant when Roxane Gay, Kyle Minor, and Sean Lovelace posted regularly.

  32. MFBomb

      I wasn’t on the Fuck List. I am sorry you think it is disgraceful to bring up these accusations that are currently mentioned on numerous major websites. I’m sure it’s a coincidence the site is shutting down this week.

  33. drewkalbach
  34. Joe Milazzo

      Thanks for being an outlet for book reviews and literary discussion that probably would not find an outlet elsewhere.

  35. Adam Robinson

      “as far back as 2010”

  36. blah

      Seems like the lesson from this is: If you write, use a pseudonym. Don’t take selfies. Get off social media. Don’t try to know everyone. Don’t start or participate in a scene. Just write. Don’t hurt people, and if things seem ambiguous, remove oneself from any situation where people could be hurt. Just try to be the best at the thing that matters. When literature is a pretext for partying everything is moving toward a collapse, quiet or crashingly. Don’t be toxic and don’t pile on. Just be that one rarest thing––an actual writer.

  37. MFBomb

      Internet years

  38. Daniel Romo

      Learned a lot from this place. Sad to see it go. Sadder to see what it has become.

  39. Gene Morgan

      I love you, Donora!

  40. Sandy Olson-Hill

      I didn’t/don’t give a shit about alt lit, word superstars, egos etc… but here’s to your zine that introduced me to many fearless, gifted writers. I thank you for that.

  41. Quaint Magazine

      This was the right thing to do. Thank you, Gene.

  42. Tao Lin is Very Confusing | HenryBaum.com

      […] comment on HTML Giant gets to how I felt about the […]

  43. Bigplatts

      Bittersweet to see this place taken off. I’ll definitely be ploughing through all the older posts. Anyone know any similar sites?

  44. Daniel Green

      Tao Lin has nothing to do with postmodernism.

  45. Richard Grayson

      Gene, you are the best. Thank you so much.

  46. MFBomb

      I know. I didn’t suggest otherwise. Karl Wenclass / Literary Circus has always displayed huge gaps in his literary-historical knowledge.

  47. jereme_dean

      Ride or die, like it’s 2009.

  48. jereme_dean

      Also, how the fuck do I post again?

  49. shaun gannon

      Let me post

  50. Blake Butler

      i am emailing you your login info

  51. A D Jameson


  52. Blake Butler



  53. Roger Wade

      I tell you what we’re gonna do, Marlboro. You’re gonna take that goddamn J.C. Penney tie off and we’re gonna have an old fashioned man to man drinking party.

  54. Adam

      Kirk Nesset, one of my two composition teachers in undergrad :( I was never sure anyone else knew who he was, even though his writing’s quite nice and he’s gotten some awards and whatnot.

  55. HZ » Alt Lit Is Dead and Its Women Writers Are Creating Their Own Scene

      […] scene is in full crisis: Today, the alt lit criticism site and scene blog of record Htmlgiant announced that it’s shutting down. Meanwhile, in a private Facebook group associated with the blog Alt Lit Gossip, women writers have […]

  56. LoicMarsillac

      Anything that doesn’t decry the fundamentally vacuous evil that is the Internet is part of the problem. It’s also something that never truly lived–the Internet kills all that it loves, and rather quickly at that…Make your home in the Internet and you’ve made your home in hell…a Dantean circle of it that yearns for the purifying disconnection/isolation of the pen, the paper, and the person–and nothing else.

  57. ĴɎĦ

      When I saw this, I went and tried to guess how many “older” pages there were. The first number I put in the url slot was 300. Boy, I was off. Before this latest spate of new posts, there were 1323 pages. (That’s a lotta coconuts.)

  58. MFBomb

      Feel like reading a Chis Higgs post: “The Epistemological Analysis of Unhuman Female Bodies as Experimental Literature.”

  59. Alt Lit Is Dead and Its Women Writers Are Creating Their Own Scene

      […] scene is in full crisis: Today, the alt lit criticism site and scene blog of record Htmlgiant announced that it’s shutting down. Meanwhile, in a private Facebook group associated with the blog Alt Lit Gossip, women writers have […]

  60. mimi


  61. Brooks Sterritt


  62. shaun gannon

      I promise to make only one post

  63. HTMLGIANT | Whoever Brought Me Here Will Have To Take Me Home

      […] feeling of panic-nostalgia to a slightly more personally manageable arena for me, the fact that HTMLGiant is closing has me thinking. I remember coming to the site in 2008/2009, through Molly Gaudry’s blog, […]

  64. Sara June Woods

      you absolutely should not make only one post

  65. Blake Butler

      email me shaun i’ll set you up

  66. Alt Lit Is Dead and Its Women Writers Are Creating Their Own Scene | Political Soul

      […] scene is in full crisis: Today, the alt lit criticism site and scene blog of record Htmlgiant announced that it’s shutting down. Meanwhile, in a private Facebook group associated with the blog Alt Lit Gossip, women writers have […]

  67. Daniel Goldman

      A lot of people are assuming this is related to the recent events w/ Dierks and Tao Lin? Is there actually any connection?

  68. Blake Butler


  69. grm

      i’ve been working hard to assemble a lot of compare/contrast screenshots for my future children’s gradulation ceremonies but now that this event is happening i am deciding to merely post theeem here and to say that i loved the blake butler things about submitting, baby writers, and more, including but not limited to, most of m kitchell’s things, matthew simmons’ things, and jimmy chen’s things, in addition to but neither limited by nor swallowed neath the thoughts occasionally commented by one lorian long, and a thing about sophia le fraga that was real cool. maybe it is sad, i think it is maybe sad. i came to this website later than most people and when a shitty first thing i wrote was accepted i was shocked and wrote other things that were worse and maybe wrote one pissant thing toward the end that felt about right, but mostly i was just excited at the prospect of a plane where people could eat the same bags of garbage and swallow televisual montags without wondering too hard whether the police were going to pee. i hope some version of something similar exists someday maybe, though maybe not. i can’t rightly say. but to those who started it, fed it, set it on fire occasionally, put it out (often with urine) and rebuilt insane playlands on the ashes, i commend you, as the world is dense with facile chickenbones and my main mane is aloof and off to school. i will miss deadgod, someone who i’m beginning to think will reveal himself on my deathbed to be perhaps this combination of every landlord i’ve ever had including that one kind fellow i. who once received a text from my phone including a photograph and a recorded sound of me making some strange noises that i never remember sending and i don’t indulge in certain things anymore so it doesn’t make good hearty sense. that was a frightening situation. i think that if i had enough money i would buy all of you the collected back issues and a lifetime subscription to 2600 magazine. i’m going to buy that for 600 dollars when i finish this leg of my education and move somewhere, i think i might give away all my books then and only take with me whatever box all of these materials came in. have you all seen that edward snowden interview on the 2600 channel. i almost don’t want to post that here and might catch hell from somebody that wants to avoid conspiracies in addition to all the melee that’s gone on at this locale since the 1920s, but i just mentioned it in passing and do heartily recommend it, what a rush, like spraypainting a church while looking at the internet, that’s the future. also thanks to janice lee, she was always way too kind and and helpful and her work will be read before the last lights of earth go out.

  70. grm
  71. mimi

      a moving and idiosyncratic tribute to htmlg

  72. mimi
  73. Hol_5

      “If you’re a younger writer under the age of 25, I’d advise you to steer clear of scenes or cliques. Bury your head in books while the cool kids fry their brains on prescription drugs and write shitty poetry that would make Jim Morrison blush. You’ll win in the end.”

      THANK YOU.
      i have written this down for reference

  74. A D Jameson

      October 24th is United Nations Day. It’s a conspiracy.

  75. What Is 13th Month Pay? | Create Resumes | Find Jobs | FastJobz.Com

      […] may give one-half of it before the opening of school year and the other half on or before the 24th day of […]

  76. leapsloth14 .

      Goodbye, rag!

  77. reynard seifert

      shit gene! where am i gonna post an essay every six months?

      well, it’s been a good ride. it was great meeting some of you in new orleans, but i don’t think i’ll ever regret not going to awp.








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