I woke up in the middle of the night, took my face off my keyboard bringing to life the monstrous beast that is my computer, named Zoroaster because it will smite you, no shit — and there in my inbox was an email from J.A. Tyler. It said, “I’ve been up all night typing this email to say you can order the next six months of MLP stories.”
So I did.
Between July and December I’m going to receive in the mail the books with the stories I could have read on the Internet. But these I can read on the john. You can too, and you oughta.
In this interview at The Scowl, Jonathan Messinger is well-spoken about Paper Egg books — the subscription imprint from those pros at Featherproof. It’s sensible stuff; by using a subscription model, they know how to set their expectations and can take bigger risks with the work they publish. And that’s better for everybody in the world.
I like The Scowl a lot. It’s hipper’n me.
Some old news was posted at Soft Skull in February, but thought I’d mention it today to officially mark Richard Nash’s leaving Soft Skull Press.
Thanks for everyone out there for making Soft Skull what it is, above all the readers and writers whom we exist to serve and connect, along with my colleagues, paid and unpaid (!), who’ve put in vast amounts of hours, creativity, and intensity in order to bring those writers and readers together to create this thing we call culture.
Follow Nash online on his blog for post-Soft Skull activities.
This Post starts after the jump:
I received today in the mail a ‘care’ package from Muumuu House and in that package were several books: you are a little bit happier than i am by Tao Lin and Distortions by Ann Beattie and three copies of Sometimes My Heart Pushes My Ribs by Ellen Kennedy. Thank you, Muumuu House, for the ‘care’ package.
And last night a friend and I found a bar in Houston that has ping-pong tables, and we played ping-pong for three or four hours, and I defeated him twice. He did not defeat me. The rest of the time we just hit the ball back and forth and impressed ourselves with our amazing skills. I think I am very good at ping-pong. I think it is the one thing I’m allowed to be good at, maybe. That and washing dishes. I think there is something very satisfying about hitting a ping-pong ball just so, having it do exactly what you want it to do.
To celebrate our finding this bar with ping-pong tables, I would like to offer two copies of Sometimes My Heart Pushes Against My Ribs by Ellen Kennedy, which, sadly, has no poems/stories in it about ping-pong.
Please post your poems/stories about ping-pong in the comments section to be eligible for a copy of Sometimes My Heart Pushes Against My Ribs by Ellen Kennedy. Be sure to include a real email address in the field where it asks for an email address, so I can email you if your poem/story wins. If you are shy, you may also email a poem/story about ping-pong to htmlgiant [at] gmail [dot] com, but if I select your poem/story, then I will post it for everyone to see. This contest is open until 2:00pm CST, Saturday the 7th.
Good work, Muumuu House and Ellen Kennedy, on your first book. I enjoyed reading it.
UPDATE: Winners of the two Muumuu House books are Miles and Darby Larson. Miles and Darby please email your mailing addresses to HTMLGIANT so I can send you your prize.
Thank you to everyone who emailed and posted ping-pong stories/poems.
Dear Octopus Fans,
We have five announcements to make:
1. Eric Baus’s Tuned Droves
2. Shane McCrae’s One Neither One
3. Open Reading in April for full-length manuscripts
4. Subscriptions for 2009-2010
[details on #s 1-5 after the jump, and at the very bottom: a picture of Bill Kristol getting nailed by a pie -JT]
Out this month from Featherproof, as a kickoff to their brand new and already brain-changing Paper Egg Books: Amelia Gray’s fabulous AM/PM, a short novel that follows “23 characters across 120 stories full of lizard tails, Schrödinger boxes and volcano love.”
I was already really excited about this before I saw how beautiful the book is (as is to be expected in the nimble hands of designer Zach Dodson), having continually been wowed and had my skirt blown up by Amelia’s work in the past, such as this amazing story in the Diagram Innovative Fiction finalists, and Caketrain, American Short Fiction, etc.
Last night, though, reading AM/PM from cover to cover before bed, I could not stop rotating between the sharp, quick gut giggles that Amelia’s layered one liners continually deliver, and awe at her unmatched ability to meld the everyday minutiae of houses and people-talk with moments of pure existential terror and sublime gloaming.
How The Divine Manifests: A Discussion of The Levitationist by Brandon Hobson and the Music of A.A. Bondy
Surrealism is the ‘invisible ray’ which will one day enable us to win out over our opponents. “You are no longer trembling, carcass.” This summer, the roses are blue; the wood is of glass. The earth, draped in its verdant cloak, makes as little impression upon me as a ghost. It is living and ceasing to live which are imaginary solutions. Existence is elsewhere.
Breton, from The Manifesto of Surrealism
Irony, when not purposefully wielded for the sake of a magazine article, can be a naturally occuring, fascinating thing. A self correcting force of nature, even. And so it is my understanding of Hobson’s use of surrealism, a style of art, and moreso, a general movement, that was originally invented to differentiate, deny, push away all that is ordinary and realistic. Here is another quote from Breton’s The Manifesto of Surrealism:
SURREALISM, n. Psychic automatism in its pure state, by which one proposes to express — verbally, by means of the written word, or in any other manner — the actual functioning of thought. Dictated by the thought, in the absence of any control exercised by reason, exempt from any aesthetic or moral concern.
Hobson’s book, The Levitationist, published by Ravenna Press, contains images associated with Surrealism and could be said to exemplify “the absence of any control exersized by reason”, but his moral concern is one of the Divine, specifally the mystery of the Divine’s presence in our earthly world. Hobson has taken the destructive desire of Surrealism’s goals and twisted them around gently to serve his purpose. His choice of style, of a movement, is a perfect example of substance dictating style. READ MORE >
One of my long-time favorite media-blogs Orange Alert has just relaunched with a new full on website, which makes me happy in the way of reading pleasure.
Orange Alert is unique in that they focus heavily not only on independent lit (with a weekley ‘Reader Meet Author’ feature that focuses specifically on small press peeps, including Giant folks like Sam Pink, Conor Madigan, Amelia Gray, Brandon Gorrell, and tons more), as well as weekly features on independent musicians, artists, and everything else all in one place. It’s a wonderful daily mishmash of new media, and in particular their ‘Watch List’ of things reading, watching, wanting, etc., is a good way to keep up with their favorite stories from online journals and new releases from small presses. It’s one of the things I look forward to reading each week.