Monthly Archives: January 2010

New Jersey has FAILED.

Some day we’re going to look back on things like that with embarrassment and shame. We’re going to look back at those guys and wonder why anyone thought it was a good idea to elect the prejudiced lunatics to office. We’re going to be sitting around, wondering what the heck we were on to let idiots like them cast votes that hold apart the loving families of the world.

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Campbell Eligible Zombies

I’m in my 2nd year of eligibility for a Campbell Award, but I can’t say I feel like a new writer, at all.

I felt like a new writer last year. This year, I feel like a dead writer. I am a ghost, watching my first novel, after all the reviews have happened and all the fanfare dies away and the ticker tape has to be swept up by someone and I’m the only one standing around and I, the dead writer, fade into obscurity via google alerts – pings that reach beyond the grave, to my iPhone, while I’m sweeping up the mess in the empty store.

My eBook – a ghost in the machine – hanging on and hanging on… I’ve got this short fiction that takes so long to sell and so long to see in print after it has sold, so much so that often I forget exactly what the story is until I see it again, and then I wonder where it came from, where I was going with it, and who I was when I wrote it because it feels so far away from me right now. I’m disconnected from all the things that make me eligible. I’m standing on a hill, looking down at all the little houses in time of fiction. I don’t know where the next houses are coming from, mostly, only that I’ve crossed over that hill and I won’t be coming back.

I’m eligible for a Campbell for another year – my 2nd year of eligibility – but I don’t feel eligible. I feel like I should be getting something posthumous.

Is there a Zombie Campbell Award, for writers who have undead careers?

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Marshmallows in a Vacuum Chamber

I did not know they did this until I saw that this is, in fact, a pretty common vacuum chamber experiment for kids, and other people who like marshmallows.

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[This is an old bit o’ nonsense I put on a message board somewhere and was recently thinking about because my brother just got his accounting degree. Where’s his literary/artistic movement? Accountants can actually be cool dudes, you know. With the end of the aughts, and the punk-y discussions included in that, I thought I’d mention my favorite punk movement, in honor of my brother.]

One of the basic tenets of AccountsPunk! is that corporations are basically the undead, as they are legally alive without actually being alive.

I learned this because I read the AccountsPunk! story “Bicentennial Charter”, wherein an AI-powered business plan came to life, but had to struggle for the legal right to be considered not a real person in the eyes of the law.

For a while, the movement spun around the conference rooms of various conventions, where meetings were held and ideas were discussed. It wasn’t long before the inspirational speakers at these meetings – not one of them a writer, mind you, nor an accountant – emerged from the meetings with actual protoplasmic ideas to be illuminated in written work.

Thusly came the classic short stories such as “No Angels Dance On The Head of This Pin”, and “Red Space Money, Blue Space Money”, “How To Steal From the Fed and Escape on a Rocket Ship”, “If You Thought Ulysses Was Labyrinthine, Wait ‘Til You See My TPS Reports”

Fans note that this is the only genre where books are told almost entirely in numerical symbols, charts, and power point flow graphs. Notorious AccountsPunk pranksters encode subtext in binary hidden in the equations that themselves pollute computers used to read the work, sending spam containing the work hidden in binary code inside the spam mail – a puzzle within a puzzle within a puzzle, which itself infects and e-mails new puzzles.

The goal of each artist is to tear down corporations from the inside by hypnotizing their superiors with inscrutable performance art projects during meetings.

Followers of the movement can be deduced by the pencils and paperclips used as body piercings, and the copy of the AccountPunk classic, “Add, Subtract, and DIE!” by the movement’s founder Chuck Palahniuk’s brother, Norman Palahniuk, the novelization of what happened after Monty Python’s skit about the corporate pirates, told in the actual numbers that reflect the reality of their actions. At this time, Norman Palahniuk is the only person to have written a complete novel in the movement, though it is rumored that secret novels exist, being passed around from one accounting firm to another – passed in secret like porn or anarchy. Rumors persist of “World War A”, when the whole planet is infected with deadly Accountancy that must be stopped, and “House of Expense Reports” where a corporation is larger on the inside than on the outside, once you run the numbers.

After all, say the mad geniuses of AccountPunk, written words are a reflection of spoken words that are a reflection of reality. Numbers are the pure expression of reality.

Strangest of all, in this artistic movement built by money wizards, not a single dime of profit has been made. The anarchic tendencies of the movement precludes the notion of getting paid for one’s art.

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I’m blogging about games for Apex Book Publishing…

Expect a column once a month, a lot like this one:

Seriously, I played the F*** out of that game.

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