September 9th, 2005


Full Unit Hookup #7

Full Unit Hookup #7 has just been released. I have just been paid. I have not seen it, but it sounds all good, and has a good line of authors in it.

It's 4 bucks.



The Man Who Swallowed Mirrors - Jay Lake & Scott William Carter
Ceasefire - John Walters
Aftermath - Bruce Holland Rogers
The Revolution Will Be Fictionalized - Ian Donnell Arbuckle
An Examination into the Chinese Made Roman Toga - Ben Peek


Artificial Frog - Casey Fiesler
The Private Lives of Lizards - Marge Simon
The Giant Squid Mourns His Loss of Privacy - Erin Keane
Whales - Kate Grimes
Segmented Worm Defense League - David C. Kopaska-Merkel


Food for Thought - Mark Rudolph
Camp Songs: Innocent Fun or Diabolical Brainwashing Plot? - Lucy A. Snyder

4 bucks. As we say in Australia, it's not even a note.*

Buy it from Project Pulp. Help independent sellers and indepedent magazines.

* But considering it's American, it probably is an Australian note, and at the very most four singles from the States. Still.

Short Fiction Conversation.

Yesterday's post about short fiction has gotten talked about over here. It's interesting that most people replying appear to have thought that I've made a judgment call about short fiction and said that I must read trash because I said I read and write short fiction for that burst of the moment and you move on afterwards.

The problem with that conversation, I guess, is that the word disposable appears to have been linked to the quality of short fiction, to suggest that a short story can't linger, can't alter the reader, can't have a point, can't whatever. Which is not what I said. It can do all those things. Why wouldn't it? But when I talk about the fact that fiction can be seen as disposable, I was talking about the time factor in reading it, and the fact that it is a small bit of fiction. After you've read it in a magazine or a website you can forget about it easily if you don't like it, even throw it away, not worry about it so much because it's small. The risk is less for your time. Whereas with a novel, you generally invest more time and you keep novels for the most part. Which is why archiving short fiction doesn't appeal to me much.

It's also worth pointing out again that I don't see the word disposable as a bad thing. I love the idea of disposable fiction. It's really quite freeing.

But whatever. It's fun to watch people react.

Disposable Fiction (Statement)

Last thing on Disposable Fiction.*

I write disposable fiction in that I, the author, only want twenty to thirty minutes of time from you, the reader. What would you do with that time? Watch a show on the telly, sit on a train, doze on the couch, maybe play a bit of a video game. It's disposable time. I want it. I want you to read in it. I promise you nothing but the short sharp shock of that time, and at the end, if you didn't like it, toss the story and, if you could find aspect you liked/loved, try a different piece of mine another time. If you like it, excellent. If it blooms in your mind and lingers and turns into something unique, that's more than I could ever have asked for, and it's nothing short of a pleasure from me to you. Afterwards, feel free to try another piece. Disposable time for disposable fiction and whatever you take from it, you take, good or bad, is yours to do with as you wish. Certainly I made no claim on what happens after. I just want you for the time it takes to read.

I do not write my fiction quickly or hastily or easily. I don't churn it out. I want it to engage with the world that I live in, and there are many different ways to do this, and I'm exploring them all. I want a connection as a reader and I want to begin it as a writer. Which means, basically, that writing means a lot to me. This is why I deal with the process of publication to get it out to you, the reader. It can take from weeks to months to years to sell a five thousand word piece and have it appear in front of a person. This might make what I've said appear faintly contradictory, because who in their right mind would spend this long and then tell everyone that they write Disposable Fiction... but what happens before it reaches you isn't important. But once it gets in front of you, I'm more than aware of the fact that you have thousands--if not millions--of other pieces of fiction you might want to read, or just have something different you'd like to do, and how do you know how that is going to go? In the end, you might not like my fiction. Alternatively, you might. You might even find that the story did nothing for you, one way or another, which is probably the most common of reading experiences.

I do not think calling short fiction disposable is a bad thing. Some people might. Some people will disagree with this totally, as is their right, naturally. No one person thinks identically to another and I'm certainly not speaking for anyone else.

But I write Disposable Fiction. Fuck whatever else is said: the stories are short and I pour myself into each piece because I love what I do; but all I want from you, the reader, is a bit of your time. Time you'd use on something you don't care much for. Time you'd kill. Give it to me and my Disposable Fiction. Give it to me and see what happens. Maybe it'll be like the song that gets stuck in your head. There's the religious comedy 'An Examination into the Chinese Made Roman Toga', the uncommon form of 'Johnny Cash (a tale in questionnaire results)', the science fiction revenge narrative of Dream of a Russian Princess, the dark fantasy road story about body snatchers in Cigarettes and Roses and the alternate history of 'The Dreaming City'. All I want is a bit of your time. Don't look back. Don't look forward. Just a little bit of now. There'll be something new later.

* Which is now what I'm calling short fiction. It's meant with nothing but affection and love. It's catchy. I like it... and everyone else won't.