When I discovered that journalist Ethan Gilsdorf had written a book about gaming and fantasy culture, my first reaction was to curse his name for beating me to the punch. But if anything, Gilsdorf’s Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks proves that the topic of why people chose to inhabit imaginary realms is so meaty that a single book couldn’t possibly cover everything.
I can’t believe it’s Wednesday already. This week’s exercise is based on Robert Hill Long’s “The Restraints,” found on p. 131 of the book Flash Fiction, edited by James Thomas, Denise Thomas, and Tom Hazuka.
Here’s my response to last week’s Meta Exercise. Since Julio Cortázar used a narrative piece of art, a novel, to construct his excellent short short. I thought I’d give myself a challenge and try to do the same thing with a less experiential sort of art, in this case, sculpture. Points to anyone who can identify the sculptor.
Last week I neglected the blog due to a family emergency, but this week I’m back with a short-short exercise based on Julio Cortázar’s “A Continuity of Parks,” found on p. 137 of the book Flash Fiction, edited by James Thomas, Denise Thomas, and Tom Hazuka.
Imagine a bar of soap lying by the side of your sink. It’s a flat, creamy beige block no bigger than a deck of cards, with edges that aren’t quite plumb, smoothed by hand and water. You made it from skin-scarring lye and olive oil in the pot you use to make soup, carefully weighing the ingredients on a postal scale, and whirring them together with a hand blender, watching carefully for the signs of miraculous alchemy, the puddingy texture, the marks on the surface that stay turgid for a moment before vanishing. You poured the soap into a shoebox mold, and cured it in the open air for a month, to remove its green bite.
Glad to see this piece from the Associated Press pointing out that North America’s top selling Bible, the New International Version will be updated to reflect changes in Biblical scholarship, including changes to some gender terms. The revision is scheduled to be published in 2011.
For those of you who don’t know, a short short, also called flash fiction or micro-fiction is a short story of as few as 200 words or as many as 2,000. It’s bite-sized fiction or nonfiction. Fringe publishes them, as do many journals, but Quick Fiction is famous for publishing excellent flash fiction of 500 words or less exclusively.
Consider the case of Dwight Whorley. This Virginia man authored an icky pornographic story that included pedophilia, then emailed his fantasy to likeminded internet friends, Wired reports. Whorley was convicted for possessing obscene Japanese manga and for possession of a filthy piece of print — his pedophiliac fantasy.
From the subversive mind of novelist Tom Robbins comes a children’s book about… beer? Yes, it’s a bedtime story with burping. A Daily Beast Feature.
The protagonist of Eric Bogosian’s new novel, Perforated Heart seems oddly like the author of Talk Radio. A Daily Beast interview.