In the future, your misery powers the world in this love story, road trip gone noir.
It was as if I were both the fever-dreamer and the dream itself.
If you were paying attention in 2009 you may have seen the birthing of Forecast across the internet, from July to December, in forty-two installments. Billed as the Forecast 42 Project, this story is set in the year 2212, and is the bastard love-child of Kurt Vonnegut and Philip K. Dick, weaving elements of noir and science fiction into a humorous, touching love story, a narrative on what it means to see and be seen, to exist and yet be nothing more than a cog. Following this story across such esteemed online journals as Juked, Flatmancrooked, Keyhole, Redivider, Opium, Electric Literature, PANK, Word Riot, 3:AM Magazine, and Puerto Del Sol, it was a serial story that ended up landing Shya Scanlon a book deal at Flatmancrooked Publishing, giving hopes to many authors that the ways we publish, and get discovered, aren’t static and predictable. read more »
By Stephen Graham Jones
So David Foster Wallace is getting the Joyce treatment, where each and every little scribbleydoo we can unearth from him is magic, golden, poked and prodded from every angle so we can see the genius beneath. And there was plenty there, don’t get me wrong. Granted, the pedestal he’s being put on now that he can’t do anything about it, it’s kind of scary high, makes me nervous he might get elevated so far out of reach we forget about him altogether (and thus feel better about ourselves, without his talent in the room), but that kind of stuff’s inevitable, really. His legend’ll ride it out or it won’t, and, either way, we’ll still have some of his books around. read more »
Check out this cool book cover design for Survivor, one of Chuck's most beloved earlier titles. It was designed by Ryan Harris.
Click for larger version
You can see more of Ryan' work at his portfolio site: http://ryanharris.posterous.com/
And as always, if you have your own fan covers to contribute, please contact us at submissions @ chuckpalahniuk. net.
Someone call the CDC, because Game of Thrones fever has spread to The Cult!
George R. R. Martin's epic fantasy novel was first published 15 years ago, but between the HBO series and A Dance With Dragons due in July, awareness is at an all-time high. Copies of the book have been flying off the shelves on leathery wings and magically appearing in eReaders everywhere. Cries of "For Winterfell!" have been heard reverberating across subway platforms and mall parking lots. Portly gentleman with chin-beards walk the streets with confidence. It is a glorious time to be a geek.
With weekly installments being parceled out by Home Box Office, I will offer only the most general of summaries. Thrones takes place predominantly in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, a land where there are no set seasons and winter can last for years. The narrative is comprised of three main storylines- that of a sacred brotherhood patrolling a gigantic wall of ice, a spoiled exile and his sister attempting to raise an army in a foreign land, and a power struggle over the coveted Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms. Like the Holy Trinity, the three stories are one, and a complex history is shared between them. It is a history that lays the groundwork for the thousands of pages and hundreds of characters to come. read more »
Daring short fiction that finds beauty in the gaps between longing and abuse.
Gina Frangello is a dangerous writer. In Slut Lullabies (Emergency Press) she shares a collection of short stories that at first glance are light, humorous, and naughty. But upon deeper study she is the kind of storyteller that sidles up to you all white teeth and crimson lipstick, musky perfume and sparkling eyes, while she slips the blade of her knife between your ribs. This is a haunting compilation of work, gut wrenching, and yet funny, pulling you in with its laughter and sex appeal, and when you’re hunched over in the fetal position trying not to wet your pants as tears run down your face, the realization of what really happened washes over you, and it breaks your heart, shatters it, and stomps the pieces into dust. But with a title like Slut Lullabies could you expect anything less? read more »
People are just people, like you. I think about this phrase often on the days when I work downtown in a small used bookstore. Some people are really just folks, reading their Ludlum's and Sheldon's, and are harmless. There are people who read narrischkeit like Eat, Pray, Love, profess it to be feminist literature of highest idiom and insist, upon every visit, that you read it already (no. NO.) People who read Clive Barker still exist, surprisingly, and I find they are some of the most identifiable readers; not by dress or manner, but by the weather that hangs around them. It's an intense atmosphere and not completely dissimilar from Pigpen. Our collection of history books, specifically WWII, is hundreds of books deep, regularly populated and picked through, and this is where I say: people are just people. They shouldn't make you nervous. Consider, readers, regular customers of WWII and Nazi Germany. "Anything specifically Holocaust related. That's the good stuff" was a reply given to my question about why history?, delivered dryly and without irony. They come in regularly for the good stuff. People. William Gass said that history likes both size and winning, and at first I thought maybe that was the draw. Is it informative? Is it comforting to know the ending? A release? Escape?
In the case of Todd Bowden, it lit him like a match. read more »
Last Chance for Art of the Short Story Intensive Class at ChuckPalahniuk.net
Update: This class is full. Congratulations to everyone who acted early to secure a spot. Prepare to grab your gear and strap in.
Art of the Short Story - beginning April 18th - is a highly specialized intensive six-week class with six mind-blasting units designed to impart vital craft knowledge in record time. These units work together synergistically to take any serious writer to a new level of story crafting proficiency. The teaching material has been synthesized through years of study and through the accumulated wisdom of several amazing mentors. But I've boiled down all of my best lessons into the core competency areas for compelling short ficiton. Each piece is essential and interconnects. You get all of the high protein fuel and none of the filler.
The magic doesn't happen automatically, of course. You shouldn't jump in if you're not good about finishing things or you've got almost 9,000 responsibilities this spring and your regard for this opportunity will place class participation at 8,999 on your priority list, right after "catch up on favorite TV shows." But if you understand that nothing good will come your way without hard work, then I invite you to join the remaining few who will get this chance. Your dedication means more to your success than your track record or where you currently rank yourself as a writer.
I won't be teaching Art of the Short Story again in the summer. I won't be teaching it in the fall. And there's a very good chance it won't be offerred here again. That's largely because of a new professional role that will be full-time for me starting mid-summer, a role that probably won't allow the dedicated time necessary. So, if you want to get the best of what I've learned through twenty years as an adult student of story craft, the latest seven burning it up right here as Workshop Administrator and Master Class Facilitator for ChuckPalahniuk.net, then please keep reading and click that registration link today. Also, pass this along to a friend.
-Mark Vanderpool read more »
We've made it! Chuck's last round of feedback on an entire year of top selections. Below, you'll find the last set of semi-finalists for Anthology Volume 1. Congratulations to all included! In the weeks ahead, we'll find out which stories make the final cut for our print anthology.
For the protection of the work, the stories below are made available to Workshop Members only. If you're a member, you may click inside and read these at your leisure. You'll find loads of great lessons on the writer's craft within. So read on.
The last set of semi-finalists include:
Tiger, Tiger - B.H. Ebert
Carousels - Austin James
Engines, O-Rings, and Astronauts - Jason M. Fylan
Little Toy Soldiers - Dan Lobo
Phantom Pain - Tony Liebhard
Revenge - Davey Watts
If you'd like to participate in our ground-breaking workshop, read exclusive How-To craft essays from Chuck and maybe have your shot at Anthology Volume 2...
To Swiffer, a Baduism: I'm getting tired of your shit. Call Tyrone. It will be a cold day in hell--or, speaking Alighierically, a day of specific climes in the ninth circle itself, a day none-the-less fantastic, shouting ET TU at Brutus like a tourist--before I am to ever pine over a mop or find superb satisfaction in dusting shelves. Your commercials have been stricken by Stepfordites with mom jeans! I would rather jar worms. I understand advertising enough--I watch Mad Men, afterall, so I know how it works. with liquor, shit!--but, but, but, where are you getting this stuff? What kind of woman is romantically fulfilled by scrubbing the kitchen floor, without streaks? Satire can be a slippery slope to sled (the confusion happens all the time, mostly when convenient) and a schlock reading of The Stepford Wives seems to have come from all that slipping. I blame the film, or films if you wish to be specific, with its overt fetishization of household chores and cads of ersatz (I think you missed this most important of notes) women breathlessly asking each other about the virtues of cleaning supplies. read more »
Incest, Charles Manson and September 11th- one woman's personal history of sex and violence.
My first thought upon hearing the title of the new Madison Smartt Bell novel-
The Color of Night? Isn't that that terrible erotic thriller where Bruce Willis shows his wang? Why would anybody reuse that title? It's been ruined.
My first thought after finishing the book-
Whose penis were we talking about?
So what does it take to wash the bad taste of Bruce Willis' wang out of your mouth? (I can't believe I just wrote that sentence.) How about the palette cleansing triumvirate of murder, rape and incest? Madison Smartt Bell peppers his new novel with a liberal dose of each, weaving together an unsettling tale of surrogate gods, the Manson family and the tragic events of September 11th. read more »