Plugs

David Kopaska-Merkel’s book of humorous noir fiction based on nursery rhymes, Nursery Rhyme Noir 978-09821068-3-9, is sold at the Genre Mall. Other new books include The zSimian Transcript (Cyberwizard Productions) and Brushfires (Sams Dot Publishing).

Luc Reid writes about the psychology of habits at The Willpower Engine. His new eBook is Bam! 172 Hellaciously Quick Stories.

Sara Genge’s story “Godtouched” may be found in Strange Horizons.

Jonathan Wood’s story “Notes on the Dissection of an Imaginary Beetle” from Electric Velocipede 15/16 is available online.

Hypocrite Écrivain, Hypocrite Lecteur: a Letter to the Editors of DailyCabal.com

by Trent Walters

Note: This fictional creative-nonfiction comments on the underlying aspect in the Anan Muss series [click this link].

Dear editors,

Since its christening, I have faithfully read your zine. Its vessel has at times thrust itself into amazing worlds and has at times scraped its barnacled hull through narrow wormholes. SF Poet Anan Muss, however, has shipwrecked and should no longer captain your masthead (or even swab the decks).

His themes tend to be Darwinist variations on the idealistically fit who are actually unfit because of their idealistic naïveté, which causes them to be buffeted by the supposedly unfit (according to standards humanity claims to uphold) but who are truly fit because they obey an unspoken social Darwinism. While the themes should disturb the blithe and, indeed, deserve to be heard, it appears the poet himself does not abide by his implicit ideals: All have worth and ought to be treated as such.

Last year, I paid to attend a benefit for the SF Poet Society because Anan, a man of self-purportedly high principle, was the guest of horror–pardon, honor–teleported in from Jac-Sun V. He spent the late afternoon swilling a dozen Chardonnay and swallowing more than his share of salmon. Many tried to discuss literature, to stroke his ego discussing his work. He actually glared when I brought up his thematic disposition. He had eyes and words only for a third-rate poetess a third his age. One might surmise where he spent that night.

I do hope you’ll take a billy club and knock that man between his lustful, blue-speckled eyes.

Humbly yours,

Nobody the Poet

#

Dear Nobody,

Thank you for writing. My first reaction is “That’s not me.” But how many times have we gazed in the mirror–especially as we age–and been deluged in a self agnosia?

I could make excuses: Dionysia dissed me again, and I desired revenge (but that’s petty and not me). You or whoever else appeared sycophantic (but that’s egotistical since we all start somewhere). My only hope lies–hope springs–in misperception:

1) It wasn’t me you saw, or

2) you saw me but my mind was elsewhere (if we trust your version, we cannot but be disappointed in any writer who claims objectivity, to see all angles, to peer into the hearts of all characters with equanimity), or

3) my identity was mistranslated through quantum entanglement–maybe the distance between a good person and a bad takes very little leap (a quantum leap, if you will–another perennial concern).

You do realize your perspective is hopelessly idealistic: Most would merely blink after getting kicked in the teeth by someone bigger than they. That is why I thanked you. People should hold more mirrors and, using their senses, stand up to their own standards.

Bless you, dear poet of incorporeality. Let’s pray the slitters made his death excruciating.

Anan

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