Plugs

Edd Vick’s latest story, “The Corsair and the Lady” may be found in Talebones #37.

Trent Walters, poetry editor at A&A, has a chapbook, Learning the Ropes, from Morpo Press.

Susannah Mandel’s short story “The Monkey and the Butterfly” is in Shimmer #11. She also has poems in the current issues of Sybil’s Garage, Goblin Fruit, and Peter Parasol.

Ken Brady’s latest story, “Walkers of the Deep Blue Sea and Sky” appears in the Exquisite Corpuscle anthology, edited by Jay Lake and Frank Wu.

Archive for the ‘Jason Erik Lundberg’ Category

The Wretched

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Transmission Log 8074: Tweetie username @4armpuppeteer

O’Brien? Are you out there? Goddamn it, man, first thing happens after I arrive is I get beaten up. #notmyideaofavacation

Seriously, I’m at the meetup point. Reply or DM me ASAP. This place makes my skin itch. #grimeandurbandecayasdermalinfection

I fkn hate only having two arms in this altuniv, but both of them are shooting middle fingers at you right now. #sopissedicouldkickapuppy

You’d better have some whiskey as a peace offering. Christ, I could use a drink. #WeAreTheAggregate

I mean, is it so much to ask that your operatives use — hey wait, I didn’t write that hashtag. #AreYouReceivingCommunication

WTF is happening? O’Brien, zat you? Are you hacking my fkn Tweetie acct? #WeAreTheAggregate #AreYouReceivingCommunication

Um, yes? #CommunicationReceivedAndUnderstood #ContactCommencing #TranslationProtocolsInitiated #NeuralInterlinkTransmittedAsText

What? #ContactDesignateIdentityConfirm #AreYouVahidNabizadeh

How did you get my name? Who the hell is this? #WeAreTheAggregate

And who is The Aggregate? #TheAggregateIsACollectiveHigherDimensionalIntelligenceSeekingSafeHarbour

And what the hell does that mean? #ThatWeAreFleeingABurnedUniverse #OurKindExistsOnlyAsInformation #OurHomeHasBeenDestroyed

You’re shitting me, right? #ColloquialismUnknown #WeRequireCorporealForm #WeSeekSafeHarbour #WillYouHelp

How can I believe any of this? Your hashtag hacking could be an elaborate prank. Why the hell did you pick me anyway? What did I do?

Well? #ScansIndicateTesseractTransference #YouAreNotFromThisAltUniv #NeitherAreWe #ThusProbabilitySuggestsOpennessToAidUs

How could you possibly know I was sent here by the Tesseract Project? #TechnologyIsFullyIntegratedIntoOurselves #WeAreAdvanced #WillYouHelp

Look, I still don’t buy it. Even if you’re truthing me, how could I help? I need aid myself. #ADownloadOfOurMatrixIntoYourCorporealForm

You’d download into me? I don’t like the sound of that one bit. #ButYouWillBeAugmentedNotOverwritten #TheJoiningWillBenefitAll #WillYouHelp

Sorry, anonymous aggregate. Nothing doing. I’m closing this account now. I’ll have to contact O’Brien another way. #YouAreMakingAMistake

Maybe. I do that sometimes. Bye now. #YouCannotEscapeUs #WeCanGoAnywhere #WeAreTheAggregate #NowhereInTheMultiverseIsSafe

#YouWillHelpUs #TheAggregateDemandsAnAnswer #WeAreLegion #WeAreForever #WeWillTakeOnPhysicalForm #WeWillTakeThisAltUnivByForce

#ContactDesignateIdentityVahidNabizadeh #AreYouReceivingCommunication #AreYouReceivingCommunication #AreYouReceivingCommunication

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Creative Commons License

This piece is just one in a 23-part linked narrative called Fragile, which will take a liberal interpretation of the song titles (but not the lyrics) of the masterful Nine Inch Nails double-album The Fragile. To read the other chapters in this series, click on the category “Fragile” below.

The Frail

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Fang Chin put down his palette and brush, rose slowly from his stool, knees cracking, and peeked around his canvas at the UFO that had just landed nine meters from where he stood, in the center of the Dafen Art Village on the outskirts of Shenzhen. The saucer was a blackish color, carbon possibly, or charcoal, but Chin could not tell for sure, as he felt slightly nauseated upon looking at it and had to turn away. It was roughly the size of his artist’s shed, vaguely disc-shaped, and it pulsed with a frequency so low that his bones vibrated.

The Village itself was in chaos, artist workers and framers and pigment mixers running in all directions, clambering over each other to escape the presence of this thing that could not be, paintings forgotten, oil reproductions of Van Gogh and Vermeer and Modigliani and Toulouse-Lautrec and hundreds of others, scattered, slashed, ruined in haste and fear.

But Fang Chin did not run. One of the few artists in the Village to paint “originals,” his imitations of the masters stylized, skewed beyond mere mimicry, featuring in the top right corner of each piece a small representation of the UFO that pulsed before him right now, his trademark, his “signature,” impossibly come to life.

Without transition, two amorphous blobs of the same nauseating color as the saucer stood before him, roughly his height, undulating hypnotically, and said, in perfect Mandarin, “Artist-Prescient Fang Chin?”

Chin cleared his throat, licked his lips, and said, “Yes. That’s me.”

“At last!” The blobs undulated faster, more cheerfully. Chin could not tell if the synchronized voices were spoken or just in his head. “Long have we searched the Multiverse for you, such a rare prescence, located only here and in our home univ, so highly improbable your existence.”

“Ah, okay. Thank you.”

“Today we bestow upon you a mighty honor! You and your work are to be immortalized by our collective, absorbed into our cultural consciousness and forever revered as the pinnacle of artistic achievement. Will you accept?”

Immortality was of course any artist’s dream. To be placed amongst the highest echelons of creative visual endeavor, to join with those who had inspired him and given his life meaning, to be known beyond the small galleries in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong, his name on the lips of everyone in China, Asia, the world. His fingers and toes tingled.

“Yes, I accept.”

And without a word, the two amorphous blobs flowed over Fang Chin, covering him from head to toe, rippling with rhythmic consummation, and devoured him utterly. His DNA mingled with theirs, transmitting experience and epiphany, and the two blobs uttered a cry of delight. Then they re-merged with their saucer, lifted up into the sky, and were never heard from again.

Creative Commons License

This piece is just one in a 23-part linked narrative called Fragile, which will take a liberal interpretation of the song titles (but not the lyrics) of the masterful Nine Inch Nails double-album The Fragile. To read the other chapters in this series, click on the category “Fragile” below.

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