Over at VICE, Justin Taylor included my Monsters of Modern Literature cards (produced by Nadxieli Nieto) in his round up of the "best books and non-books of 2013" round-up. Very excited to be included, and super honored by his comments:
Lincoln Michel is one of contemporary literary culture’s great natural resources. He writes fiction and essays (sometimes for VICE), draws comics, co-edits the literary magazine Gigantic (which has lately expanded into book publishing, with a literary sci-fi anthology called Gigantic Worlds due out in 2014), and—perhaps most impressively—has a genuinely funny internet presence that never makes you want to kill him or yourself.Free book blurb?
You can check out the cards over at etsy.
I'm excited to say I have a long surrealist picaresque short story titled "Fragments of a Young Conquistador" in the newest issue of Day One. The subscription price is only .37 cents an issue, so check it out if you like sea monster attacks, hungry alchemists, and so on. (However, you currently buy back issues so if you want to read my story you'll have to subscribe before next week's issue.)
In addition to Monsters of Modern Literature trading cards, which were recently featured on BuzzFeed's "16 Fantastic Gifts For Lit Lovers Who Have Enough Books," we are selling these sweet Animals In Midlife Crises comics that I did with John Dermot Woods. Sets designed by Nadxieli Nieto.
Check both out on our etsy store.
A writer named Peter Tieryas Liu wrote a very nice "book" review of my short story "Our Education" (published as an ebook by Electric Literature) in the New Orleans Review. Very exciting and flattering to read:
As part of the Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading Program, Our Education is a quick, thought-provoking read. The prose is neither cumbersome nor too sparse, perfectly matching the conversational tone of a teenager stuck in a teacher-less school. Those expecting a Twilight Zone episode twist ending need not apply. Those looking for a surprising lesson on the perpetual education we call existence should enroll right away.
After doing a lot of historical research, I wrote a anthropological poem for Hobart. It starts out:
When my friend is upset because someone posted
about them on the internet in a way they aren’t
sure is ironic, it makes me wish I wish I lived in
olden times. Shit was real back then.If you were stressed out it was because one of your
limbs had been gnawed off by forest beasts
or your crops had been blighted to dry twigs
by the pond god. You know what I mean, man?
For the past two years I've drawn literary monsters for Halloween, and this year we turned them into trading cards. You can buy them on etsy for the pretty cheap price of 5 bucks (plus shipping).
CURRENT LITERARY MONSTERS:
George R. R. Martian
Ben Oak Tree
Clarice the Spectre
more to come
up at The Collagist. It is called "One or Two Afternoons" and begins:
Click here to read the rest. I had another story, "Hike," in The Collagist in 2011.
The woman at the door wore coveralls and carried a long metal tube. Her mouth was large and closed.
"Bug lady," she said after a second. She shook her spray nozzle in front of my face.
- I was named an "essential literary Twitter feed" by Brooklyn Magazine. Gigantic, whose twitter feed I mostly run, was also named. Follow me and Gigantic and everyone else on that list, if you want.
- Our Gigantic Worlds sci-fi tumblr also got a shout-out on that list.
- My "Monsters of Modern Literature" drawings from last Halloween were resurrected by Flavorwire.com and Picador's Tumblr.
I guess that's it.
Electric Literature asked me to pick some of my favorite recent book reviews for their "Critical Hit" column. I decided to pick mostly negative reviews, and spent some time talking about why I think negative reviews are important for the literary conversation. My winners were Emily Cooke, Christian Lorentzen, JW McCormack, and Michelle Dean.
What are the core elements a successful "funny cowboy dance"?
You can't force it. When you're doing the dance, if you suddenly feel like flinging your hand out, do it. Don't think about it. Or if you feel like pretending you're chewing tobacco and spitting, as you dance, do that. Don't be too rigid, is what I'm trying to say.
In celebration of our Gigantic Worlds Kickstarter, I wrote a list for Flavorwire about literary authors who you didn't know wrote speculative fiction such as Denis Johnson, Virginia Woolf, and Don DeLillio.
"DIY forever-or-until-someone-pays-off-our-debt-and-hands-us-bags-of-cash": interviewed in The Believer logger
James Yeh and I were interviewed (by Nicolle Elizabeth) about our magazine, Gigantic, for The Believer Logger. We talk about pizza vs. fried chicken, the Gigantic Worlds science fiction book, and the horrible, unspeakable, and heretofore untold secrets of literary mag publishing.
Read the interview on their Tumblr by clicking here.
And on a Tumbling note, I've been tumbling up a galactic asteroid storm at the Gigantic Worlds tumblr. Check it out for weird art, cool quotes, and spacey links.
If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, I'm sure you have heard plenty about this already, but I am really excited about a science fiction book I'm working on called Gigantic Worlds. The book will have a cover by the amazing Michael DeForge, and fiction by Jonathan Lethem, J. Robert Lennon, Lynne Tillman, and many more! You can read all about here.
In less than four days, we have already raised 10k on Kickstarter!
In celebration I am posting cool interviews, weird art, and other science fiction sundries at the Gigantic Worlds Tumblr.
I've very excited to have a story in the launch of the Buenos Aires Review, a new bilingual journal based in Buenos Aires. All the pieces are translated to or from English and Spanish (click here to read my story in Spanish). The launch also has an interview with Junot Diaz, a story by David Leavitt, and a lot more. Also, the website looks awesome! Check it out.
Here is a paragraph:
A man in a tightly tailored suit kept opening and looking into his leather briefcase. Silas figured he was in the mafia. The briefcase probably contained drugs or money or cut-off pinky fingers.
Gigantic will be tabling at the PEN World Voices festival this Friday. In addition, members of Gigantic staff, including myself, will be reading at 5 at Washington Mews, NYU. Drop by if you want to hear some international flash fiction!
I'm currently reading Renata Adler's Speedboat and came across this paragraph that, I thought, made a pretty excellent prose poem all by itself (a common occurrence in Adler's work, to be sure):
Excellent evidence. "The source said that the investigators considered the responses of the dogs 'excellent evidence,'" the Times reported. "In each case the two dogs reacted positively to Mr. Hoffa's scent. One by standing up," the story went on, "and the other by sitting down." Since Will is a lawyer and I used to be an investigative reporter, we conclude that the dogs went to different schools, one to a sitting school, one to a standing school, but anyway to different schools.
I interviewed good friend and great writer Adrian Van Young for The Rumpus. We talked about genre fiction, the sublime, MFA programs, and uncanny fog tendrils:
Because if you’re constantly held in a state of suspense as to whether the fog tendrils are going to grow arms and take someone down to the underworld, or gibbons come riding down out of the sky, then it’s going to foreground that other, human tension of whether Character A is going to rise to the task and save Character B, or whether Character C is going to change his ways by the end. It’s parallel tension in parallel worlds.
I'm very pleased to say that I have a short story in the newest edition of NOON. NOON is one of the only magazines I read back to front each issue, and it is a real honor to make another appearance. The issue includes great pieces from Lydia Davis, James Yeh, Deb Olin Unferth, Anya Yurchyshyn, Clancy Martin, Brandon Hobson, and many more.
The issue recently got a nice write-up in the LA Times by David L. Ulin. I like the claim that the pieces form "a tapestry of stories in which friends and lovers, parents and children circle each other like satellites, connecting in only the most elliptical ways."
In addition, I will be reading at the NOON launch party at The Center for Fiction on May 8th. Noy Holland, Christine Schutt, James Yeh, Deb Olin Unferth, and Diane Williams (presenting a Brandon Hobson story) will also read.
I interviewed Sam Lipsyte over at Bookforum. We talked about short stories, drone bombings, science fiction, and not tweeting.
I also interviewed Sam Lipsyte for Gigantic magazine back in 2010. Read 'em both. Why not?Bookforum: There is a line in “The Dungeon Master” where the narrator says, “Everything’s weird if you look long enough.” Could that be a description of your fiction writing process?Lipsyte: Yeah, perhaps. I think that line echoes a Robert Creeley line, which is “everything is water if you look long enough.” I think I wrote “everything’s weird if you look long enough” and then made the connection, remembering the poem by Creeley, and left it because I liked the resonance there. I’m not sure about the water thing...Bookforum: [Laughs]Lipsyte: But the weirdness felt right.
* Awesome image borrowed from this awesome Vulture piece on Lipsyte that I also recommend reading.
I have two readings coming up next month:
* March 2nd, Brooklyn. Diamond Mouth Surprise at La Sala. I'll be reading with accompanying visuals from Grier Dill.
* March 7th, Boston. An AWP related reading of presidential flash fiction. There will be an open bar courtesy of Electric Literature and Tumblr beforehand, so if you are at AWP you outta drop by. (You can read my presidential flash fiction, on John Adams, over here.)
I wrote a book report on Moby-Dick by compiling random sentences from negative reviews for Sasha Fletcher and Leigh Stein's The Book Report reading series. You can read it online:
It’s gauche, jejune, primitive. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t object to unfamiliar words. Quite the contrary, I enjoy adding obscure words to my vocabulary and sprinkling them in my conversation. The whole time I kept thinking, what the hey is this?? Out of nowhere it goes into this dull drum solo. It reminded me a bit of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, whatever that is called.
I'm very excited and honored to have 2013 start off with a new story in Electric Literature's Recommended Reading. The story is online, and also available as a Kindle Single. The story also got a Single Sentence Animation courtesy of Grier Dill. Many thanks to Grier and Electric Literature editors Halimah Marcus and Benjamin Samuel.
The first paragraph:
Time passes unexpectedly or, perhaps, inexactly at the school. It’s hard to remember what semester we are supposed to be in. Several of the clocks still operate, but they don’t show the same time. The red bells, affixed in every room, erupt several times each day, yet the intervals between the disruptions wax and wane with an unknown algorithm. The windows are obscured by construction paper murals. Consequently, the sun rises and falls in complete ignorance of those of us attending the school. Many of us participated in the decorations in some lost point of childhood. A few of us still have dried glue under our fingernails.