Writing

Mar 312004
 

A bunch of people have recently drawn my attention to the product placement
of Ford cars in Carole Matthews’s novel The Sweetest Taboo. My Past Due letters were a response to a similar situation, Faye Weldon getting paid by Bulgari to mention their brand — I proactively invoiced the companies whose brands I mentioned in my novel of a hyper-marketed future, Everyone In Silico.

The cover of The Sweetest Taboo has the tagline, “The best things in life are never free.” I’ve decided to retaliate against this smug sentiment by releasing a free e-book version of Everyone In Silico. I’ve distributed thousands of copies of my previous novels in free e-book form since the 2000 release of Angry Young Spaceman, but not for EIS — I was curious to see if it would impact my sales significantly.

It hasn’t.

Continue reading »

Markèd

 Writing  Comments Off on Markèd
Dec 152003
 

Gillian Bell's illustrations grace the cover.On the weekend me and my wife Susan went to the launch of Geeks, Misfits, and Outlaws, an anthology of short fiction edited by Zoe Whittall. We stuck around after the readings and such and they played Le Tigre and my current pop obsession, “Hey Ya” by OutKast. Nothing like that spine-crawl of bliss brought on by dancing…

My contribution to the anthology was one of the sincere science fiction stories that laid the groundwork for Everyone In Silico and originally appeared in Adbusters. Click below to read it.
Continue reading »

EMINEMASTERPIECE!

 Writing  Comments Off on EMINEMASTERPIECE!
Nov 022003
 

This short story just appeared in Number One Fan, Kris Rothstein & Sam Macklin’s collection of smart essays and fictional forays on the theme of fandom. The book not only walks the tricky line between analysis and enthusiasm, but it’s also a beautiful object: each one is a hand-made, one-of-a-kind hardcover that the pictures don’t do justice to. (Scanners don’t pick up iridescent fabric very well.)
Continue reading »

Oct 012003
 

...These subcultures exist through various modes of propogation, antagonism, and symbiosis.This article has been on my site in a different form for a while, but it recently was published in Mix Magazine accompanied by Marc Ngui’s hilarious and brilliant microbial analysis of the sellout dynamic. Especially now that I’m writing a videogame column for the Torstar media conglomerate-owned eye weekly, it addresses issues I deal with on a daily basis. I invite you to read and comment on the piece.
Continue reading »

Mar 272000
 

I’m leaving you. The book we had… well, it was special. I was willing to give it a try even though we were very different people — me, an anarchist zinester and you, a right-wing media magnate — but it’s just not working out.

At first, I was amazed by all the things you owned: Fox, News Corp., New York Post, HarperCollins… my friends were impressed that my new sugardaddy owned their favorite shows, The Simpsons and the X-Files. Like me, they slipped under your spell.

Continue reading »

Mar 272000
 

“Before you sell your soul, better do the math” — Ice Cube

Steve Albini’s classic article “The Problem With Music” (from The Baffler #5) is written from the perspective of a producer who worked with artists he liked from both major and indie labels. He proposed that the ethical reasons for going independent were reinforced by, perhaps even overshadowed by, the economic ones.

Since it had long been assumed that people “sold out” for the money, this was quite a shock for many the armchair pundit. Certainly I was appalled and fascinated at the amount of money involved in the music business and how little of it actually got to the music makers.

While the publishing industry isn’t nearly as exploitive or as lucrative as the music biz, looking at the numbers involved can be interesting. Continue reading »