Mi Paranoia es Tu Paranoia or, A Response to a Facebook Post

Thirty years ago, more or less, I took a seminar in college on Thomas Pynchon: The Crying of Lot 49 for the warm-up and Gravity’s Rainbow for the rest of the semester. The professor teaching was a brilliant, goofy Virginian that everyone thought, as impressionable young students often do at other colleges of their Pynchon professors, that our man was him. It’s ludicrous, of course. But it was stoked even further when said professor went on sabbatical “to tour the South” and a few years later Mason & Dixon was published.

Some hangers-on still cling to the notion that our old professor was Pynchon lampooning as a Virginian with a PhD. I like to imagine that even Thomas Pynchon has his limits.

Anyway, I have since gone back to Lot 49 and GR several times over the years, and all his other books save Slow Learner in its entirety. My favorite is probably Against the Day. Vineland had its moments. Oddly enough, I didn’t enjoy Inherent Vice as much as I should have. Bleeding Edge had its moments too, especially the passage about people eventually submitting to surveillance:

“Dick Tracy’s wrist radio? it’ll be everywhere, the rubes’ll all be begging to wear one,” decries Ernie, “handcuffs of the future.”

I wouldn’t be so flippant as to say Pynchon’s an acquired taste. Good literature as we all know has more to it than that. But if you’re like me and you memorize license plates of cars that pass your house more than twice in one day it’s nice to know someone out there knows, as William Burroughs once pointed out in reference to paranoia, a little about what’s going on.

Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy or,Updates of Sorts

It’s been months since I posted here. I won’t bore you with my take on current events. No, I just want to pimp some stuff here.

On the home front, I recently completed an interview for a podcast at The New Panic Room Radio Show. You can find out more about The New Panic Room by visiting their web site. We talked about Under the Bronze Moon, my fantasy novel published by Sinister Grin Press.

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I also answered eleven questions in which you can hear me talk about why I’d abolish the internet if I was God for a day. Also, I explain why I think Sling Blade (Mmm-hmm) is the worst movie ever. Okay, maybe I don’t explain it but I remain steadfast in my conviction. So give the podcast a listen. If you don’t have time to listen to the whole show you can fast-forward to the 58:00 mark when my interview begins.

There will be news soon about my next novel, To Dream the Blackbane (Between the Lines Publishing, 2018). It is a dark fantasy concerning a hybrid private eye (half-man, half-dog) who just can say no when it comes to taking on jobs, no matter how deadly they may be.  Stay tuned for cover reveal, release date, links to reviews, etc.

Where books are concerned, I recently read Chump Change by Dan Fante. The author was the son on writer John Fante (Ask the Dust). He died in 2015. Chump Change reads like Bukowski, but Fante portrayed the pain of addiction much better than Bukwoski ever did. I am also revisiting some other semi-autobiographical novels—Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski, Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer (and Capricorn), and some others in the coming months in preparation for my own semi-autobiographical novel that will be a foray into more realist fiction.

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Also, I recently succumbed to reading A Game of Thrones. I may or may not make it through the whole series. Don’t get me wrong. George R.R. Martin is good. It’s just that, like so many others, I watched the HBO series first. Over the years, people I know tried talking me into reading the Songs of Fire and Ice series. But I never got around to it.

Lastly, I recently watched The Hangover again. I’ve decided that there’s something inherently sad about the plight of those characters. My suspension of disbelief ended when Mike Tyson punched out Alan (Zack Galifianakis) and Alan ended up living through it.

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I’m joking. Alan needed to live.

More news soon…

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