One of my favorite short stories. Not for the faint of heart, and definitely NSFW. If you’ve never read, it’s the first short story in Mr. Palahniuk’s Haunted collection. It also has quite the history of making people pass out at live readings due to its graphic nature.
This story should last about as long as you can hold your breath, and then just a little bit longer. So listen as fast as you can.
A friend of mine, when he was thirteen years old he heard about “pegging.” This is when a guy gets banged up the butt with a dildo. Stimulate the prostate gland hard enough, and the rumor is you can have explosive hands-free orgasms. At that age, this friend’s a little sex maniac. He’s always jonesing for a better way to get his rocks off. He goes out to buy a carrot and some petroleum jelly. To conduct a little private research. Then he pictures how it’s going to look at the supermarket checkstand, the lonely carrot and petroleum jelly rolling down the conveyer belt toward the grocery store cashier. All the shoppers waiting in line, watching. Everyone seeing the big evening he has planned.
“To the future or to the past, to a time when thought is free, when men are different from one another and do not live alone — to a time when truth exists and what is done cannot be undone: From the age of uniformity, from the age of solitude, from the age of Big Brother, from the age of doublethink — greetings!”—George Orwell, 1984
Lost is probably one of my all-time favorite shows. It gets a lot of ire for it’s supposed lack of resolution, but I loved it. If you’ve been looking for all the answers, look no further… Cody from Cracked.com has them for you… (even though I could’ve probably explained it myself, but I don’t have that much space.)
“The unreal is more powerful than the real. Because nothing is as perfect as you can imagine it. Because it’s only intangibles, ideas, concepts, beliefs, fantasies that last. Stone crumbles. Wood rots. People, well, they die. But things as fragile as a thought, a dream, a legend, they can go on and on. If you can change the way people think. The way they see themselves. The way they see the world. You can change the way people live their lives. That’s the only lasting thing you can create.”—Chuck Palahniuk, Choke (2001). Probably my favorite book.
”’[I]f we can get a bill on information-sharing to the president’s desk, he’ll sign it. I do believe that,’ Rogers said Monday after a panel discussion. CISPA passed the House of Representatives in April, and is expected to go before the Senate for a vote in late June or July.”
This was a chapter I left out of the book on the advice of my editor, Ian (@theangelremiel). Basically his advice was that this chapter was very well written but didn’t add anything to the story. Wise man. I mean, wow, it would’ve killed the momentum if I kept it where it was (somewhere around chapter 20). Anyway, it’s problematic in several ways — it contains a lengthy description of Alan Moore’s work on Marvelman (or Miracleman in the US) and the legal troubles that have surrounded that work. It’s told from the perspective of the Knowledgebase Architect character, who, like me, has an enormous affinity for the work of Moore. There’s also a quote in here from Miracleman #16 that I could not use in the story because, hey, nobody owns those rights, so there’s nobody to contact for clearing the quote (at least as I understand it… well, Marvel might own the rights now, I’m not sure). Also, the character’s admiration of Moore’s work was described in his earlier, introductory chapter (which featured the From Hell quotes cleared by Top Shelf). The point was to get to know the Architect, an ambiguous character whom we’re meant to think is the ultimate antagonist of the piece.
I’ve told you about Alan Moore’s comic book work, right? I have copies of Watchmen, V For Vendetta, and From Hell on my shelf. I’ve managed to track down a paperback copy of his “DC Universe” stories. Swamp Thing, though I haven’t read it yet. Alan Moore’s important to me because the first thing I was going to strike from the Knowledgebase – from human history – was an already rare series of stories he’d written about a character named Marvelman, or Miracleman in his American series (an old comics company called Marvel Comics – who ran Spiderman and Hulk and Iron Man – they didn’t like the use of the word “marvel” in connection with characters they didn’t own).
This was Moore, building upon what had gone before. While he built on what had gone before, he was deconstructing the notion of the Superman.
My e-book, The Erased, is now available for the Nook from Barnes & Noble.
I also recently made it available in various formats from Smashwords. Previously, it had only been available from the Kindle store.
A review from the Amazon page: “A great story depicting a not so far fetched future. Told concurrently from multiple perspectives, this novel keeps you on the edge of the page, and demands you to see and understand all sides of the story. The ending leaves you wondering who the antagonists and protagonists really are or who to really root for (or how you wish the future might look)…in other words it was a great story that left me wanting more.”
This is the first chapter of my current work-in-progress. I don’t have a title for the overall work yet, though I’m leaning toward simply “Heathen.” This is based on an older manuscript of mine (which was told entirely from the point-of-view of the Alex Graves character). That old, terrible manuscript clocked in at 195,000 words — but it wasn’t very good so I’ve never tried to have it published. I hold a fondness for both the character and basic plot of the final act, which is why I’ve returned to it. I don’t know how long it will take me to finish, nor do I know if it will ever be released. However, I’m vaguely proud of this introductory (or rather, re-introductory) chapter and thought I’d share it. Keep in mind this is a rough draft and has not been edited in the least, so please don’t judge it too harshly.
Please note that the setting, Yorkville State Penitentiary (in Illinois), is entirely fictional.
"Riot at Yorkville" by Grant Piercy
(From the field notes of Paul Kincade, staff writer)
The warden leads us through the hallways and gates, down stairs and through passageways, then finally turns the corner to the one cell we’d been waiting to see. The hard fluorescent light hums away overhead — a constant, deliberate ohm that probably festered into the man’s soul.
“He wasn’t a bad inmate, that I can tell you,” the stubby, white-haired warden says. “He kept to himself mostly, which wasn’t a bad thing with some of the big scary fuckers that roam this place. For some reason, they respected him.”