Issues: Preamble

Before I dive into the mosh pit of American and worldwide events I feel it is important to state my starting position. This will provide context for my positions on topics like politics, religion, economics, environmentalism, and so on.

I am a straight Caucasian male. I was born in June of 1969, which makes me a member of Generation X. Politically, I am a hodge-podge of liberal, socialist, anarchist and Green. Religiously I am predominantly Buddhist, with a strong dash of Taoism and sprinklings of Eastern Orthodox mysticism. I have a college degree and a good job as a programmer. My life is stable enough for me to occasionally feel genuinely bored.

As a straight white dude I am overwhelmingly on the side of hegemony in the United States. Every benefit it is possible to accrue simply by being born white and straight and a dude, I have accrued. In the past twenty years and eight jobs I have only *really* had to fill out a resume once. The only way I could more closely hew to the current odious version of the American Dream would be for me to be conservative and Christian.

Those last two points? Never gonna happen.

I recognize how privileged my life is, and how little I have had to work, comparatively, to make it so. The system is set up specifically for people like me, and specifically against people who are not like me. And that fact nauseates me.

As a nerdy kid in a small farm town I was bullied regularly. Not badly, compared to the suicide-inducing standards of today, but consistently. That led directly to my lifelong practice of martial arts, and to my lifelong–and steadily increasing–hatred of bullies and bullying. For the purpose of any discussion along those lines, I will define bullying simply as punching down from a position of strength. And since this is my blog, I will be the sole determiner in these discussions as to what constitutes punching down.

To go along with that definition, I also have three general rules or guidelines or aphorisms that I try to keep front-and-center:

  1. There is no such thing as an over-reaction to being bullied.
  2. In any particular situation, if you take the side of hegemony, the only direction you can punch is down.
  3. When in doubt, err on the side of compassion.

I agree that the third point is incongruous with the first two. So be it. I contain multitudes. And sometimes pie.

Issues: Preamble

2017 Reading List

Same as the 2016 reading list. This are all of the books and journals acquired/read by Yours Truly in the 2017 calendar year.

January

  1. Suah, BaeRecitation (Deep Vellum)
  2. Klougart, JosefineOf Darkness (Deep Vellum)
  3. Manson, MarkThe Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck
  4. Blasim, Hassan (ed). – Iraq + 100 (Comma Press UK)
  5. The Long List Anthology vol. 2 (Diabolical Plots LLC)
  6. More, ThomasUtopia
  7. Harrison, JimRepublican Wives (novella)
  8. Žižek, SlavojEvent
  9. Volodine, AntoineRadiant Terminus (Open Letter Books)
  10. Chopra, Serena – IC (Horse Less Press)
  11. Anderson, Stephanie – Lands of Yield (Horse Less Press)

February

  1. Athitakis, MarkThe New Midwest (Belt Publishing)
  2. Atkinson, Scott (ed) – Happy Anyway: A Flint Anthology (Belt Publishing)
  3. Wolin, Sheldon S.Democracy Incorporated
  4. Thompson, Hunter S.Fear and Loathing On the Campaign Trail ’72
  5. Thompson, Hunter S.The Great Shark Hunt
  6. Thompson, Hunter S.Generation of Swine
  7. Thompson, Hunter S.Songs of the Doomed
  8. Thompson, Hunter S.Better Than Sex
  9. Granta #138: Journeys
  10. Du Bois, W.E.B.The Souls of Black Folk (Restless Books)
  11. Weir, AndyThe Martian
  12. Aira, CésarThe Proof (And Other Stories)
  13. Dick, Philip K. – The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick
  14. Noll, João GilbertoAtlantic Hotel (Two Lines Press)
  15. Two Lines, Issue 26
  16. Harrison, JimA Really Big Lunch

March

  1. Eco, UmbertoThe Name of the Rose
  2. Xue, CanFrontier (Open Letter Books)
  3. England, AndreaOther Geographies (Creative Justice Press)
  4. Robinson, Kim StanleyNew York 2140
  5. Hines, Jim C.Revisionary
  6. Sterling, BrucePirate Utopia (Tachyon Publications)
  7. Castillo, AnaPeel My Love Like an Onion
  8. Castillo, AnaBlack Dove (Feminist Press)
  9. Blackburn, PaulThe Collected Poems (Persea Books)
  10. Castillo, AnaWatercolor Women Opaque Men (Northwestern University Press)
  11. Li HeGoddesses, Ghosts and Demons: The Collected Poems of Li He
  12. Kicknosway, FayeWho Shall Know Them?
  13. Vallejo, CésarPoemas Humanos

April

  1. Condrescu, AndreiAlien Candor (Black Sparrow Press)
  2. Cope, David (ed) – Song of the Owashtanong (Ridgeway Press)
  3. May, JamaalHum (Alice James Books)
  4. Wright, C.D.The Poet, the Lion, Talking Pictures, El Farolito, a Wedding in St. Roch, the Big Box Store, the Warp in the Mirror, Spring, Midnights, Fire & All (Copper Canyon Press)
  5. Poetry Magazine, April 2017
  6. Pitol, SergioThe Magician of Vienna (Deep Vellum Publishing)
  7. Gnarr, JónThe Outlaw (Deep Vellum Publishing)
  8. Adams, John Joseph (ed.) – Cosmic Powers
  9. Conversations with Paul Bowles (University Press of Mississippi)
  10. Conversations with Chinua Achebe (University Press of Mississippi)
  11. Patterson, Jorge ZepedaMilena, or The Most Beautiful Femur in the World (Restless Books)
  12. Fresán, RodrigoThe Invented Part (Open Letter Books)
  13. Garréta, AnneNot One Day (Deep Vellum Publishing)

May

  1. VanderMeer, JeffBorne
  2. Springer, FilipHistory of a Disappearance (Restless Books)
  3. Jaeggy, FleurI Am the Brother of XX (And Other Stories)
  4. Segaloff, NatA Lit Fuse: The Provocative Life of Harlan Ellison (NESFA Press) #165 of 500
  5. Dostoevsky, FyodorCrime and Punishment
  6. Dostoevsky, FyodorDemons
  7. Jussawalla, Feroza and Dasenbrock, Reed Way (eds) – Interviews with Writers of the Post-Colonial World (University Press of Mississippi)
  8. Granta #139
  9. Miéville, ChinaOctober
  10. James, D.R.Split Level (Finishing Line Press)
  11. McGookey, KathleenHeart in a Jar (White Pine Press)
2017 Reading List

Drowning 2016 in the Bathtub

Events good and bad happen all the time and follow no particular cosmic order, but the calendar allows us to group them into convenient clusters around which we can allow narrative to congeal. A great many influential artists of all genres passed away during 2016. They were perhaps particularly influential for people my age because the artists were at the height of their power when we fans were at our most receptive ages. I became a fan of David Bowie, Prince, Umberto Eco, Jim Harrison, Elie Wiesel, Carrie Fisher, Harper Lee and Leonard Cohen all in about a ten year period.

This is a small sampling of the “notable deaths” of 2016. These were the ones who had the greatest emotion impact for me. Though the circumstances of their deaths varied, none of them were young, and none of them died in any unusual fashion. The world was better for their contributions, and though I never met any of them–though Jim Harrison glared at me briefly at a book signing in 2009–I miss their presence in the world.

That being said:

2016 sucked, and I am glad it is over. Politically it marked a gigantic step backward as bigots and bullies and dominionists convinced foolish people to vote for a fool. And the fool will be president for the next four years, or until he is impeached or otherwise loses his office. I would cheer wholeheartedly at the prospect of Trump losing the office before his term is up, were it not for the fact that Pence is markedly worse. All possible forms of Christian dominionist rule of this country are no different from fascism.

It is pure coincidence that all of these notable people died in the same year that Donald Trump was elected. But they did all happen in a single calendar year, and the narrative that has built around 2016 is that it sucked. Hardcore. If our calendar went from, say, November 1 to October 31, we could say that 2016 sucked and then 2017 got worse in its first week. It would not change the level of suckage. And since one of the first notable planned events for 2017 is Trump’s inauguration, we can safely assume that 2017 is going to totally blow chunks.

Pinning the bad mojo on 2016 is voodoo of a sort. When 2016 recedes into the past it will take its load of shit with it, and leave the slate clear for a fresh start in 2017. We are human beings. Going with the flow of narrative is what gives us meaning in our day to day lives. If 2016 ending means things will get better, then so be it. There’s a reason placebos work so well. That they are placebos does not diminish their importance or their potency.

With about six hours remaining in 2016 (EST) and the positive feedback loop of zeitgeist in full effect, now would be an excellent time to make some New Year’s resolutions. For me, it will be a pledge–to the best of my ability I will protect those who are being punched down upon. And if you are on the side of hegemony on any particular issue, and are punching down on those not, I will do my level best to make sure you have a very bad time of it.

Selah.

Drowning 2016 in the Bathtub

Issues: Introduction and Apologia

Rather than constrain myself to snarky memes on Facebook and the (regrettably) unmoderated comments sections of the various news websites, I will post my position on the Various Issues which make up the Frankenstein’s beast that is a “political position”. These will be wide-ranging and subject to updates as I clarify my views based on new information. I will contemplate things like gun rights, empire, capitalism, politics, religion, energy, sundry current events, technology and so forth. I make no pretense that this is objective work. I also make no pretense that this is scholarly work. These are my views based on my life experiences.

  1. Preamble
Issues: Introduction and Apologia

All Media is Mainstream Media

The title of this post sums up everything which is to follow.

All media sources which have internet access are mainstream. Full stop. Any story which appears virally on Facebook or Twitter or Tumblr or Instagram or any of the other click-bait aggregators, even if the original outlet was created only an hour earlier, is at that moment mainstream.

Post 2016 election, much hay has been made of “fake news” and how to distinguish the real from the unreal. Without falling into the rabbit hole of implicit vs. explicit bias–which is about as useful in this context as debating free will vs. determinism–let us agree that there is news which is deliberately false in its entirety, and news which is true from a certain point of view.

The news which is deliberately false is that in which the headline serves as click-bait, ESPECIALLY when the headline in question imparts no information about the content of the story. These are headlines which are in the form of a question, or are followed by a listicle. These are headlines meant to drive traffic rather than impart information. With this filter in place approximately 75% of all social media noise can immediately be ignored. For the rest, the next filter requires a little more thought.

Deliberately false news also includes everything which falls under the category of “opinion” or “editorial”. Here we can safely dismiss everything from Fox News and Breitbart, and all right-wing hatriot hives like World Net Daily, InfoWars, The Blaze, Focus on the Family, StormFront, Red State, and so forth.

This is not to say the left-leaning news and information sites don’t have similar problems, but “the liberal media”, to the extent that it ever existed, is responsible for only a tiny fraction of all noise generated by American outlets.

Oh: Fair warning–my political sensibilities fall fairly far to the left by American standards, which by rational world standards would make me ever so slightly to the left of center on most issues.

The entirety of mainstream American political though is skewed severely to the right side of the global political spectrum. Our Democrats are, in the main, to the right of where Reagan stood when we were engaged in nuclear brinkmanship with the USSR. Our Republicans are somewhere far down a slope along which lies plutocracy, corporatocracy, neo-feudalism, Dominionism and straight up reactionary sensibilities. And the Democrats are fast on their heels. Thus the center of American political conversation is substantially to the right of center. And thus any “compromise” between political parties moves the entire local spectrum farther to the right.

All of which is to say, any American media outlet which deliberately brands itself as “conservative” can be dismissed out of hand. The output of these outlets can be ignored for the same reason that fish have no words for “water.”

With these filters in place, recognize that whatever news media remains is driven first and foremost by the profit motive, and (distantly) second by journalistic integrity. This is a subtle form of regulatory capture which has always existed, but came to prominence when the Fairness Doctrine was revoked during the Reagan presidency.

So when someone on social media posts a story which includes a headline hinting of some grand conspiracy of silence, it can be safely assumed that the originator of the underlying story or meme is simply looking for attention. Or a quick buck. Not that there is much difference between the two.

Sometime soon, I’ll discuss the difference between “media” and “journalism.”

All Media is Mainstream Media

Implicit and Explicit Boundaries

We now live, as some of the snarkier pundits would have it, it a post-truth world. Given the sorting of world views which led to the recent election results I can’t find a specific argument to counter that statement. However, I would call it incomplete. The world isn’t so much post-truth as post-narrative, or even post-objectivity.

All of the dominant narratives are collapsing under the weight of the democratization of information. No new visions of the future have yet sprung up. Or rather, too many visions of the future have sprung up, and no one or few of these has asserted itself sufficiently to allow the random disconnected threads of attention coalesce.

This is an oversimplified view of an extremely complex process which has been ongoing since the mobile phone – which is in reality a pocket computer – became the dominant means by which humans access information and communicate with each other. Free access to information untethers people from the narratives into which they were born and allows a new kind of tribalism based on common beliefs or aesthetics. A tribe need lo longer be bound to proximity in a three-dimensional or even a four-dimensional space. Family roles need no longer be predicated on blood relations.

What we are seeing now, and have been seeing for the past two decades, is the exploration of boundaries which we did not even know existed at the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall. And we are discovering exactly how arbitrary were the tacit boundaries which have guided and constrained the evolution of civilizations and societies over the past ten thousand years.

Implicit and Explicit Boundaries

On Narrative, and the Threading Thereof

Many years ago I read Interface by Neal Stephenson and J. Frederick George. It was a decent techno-thriller, most notable for being written in part by Neal Stephenson. In it was a brief passage explaining how the substrate of American politics had evolved over the years:

In the 1700s, politics was all about ideas. But Jefferson came up with all the good ideas. In the 1800s, it was all about character. But no one will ever have as much character as Lincoln and Lee. For much of the 1900s it was about charisma. But we no longer trust charisma because Hitler used it to kill Jews and JFK used it to get laid and send us to Vietnam…We are in the Age of Scrutiny. A public figure must withstand the scrutiny of the media…The President is the ultimate public figure and must stand up under ultimate scrutiny; he is like a man stretched out on a rack in the public square in some medieval shithole of a town, undergoing the rigors of the Inquisition. Like the medieval trial by ordeal, the Age of Scrutiny sneers at rational inquiry and debate, and presumes that mere oaths and protestations are deceptions and lies. The only way to discover the real truth is by the rite of the ordeal, which exposes the subject to such inhuman strain that any defect in his character will cause him to crack wide open, like a flawed diamond.

A few years after reading the book I had the good fortune to attend a signing event for Stephenson’s book Anathem. At that signing I attempted to ask him about this quote, and what he felt would be the next Age after Scrutiny. Of course I was struck dumb by fanboy nerves and couldn’t get the question out, so I never got my answer.

But, in the process of exploration and research and simply living my life here in modern America, I think I am sneaking up on an answer.

We are now in the Age of Narrative. Scrutiny became fractured fractal panopticon empowered by the extreme density of global information systems. The signal has become so ubiquitous and strong that the structure of stories breaks down under the weight of ten million self-referential and cross-connected media sources. Within this undifferentiated mass swim the billion threads of narratives, no one of any intrinsically greater value than any other. We are no longer bound to the stories into which we are born. We can choose to align ourselves to any narrative, or invent new narratives out of the pseudo-random bits of information in which we are immersed in every waking moment of our lives.

We are in the age of narrative because there is no objective overriding story by which we are compelled to live our lives. Both prediction and reminiscence have become democratized and made subjective, and if one story line proves inadequate we can easily align ourselves with another.

But thanks to the proliferation of both signal and noise, we are already nearing the end of the Age of Narrative and are seeing the first glimpses of a new tribalism, where the non-physical borders and boundaries of the last five thousand years become increasingly tenuous, and all allegiances will be by consent instead of by tradition.

And won’t that be an interesting time to be alive?

 

On Narrative, and the Threading Thereof

2016 Reading List

The 2015 reading list was so much fun that I have decided to do it again! I am making a couple of minor changes to the criteria here. First, this list will include books I have read, books I have purchased but not read, and literary journals which I purchase and/or read, all in the 2016 calendar year. With any luck I will have an even dozen from Caffeinated Press at the end of the year. Since 2016 is a leap year this may give me just enough time to reach that goal. Why not only list books I actually read? Because feck is over-rated.

Helping to fill this list are the subscriptions I have to the catalogs of independent publishers Open Letter Books, Restless Books, And Other Stories, Deep Vellum and Horse Less Press, as well as subscriptions to The Paris Review, Granta and Zyzzyva. These should get me, at minimum, 35 things to read this year. Just shy of three a month. So without further ado, here is the list.

January

  1. Zyzzyva, issue 31.3
  2. The Paris Review, issue 215
  3. Rodoreda, Mercè – War, So Much War (Open Letter Books)
  4. Anderson, Benedict – Imagined Communities
  5. Rattle, issue 50
  6. Piketty, Thomas – Capital in the Twenty-First Century
  7. Clark, PatriciaSunday Rising
  8. Harrison, JimDead Man’s Float
  9. Mecklenburg, Virginia – Modern Masters: American Abstraction at Midcentury
  10. n+1, issue 24
  11. Labbé, CarlosLoquela (Open Letter Books)
  12. Comola, Jessica – Everything We Met Changed Form & Followed the Rest (Horse Less Press)
  13. Bettis, ChristineBurnout Paradise (Horse Less Press)
  14. Burns, MeganSleepwalk With Me (Horse Less Press)
  15. Midwestern Gothic, issue 20
  16. Dunes Review, issue 19.2
  17. Mieville, ChinaThree Moments of an Explosion (Subterranean Press, signed, number 268/400)
  18. Michigan’s Voices, issue 3.2, Spring 1963
  19. The Noble Savage, issue 1, February 1960
  20. Gulf Coast, issue 20.2, Fall 2008
  21. Bamber, LindaMetropolitan Tang
  22. Wakoski, DianeArgonaut Rose (Black Sparrow Press)
  23. Meltzer, DavidNo Eyes: Lester Young (Black Sparrow Press)
  24. Kashin, OlegFardwor, Russia! (Restless Books)
  25. Velázquez, CarlosThe Cowboy Bible and Other Stories (Restless Books)
  26. Clark, Anna (ed) – A Detroit Anthology (Rust Belt Chic Press)
  27. The Tishman Review, issue 1.4
  28. Michigan Quarterly Review, issue 54.4
  29. Taylor, Jonathan Jay and Neill, FosterThe Michigan Poet
  30. O’Brien, Colleen – Spool in the Maze (New Michigan Press)
  31. Krieg, BrandonInvasives (New Rivers Press)
  32. El-Mohtar, AmalThe Honey Month (Papaveria Press, signed)
  33. Klaver, ChristianThe Adventure of the Lustrous Pearl (signed)
  34. Klaver, ChristianThe Adventure of the Innsmouth Whaler (signed)
  35. Kalver, ChristianThe Adventure of the Solitary Grave (signed)
  36. Klaver, ChristianShadows Over London (signed)
  37. McClellan, BrianServant of the Crown (signed)
  38. McClellan, BrianForsworn (signed)
  39. McClellan, BrianMurder a the Kinnen Hotel (signed)
  40. McClellan, BrianIn the Field Marshal’s Shadow (signed)
  41. Steinmetz, FerretFlex (signed)
  42. Steinmets, FerretThe Flux (signed)
  43. O’Keefe, MeganSteal the Sky (signed)
  44. Underwood, Michael R.Genrenauts: The Shootout Solution (signed)
  45. Underwood, Michael R.Genrenauts: The Absconded Ambassador (signed)
  46. Collins, Brigid – The Southern Dragon (signed)
  47. Bennett, Robert JacksonCity of Blades (signed)
  48. Olson, MelissaBoundary Crossed (signed)
  49. Toyama, KentaroGeek Heresy (signed)
  50. Duncan, Andy and Klages, Ellen – Wakulla Springs
  51. Wilson, Kai AshanteThe Devil in America
  52. Smale, AlanClash of Eagles
  53. Swanson, JayInto the Nanten (signed)
  54. Kloos, MarkoTerms of Enlistment (signed)
  55. Brown, PierceRed Rising
  56. Hurley, KameronMirror Empire (signed)
  57. Hurley, KameronGod’s War (signed)
  58. Gnarr, JonThe Pirate (Deep Vellum Publishing)
  59. The Gateway Review Issue 2.1
  60. Eastern Iowa Review, Spring/Summer 2015
  61. Tenev, GeorgiParty Headquarters (Open Letters Books)
  62. Rajaniemi, HannuCollected Fiction
  63. Dickinson, SethThe Traitor Baru Cormorant
  64. Wojtaszek, KristinaOpal (World Weaver Press, signed)
  65. Parrish, Rhonda (ed) – Scarecrow (World Weaver Press, signed)

February

  1. River Styx issue 95
  2. Granta issue 132
  3. Farooqi, Musharraf AliBetween Clay and Dust (Restless Books)
  4. Harrison, JimThe Ancient Minstrel (signed)
  5. How Do I Begin? A Hmong-American Literary Anthology (Heyday Books)
  6. Barr, TerryDon’t Date Baptists: and Other Warnings from My Alabama Mother (Red Dirt Press)
  7. Sternin, Grigori and Kirillina, Jelena – Ilya Repin
  8. Rucker, Rudy and Sterling, BruceTransreal Cyberpunk (Transreal Books)
  9. Bell, Cristalyne (ed.) Rebel Reporting: John Ross Speaks to Independent Journalists
  10. Meruane, LinaSeeing Red (Deep Vellum)
  11. Eco, UmbertoSix Walks in the Fictional Woods
  12. Granta issue 134
  13. Estes, PhilHigh Life (Horse Less Press)
  14. Olszewska, DanielaAnswering Machine (Horse Less Press)
  15. Eco, UmbertoHow to Travel with a Salmon
  16. Eco, UmbertoTravels in Hyperreality
  17. Eco, UmbertoKant and the Platypus
  18. Eco, UmbertoMisreadings
  19. Eco, UmbertoSerendipities
  20. Eco, UmbertoThe Search for the Perfect Language
  21. Leckie, AnnAncillary Justice
  22. Tomaszewski, Z.G.All Things Dusk
  23. Dillard, AnnieThe Annie Dillard Reader
  24. Hawthorne, NathanielShort Stories
  25. Melville, HermanGreat Short Works of Herman Melville
  26. Tolstoy, LeoThe Death of Ivan Illych & Other Stories
  27. Campbell, JamesThe Ghost Mountain Boys
  28. Least Heat-Moon, WilliamPrairyErth
  29. Eco, UmbertoThe Prague Cemetery
  30. Eco, UmbertoArt and Beauty in the Middle Ages

March

  1. Abani, ChrisThe Face: Cartography of the Void (Restless Books)
  2. Aw, TashThe Face: Strangers on a a Pier (Restless Books)
  3. Ozeki, RuthThe Face: A Time Code (Restless Books)
  4. Lynch, Sean – The City of Your Mind (Whirlwind Press)
  5. Whirlwind, issue 5
  6. Whirlwind, issue 6
  7. Whirlwind, issue 7
  8. Sinister, BuckyBlack Hole: A Novel (Soft Skull Press)
  9. Ali, Taha MuhammadSo What (Copper Canyon Press)
  10. Hô Xuân Huong – Spring Essence: The Poetry of Hô Xuân Huong (Copper Canyon Press)
  11. The Paris Review #216
  12. Pfeijffer, Ilja LeonardLa Superba (Deep Vellum)
  13. VanderMeer, Ann (ed.) The Bestiary (Centipede Press)
  14. Chambers, JamesThe Engines of Sacrifice (Dark Regions Press)
  15. Meikle, WilliamThe Plasm (Dark Regions Press)
  16. Pugmire, W.H. & Thomas, JeffreyEncounters with Enoch Coffin (Dark Regions Press)
  17. Sammons, Brian M & Barrass, Glynn Owen (eds.) – World War Cthulhu (Dark Regions Press)
  18. Jamneck, Lynne (ed.) – Dreams from the Witch House (Dark Regions Press)
  19. Accola, Rosie – So That Tonight I Might See (chapbook)
  20. Lake, Brandon – Something Lacking, vol. 1 (Split Filter Press, chapbook)
  21. Brace, Kristen – The Farthest Dreaming Hill (chapbook)
  22. Austin, Melissa B. – Keys (chapbook)
  23. The Bandit Zine – Issue 3, Alt Fashion and D.I.Y.
  24. The Bandit Zine – Love + Heart Break issue
  25. de Alba, CassandaHabitats (Horse Less Press)
  26. Schapira, KateHandbook for Hands That Alter as We Hold Them Out (Horse Less Press)
  27. Porter, Bill (Red Pine)Finding Them Gone (Copper Canyon Press)

April

  1. Fanning, RobertSheet Music (Three Bee Press, chapbook)
  2. Fanning, RobertAmerican Prophet (Marick Press)
  3. Zyzzyva 32.1
  4. Volodine, AntoineBardo or Not Bardo (Open Letter Books)
  5. Hirsch, EdwardA Poet’s Glossary
  6. Rich, AdrienneLater Poems
  7. Pederson, MiriamThis Brief Light (Finishing Line Press, chapbook)
  8. Ferlinghetti, LawrenceWriting Across the Landscape
  9. Custer, Nic (La©luster) – Nothing Works, Everyone Labors
  10. Secret Bully, issue 1 (chapbook)
  11. Stairs in the Middle of the Street – Creative Youth Center of Grand Rapids
  12. Under the Sun – Creative Youth Center of Grand Rapids
  13. Green a Table, Green an Elephant – Grand Rapids Creative Youth Center
  14. Pratchett, Terry and Baxter, StephenThe Long Utopia
  15. Bat-Ami, MiriamTwo Suns in the Sky
  16. Pushcart Prize VIII (1983-1984)
  17. Stoppard, TomThe Invention of Love
  18. Startling Sci-Fi (New Lit Salon Press)
  19. Haight, IanMagnolia and Lotus (White Pine Press)
  20. Best of Vine Leaves Literary Journal 2015 (Vine Leaves Press)
  21. Topology Magazine (Spring 2016 issue)
  22. Hariharan, GithaAlmost Home (Restless Books)
  23. Tin House issue 61
  24. Rastall, Janeen, et al – Heart Radicals (ELJ Publications)
  25. Magoon, MarkThe Upper Peninsula Misses You (ELJ Publications)
  26. Hamilton, CarolUmberto Eco Lost His Gun (Pudding House Publications)
  27. Winn, HowardFour-Picture Sequence of Desire and Love (Front Street Publishers)
  28. Bridges: Poets of Dutchess and Ulster Counties (Springtown Press)
  29. Hamilton, Carol Such Deaths (Purple Flag)
  30. Cope, David – Turn the Wheel (The Humana Press)
  31. Big Scream, issue 51
  32. Big Scream, issue 54
  33. Hinrichsen, Dennis – Skin Music (Southern Indiana Review Press)
  34. Rappleye, Greg – Figured Dark (University of Arkansas Press)
  35. Arkins, Priscilla – The Cafe of Our Departure (Sibling Rivalry Press)
  36. Granta issue 135

May

  1. Villoro, Juan – God is Round (Restless Books)
  2. Zhadan, Serhiy – Voroshilovgrad (Deep Vellum Publishing)
  3. Audin, Michèle – One Hundred Twenty-one Days (Deep Vellum Publishing)
  4. Neruda, Pablo – Then Come Back: The Lost Neruda Poems (Copper Canyon Press)
  5. Gross, Terry – All I Did Was Ask
  6. Marquez, Gabriel Garcia – Collected Novellas
  7. Barker, Clive – The Scarlet Gospels
  8. Martin, George and Dozois, Gardner – Rogues
  9. Pratchett, Terry – Raising Steam
  10. Saer, Juan Jose – The Clouds (Open Letter Books)

June

  1. Gablik, Suzi – Conversations Before the End of Time
  2. Pavlov, Konstantin – Cry of a Former Dog
  3. Burrows, E.G. – Man Fishing
  4. Kooser, Ted – Local Wonders
  5. Tvedten, Brother Benet – The View From a Monastery
  6. Duras, Marguerite – Abahn Sabana David (Open Letter Books)
  7. Beneath a Single Moon: Buddhism in Contemporary American Poetry (Shambhala Press)
  8. Conversations with Henry Miller (University Press of Mississippi)
  9. Conversations with Jorge Luis Borges (University Press of Mississippi)
  10. The Paris Review, issue 217
  11. Jodorowsky, Alejandro – Albinia and the Dog-Men (Restless Books)
  12. Enjoy! (826michigan)
  13. Vigus, Rebecka – Rivers Edge (Lilac Publishing)
  14. Edwards, Zev Lawson – The New Punk
  15. Glaysher, Frederick – The Parliament of Poets (Earthrise Press)
  16. Clay, Anissa – The God Conception (Red Engine Press)
  17. Third Wednesday, Vol. IX, No. 2
  18. Reynolds, Alastair – Beyond the Aquila Rift (Subterranean Press)
  19. Moon, Jung Young – Vaseline Buddha (Deep Vellum)
  20. Laroui, Fouad – The Curious Case of Dassoukine’s Trousers (Deep Vellum)

July

  1. Klongart, Josephine – One of Us Is Sleeping (Open Letter Books)
  2. Chu, Wesley – Time Siege
  3. Yoss (Gomez, Jose MIguel Sanchez) – Super Extra Grande (Restless Books)
  4. Colasacco, John – Two Teenagers (Horse Less Press)
  5. Jordan, Ahmunet Jessica – Black and Blue Prints
  6. Granta 136
  7. Boullosa, Carmen – Before (Open Letter Books)
  8. Devi, Ananda – Eve Out of Her Ruins (Open Letter Books)
  9. Lawrence, Stephon – Nerves (Horse Less Press)
  10. Miller, Frank – 300
  11. McGuane, Thomas – Gallatin Canyon
  12. Salter, James – All That Is

August

  1. Saccomanno, Guillermo – Gesell Dome (Open Letter Books)
  2. Poetry (July/August 2016)
  3. Gaiman, Neil – The View From the Cheap Seats
  4. Year’s Best Science Fiction #32
  5. New American Writing #34
  6. Amezcua, Eloisa – On Not Screaming (Horse Less Press)
  7. De Rojas, Agustin – The Year 200 (Restless Books)
  8. Volksmode 2014 (Issue Press)
  9. Campbell, Anna – Ever Your Friend (Issue Press)
  10. Curry, Erin – Poems to the Sea (Issue Press)
  11. Johnson, Cathy G – Thank God, I Am In Love (Issue Press)
  12. Wietor, George – Past Lives (Issue Press)
  13. Batt, J. Daniel – Keaghan in the Tales of Dreamside (Story Jitsu)
  14. Genius Loci – Tales of the Spirit of Place (Ragnarok Publications)
  15. Eastern Iowa Review issue 2
  16. Night Sky with Exit Wounds
  17. Zyzzyva #107

September

  1. Neuman, Andres – How to Travel Without Seeing (Restless Books)
  2. Stephenson, Neal – The Diamond Age (Subterranean Press; signed – 292 of 500)
  3. Benford, Gregory – The Best of Gregory Benford (Subterranean Press)
  4. McCammon, Robert – Blue World (Subterranean Press)
  5. Chu, Wesley – The Days of Tao (Subterranean Press; signed – 321 of 1000)
  6. Kuznia, Yanni (ed.) – A Fantasy Medley II (Subterranean Press)
  7. Powers, Tim – Down and Out In Purgatory (Subterranean Press)
  8. Lansdale, Joe and Lansdale, Kasey – The Case of the Bleeding Wall (Subterranean Press; signed – 278 of 500)
  9. Armstrong, Kelley – Driven (Subterranean Press; signed – 502 of 1000)
  10. Armstrong, Kelley – Forsaken (Subterranean Press; signed – 372 of 1000)
  11. Achebe, Chinua – Things Fall Apart
  12. Levy, Ariel (ed.) – The Best American Essays 2015
  13. N+1 #26
  14. Pagano, Emmanuelle – Trysting (&  Other Stories)
  15. Raud, Rein – The Brother (Open Letter Books)
  16. The Paris Review #218
  17. Browne, Colin – I Had an Interesting French Artist to Visit Me This Summer (Figure 1 Publishing)
  18. Yahgulanaas, Michael Nicoll – Red – A Haida Manga
  19. Scott, Walter – Wendy (Koyama Press)
  20. Bell, Marc – Stroppy (Drawn & Quarterly Press)
  21. Bernard, Bruce (ed.) – Vincent by Himself

October

  1. Hines, Jim – Libriomancer
  2. Allfrey, Ellah Wakatama – Africa 39: New Writing from Africa South of the Sahara
  3. Passages: Africa (PEN America)
  4. Glossolalia Issue 2 (PEN America)
  5. Suah, Bae – A Greater Music (Open Letter Books)
  6. Montes, Lara Mimosa – The Somnambulist (Horse Less Press)
  7. Powell, AJ – Grayson Rising (Caffeinated Press)
  8. Brewed Awakenings II (Caffeinated Press)
  9. Joshi, S.T. (ed) – Dark Wings V (PS Publishing)

November

  1. Fonseca, Carlos – Colonel Lagrimas (Restless Books)
  2. Sanchez-Andrade, Christina – The Winterlings (Restless Books)
  3. Spencer, Cynthia – Girl Tramp (Horse Less Press)
  4. Danos, Stephen – Missing Slides (Horse Less Press)
  5. Okorafor, Nnedi – The Book of Phoenix
  6. Geiger, Arno – The Old King In His Exile (& Other Stories)
  7. Loeb, Paul Rogat – The Impossible Will Take a Little While
  8. Byatt, A.S. – Babel Tower
  9. Early, Tim – Linthead Stomp (Horse Less Press)
  10. Jimenez, Claudia Salazar – Blood of the Dawn (Deep Vellum Publishing)
  11. Jaffe, Noemi – What are the Blind Men Dreaming? (Deep Vellum Publishing)
  12. Rabasa, Eduardo – A Zero-Sum Game (Deep Vellum Publishing)
  13. Poetry magazine CCIX:2 November 2016
  14. Lehman, David (ed.) – Best American Poetry 2016
  15. Burton, Richard Francis (trans.) – Tales from the Arabian Nights
  16. Millidge, Gary Spencer – Alan Moore: Storyteller
  17. Campbell, Hayley – The Art of Neil Gaiman
  18. Zaleski, Philip and Carol – The Fellowship
  19. Crowley, John – The Chemical Wedding by Christian Rosencruetz (Small Beer Press)
  20. Crowley, John – Lord Byron’s Novel
  21. Mondrup, Iben – Justine (Open Letter Books)
  22. Davis, Jean – Sahmara
  23. Kaag, John – American Philosophy
  24. Pushkin, Alexander – Novels, Tales, Journeys: The Complete Prose of Alexander Pushkin

December

  1. Ellis, Warren – Transmetropolitan 1: Back on the Street
  2. Ellis, Warren – Transmetropolitan 2: Lust for Life
  3. Ellis, Warren – Transmetropolitan 3: Year of the Bastard
  4. Ellis, Warren – Transmetropolitan 4: The New Scum
  5. Ellis, Warren – Transmetropolitan 5: Lonely City
  6. Ellis, Warren – Transmetropolitan 6: Gouge Away
  7. Ellis, Warren – Transmetropolitan 7: Spider’s Thrash
  8. Ellis, Warren – Transmetropolitan 8: Dirge
  9. Ellis, Warren – Transmetropolitan 9: The Cure
  10. Ellis, Warren – Transmetropolitan 10: One More TIme
  11. Pratchett, Terry – Discworld Companion
  12. Zyzzyva #108
  13. Tea, Michelle – Black Wave (And Other Stories)
  14. Calvino, Italo – If On a Winter’s Night A Traveler
  15. Calvino, Italo – Invisible Cities
  16. Hines, Jim C. – Codex Born
  17. Hines, Jim C. – Unbound
  18. Borges, Jorge Luis – Selected Non-fictions
  19. Paris Review #219
  20. Eir, Oddny – Land of Love and Ruins (Restless Books)
  21. Granta #137
  22. Shah, Bullhe – Sufi Lyrics
  23. Cardoso, Lucio – Chronicle of the Murdered House (Open Letter Books)
  24. Chambers, Robert W. – The King in Yellow (Book Revivals Press)
  25. Reppion, John (ed.) – Spirits of Place (Daily Grail Publishing)
  26. Dillard, Annie – The Abundance
  27. Marshall, Tim – Prisoners of Geography
  28. Karl Marx – Das Kapital
  29. Michael Bakunin – God and the State
  30. Kropotkin, Peter – Anarchism
  31. Herman, Edward S. and Chomsky, Noam – Manufacturing Consent
  32. Hedges, Chris – Wages of Rebellion
  33. Hedges, Chris – American Fascism
  34. Hedges, Chris and Sacco, Joe – Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt
  35. Hedges, Chris – Empire of Illusion
  36. Ismailov, Hamid – The Underground (Restless Books)
  37. Goff, Nichole – Aluminum Necropolis (Horse Less Press)
  38. Gurton-Wachter, Anna – Blank Blank Blues (Horse Less Press)
  39. Snyder, Gary – The Great Clod
  40. Coates, Ta-Nehisi – Between the World and Me
  41. Diaz, Junot – The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
2016 Reading List

Subscribing to Book Publishers

A list of 50 book publishers who offer subscriptions to their catalogs. This list may or may not be updated regularly. I have subscriptions to Open Letter Books, Restless Books, And Other Stories, Deep Vellum and Horse Less Press, and I love every one of them!

Subscribing to Book Publishers