The sensibility of those novels – at least the ones I’ve read – is that we were born to screw up, that the earth is a problematic place, anyway. But marbled into these fatalistic tropes is another view of humanity – its persevering spirit, that something good within us prevails at the end of the day. This is our paradox, the paradox of our stories, over and over again, throughout centuries. One inescapable fact looms, since life imitates art, and vice versa: if we’re going to have an apocalype, it’ll be because we choose to.

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Cowboying It Up and Community

We writers are most at ease by ourselves, in front of the computer screen, inventing people and worlds. But nowadays we’re being forced by changes in the publishing biz to step away from our invented worlds and into the slime of marketing, promotion, and meeting and greeting.

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Parsing the Horror Genre in Torn Realities

And this is what stories of the horror genre, such as those of Torn Realities, give us – visitations from beyond sensory norms. These stories inject outside-of-reality bleed-throughs into historical settings, into fantasy imaginings, into scientific what-ifs. Setting such stories almost invariably brings a solitary person into a secluded place, or a place in which buried things shouldn’t be disturbed, even into a sense of science beyond our human ability to handle. Mood is set through writerly devices that shine a light on the creepier aspects of such settings, virtually guaranteeing the reader will go to sleep with the lights on.

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Fitzgerald Inventing His Way Toward Perfection

Amory Blaine is a well-to-do, bratty WASP – egoistic, handsome, with a glib mouth. Underlying all this is an insecurity that begins to show its teeth during Amory’s Princeton days, as his mum dies and leaves him with nothing of value. He turns to girls for succor, but he quickly discovers, in the way of early twentieth-century life in the U.S., that his looks, his disarming way, have little truck without a serious jingle in his pocket.

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Myth and Violence

It should be clear by now that we have something of a national neurosis, a mental affliction, that can and occasionally does erupt in a single person. What can we say, then, about both such a person and the national psyche?

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Can’t Beat Harper’s

In the August 2012 issue, an on-site report from Syria’s civil war sandwiched between an expose on Mary Kay Cosmetics and a short take on package labeling – sort of a cautionary tale in three parts to the people of Syria on the slippery slope that consumerism can be.

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