Rumored to Exist excerpt part 1

I’ve recently released my book Rumored to Exist as an eBook on the Kindle and other e-readers, for only $2.99.  I’ll be running some excerpts here to let you take a look.  For more info, see this post or go to http://rumored.com/rumored.

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The second lobotomy didn’t take. The doctor wouldn’t unstrap Marco from the table until I called American Express and got an extension on my allegedly unlimited credit gold card. I put down my Rapeman comic book (I didn’t understand the Japanese text anyway) and talked to a customer service rep so messed up on nitrous, he tried to sell me a Fry Daddy with an X-Ray laser attachment that would fry satellites to a crisp golden brown, using less oil than a comparable Russian SDI technology based food cooker.

I’ve always found it amazing that precision brain damage could do things besides make you act like an Academy Award-winning retard. Marco spent the whole drive home talking about the three pillars of Zen, and how he met Ray Manzarek in an airport once and almost convinced him to go halves with him on a chain of jumbo shrimp restaurants on the east coast. You’d expect drooling and slobbering after a second lobotomy, but he pulled an old Indiana Toll Road Map out of the glovebox and sketched out his plan to make millions off of indexed funds and reinvest the profits in a foundation that would provide public restrooms in New York City. “What the fuck man?” he said a thousand times. “Benson did it in Portland with the public drinking fountains, why can’t I sell some ads and put a few crappers in Manhattan?” Tito finally bitch-slapped him and told him to shut the fuck up.

I didn’t listen to him much—because of some PCP I found in the doctor’s waiting room, the road was starting to resemble the Gran Turismo 3 for PlayStation 2, like one of the rally races where you have to slam the brakes and hit the gas to swing the ass-end around in the tight curves. The same theme music circled through my head over and over, and I searched the steering wheel for the Select button, so I could go back to the menu and buy some better tires for the car. These are all fucking robots, I thought. I can run a few of them off the track, and it won’t even do any damage to my paint job.

It only took four days for the killer drug to circulate through my system, thanks to a sport enema we found at a GNC health food store. I sat in bed searching the Village Voice for a better lobotomy place, but caught myself reading a Savage Love about zoo deaths.

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Rumored to Exist eBook Now Available

“One day in 1971, Ozzy and Tony Iommi took 47 hits of acid and just outside of Newark, New Jersey accidentally found the giant tablets of gold from which the Mormon religion was founded.  They decided it would be wise to melt it into a giant bong and take it on the road with them in a converted tractor-trailer.  With the aid of an early prototype of the first Apple computer, they hired several technicians and wrote a text-based video game based on the works and philosophy of John Locke, where you used the paddle controller to navigate corpuscles through a maze drawn with *’s and %’s.  However, in the course of developing the first video game, they sold all of the gold plates to fund the venture.  And after another acid bender, Ozzy had a vision of Locke arisen from the dead.  He sold his Apple computer to buy thousands of gallons of pure, artesian water for the mammoth bong that did not exist.  Ozzy went insane, and in a few years, Ronnie James Dio was trying to sing ‘Iron Man’ to clubs full of disgruntled Sabbath fans.”

-from section 99 of Rumored to Exist

I’m proud to announce that my second novel Rumored to Exist has been released as an eBook in the Amazon Kindle store and via Smashwords.  It’s now available for only $2.99, in a new revised edition.  This is the latest release from Paragraph Line Books, publishers of fine outsider and absurdist literature.

Rumored to Exist is a collection of 201 vignettes or flash fiction pieces, loosely tied together into a non-linear narrative about a protagonist attempting to find meaning in a bizarre near-future world. It’s a densely packed stew of ideas flashed together, morphing between dreams, emails, conversations, and action. It’s a novel in the style of Naked Lunch, written for today’s short-attention-span hypertextual world.

Influenced heavily by Burroughs, Mark Leyner, Raymond Federman, and Hunter S. Thompson, I knitted together the dense patchwork of fiction over a seven-year period in a half-dozen cities across the US.

It’s also still available in its original print edition from iUniverse, but why spend $15.95 and wait a week to kill another tree, when you can spend under three bucks and check this out now?  There’s also a free preview available on both Amazon and Smashwords, so check out the first part for free.

More info

Buy it now

Details

  • 264 pages (print)
  • ISBN: 978-0595234769 (print, iUniverse)
  • ISBN: 978-0-9844223-1-9 (eBook, Kindle)
  • ISBN: 978-1-4581-0977-4 (eBook, Smashwords)
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The Death of Death

I was in the allergy clinic last week, waiting for my arm to swell up until it looked like it took a Justin Verlander fastball, and I saw some magazine with a cover story about man reaching immortality. I didn’t read the article, because I know there are exactly two types of articles in magazines: 1) “Everything is fucked and we’re all going to die”, and 2) “You really need to buy this shit, or you’re worthless”. (I guess there is a third type, which is 1+2.)

It’s not an unfamiliar concept, especially if you read a lot of SciFi: eventually, we’ll get to the point where all of the diseases and maladies that currently kill off people will be treatable or curable, and the only way to die will involve motor vehicles with a fast 0-60. That’s not to say all people will live forever; everyone who can afford it will be able to.  Also, maybe there will be some kind of Logan’s Run cutoff date or death lottery or other optional euthanasia scenario which will prevent infinite population growth.  But what I find interesting is that immortality is already available to the ultra-infamous, and we just saw an example of it this week.

So Osama Bin Laden found himself on the wrong side of a SEAL team last Sunday. They installed some additional ventilation to his brain, which had the side effect of stopping his pulse for an indefinite period.  Half the world took the opportunity to get drunk, scream “USA! USA!”, wave flags, and thank the wrong president for a job well done; the other half of the country posted quotes incorrectly attributed to the wrong civil rights leader.  I’m not here to condemn or condone either reaction, except to say that I had a different one, which is to acknowledge that Bin Laden did not die, because at this point in time, nobody of his stature can die.

Before anyone flies off the handle, I don’t mean that OBL was a great guy or anything like that.  What I mean, is that in today’s world, when you get to a level of infamy like he had, there will always be people who insist you are alive, regardless of your body temperature or lack thereof.  Governments are corrupt, and media is worse; we see constant examples of that.  Things get covered up, and conspiracies occur, so any time anything happens in the world, a plurality of people will insist that it didn’t.  People so carefully cherry-pick their news from partisan sources, any time they hear something they don’t want to believe, they move on to another news source until they find the one they agree with.

Case in point: how many people believe Bin Laden really got killed?  I’m not saying the number is down there with the percentage of people who think the Washington Nationals are an awesome baseball team, but it’s not 100%, either.  The government didn’t drop fifty tons of Mk.82 love from 40,000 feet and turn the entire village into jelly, so there was a body, and there was DNA testing done.  But there weren’t rotten.com-style photos released, and the body was quickly buried at sea.  That’s fine by me, but it means that there will forever be doubt in some peoples’ minds about whether or not this really happened.

And there’s a whole list of reasons why people don’t want to believe.  Some think there’s no way that the current president could have pulled off such a coup when the last one spent 7 years burning calories on a quest to do the same thing, but failed.  Some people think the whole thing is an October Surprise situation, a Wag the Dog scheme to bump up poll numbers.  There’s a group who think 9/11 was engineered by the government in the first place, and this dude had little to nothing to do with it, so a scripted end to him brings a false closure to that whole operation.  And who knows what other motives are there for a lack of trust.  But some folks on both sides of the spectrum will insist that OBL did not die on 5/1/11.

This sort of reaction isn’t limited to high-ranking terror suspects.  Did Tupac die?  You’re a google search away from his autopsy photo, but “tupac alive” also gives you four and a half million results.  What about Michael Jackson?  JFK?  Elvis?  People elevate superstars in their mind, making them larger than life.  When that life happens to end, the legend continues, and that dovetails nicely with a media that prints anything for money and a political system that does the same.

So now the White House wrings hands over whether or not to release some death photos.  But peoples’ minds are decided.  They could cart out that corpse during sweeps week on Dancing with the Stars and it would get a twenty share and people still wouldn’t believe it.  The Navy could personally bring his dead body to your doorstep like Ed McMahon with the Publisher’s Clearing House cardboard check, and you’d still say, “I dunno – looks fake / you could put that beard on any homeless dude”.  I know the dude’s probably dead, and to me, that’s not a bad thing, but the speculation will continue forever.

And I can see why they did a burial at sea.  I was in Berlin a few years ago, and I did not seek it out, but I walked past the spot where Hitler’s bunker once existed on my way to Potsdamer Platz.  They’ve since put up a sign, but at that point, the Fuhrerbunker was underneath a Chinese restaurant, and nobody was in a hurry to mention it to anybody, for fear that every skinhead with a passport would show up to turn the place into a Neo-Nazi Graceland.  People get weird about stuff like that.  When I lived in Seattle, people still cruised past Kurt Cobain’s old house, looking to get a glimpse of the garden house where he offed himself.  (It’s gone now, BTW.)  And I just recently wasted too much time on Google Maps, trying to find the spot in my neighborhood where Black Panther Huey Newton got gunned down in 1989.  (The exact spot on the sidewalk where he died now has a sign warning you of the speed bumps on the street.)  I could see the reluctance to having a burial which would become a monument to whatever followers might still be knocking around decades from now.

At any rate, this all shows we’re at a weird time in history.  It used to be you remembered where you were when you heard about things like this. Now, when something monumental goes down, chances are you’ll first get the news on the computer, which will make all of these events blend together.  And when it happens, people will flock to Google Maps to find the death site; they’ll reload their twitter feeds over and over to get the latest distorted quotes and unvetted news.  Back when I was a kid and a space shuttle exploded or a president got capped, even the pre-emption of all three TV channels brought little information.  Now, there’s too much, and we only believe pieces of it.  Not sure which one’s worse.

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