Dark Angels, the first work of fiction to be published by the Recalcitrant Press, is an alternative history of sorts, a telescoped vision of the way things might have been or indeed might be.
What if the system that rules the world could read your mind, anticipate your every desire, your every thought? What if crime were allowed, as long as it was predictable? What if all this happened twenty years ago and you didn't know it? And what if the system inexplicably started to lose control?
Dark Angels is a product of the early 1990s, a time when New York in particular felt as if it was on the edge of an abyss.
The idea of a society that embodies the worst aspects of capitalism and the worst aspects of totalitarian socialism isn't all that far fetched. The literary influences are fairly obvious—Orwell, Philip K. Dick, all the classic dystopian narratives. Then there was something else. From Jacques Rivette's film Duelle come the not entirely explicit figures of a moon goddess and a sun goddess who act out their conflict among unsuspecting human beings.
Nightmares are simply a continuation of our everyday experience.
Second edition, revised and expanded
First conceived as a blog that originally appeared in 2009 and 2010, these short essays attempt to examine what it means to write in the age of the web. The ways in which writers manage to get their work to readers have always evolved. The Recalcitrant Scrivener examines this and other topics, including the past history of book publishing and what it means to write literary fiction.
This new edition incorporates the blog entries written after the first series of essays was published. Now included are pieces on vampires, the history of Random House, the role of small presses, and the poet Jim Carroll, as well as a new Afterword.
Stare at an eighteenth century painting with a steady gaze and you may be surprised. One portrait in particular. Who was this woman? What did she need to tell me?
Richard Dawson travels to the year 1790 for a reason. Gainsborough has been dead for two years, but more to the point, the world is changing, whether with the French Revolution, the application of the latest scientific discoveries, or the emergence of sensibility and emotion as topics worthy of discourse. Time travel, it seems, does not require a machine of any sort.
Selections from the novel Gainsborough's Revenge are now available.
Fiction, but definitely not "a short story," Night Language was originally written in 1978 and published many years later in Otoliths #19. A fantasy, a dream, a reimagination of reality, it was also conceived as a counterpoint to certain forms of LANGUAGE writing that were then current among a range of poets in New York and San Francisco. Whether these two distinct impulses come together is left to the reader to decide.