max adams: the Pinkertons dossier

max adamsAs promised, here is max‘s biography. Consider biographization to be a meme if you enjoy such things.

Warning: your mileage may vary. We assume no liability. No warranty implied. Before beginning this or any exercise plan, consult your physician. Not intended as a replacement for the advice of a competent professional.

Which, if I’d had access to, would probably have resulted in something a lot less interesting.

max adams: the Pinkertons dossier

Editor’s note: In relating the circumstances which have led to my confinement within this refuge for the demented, I am aware that my present position will create a natural doubt of the authenticity of my narrative. It is an unfortunate fact that the bulk of humanity is too limited in its mental vision to weigh with patience and intelligence those isolated phenomena, seen and felt only by a psychologically sensitive few, which lie outside its common experience. Men of broader intellect know that there is no sharp distinction betwixt the real and the unreal; that all things appear as they do only be virtue of the delicate individual physical and mental media through which we are made conscious of them; but the prosaic materialism of the majority condemns as madness the flashes of supersight which penetrate the common veil of obvious empiricism.

max adams is such a phenomenon.

In creating this dossier we have been in constant contact with our offices in St. Petersburg, Istanbul, Silverlake, Ponape, Zurich, Area 51, Abu Simbel, Great Zimbabwe, and of course, Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo-Jump. Although facts are few, and expensively won, we have been able to assemble the following biographical sketch.

max adams is the laboratory-created daughter of the frozen sperm of Errol Flynn and pioneering biologist Nicolette Tesla (granddaughter of the famous physicist) who, deprived by the relentless progress of Glasnost of a ready supply of involuntary subjects, was forced to experiment upon herself.

Succeeding beyond her wildest dreams, she gave birth to max, whom she named Erriol in an epidural trance, during which she recited the entirety of The Tempest, with different voices and everything, pausing only to berate the attending doula for her hopelessly provincial dress sense.

max was raised in Tesla‘s mountain fortress to the age of four, when she was taken away by agents of the state to undertake the gruelling process of being schooled for the Olympic ice dancing team.

During a particularly contentious international competition in Bakersfield, California, max defected to the West and since that time has denied all knowledge of the former European Ice Dancing Championship team of Erriol Tesla and Sergey Brin.

She currently lives a quiet life as a night custodian and DJ at Slim Jim’s Crematorium and Rib House hidden deep in the bowels of the the new CAA headquarters, while maintaining a small scientific consulting practice with an exclusive clientele including MIT’s jet propulsion laboratory, Chicago’s Slam Poetry Championship, and Burger King.


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a Sunday night of romance

veiled statue by rich hugunineDorothy Parker has an heir. Please go to max‘s blog and read her story Table for Two; it is all of the things a Dorothy Parker story is except motivated by hopeless unrequited love for a closeted gay man.

I think.

Also related, this Cowboy Junkies song:

lyrics over the jump. Who’d have guessed I’d be all about the wistfulness tonight (or, indeed, ever). It probably has something to do with the first summer storm and the nostalgic smell of hot asphalt sprinkled with raindrops. Seriously, I must be undercaffeinated or sumpin’. If I go for a jog and encounter raccoon babies I might just start snivelling. Awwww, time to dig out the old Meg Ryan movies.

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Teeny Ted from Turnip Town: the Text

Teeny Ted from Turnip Town

Click to enlarge: if only the actual book were so easy to read!

Here, ladies and gentlemen, with the permission of the publisher Robert Chaplin, is the entire text of the smallest book ever produced, Teeny Ted from Turnip Town. The book was produced in association with nanotechnologists Dr. Li Yang and Dr. Karen L. Kavanagh from Simon Fraser University, and is so small that when you look at the plain sheet of polished silicon on which it is carved, you cannot see anything but the scratches laid down by the point of a diamond so that the electron microscope can navigate. That is the huge rut in the image above; the finest scratch visible to the naked eye. The eye does not register this thirty-page book, even as a tiny speck. It is an invisibook, unless, that is, one happens to be carrying in one’s book bag a scanning electron microscope, which possibility we at the ol’ raincoaster blog are not prepared to deny on a categorical or any other basis.  We know our readers are a tricksy bunch, yo.

Teeny Ted from Turnip Town is a tale of triumph, a story of success. Ted grows the biggest turnip; Ted wins the Biggest Turnip contest.

Ah, if only life were that simple.

Chaplin points out, rightly, that we do not know the mysterious Ted‘s back story; we don’t know if he poisoned the other turnips, if he’s obsessed with size because he’s so short, or if winning the prize won him the heart of his true love. Back story be damned! Ted grows the biggest turnip, Ted wins the contest.

End of story.

The book is available from the publisher (contact him here) in a limited edition of one hundred copies, for $20,000. As it can be read only by those who can afford to have a spare scanning electron microscope lying around, price should be no object.

Suggested additional reading: Leaf by Niggle, by JRR Tolkien.

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the Call of Tutu

Oh noes, does this mean I’m a catblogger?

His acolytes are everywhere… and they all have Olde Newe Englande accents. A great original short film about The Call of Tutu. Don’t open that door, old man!

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six-word stories

Hemingway by StraterThere are an infinite to the power of ten number of games, tricks, memes, generators, and other gizmos to give writers the well-deserved smack on the bottom or the top that they need to be really creative, including Flash Fiction. One of the best Flash Fiction sites is David B. Dale‘s, and fortunately the standard there is high enough to give some feeble hope to us skeptics. Not enough, though, to override my belief that in very few cases do these artificially confining pretences lead to actually great writing. I can think of Ramsay Campbell‘s short story, “Heading Home,” which literally could not have been done in any art form other than writing. It is the least-filmable piece ever committed to mass market paperback. There is also the great Dorothy Parker‘s perfect poem “Two-Volume Novel,”

The sun’s gone dim, and
The moon’s turned black;
For I loved him, and
He didn’t love back.

But this, six-word flash fiction, and perhaps the most restrictive of those challenges, takes inspiration from this great work of Ernest Hemingway‘s

For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn.

How much daring must a human being have to go up against competition like this, or even to exist in the same sphere? Hemingway himself said it was his best work, and he was no slouch in the work or opinion departments, for all his boozing.

This is the roundup that Wired magazine collected from some of the top SciFi writers today(stolen from Wil Wheaton), and I must say that, however neat the idea, this is one sad sack of sentences. While some of them would make a good first line for a conventional novel

Kirby had never eaten toes before.
Kevin Smith

most of them are rather laurel-resty

Don’t marry her. Buy a house.
Stephen R. Donaldson

Hearteningly, a scant handful actually live up to the challenge and do justice to the reputations of the writers. It lights a fire in my soul and the souls of all good readers and writers when we see good or great writers writing this well:

It’s behind you! Hurry before it
Rockne S. O’Bannon

Longed for him. Got him. Shit.
Margaret Atwood

Machine. Unexpectedly, I’d invented a time
Alan Moore

And here, to leave you with our ambiguously depressing thought for the day, is Hemingway’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech, as read at the banquet by the American ambassador to Sweden. At two minutes and ten seconds, it is in its own right Flash Speechifying, but nonetheless eternal for that. If the player doesn’t work for you the text over the jump, and here is a Realplayer version of Hemingway himself reading it; if any of you can convert that horrific medium to an MP3 I would be much obliged. six-word stories
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