What the hell is going on here and why.

Hello, Jon Konrath here.  I’m the editor-in-chief (or whatever) here, and now’s as good a time as any to write the big manifesto about what the hell is going on here.

I’ll start by saying all lit journals suck. Some are better than others, but in general, the good ones go away, and the bad ones churn out the same formulaic shit.  Nobody really reads lit journals, or at least I don’t.  It’s a sort of game, like collecting Pokemon cards, where you write a story that Raymond Carver already wrote a long time ago and spam it to every second-tier university’s affiliated journal, and when one bites, six months later you spam all of your friends saying “My story, ‘What We Talk About When We Talk About Gender Dysmorphia’ got picked up by the Oaklabama Review and you should buy a copy and never read it, or you’re not my friend.” To be fair, everything in life works like this, from corporate jobs to dating to show business to homeowners’ associations, and it all sucks, but you knew that already.

Some journals print some crazy stuff, but I’ve always had problems finding my kind of crazy.  So back in 1996, when I had a free photocopier staring at me at my day job, I started putting my kind of crazy into little zines I mailed to my friends.  And then when they started giving me great stories, I’d glue those in too.  I didn’t do it to make money; I’d usually mail free copies to anybody who asked. But it was cheaper than golf or blackjack, and I liked putting the words on paper and sending them out to the world.

The zine died when I left Seattle, but then POD publishing came out, and I started again in book form, printing more stories and selling them online.  I’d done e-copies way before blogs even existed, and then the Kindle came along and I did that, too.  I published my own books and did the same for my buddy John Sheppard.  And then when people stopped buying books, we started turning out stories online for the world to read.

Now it’s time to start again.  But this time, in addition to the stories and flash fiction, I wanted to blog.  I want to create a place with daily news and posts and weird pictures and stuff you need to check out, be it other books or strange movies or political disasters or wikipedia articles about abnormal deaths.  The intent is to make this place a daily stop for any of you who spend your day fucking off at a desk who are in need of some entertainment.  I’ve talked a few crazy friends into brain-dumping their updates here on a frequent basis, and things will gel into steady columns and regular features.

I still want to publish the best fiction I can find here, either longer format stuff or flash fiction.  I don’t know of a good home for absurdist fiction, which is what I really love, and I hope to bring some of that here.  I’m also a big fan of down-and-out insanity, and anything on the fringe.  I do not care about genre or traditional format, but I also don’t like things that are so conceptually experimental that they’re unreadable.  If it’s too academic, I tune it out. I just want to read good stuff, and that’s what I’m putting up here.

So, come for the crazy wikipedia articles about alien abduction and videos of weird dudes dressing up as whales, stay for the quality fiction. I expect some chaos here at the start of 2014 until we find our groove, but as our bloggers’ ketamine supply slowly dries up, our post volume will increase.  And you can help with that if you’re a writer – hit up our submission page and we’ll take a look.

I hope you’ll stay tuned – you’ve got a few choices to keep up with us.  I’m personally an RSS junkie, but you can also follow us on twitter or facebook,  or use our handy email subscription to get posts delivered by mail.  Also, please do us a solid and tell your friends. The more the merrier.  And feel free to praise or bitch using the comments on this or any other post here.

I’ve babbled on enough here, and should get back to it.  So strap in, and hope to hear more from all of you as we get going here.