Browsing the archives for the Uncategorized category

New Writing, 2017-2018 Edition

in Uncategorized

It’s been a minute.  I’ve published loads of writing since I last posted. Most of this writing is available for free online, or can be found on my Academia.edu account. If you want a copy, don’t hesitate to email me. Fiction Last year, I had a short story called “The Girl Who Almost Became a […]

Fartcopter Studies

in Uncategorized

I’m proud to have had a short, hard-hitting piece of cultural criticism (on Adult Swim’s “Fartcopter” and drone aesthetics) published in Slate, mostly because I’ve now achieved my longstanding dream of putting the word “fartcopter” on my CV.

The (Tyrannical) Lives of Algorithms

in Uncategorized

This is the text of a very short story I read at a New America Foundation event, “The Tyranny of Algorithms.” I spoke during a fifteen-minute session called “What our algorithms will know in 2100.” I stole the form of my story from J. M. Coetzee’s 1997 Tanner Lectures on Human Values, which were collected […]

Pretty Cool

in Cool Characters: Irony and American Fiction, Uncategorized

It’s hard for me to believe sometimes, but I submitted my dissertation prospectus in December of 2005, during my fourth year as a graduate student in the Department of English at Stanford University. At the time — having recently read David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest and feeling vaguely dissatisfied with his argument in “E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction” — I […]

McGuire’s “Here” at “The Account”

in Rise of the Graphic Novel, Uncategorized

I wrote an essay called “A Theory of Here” for The Account, which is now available online. It’s a preliminary analysis of Richard McGuire’s great new book Here (based on a six-pager he did for RAW back in 1989). The essay will, I think, find its way into “Rise of the Graphic Novel,” specifically into a hypothetical chapter on digital […]

On the Rise of the Graphic Novel

in Rise of the Graphic Novel, Uncategorized

A few years ago, when I was an ACLS New Faculty Fellow at Princeton, I taught an undergraduate lecture course called “Rise of the Graphic Novel.” The title was meant, in part, to be a joking allusion to Ian Watt’s classic book, The Rise Of The Novel: Studies In Defoe, Richardson And Fielding, but it was also […]

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In Praise of Zombies

in Rise of the Graphic Novel, Uncategorized

We need to talk about zombies. In a recent article in Inside Higher Education about the precipitous decline in the number of English majors at my institution, the University of Maryland, College Park, the undead rear their charred and mutilated heads. Our zombie friends, we are informed, promise (or threaten) to help lure resistant students back into the English major: […]

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A Delicious Breakfast Burrito at LARB

in Uncategorized

My review of William Gibson’s newest novel The Peripheral is now up at the Los Angeles Review of Books. NEAR THE END of The Peripheral, William Gibson’s latest novel, there is a short chapter dedicated to the problem one character faces in acquiring a breakfast burrito. The burrito is for one of the novel’s two protagonists, Flynne […]

Korzybski’s SF Legacy

in Uncategorized

Earlier this month, an essay I wrote about Alfred Korzybski appeared on io9. Korzybski’s the founder of General Semantics, which is  a sort of meta-science that tried to give an account of humanity’s relationship to language and abstract thought. I first learned about Korzybski through my research on William S. Burroughs (who was a big fan of […]

Utopian Foresight

in Uncategorized

Last week, I had a short essay published in Slate that discusses the failure of recent popular science fiction to imagine Socioeconomically Less Awful Futures. This failure is, in many ways, understandable, given how Socioeconomically Awful the present is, but I suggest that it might be interesting to conceive of science fiction as a genre with a special power to help us think […]