Category: Satirical Fiction

Mocking critiques in different forms. Targets include society, politics, religion, you.

Fiction — “The Other Borges”

Author’s Note (For Context): This is a ficción, inside joke, eulogy, parody, and testament to the translator and writer Jorge Borges, in imitation of his excellent “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius.”

I owe the discovery of a Borgesian doppelganger to the conjunction of a mirror site and an entry on Wikipedia. The mirror troubled the depths of my thoughts in my suburban home in Sugar Land, Texas; the Wiki-page was devoted to an author with a similar name, another Borges. My friend had been explaining the utility of a mirror site, a website replica created to divert network traffic, when, in jest, he said that mirrors and copulation were abominable, since they both multiply the numbers of men. The phrasing seemed too eloquent for his invention, and I asked who had said it. Jorge Borges, was the reply. A strange sense of unreality set in, and I asked if he had any relation to the Argentine writer of the same name, to which my friend said – I don’t think so.

We set about to search for this Borges on the Internet, but could find nothing, only webpages saying Page Not Found, since my Wifi wasn’t working. To save face, he searched again on his phone, but could only find the other Borges – the magical realist from South America. Again, he distanced the quote’s origin and this literary master, arguing that they were separate persons. I finally decided this had been a fruitless fiction derived from my friend’s pride and insecurity in claiming the passage for his own. Surely, if there had been two Borgeses, I would have heard of this anomaly, this controversy?

Years later, I would find a book by this alt-author in a used book store on 99. The work was titled The Garden of Forking Paths, and contained a slew of stories, all strange and wonderful and infinitesimally complex. I was leaving the store when in the Spanish aisle I saw the name Borges in bold print. It was on the cover of El jardin de senderos que se bifurcan – clearly, the work of the Original Author. I bought both works and brought them to my home for careful examination, or to use a word discounted by high school teachers, to peruse. What I found was astonishing. The two texts, by two authors of the same name, were completely unrelated in regards to content. In fact, one was incomprehensible, written in a language divergent from ours: Spanish. Yet the structures were identical, or nearly so, for both had Tables of Contents, chapter headings, a body of pages, a foreword and index. And the stories corresponded; their paragraphs and even their punctuation were terribly homogenous. I felt as if I’d found some otherworldly Rosetta Stone, some fragment of twin dimensions.

The pictures of the authors in the book jackets looked related, although one was much older, shrewder, with a drooping eye. They could have been twins, if it weren’t for the gap in years, or duplicates, as if God had multiplied Soul and Body – some error in creation buried beneath the continuities.

My final discovery was on the bookshelf of a woman I was wooing. She was a graduate student renting her professor’s small one-bedroom apartment while he was on sabbatical. There was an erotic nature to our connection, accentuated by strange phallic images the professor had put up on the walls. African tribal spears, bolo knives, and near-nude women with large breasts in Picasso-like frontality. On her shelf, or rather, the professor’s shelf, was a copy of Borges’ Forking Paths. One night, I brought my own copy from home (possibly by the same author, possibly by the Other) and compared the two. What I found led to my utter distress and subsequent destruction of the books. The works were the same and not the same, as if the two writers had plagiarized the same source, some ur-text, or precursor. In one book, the words read, “I have known that thing the Greeks knew not – uncertainty.” The other: “I have known uncertainty: a state unknown to the Greeks.” Both, despite distance, derivation, offered a glimpse into the unrealness of my world – its labyrinths, its mirrors.

I struck a match which burned like the sun above me, and put it to the books. For a moment, I thought there were twin suns crackling in the afternoon heat, before the bookfire rescinded, leaving behind its ashy droppings, a clutter of black fragments belonging to the libraries of Hell.

Satire — Bottled Up Blessings

The doctor’s office was the only place Fizz Ease could kick his feet around like a kid. It was odd sitting without touching the ground. Kind of like how accustomed he’d become to going into the restroom and looking straight in the mirror, not needing to stand on tiptoes and peer above the counter.

Dr. Sudarshan was looking at a chart. He flipped a few pages roughly, making them crinkle.

“Looks like you have eleven tender spots today,” he said finally. “That’s four more since our last check-up. How are your sleeping habits?”

Fizz repeated the usual stories, each anecdote underlying the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Sleep-heavy nights, moody mornings, fatigue at work.

(more…)

Fiction — “Rabbits and Eagles”

Blue sky. Clouds shaped like rabbits and eagles. Faro Claret looked up at a statue of an old war hero, a bowcock adorned with gumdrops—no—buttons, and a gray uniform, and a conglomeration of names. Pierre Gustave Toutant-Beauregard. Faro knew very little about art history, or history, and today was a rare adventure away from his windowless office where he worked for another conglomeration of names—Merklee Shipping Commissions Incorporated. This was one stop of many. Moments before he had admired a tree with similar awe, as if a tree were a sculpted thing too, carrying mysteries in silence. (more…)

Rune Bear Bios (Attempt Two)

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I’m still trying to write the perfect bios for Rune Bear’s About page. But these just came off as too… distressing.

Desmond White, Editor-in-Chief

Desmond White is a guy. He’s right here typing this right now in a moment which will be burned up like the rest of the moments. What’s the point of anything if it’s all going to be extinguished with the unerring plod of time and space, that inevitable line, warbled by gravity, distraught by memory, but mobile? Fruit flies we are, playing and working and rubbing our hands together before retiring to the quiet places. Find him on twitter!

Stuart Warren, Speculative Fiction Editor

Stuart Warren is tired. Crusty-eyed. All he thinks about is his bed. Even when he’s in bed. Maybe it’s because sleep is the closest boundary to death that he allows himself. That great void that pervades. That pressure of nocturne, like the bottom of the oceans of the mind. And maybe he wants to peer beyond the illusions (that conglomerate of memory and fantasy) to peek into the dark dimensions, that unholy slumberous nil. Find him on twitter!

Alyssa Warren, Supernatural Fiction Editor

Sometimes Alyssa Warren remembers why she allowed her birth. For too long she floated in the ether, curious about the meaty breaths of humanity but finding no desire to leave that yellow comfort, that glowing peace. Maybe it was a mistake to come down to this planet, to be born to the struggle of organisms. If so, there is some comfort. From ether born, to ether go. All she has to do is wait sixty years. Find her on twitter!

Rune Bear Bios (Attempt One)

Stuart doesn’t like the bios I’ve written for Rune Bear.

Desmond White

Although currently facing execution by gas frogs (he’ll be dropped into a stank pit in April), Desmond White used to be the fearless leader of the Resistance until he took a bearbolt to the back and was captured. (A bearbolter is a fully-automated turret that launches American black bears.) This is his only known photo because he’s too ugly for full lighting.

Brandon Patterson

Having hacked more corporations than you can count on a calculator, Brandon Patterson has retired from a life of cybercrime to pursue his true passion: building websites for the Resistance against Gressian rule. Brandybuck lives in Dallas, New Texas, just outside the Omega System, with two servitor-skulls and a shapeshifting croissant named Cindy. He enjoys long walks on computer-generated beaches.

Stuart Warren

Stuart is an artificial construct compiled from discarded Rembrandt paintings and a dump of data-files removed from the Galactic Library because they were considered useless to intelligent life—literary criticism, mostly, and an eccentric medium called the “comic book.” Stuart currently serves the Glessian Majesty as a royal flusher, although he hopes to upgrade to a showerhead or sonic toothbrush.

Alyssa Warren

Alyssa Warren was Queen of the Solar Centaurs until she fell in love (some say it was an arranged marriage) with a dashing artificial toilet. Now, Her Neighness lives in a tiny apartment filled with books and a baby and an actual baby that she produced through sheer force of will (the toilet helped a little). When she’s not conquering minor planets with her braying legionnaires, Alyssa can be found at the farmer’s market sampling local honeys or knitting bad ass dog sweaters.

Here’s what Stu wrote for himself:

Stuart writes fiction and magic realism and lives in a tiny apartment filled with books and a wife and baby. Occasionally he reads a book and writes about it on Sequart.org, but mostly he shouts from his blog stuartjwarren.com about life and the books that he authors.

I’ll only accept it if he adds:

He also writes really boring bios.

Published — “An Old War Hog”

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My paragraph piece “An Old War Hog” just published in Ghost Parachute, a magazine devoted to “fresh and vibrant imagery,” to “unleash[ing] the spider behind the rose.” The piece is small so I won’t ruin it with a summary. Just know that Ghost Parachute has an interesting format—every story is paired with an original image created by their artists. Credit for the picture above goes to Felix Sanchez.

Filler

We needed filler content for a literary magazine we’re creating, i.e. stuff of no consequence that will be deleted once we publish. So I wrote this.

“The Robot” by Botswana Brokeball

There is a girl who is a robot. She wakes up in the wastelands but doesn’t remember who she is (actually she’s a secret human). All the humans are dead but she doesn’t know until she meets communists called the Rainbow Riders. Their symbol is the rainbow. In my story all robots are rainbow stripe colors. The girl-robot-secret-human is named Eve, the first human. She’s actually the first human cryogenically frozen by Adam to be awakened when the technology has developed to de-freeze cryogenically frozen women. Eve decides to rename herself Even Stevens. After a lot of walking in the dust-broke wastes, her CPU glitches, and her hard drive crashes, and her URL is hacked. She was a robot the whole time! The story ends with a vulture digging a nest into her brain and finding pink gummy brains to its delight and surprise. She was a human the whole time too! In the end I show up in the book to congratulate the reader on finding the secret, then I tip my fedora and walk off the page. I was the monster at the end of the book!

Author Bio

I am from Remdonesia which is a small independent nation-state in the offshore drilling waters of California, America. Don’t be alarmed if I send you intimate details about my body via Facebook. I am only testing the ability of humans to communicate over long distances via Facebook. Shout out to nail clippers. Y’all the real heroes.

Published — “An Obituary for the Coolest Christian”

The Higgs Weldon, a humor site that does everything from comedic credits to caption contests, published my satirical panegyric “An Obituary for the Coolest Christian.” The piece satirizes Christian youth culture (sans the tight pants, iphones, and XS plaid shirts—that’s Christian youth Starbucks culture). The site is run by Los Angeles stand-ups Robbin Higgins and Paige Weldon and others (sorry to cut you short, others). They also have a live Higgs Weldon show which is a mix of character, sketch, games, and other improv facets at the Hollywood Improv Lab.

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