The Flick is available for free.
Here is a link to the complete novel on this site in PDF format:
This novel had its origins as as a kind of literary challenge, to see if I could turn a legal essay about obscenity law into work of literary fiction. In order to do so, I had to grapple with the inherent conflict between the objectives of works which are didactic as contrasted with those that are artistic. I played with the rationale of the leading obscenity case– Miller v. California 413 U.S.15 (1973) —the peculiar notion that obscenity could be outlawed because it “contains no ideas.” This notion contrasts ironically with James Joyce’s equating of didactic works with pornographic works (in Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man). The Flick examines the way that meaning is conveyed through art, through law, and through other forms of intercourse. The didactic material interacts with the literary, until the tension culminates in a sequence that is remembrance and fiction, real and unreal, full of meaning or meaningless; pornographic, didactic, yet also transcendent.
Interstellar flight has been outlawed — the great warpships that traveled between systems were found to be damaging the very fabric of the universe. Isolated by the ban, the Draconian system has become decadent, strange — and foul.
Dominated by corporate guilds called “bods,” Draconian society has built its economy on slavery and assassination.
A former assassin, Magen, has rebelled. When her husband is taken by slavers, she sets out to do whatever it takes to get him back — even if it means destroying the entire Draconian civilization!
You can read: A Less than Complete History of Warp Angel
Cannibals consists of six interrelated illustrated novellas, including prose, sequential art and constructed silent film stills. The novellas range from 24,000 words to 34,000 words. Each can be read independently and in any order.
All six novellas revolve around a lost silent horror film, a nine hour long epic that functions as a cinematic Necronomicon. Both a crash course in the mystic arts and a secret history of magic, the film tells of wizards who thrived on one another, absorbing magic in way that consumed the host– a process that appears to be spontaneous human combustion. Armed with prophetic abilities, the wizards manipulated fate. They battled over the course of centuries, their numbers dwindling to a powerful– but famished– few.
The film had been written and directed by, and starring Bertrand Market, who was either a wizard known as the Knight of Ten Thousand Years, or a con artist, or a madman. In the film, the Knight of Ten Thousand Years had already absorbed the best of his peers. But as human history progressed, and Science replaced Magic as the dominant mode of human orientation, “food” begins to run out, and prey has become far more dangerous. In 1927, using the new magic of movies, Market shot actual footage of the dark, surreal dimensions that lurk underneath reality, hoping to cultivate new interest in the occult on a wide scale, a crash course in magic, so that he could feed.
But the film was a complete failure, and all prints of it were lost. It acquired a legendary status. It might be an instrument for bringing on the destruction of mankind, but it might also reveal the means to enter a mystical paradise.
The work examines the constant tension between mysticism and science. It contains a formula for reconciling that tension, making the work simultaneously, and equally, a fantasy and science fiction novel. It crosses other genres as well, including mystery, horror, adventure, comedy, legal thriller, super-hero, private eye, philosophical, magical realism, and surrealism. The styles range from immature to young adult to high literary. Illustrated with occasional drawings, iconic silent film stills, posters, and comic book pages, the work builds a mythology that reveals the true nature of the universe.
Book I: ANNI involves a witch secretly teaching magic to her sixth grade students, fattening them up over the course of the school year, like the witch from Hansel and Gretel. Some of the students take their own lessons from stills of the movie Cannibals, and mount a rebellion.
Book II: CAN I assumes the format of a young adult novel in which an alienated 16 year old girl acquires magical powers, becomes a super-heroine, and discovers a vast hidden criminal empire run by her own father.
Book III: NNIBALS follows the format of an urban fantasy (or science fiction) detective/switchblade and sorcery novel.
Book IV: CA N AL consists of historical documents related to the story of the film that can be read in a variety of different sequences, with the reader choosing alternate versions. This sequence can also be read in normal consecutive order. The scenes change meaning according to the order in which they are read.
Book V: CANNI is a catalog of variations the film might have assumed, a bundle of possibilities of uncertain form. It examines artistically, didactically, and allegorically the paradox of reconciling mysticism and science; and in the process it reveals the purpose of the universe, and explains how and why it is equally and simultaneously the product of a grand design and meaningless chaos.
Book VI: IBALS is a surrealistic super-hero fantasia written in a deliberately primitive style. Out of its tale of nonsense, which is unrelentingly terrifying and comic (in both senses of the word), a final logical, rational explanation emerges at the very end, a scientific method by which the narrator finds immortality and a perfect paradise.
Remembrance Acres contains the recollections of Gardner Flookz, a medical malpractice claims adjuster. His accounts form a science fiction/fantasy story cycle, which takes place in a suburb populated by medical hucksters, ambulance-chasers, retired celebrities, slumming deities, and down on their luck super-heroes. The story cycle examines both seriously and comically all of the important matters affecting modern healthcare, including medical malpractice, death and dying, confidentiality, and medical economics. It is sort of a cross between “ER” and “Mystery Men,” set somewhere between Spoon River, Vermillion Sands, Winesburg, Ohio and Gotham City.
You can learn about the series, and access all of the issues through the link below:
In the first issue:
“A terrible warning sends an American ace pilot hurtling across the continent to join forces with an insane spy, a Cabbalist physician, a dethroned queen with a passion for bloodlust, and a mysterious union of agents known only by their purple eyes. Together they must face an ancient enemy armed with an unconquerable weapon, powered by the Great War itself! Do you dare to fly the war ripped skies of the Twilight Patrol, over the ashes of Europe, to the shores of a conquered America, to haunted heavens and incomprehensible realms where aces must duel for the souls of humanity.”