Total Oblivion

"A fast-paced, suspenseful dystopian picaresque, part Huck Finn and part bizarro-world Swiss Family Robinson..."



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Skinny Dipping

Long-listed for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and finalist for the Crawford Award. Title short story listed for the 2000 O. Henry award.

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Goblin Mercantile Exchange

Futures, Options, and Swaps (the weblog of Alan DeNiro)

quick note

In the process of transferring hosts, so if things get a little goofy/down/whatnot, that’s why. If there’s a blip it should be rectified in short order.

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Fri, April 5 2013 » Meta/Logistics » No Comments

The Generalist’s Hat

(if the meaning of the title of this post is unclear, read this story by Kelly Link. Nothing to do with the post at all, but still worth absolutely reading!) Speaking of unclear, the way that my interests wax and wane has never been something I’ve been able to pin down. They rotate-usually for a […]

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Sun, November 6 2011 » ?!?!?, Meta/Logistics » No Comments

A Noble Compromise

Well, as this blog whips up into shape again, it’s been an interesting experience reassembling it. For one, I actually managed to add my Twitter feed to my blog here. For the last month or so I have been posting the equivalent of “weird minute details” to the Twitter…and there always seemed to be a […]

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Wed, February 18 2009 » Meta/Logistics » No Comments

I’ve finally upgraded my wordpress! So please excuse the mess as I get things into shape. (the rss feed-except for bloglines-still doesn’t seem to work…phhhtt)

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Sat, February 14 2009 » Meta/Logistics » No Comments


So when I first started this blog more than 6 years ago, the idea of blogging seemed very strange, so I put the form through its paces with a kind of meta-blog sideshow with two fictional roomates, Evening and Quail. It was…rather strange. Oh, and there was an AI created from a VIC-20, I think […]

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Wed, December 3 2008 » Meta/Logistics, Uncategorized » 1 Comment

logistical interruption

Sorry that I’m throwing myself at the mercy of everyone, but I’m having a bit of trouble with my RSS feed; it seems to work ok in Bloglines and Google Reader, but not in other applications (I’m trying to get the feed to work with Twitter, so that Twitter gets pinged with the URL whenever […]

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Sun, November 23 2008 » Meta/Logistics » 2 Comments


Just like laughing at one’s jokes, is it bad form to laugh at one’s blog? I was combing through the archives, looking for aphorisms/epigraphs, and came across this post. It feels like it was written 10 years ago but it was less than 3! I forget the original context-something about young writers who made pro […]

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Fri, June 27 2008 » ?!?!?, Meta/Logistics » 2 Comments


I’m still having a devil of a time with the commenting features of this blog. Sorry about that. After the Great Purge (see below), I’m trying to turn commenting and it’s just…not…working. I guess this is a sign that the blog needs an overhaul from WordPress 1.5, huh?

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Sat, February 16 2008 » Meta/Logistics » No Comments

3800 to 0

3800 comment spam down to 0. I’m sure this is fascinating. I don’t think it’s a permanent solution, so I’ll figure out…something. In other news, my really long review of the anthology The New Space Opera is up online at Rain Taxi. It’s…well, read the review. Feel free to comment!!

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Fri, January 25 2008 » Fiction, Meta/Logistics » No Comments

A Link and an Announcement

My favorite new blog is Creepy, Abandoned Chi-Chis. Because Chi-Chis was always creepy even when it was a thriving, pre-viral outbreak business-but now? Abandoned in strip malls? Ultra creepy. With the photographic evidence to prove it. Also, this blog is 5 years old.

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Mon, October 1 2007 » ?!?!?, Meta/Logistics » 1 Comment

time travels

Greetings from 2007! I kind of feel like a time traveler-it will take a month or so to really feel home in 2007. A good visit to Erie last week-some familial chaos, but on the whole good. Spent a wonderful New Year’s with Mr. Barzak & Co. where I forgot, until this moment, that we […]

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Fri, January 12 2007 » Life Studies, Meta/Logistics » No Comments

WordPress question: Dummies Edition

So I’m sorry I’m having to post this on the blog, but I really don’t know what the hell I’m doing. I approve comments and delete my spam by hand (if you’re authenticated once, then you’re good to go afterwards) but needless to say, this is getting old. And we’re going out of town this […]

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Fri, September 1 2006 » Meta/Logistics » 5 Comments

myspace vs. friendster

This is a brilliant, brilliant essay by Danah Boyd about Friendster vs. MySpace, and about burgeoning “super publics”: Online communities are more like nation-states than technological tools. There is a master behind the architecture, a master who controls the walls of the system and can wage war on her/his people at any point. People know […]

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Tue, April 4 2006 » Computers/Tech, Meta/Logistics » 1 Comment

papyrus vs. stone tablet vs. vellum

I’m sure others have discussed this at greater length and with greater clarity elsewhere, but I’ve been struck-and also confounded-by how many online media there are out there. Even on a casual/end-user basis. Does the proliferation of these have an accumulative effect if I use them all? I only have so much energy in the […]

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Fri, March 24 2006 » Meta/Logistics » 2 Comments

spammed out

After 8 years, the spam has gotten so bad on my Yahoo/Rocketmail account that I can no longer see the ship on account of all the barnacles. My new email address is, though I’ll be checking my Rocketmail account regularly for some time.

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Tue, November 29 2005 » Meta/Logistics » No Comments

Word as Bond

Gwenda’s new blog = teh shiny.

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Thu, September 22 2005 » Meta/Logistics » No Comments

I Conform

I finally got a livejournal account, goblinmerc. IT’S LAME (not the account, but my “livejournal”).

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Fri, September 16 2005 » Meta/Logistics » No Comments


Does anyone know whether I can use the name of my livejournal feed for this blog (goblin_exchange) as a username? Just for posting comments on other people’s journals. I’m tired of being an anonymous troll! Or can someone donate a username to me? Is that how that works? Does this thing turn on? Where am […]

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Fri, August 26 2005 » Meta/Logistics » 4 Comments

Weblogging and Criticism

Mumpsimus has a revealing post here about the perils of bad (or bland) reviewing. Broadening it out from his specific points, I’ve actually been thinking about how rigor-or lack thereof-relates to blogs, and the formal constraints of the blog, whether specifically in regards to a “criticism” blog or no. Specificity matters, but the blog-perhaps because […]

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Fri, July 1 2005 » Fiction, Meta/Logistics » No Comments

“Retreating to a Not Very Safe Distance”

I remember Stephanie, years (!) ago noting that one of the prime reasons she kept writing blog entries was to push down the older ones; that they don’t seem nearly as interesting as when you first wrote them. Which, of course, happens with my stories and poems all the time-they, however, are not on public […]

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Tue, June 7 2005 » Fiction, Life Studies, Meta/Logistics, Poetry » 1 Comment