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)


Cold Open: When I read this year at Wiscon, I went first. We were reading at Michaelangelo’s, a coffee shop near the hotel. I decided to read a poem-a long one that I wrote the previous year called “Blood Up to the Bridle,” a very personal (and apocalyptic) poem about my childhood, awkwardness in fitting […]

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Thu, October 10 2013 » Fiction, Polis » No Comments

“Omniscient Gentlemen of The Atlantic”

‘For all the ostensible objectivity and scientific rigor of the magazine’s questing spirit, The Atlantic’s definition of talent seems to correlate to: a current fellowship at the New America Foundation or any of the other indistinguishably centrist think tanks, though, preferably, one with a brand (i.e., “Daniel Indiviglio is the 2011 Robert Novak Fellow at […]

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Mon, July 8 2013 » Polis » No Comments


Sergey Brin, in a recent discussion of Google Glass, noted that smartphones are “emasculating.” Let’s look at a more or less standard definition of “emasculate”. (I generally hate arguments by pedantics who pull out dictionary definitions as a kind of proof text for an argument, but I think this is worth it). 1. Make (a […]

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Fri, March 29 2013 » Computers/Tech, Fiction, Polis » No Comments

“gambling with the house’s money”

‘[The gambler] was, in fact, a man so delicate in manner, so judicious in his choice of victims, that in the strictly masculine part of the town’s life he had come to be explicitly trusted and admired. People called him a thoroughbred. The fear and contempt with which his craft was regarded were undoubtedly the […]

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Wed, March 20 2013 » Fiction, Polis » No Comments

epilogue to “The Blazing World” by Margaret Cavendish (1666)

“By this Poetical Description, you may perceive, that my ambition is not onely to be Empress, but Authoress of a whole World; and that the Worlds I have made, both the Blazing- and the other Philosophical World, mentioned in the first part of this Description, are framed and composed of the most pure, that is, […]

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Wed, January 9 2013 » Fiction, Polis » No Comments

The more things, you know…

In the wake of the election, I thought that this passage was particularly interesting: Republicans had set out to sow fear and panic in advance of the transfer of power. It worked. The crisis hit in the last days of the Bush administration, but the Republicans successfully blamed the chaos of 2008-2009 on the Obama […]

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Fri, November 9 2012 » Polis » No Comments

Turtles all the way up and down

An interesting Tumblr that has come out of late is Rich Kids of Instagram. Essentially self-explanatory, it captures the 1%er youth (probably more accurately .1% Youth) at moments of play, drinking, diving off helicopters into sea water-basically the ostentatious displays of wealth that you know they go all out for, but rarely see (reality television […]

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Tue, July 24 2012 » Polis » No Comments

Today My iPhone is an Artillery Shell

Today my iPhone is not a “mobile device.” Today it is an artillery shell. I feel it in my hands, its shiny heft, and feel sick to my stomach. Much like the iPhone is a mobile device that can perform many functions-it is not simply a phone-my artillery shell is not just an artillery shell. […]

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Mon, June 4 2012 » Polis » No Comments

From We are the 1%, bitches The new “black is the new white” meme among Republicans is that low taxes are good-except if you’re one of those lazy freeloading 47% of Americans who don’t pay income taxes. Then you’re a grifter, and poor, and you’re not paying your fair share, and deserve contempt. This ignores […]

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Fri, October 14 2011 » Polis » No Comments


“Attending to the language of my fellow human beings, I believe that many of them would never use the word “creator” but feel themselves very much included in the word “creation.” That something lies before us, a cosmos outside ourselves, makes us strangers to the world that is produced and administered and at home in […]

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Sun, October 9 2011 » Polis, Religion/Logos » No Comments

The Economic Equivalent of Terrorists

Andrew Sullivan is absolutely correct about the gun the Congressional Republicans are holding to the country’s (and the world’s) head: What you probably cannot do is negotiate with economic equivalent of terrorists. What Cantor and Boehner are doing is essentially letting the world know they have an economic WMD in their possession. And it will […]

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Sun, July 10 2011 » Polis » No Comments

DC’s deficit frenzy -

DC’s deficit frenzy -

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Wed, April 13 2011 » Polis » No Comments

Blood, Trapped Under the Nail

About 6 weeks or so ago I slammed the porch door into my thumb while I was letting the dogs back in. Though the pain subsided after a few minutes, I’ve had since then a little demarcation of blood underneath my fingernail, pressed flat like a rose in the pages of a heavy book. Time […]

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Sun, February 6 2011 » Life Studies, Polis » No Comments

Trust Them

I’m sure many in the Democratic Establishment are wondering why support and enthusiasm-which had surged in 2008-is now flagging for Democratic candidates. Why the money is drying up. Why the activists are out in lesser numbers. I might be wrong, but stories like these might be part of the issue: The American Civil Liberties Union […]

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Sat, October 16 2010 » Polis » No Comments

Simone Weil and Social Media

My computer has been in the shop for, like, about a month because of a virus. I haven’t really had a backup computer suitable for blogging. UNTIL NOW. OK, so it’s time to blog about the sorcery of social media. This essay by Jim Grote adroitly puts together a case for Simone Weil‘s theory of […]

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Mon, June 21 2010 » Fiction, Polis, Religion/Logos » No Comments

Half-Centaur, Half-Chimera: Humanism and Science Fiction

Charlie Jane Anders has a very thoughtful essay at io9 entitled “Is ‘Science Fiction Humanism’ A Contradiction In Terms?”: But is science fiction really humanist? Much of science fiction turns out to be about exploring our vast cosmos, and expanding our being. From this quest, one of two outcomes often arises: 1) We meet something […]

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Fri, March 12 2010 » Fiction, Polis » 2 Comments

“America Is My Client” says Bryce Lefever

I nearly drove off the road when I heard this on NPR. Just listen to the whole thing. Bryce Lefever, ladies and gentlemen. Complete with a “sit down, shut up, watch what you say” warning to the American people who dare question his espousal of torture. And I really wonder-the fact that many of the […]

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Mon, May 4 2009 » Polis » 4 Comments

“Orderly Revolution”

Hmm, I’m getting a strong sensation that someone is about to send me the manuscript of the Bachmannomicon. Don’t you?

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Fri, March 27 2009 » Polis » 1 Comment

Racefail and Revision

0. I had started to write some notes for a blog post about the political and art a few weeks ago, but after slowly catching up on Racefail09, it seems depressingly abstract. So here’s for something a little more concrete. 1. I’ve found a lot of the dismissal of the racefail discussion itself, in some […]

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Wed, March 11 2009 » Fiction, Polis » 1 Comment

Poetry in Unexpected Places

I’ve had this old cigar box ever since we moved into my wife’s grandmother’s old house eight years ago (has eight years really passed? anyway), and I had happened to just now look at the label on the side: Sept. 1880 Union-Made Cigars This Certifies, that the Cigars contained in this box have been made […]

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Tue, March 3 2009 » Polis » No Comments