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For what gives the Book its greatness, what makes it unique and unrepeatable is the fact that it is a machine for thinking, the greatest compendium of instructions ever written. And all of them in the exceptionally user-friendly form of a novel, with characters whose lives and vicissitudes concern and move us. And when your brain make contact with the encoded surface of that paper, it will always give you the most fitting solution, the canniest response, the one most effective for you intelligence...

---from Rex by José Manuel Prieto [p. 142]

Open Source Art

There used to be a little bookshop called Prospero's in Long Neck right next door to the Funky Café.  A few years ago I wandered into Prospero's on a Saturday afternoon. (I have a weakness for book browsing.)  I saw this book on the shelf published by Soft Skull Press (it's an imprint that I respect).  The book was called Exit Strategy by Douglas Rushkoff.  On the back cover I read: "Available on the web, Exit Strategy is America's first open source novel..."  Open source novel?

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The Promised Land

What happened to the revolution?  The collapse of capitalism was supposed to happen when the people rose up to take back the wealth for themselves.  Instead the wealthy are paying themselves even more handsomely as if being wealthy was their birthright.

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In the Bakery

by Marc Gulezian

Six midnights a week I open the bakery.  I am alone with the ambient noise of machines made to manipulate temperature and humidity and hold large amounts of dough in whatever stage of life I left it just twelve hours before.  Over ripe yeast can be sour and deciduous and live side by side with their younger more alive spores that crave sugar and water and heat and smell powerful and full of life. I know these microbes well – in equal measure the rotten and vibrant – they have invaded my nasal cavity to the point that I am inured to their aromas and flavors. Those rare times I have two consecutive days away from the bakery I actually can, upon returning, get a bona fide whiff of the yeast spores. It’s a strange smell; the sourness and earthy vitality meld into one and it’s impossible to know which is which as my nose gets turned upside down and creates alien flavors in the back of my throat. Wouldn’t it be easier if all the people that the world tells me I’m supposed to love should just wash away and be gone for good?

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Short Fiction

  1. "Detached" by Noel Sloboda
  2. "I Am Not Spartacus" by Josh Davis
  3. "Car Seat" by Justyn Harkin
  4. "Bowfin" by Ken Jaworowski
  5. "Running of the Hippies" by Michael Constantine McConnell

Creative Nonfiction

  1. "There is no Fishing" by Phillip Gardner

Essay

  1. "In the Bakery" by Marc Gulezian