For a while, I couldn’t decide which of two final versions I wrote had the better pacing, and this week was a wild week anyway. So it took me a bit longer than expected. But here it is:
Published on Twitter. Enjoy!
If you liked Green Tape and Antidroma, you might also like Jay Martin’s new nanonovel Ouroboros. Nominally it’s a murder mystery, but it has its share of action and ambiguity, and the genre is, once again and quite deliberately, not altogether clear. It starts with a murder and ends with a murder. But you will soon see that the latter might make it necessary to reassess the former. And only then it becomes clear that Ouroboros is, after all, a murder mystery and not a thriller: because in terms of solved cases and solutions, it all comes down to what one would consider psychologically possible.
If there had been more space, I would have dedicated Ouroboros to Robert Coover and John Barth. The idea is based on a story-within-a-story, told by the character Inspector Pardew in Coover’s Gerald’s Party. There, a murder case strikes the Inspector as “too simple” and “too self-referential,” and things turn out to be not quite as expected indeed. Coover gives Pardew’s story a clear-cut ending, but this story-within-a-story rather functions as a pseudo-allegory in a postmodern environment that seems itself “too simple” and “too self-referential” to be fully trusted. From John Barth, additionally, I took the concept that “in order to progress, you have to go back where you started”—which, in a more classical environment, is also true for most detective stories: following the chain of events, the solution will often be found at the beginning, at the scene of the original crime. Or, in postmodern parlance and with a salute to Edgar Allan Poe, even before that: at the scene of writing.
Green Tape (2009)
Fabia Maxima, Consul & General (2008)
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Just in Case-Note: Everything about the form is less than serious—from the novels’ 140-characters format to their ridiculously long “blurbs” and “author’s notes,” respectively, it’s all postmodern flippancy. But the content, and the effort behind it, is serious indeed.