Inhuman Swill : Memoirs

Frey-ing fish in a barrel

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After reading last week's New York Magazine feature article "James Frey's Fiction Factory," I was tempted to post another jeremiad against the author who proves himself time and again the slimiest, most brazenly unapologetic charlatan to disgrace our industry in the past decade.

Fortunately, doing so would be redundant, since I can just send you to John Scalzi's two excellent posts analyzing Frey's latest hijinks:

  • The Man in the Frey Flannel Suit
  • An Open Letter to MFA Writing Programs (and Their Students)

    All I will add is that you should never sign a contract with a man who claims there's no difference between fact and fiction.


  • A nibble comes in, one admiring but not entirely won over, and yet again you find yourself crafting a book proposal to suit a particular audience of one. You like this audience of one, and you take their comments seriously, but you resolve not to internalize those comments at the expense of your own vision for the book. It's hard work, especially with a novel on hold for a week or so, but at last you find a way back inside the material. What comes out is a blend of the new, the old, and the very old. The one temptation you can't resist is the temptation to throw a piece of it out there the moment it rolls off your virtual platen.



    So that's one place you could say it all started, my first day as a missionary in Canada. But you could also rewind a couple of years if you wanted, to a lonely back road somewhere east of Victorville in the California desert, and say it all started there. That's where, late in 1984, my father sprang a terrifying question on me.

    "Son," he asked that afternoon, "do you want to serve a mission?"

    It would not be an exaggeration to say that the path my life would take pivoted on the answer I gave to that question.

    Full entry

    ShunnCast #28

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    Epidode #28 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which Bill likens himself to Luke Skywalker of old, returning to the Death Star that is Calgary to do battle with Darth Vader and the Emperor, striving mightily not to be turned to the Dark Side of the Force.

    http://www.shunn.net/podcast?id=28

    See also [info]shunncast.

    ShunnCast #27

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    Epidode #27 of "ShunnCast" is now available, live from the breakfast table, in which the fugitive Bill makes good his border crossing, but runs afoul of unexpected complications in a bus station men's room.

    http://www.shunn.net/podcast?id=27

    See also [info]shunncast.

    ShunnCast #26

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    Epidode #26 of "ShunnCast" is now available, live from the Delaware shore, in which Bill makes good stage one of his escape, whilst plagued by memories of blood oaths in a granite temple. Plus, special guest commentary by Paul Fischer.

    http://www.shunn.net/podcast?id=26

    See also [info]shunncast.

    ShunnCast #25

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    Epidode #25 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which a cold, lonely Christmas comes to the Alberta plains, telephonic miscommunication ensues, and Bill executes a daring missionary escape plan. Plus, an observance of September 11th.

    http://www.shunn.net/podcast?id=25

    See also [info]shunncast.

    ShunnCast #24

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    Epidode #24 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which the soft tissues of the male body are held up for examination and misidentification, revenge is thereby extracted, and a terrible and uncommon sin is revealed to be not so uncommon after all. Plus, frontier prophet weds double sets of sisters!

    http://www.shunn.net/podcast?id=24

    See also [info]shunncast.

    ShunnCast #23

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    Epidode #23 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which the propriety of Debussy is called into question, an impertinent hooker preempts Oingo Boingo, and the merits of harvesting one's own Christmas tree are put to the test and found wanting. (And a happy birthday to me!)

    http://www.shunn.net/podcast?id=23

    See also [info]shunncast.


    And if you have the inclination, my appearance this past Saturday on "Hour of the Wolf" can be heard here.

    ShunnCast #22

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    Epidode #22 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which Bill meets his new companion Elder Dedman, learns a novel new approach to tracting, and discovers the true meaning of the word "bucket."

    http://www.shunn.net/podcast?id=22

    See also [info]shunncast.

    ShunnCast #20

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    Epidode #20 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which at least two people are rendered dripping wet, one senior companion braces for a return to reality, and Bill unexpectedly learns the true meaning of death. Plus a bedtime horror story!

    http://www.shunn.net/podcast?id=20

    See also [info]shunncast.

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