I have another book coming out with Zero Books: Methods Devour Themselves, co-written by one of my favourite SFF authors, Benjanun Sriduangkaew. As some of you might know I have been a long time SFF fan. On my lesser read “cultural” blog I have written more frequently about SFF, particularly the work of Sriduangkaew. Collaborating with her on a book that was a combination of story and essay was something of a dream come true. In fact, seeing my name along with hers on the cover of a publication was one of those SFF fan “squee” moments––but in a more professorial manner befitting of a jaded leftist and academic pushing 40.
Methods Devour Themselves is a conversation between Sriduangkaew’s stories and my essays, where one begets the other and vice versa, a dialogical experience that becomes a liminal literature. The question guiding the book’s structure was: what philosophical exploration will this story provoke and what story will be provoked by this philosophical exploration? As I argue in the introduction, there is a long tradition of philosophy turning to fiction for analogies and, inversely, of fiction mining philosophy for ideas. The experiment, then, was to make this relationship intentional with a sustained dialogue between philosophy and fiction.
I plan to write another promotional essay (or two) about the book’s themes and reflections on the writing experience further down the road. Right now, since Methods won’t be released until August 2018, I’m mainly posting an announcement. When the date gets closer you can expect the shameless self-promotion to begin!
Sriduangkaew’s new novel, Winterglass, will be released in early December. I have already read an advanced electronic copy and, perhaps unsurprisingly, loved it. One of the stories that is part of Methods‘ dialogue is a prequel to Winterglass that provides more depth for one of the novel’s protagonists. So if anyone is interested in getting a taste of the themes that comprise Methods, and like encountering these themes in literary SFF, they should pick up a copy of Winterglass. Conversely, fans of Winterglass can look forward to this prequel short story in August 2018. Moreover, in the near future Sriduangkaew will be guest posting at MLM Mayhem as part of her book’s promotional blog tour.
Some final early announcement/promotional things to note: i) the image on the cover is by Yto Barrada, an internationally acclaimed artist who graciously allowed us to use her work; ii) George Ciccariello-Maher and Nick Mamatas wrote lovely endorsement blurbs; iii) there is one chapter where I talk fully about the concept of necessity, even dredging up Hegel’s Logic, that I treated as a presupposition in The Communist Necessity; iv) the title comes from a Fanon quotation and, yes, there is Fanon in this book; v) aside from Fanon and Hegel there is Meillassoux, Benjamin, Amin, Marx and Engels, Fisher, Mao, and many others.
Hope you’ll all pick it up when it comes out. In the meantime, if you haven’t already, feel free to check out my last book, Austerity Apparatus.