Every once in a while, I briefly turn back to the novel I’m working on after the Southern Reach trilogy. Here’s the latest excerpt. No, the Book Murderer is not a very nice person, but then neither is the world.
The Book Murderer believed in the study of history, and this was no different when it came to writer communities, or “tribes” as they were sometimes called by the less self-reflective of the general “clan” of scribes. Historical study of writer communities revealed the full extent of their corruption. Inevitably institutions corrupted, but with a slothfulness (for the internet age) that meant the participants, steeped and marinated in their own ethical diseases, never seemed to realize what had happened to them—or cared. In online forums and elsewhere one or another Decaying Orbit would pontificate upon the health of the tribe as if just saying it was so and keeping other things unsaid would make it so. And under the cover of these Houses of Shusher, which periodically with a harrumph and a kind of shrug put on show trials with wrist slaps, an endless revolving door recycled personalities who, discredited and booted with comfy pillows out the front door, were resurrected through the back door mere months later. Sometimes with the ritual sacrifice of monies or of status still a bright flare in the internet night sky, that flare yet to slowly, lazily fall through the blogosphere to the forgetful ground. Some symbolic event allowed the normative to again be acceptable and those who had angrily decried a situation quietly or boisterously returned to the fold. Thus, over time, the basic corruption that was writing became a ten-fold corruption, whereby resurrected real thugs and thieves moved with ease amongst the writer sheep-thugs and the sheep-thieves who were so fond of bleating “tribe tribe tribe” that they contributed to their own figurative slaughter.