I'm editing a multi-author anthology called How to Win at Ultravision: A Strategy Guide for Video Games That Don’t Exist. Eraserhead Press will be publishing it. The book is inspired by Jeff Rovin’s How to Win at Nintendo Games and Jorge Luis Borges’ reviews of books that don’t exist.
Submissions are now open. I am looking for mini-strategy guides for games of your own invention. They must be in the range of 1000 words to 5000 words long. Text only. Payment is $10 and a contributor’s copy.
Email submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are some links to examples:
A page from How to Win at Nintendo Games
From The Ultimate Game Guide to Life
A piece written by Albie about a game that doesn’t exist (I recommend cutting and pasting it into a MS Word document because it’s otherwise a bit difficult to read)
Here is part of my pitch for the book. Perhaps it will inspire some of you:
I’m extremely fond of fiction when they’re told in different forms. The earliest example that I can think of is Jorge Luis Borges reviewing books that didn’t exist. This gave him the opportunity to write about a book that he was passionate about without having to devote months or perhaps years to writing them. He was also a prankster, so he would publish the reviews and pretend that the books existed.
A more recent example of telling a story in a different form is in Stephen Graham Jones’ Demon Theory and The Last Final Girl, where Stephen tells stories in the form of screenplays even though they’re intended to be read as novels.
I’ve also done this sort of thing myself. I wrote a story that’s a screenplay for a Rico Slade movie (inspired by my novella) and a story told in the format of a comic script about two giant monsters who are having a tiff about their relationship (while they are destroying the city). In each case, the script’s fictional author is the main character rather than any of the characters that they are “writing” about.
If someone were to actually make a movie using my Rico Slade screenplay, it would be awful. I feel as if telling stories in different forms like this works best when the “fictional” intended product would be a complete failure if it were actually made according to the script without any alterations.
The thing that excites me the most about stories told in different forms is reading a story that has never been told this way before. It’s new and unique even when it’s based on a preexisting form. I see it as continuing the legacy of Borges in the modern era.
What is the deadline for submissions?
Submissions close when it fills. I'm estimating it will take six months.
Alright. I think this project sounds fantastic, and I will definitely do some brainstorming and see if I can come up with something worth submitting. I also called a friend of mine who is a great satirical writer, and this would be right up his alley. He's interested and I'm going to email him all the information.
P.S. Master of Masturbation is fucking hilarious.
The Ultimate Game Guide to Your Life is a really great book. I think few people bought it. It's out of print now. I bought it on Amazon a few months ago for like $5. I guess it was a remainder of some sort.
I might consider it, if I can get myself back into other game writing things. (It's been years though.)
EDIT- never mind
Can we do a review of something we think they will make sooner or later, in general terms?
I might try my hand at this. It would justify the years I've spent playing video games, at least.
No, Dwayne. No reviews. Just guides.
Hello Bradley, are these reviews by Borges of books that don't exist to be found in Ficciones? And if so, which review in particular inspires you the most?
This sounds fun and/or cool.
I'm curious, Brad. Do you guys do a lot of open calls like this? Will our favorite Eraserhead writers also be contributing?
What's an Eraserhead writer and is it as glorious as it sounds?
Aud, prepare yourself. Your mind is about to be blown away, as you delve deeper into layer upon layer of understanding. Eraserhead Press is the premiere publisher for the Bizarro genre. And Bizarro is the shiznit of all shiznitz. Haha?!
Is this "bizarro" the book form of the surrealist movement because if so I am about to be all about that shit.
If I could come up with aaaanythign I'd jump on this.
Although surrealism plays a major role within the anatomy of Bizarro, there's a whole lot more to it than that. I guess the quickest way to show you what Bizarro is is tell you that the best Bizarro directors are David Lynch, David Cronenberg and Alexandro Jodorowsky. For instance, my favorite moment in Bizarro film history is when Robert Blake's Mystery Man accosts Bill Pullman at a party in Lynch's Lost Highway.
That's so weird, I've always associated Lynch with surrealism. How does bizarro differ? I can't say I've seen much Cronenberg or even heard of Jodorowsky but I've seen just about all of Lynch's work with the exception of Lost Highway and the second half of Inland Empire. What classifies him as bizarro as opposed to surrealist? Are Bunuel and Svankmajer bizarro too? How much crossover is there between the genres? I looked it up on Wikipedia and pretty much the only helpful thing I got there is that I really need to get around to reading Gogol. Sorry about all the questions, it's just not every day that you find out about a whole new genre.
Nothing wrong with questions, but there are some things I do know. And some things I don't. I only just started researching Bizarro myself this past year. And I'm sorry I wasn't clear. Lynch and Bizarro most definitely have surrealistic qualities, but in my opinion these idioms go well beyond the definition of surrealism. Cronenburg is like the father of body horror from Videodrome to the Fly. And a documentary called Jodorowsky's Dune came out in April, which is the making of the greatest movie that never was.
I don't recall which Borges books they're from. I think they're in a few different books.
I can't remember another open submissions call for an Eraserhead Press anthology. This might be the first.
Do you want guides for games with technology of the UltraVision era and vibe (as alluded to in the anthology title)? Or more open to fictional games with a contemporary/"future" technology?
Either, but old school would be better.
Thanks. A very exciting opportunity with plenty of scope. Rather than add to what you've already stated to be after, is there anything you're NOT looking for?
Pieces that would be appropriate for a conventional strategy guide. I want the pieces to describe games that would never actually exist rather than read as if they actually do.
Good lord, this sounds fun. I'll have to think on it.