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Statement: Much like Andy Kaufman considered himself a “Song and dance man” rather than a comedian, I do not consider myself a novelist. I create stories with multiple mediums mixed together. Books, video, audio, street art, phones, etc. I have from time to time, dabbled in the form of the book, which I consider to be a unit of measure now, rather than a literal object, but that’s a discussion for another day. Below are some of my “print” works, some digital, some dead tree editions. A few of them were objects in bigger, more sprawling object oriented works. I am currently thinking about a word to use instead of “transmedia” to describe what I do. My method precedes both Transmedia and ARG Back when I started doing this kind of work (1986’ish), I called it “Living Book Process”. That had a ring of purity to it, a resonance of artistic integrity and even a little touch of “magic”.
For the past year (2013-14) I have been writing crime fiction under a nom de plume. I won’t tell you what that pen name is here, because I want the work to stand on it’s own merit, without my past work shadowing it with reader expectation. I say this simply because some of you have asked if I’m still writing and the answer is, yes.
For a comprehensive list of most of my print work (not including maga/zine articles) see this list on Goodreads.
Beats In Time: A Literary Generation’s Legacy (Chapter 12 is my interview with Diane DiPrima)
Legend-Tripping Online: Supernatural Folklore and the Search for Ong’s Hat by Michael Kinsell – While clearly this is a book about my transmedia project it also includes a lot of things that I wrote as examples, so I include it here.
Rebels and Devils: The Psychology of Liberation edited by Christopher S. Hyatt, Ph.D. introduced by S. Jason Black foreword by Nicholas Tharcher contributions by William S. Burroughs Joseph C. Lisiewski, Ph.D. Timothy Leary Ph.D., Robert Anton Wilson, Austin Osman Spare, Genesis P-Orridge, Aleister Crowley, Joseph Matheny, Peter J. Carroll, Israel Regardie, Jack Parsons, Phil Hine, Osho, and many others
Contributor YouTube: An Insider’s Guide to Climbing the Charts (more info here)
Contributor/Editor:This is Not a Game: A Guide to Alternate Reality Gaming with Dave Szulborski (Excerpt here )I edited and contributed to : “This Is Not a Game” was included in the annual Tween market report that went to marketing executives worldwide in the toy, gaming and youth market industries. Also, I appeared as myself/in character, in person, in the “Catching the Wish” ARG by Dave.
Third Realm (The Yellow King)
Written and executed by me, produced in conjunction with Foolish People
Do you know what you have to do to piss off a bunch of fundamentalists and conspiracy theorists who will then harass, witchhunt and malign you? Just put up a single, spooky webpage, that purports to be a recruitment drive for a organization whose actual existence is speculative at best and at worst is fiction presented as fact (or paranoid, hysterical hand-waving in the interest of selling books?). Really. Apparently, that’s all you have to do and you too can have a Fatwa directed at you. Your friends will all be so jealous! So much for freedom of artistic expression or a right to one’s own opinion. In all fairness, I think the theories mentioned read as good fantasy crime fiction. The unnerving side of this was the equal amount of applications I received asking to join (Really? Join a group of underground serial killers? Really?) or outright death threats. After I outed myself on this experiment, I of course was the target of vitriol from a few dyed in the wool “believers” in the conspiranoia milieu. Guess I kicked their sacred cow. Well, EXCUSE ME.
El Centro & OMEGA
This was a ARG/Transmedia style story with occult/horror/conspiracy elements, started in 2004 and ended in 2006. It utilized Web, print (booklet), radio, phone trees, theater and news wire services. [A version of the doughnut shop scene from this story was used in Amsterdam production of Terra: Extremitas by Foolish People.] This project was done in collaboration my late friend Dave Szulborski. There’s a LOOOOOONG story about this project. So long in fact that it will take up at least three chapters in an upcoming book titled: Confessions of a Hoax Fiend.
Contributor: What Would Bill Hicks Say with Ben Mack, Amelia the Great and Soft Skull Press (along with Jeff Danziger and Martyn Turner; writers Neal Pollack, Robert Newman, and A.L. Kennedy; and Thom Yorke of Radiohead and others…)
Introduction, afterward and editing for Poker Without Cards- First Edition. I orchestrated the first release campaign for this book, with the main character becoming “real”on the Internet for a while. After the first few months I turned it over to the author. (statement regarding this work here)
GALT’S ARK: The Black Symphony, First and Second Movements
Produced by Cthulhu
The Players: Joseph Matheny, Christopher S. Hyatt, Ph.D.,
Father Daniel Suders & Nicholas Tharcher
Illustrated by S. Jason Black, Jonathan Sellers, Weirdpixie & MobiusFrame
John Titor Project
Did someone say John Titor? Books, movies, even an anime series has been spawned by this “media prank” (some would prefer to call it a conceptual art work. *cough*) But you didn’t hear it from me. It will just be our little secret. K?
The Incunabula: Ong’s Hat Project
[ Reviews | Interviews, etc. | Wikipedia] This was a ARG/Transmedia style story started in 1988 and ended in 2001. It utilized zines, BBS, early Internet, Web, CD ROM, CD Audio, DVD, print (book, graphic novel and magazine), radio, phone trees, fax, and news wire services. I gained and leveraged exposure in both the mainstream and alternative media to distribute over 2 million copies of CD ROM, ebook and print versions of the story combined. Story elements from Ong’s Hat were also included in the EA Game, Majestic which unfortunately ended prematurely due to 9/11. It was the subject of a full 4 hour show on Coast to Coast AM, been the subject of an article on the Weekly World News and been covered on many radio shows world wide, books, newspapers, magazines, etc. Links to media here.
Description: “…a bizarre Internet phenomenon: an “immersive” online experience—part mystery, part game, part who knows what—known as both the Incunabula Papers and Ong’s Hat. The Incunabula Papers/Ong’s Hat was, or is, a “many-threaded, open-ended interactive narrative” that ”weds an alternate history of chaos science and consciousness studies to conspiracy theories, parallel dimensions, and claims that computer-mediated environments can serve as magical tools…. the documents provoked a widespread “immersive legend-trip” in the late 1990s. Via Web forums, participants investigated the documents—manifestos—which spun up descriptions of brilliant but suppressed discoveries relating to paths that certain scientists had forged into alternate realities. Soon, those haunted dimensions existed in the minds and fantasies of Ong’s Hat’s many participants. That was evident as they responded to the original postings by uploading their own—all manner of reflections and artifacts: personal anecdotes, audio recordings, and videos—to augment what became “a really immersive world, and it was vast”. – The Chronicle of Higher Education—-
“Ong’s Hat was more of an experiment in transmedia storytelling than what we would now consider to be an ARG but its DNA – the concept of telling a story across various platforms and new media- is evident in every alternate reality game that came after.” – Games Magazine 2013
Though Ong’s Hat may not have set out to be an ARG, the methods by which the author interacted with participants and used different platforms to build and spread its legend has been reflected in later games. -Know Your Meme
Incunabula: The Graphic Novel Free ebook version here
Why DVD? (B and N Digital Bestseller)
Convergence 2000 (B and N Digital Bestseller) Free ebook version here
Also contributed a few articles to Bob and Arlen Wilson’s Trajectories.
I’ve contributed articles to AlwaysOn and Adotas. I’ve contributed book, music, and movie reviews to Gnosis and Magical Blend in the past as well as the old Boing-Boing print magazine and Fringeware Review. Note, in the interest of full disclosure, I’d sometimes contribute more than one article or review to a single publication and to avoid the appearance of saturation, I’d use the pen name: Michael Kelly for some of the articles.
(more added as I dig it up and dust it off)