Something Must Break (Excerpt)

Did he jump or was he pushed? The suicide continued to play on his mind. Not because he cared, but because he couldn’t help but wonder. What could possibly drive a man to take his own life? Could things really be that bad? Steve opined that this question was an absurdity, knowing full well that they could, and often were. Ever since university, Steve’s perspective on self-immolation were subject to a questioning, a cynicism that he didn’t like to rationalise. Back in uni, he’d shared a house with some dropout waster who’s succeeded in becoming a raging alcoholic by the second semester of their second year. They’d started out as friends in the first year, but Adrian had become increasingly erratic in his behaviour, and at some point entirely gave up on sobriety. Before long, he had almost ceased being human. He had probably needed help, but Steve was in no position to offer sympathy. He had his own troubles, for starters. So when Adrian went into the self-pitying mode, sobbing about how no-one loved him, about how he was a loser and a waste of space, and how he might as well be dead, Steve hadn’t bothered to contradict him.

‘Why don’t you just fucking kill yourself?’ he had hissed venomously.

‘You’d fucking love that, wouldn’t you?’ the twat had spat through a veil of tears and saliva during many of his drink-induced crying jags. ‘One day, I will, and it’ll be on your fucking conscience.’

‘Fine. As long as I don’t have to look at you in this state, or listen to any more of your self-absorbed, wallowing, self-pitying bullshit or step in any more of your fucking puke around the house, I can live with the guilt,’ Steve had replied on more than one occasion. He’d been ice cold in his delivery. He’d fucking meant it.

Eventually, after repeated instruction to fuck off and die, Adrian had done as he had been bid. It had been Steve who had discovered him, slumped in his room, a bloated mess of vomit and early decomposition. The housemates had all gone home for reading week. Steve had been the first to return and was perplexed to find the front door unlocked. Everything had seemed normal, other than the house being vacant, or so it had appeared. Shrugging, he had unpacked, prepared himself some food and watched television for a while, before growing curious.

On discovering the corpse, he had been fascinated and repelled in equal measure. Pity hadn’t entered his emotional range, and the sadness he felt in his chest was no more than a fleeting pang. He had called the police, and then poked a boot into the dead fucker’s ribs. Waster. He was no real loss.

The coroner had concluded a verdict of suicide on account of there being no sign of forced entry or anyone else present, and vast quantities of alcohol and barbiturates residual in the bloodstream of the deceased. Steve had snapped a handful of photographs before the services had arrived and removed the body from the premises.

 

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Something Must Break / Dream of the Flood are available in print and e-book format from 1 February 2016 to midnight on 29 February 2016.

The blurb:

‘Something Must Break’: A dissonant tale of mental fragmentation and duality.

‘Dream of the Flood’: A meditation on climate change and possibilities of the near future, of human interaction and solipsism.

Together, these two pieces represent Christopher Nosnibor’s more literary side as he continues to explore narrative forms and voices.

The links:

Purchase the print edition here. (Enter code LULURC at checkout to receive 25% discount and free priority shipping on qualifying orders)

Purchase the e-book here.

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The 29 Days of February Start Here

February 2016 has a bonus day. The month has already arrived in the southern hemisphere, but I’m marking the arrival of the extended leap-year February in GMT and celebrating with the publication of a pamphlet and e-book containing a brace of short stories which will only be available for the 29 days of February.

At Midnight on 29th February, Something Must Break / Before the Flood will be deleted and will not be republished.

 

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The blurb:

‘Something Must Break’: A dissonant tale of mental fragmentation and duality.

‘Dream of the Flood’: A meditation on climate change and possibilities of the near future, of human interaction and solipsism.

Together, these two pieces represent Christopher Nosnibor’s more literary side as he continues to explore narrative forms and voices.

The links:

Purchase the print edition here. (Enter code LULURC at checkout to receive 25% discount and free priority shipping on qualifying orders)

Purchase the e-book here.

Incoming! New Year, New Project

Yes, it’s 2016. I don’t make new year’s resolutions, for a number of reasons, but I do like to set myself targets and challenges for the year, and this year is no exception.

Back in 2008, I ran a project entitled ‘The 29 Days of February’, and with 2016 also being a leap year (I was busy with other things in 2012), it seems like a good idea to resurrect the project, at least fundamentally.

I toyed with the idea of publishing a new story on-line each day for 29 days, but it simply isn’t going to happen, and besides, I rather liked the original project concept better, whereby I simply published a long short story in pamphlet form and only made it available for 29 days as a means of celebrating the ‘extra’ day in the month. It might seem like an odd use of a bonus day, but like the amp that goes up to eleven, 29 days is one more than 28. Or something.

To use a music industry analogy (I’m fond of those: literature is, after all, the new rock ‘n’ roll), the project takes the ‘limited edition’ concept in a slightly different direction. To unpack that: bands and labels release limited edition pressings in the hope of generating a buzz, a clamour, and selling out a set – usually comparatively small – quantity of units quickly. It makes for good promotion and when demand exceeds supply, there’s an almost instant future collectible, and there’s a certain appeal in owning something scarce.

With the 29 Days of February concept, the number of units in circulation is determined by the market, meaning that while it can’t ‘sell out’ in the first three days, if only six copies sell in the 29 days the product is available, then only six copies will exist – ever.

I vowed never to republish ‘A Call for Submission’ after it was deleted on 1 March 2008, and I’ve adhered to that promise.

This year’s ‘29 Days’ project will be published as a back-to-back A5 saddle-stitched pamphlet (hopefully) and an ebook. The chosen formats mean it will be affordable, accessible and immediate. And why not?

Full details and relevant links to follow…

2015: A Year in Books

I spend a lot of time writing – music and book reviews, fiction, blogs rants and all the rest. But when I’m not writing, I’d much rather hunker down with a good book than watch television, and generally favour books over films. Lunch breaks and train journeys and well as the wind-down before sleep will invariably find my immersed in a book. Inevitably, some of the material I’ve read will influence or inspire my own writing in some way or another, immediately or much, much later. These are the books I read in 2015, in chronological order. Some I enjoyed more than others, some I read for research or review purposes, some I’d read previously, others I’d started but abandoned and decided to revisit. Sometimes I read two books at a time, switching between sessions. Regardless of the circumstances, these are the texts which provided the literary backdrop to the last 12 months of my life – for anyone who may be interested. Mostly, it’s a record I like to keep which I tend to make public, just because.

 

Nick Jones – 9987

Ray Bradbury – Farenheit 451

Paul Ewen – Francis Plug: How to be a Public Author

JG Ballard – Running Wild

Chuck Palahniuk – Doomed

Danny King – The Pornographer Diaries

Megan Milks (ed) &Now 3

Ed McBain – Like Love

Ed McBain – Killer’s Payoff

Jim Thompson – The Grifters

Bill Shields – Lifetaker

Jeff Noon – Vurt

Paul Auster – In The Country of Last Things

John Niven – Straight White Male

David Gionfriddo – The Good Worlds are All Taken

Derek Raymond – He Died With His Eyes Open

John J. Niven – Cold Hands

Cormac McCarthy – The Road

JG Ballard – Super-Cannes

Supervert – Post-Depravity

PA Morbid – Gorged on Light

Reuben Woolley – Dying Notes

JG Ballard – Hello America

Mike Meraz – She Poems

Charles Bukowski – The Bell Tolls for No-One

Mark Fisher – Ghosts of My Life: Writings on Depression, Hauntology and Lost Futures

Sue Fox – The Visceral Tear

Chuck Palahniuk – Fight Club

David Peace – Nineteen Seventy Four

JG Ballard – The Kindness of Women

Maintaining Momentum

After a few weeks without performing any live spoken word, I returned to the fray with a segment at the launch for Sue Fox’s debut novel, The Visceral Tear, in Manchester last Saturday. That’s perhaps a whole other story in itself, but it was a successful performance (these things are relative, and I only half-emptied the room during my first piece, and actually sold some books).

While it seems I may not be featuring in the lineup for the Nous Sommes Bataclan event in York on Friday 27th November as I had initially hoped (primarily due to logistical and scheduling issues – the event has my absolute support and I would urge anyone who can make it to attend, because it’s a great lineup and stuff needs to happen, and to keep happening, which is the essential point here), I’m all for maintaining the momentum.

I recently completed a new Rage Monologue, which doesn’t feature in the tour edition pamphlet. I have every intention of performing it for the first time at the Wharf Chambers in Leeds on Monday 30th November.

Details of the event can be found here: 

https://www.facebook.com/events/1043784485632386/

It may only be a five-minute slot, but anyone in Leeds who’d like to see me bring the rage, I’d recommend getting down. It’s a cracking venue, the headliners are great, and what my set will lack in duration, it will compensate in intensity.

See you down the front. Or at the back. Hopefully.

Literary Life Admin

Arguably the hardest part of being a minor-league author in the current market is self-promotion and administration. Writers aren’t by their nature the most gregarious of people and would prefer to spend their time actually writing than adopting the role of media whore. But needs must, and it’s not always a matter of being unable to get an agent or publisher.

To look at Steve Albini’s no-messing take on the music industry, the more people you’ve got working ‘for’ you, the more people you’ve got taking cuts from your already meagre royalty. The best way to go, especially in the Internet age, is to become self-managing. It does of course require immense discipline, and not inconsiderable balls.

Needless to say, I have these (at least on a good day), and have not only been sorting (and continue to sort) platforms to perform segments from my ongoing project The Rage Monologues, but I’ve assembled an A5 pamphlet containing a selection of (but by no means all) the monologues penned so far.

This evening, ahead of performances at The Black Light Engine Room’s night in Middlesbrough (Westgarth SC, Saturday 25th July 2015) and Clinicality Press’ evening of Spoke Word (The Fleeting Arms, York, 19th August 2015), I hand-numbered the 20 copies of The Rage Monologues pamphlets which arrived last week. I’m not vain enough to sign them.

They look pretty great, if I do say so myself. They’re going to cost £3.50 / 1 pint.

My set and performance style is evolving as the project goes on, and I’m hoping to announce more dates in the near future. Meanwhile, if you;re in or around Middlesbrough on July 25th or York on August 19th, do come on down. You know there’s nothing more you want than to have some guy shout in your face.

 

 

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The Rage Monologues: a hand-numbered edition of 20. Buy them so I can eat.

 

And if you’re loving my work, there’s more of the same (only different) at christophernosnibor.co.uk