I accidentally wrote a Cormac McCarthy fanfic

Lately I’ve been considering the moral underpinnings of the nut shot and how it relates to the debate on the existence of God.

I’ve asked around and found that most guys have taken multiple blows to the testicles over the course of their lives. This result was surprising to me since I figured that the crippling pain of the experience would discourage the possibility of repeats, but life throws us curve balls occasionally.

So, long story short, I wrote a pastiche in the style of Cormac McCarthy pontificating majestically about nut shots. Think of it as the opening for a magisterial work examining the experience of suffering.

I’ve titled this piece “So You’ve Been Kicked in the Testicles”.

So You’ve Been Kicked in the Testicles

The pain of being kicked in the testicles is not merely a physical pain but an existential one, which is to say that the pain is not contained in one part of the body but rather located throughout the entirety of one’s existence. When crippled by a blow to the groin, time loses all meaning and it feels as if one’s entire life has been spent with stabbing pains on the crotch.

Better and worse is the experience of seeing others receive a blow to the groin. It’s a sight uniquely tinged with both sympathy and hilarity in equal measure. There’s a recognition of pain, an empathetic understanding of living with the savage terror of existence in our uncaring universe, but there’s also the joy born of relief that the one so bedevilled is not oneself. The blow to the testicles lays bare the fiction of a just world, for there is no fairness in the disproportionate anguish caused by a random testicular blow. Faced with this fundamental injustice, how else can one react but with laughter?

Ex Libris

It strikes me that perhaps the people coming here from Noiseless Chatter might like to see what else I’ve written in the way of fiction. The vast majority is of the fanfiction variety. If you’re really interested, you can visit my page on Archive of Our Own. I’ve only finished a couple of those fics. I hope you enjoy my stories about a twenty year old anime and a children’s cartoon show. Point of trivia: one of the fanfics in my bookmarks was written by a published fantasy author. Try to guess which fic and which author.

You’re not Alexander the Great

Gameological alerted me to this peculiar project to create even more crappily written novellas based on video games released for the Nintendo Entertainment System console. Well, there’s nothing demanding that the submissions be terrible but apparently the original editions were really bad. I wondered exactly what kinds of stories would be submitted so I started looking through lists of NES games, then one thing led to another and before I knew it I was writing a fanfic for Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out. An excerpt:

Mike versus Mac

Most of the people reading this weren’t alive during the Moon landings. Most of the people reading this weren’t alive during the Kennedy assassination. A few might be too young to remember 9/11. Somehow, history refuses to be conveniently accessed. Somehow, history happens without us being there.

I think about this as I drive through Los Angeles on my way to a certain house in Carson. Most of the people in the neighbourhood are Filipino, and I even pass Jollibee, a restaurant franchise which has almost all of its locations in the Philippines. Finally I pull into the driveway of a modest home and before I even open my car door the owner comes out and shakes my hand. How are you, he asks. How was the drive?

I’ve never had an interview subject so eager to talk to me. Before I know it, I’m ushered through the house and into the den. “This is where I keep my old stuff,” says my apparent new best friend. There might have been several things on fire in that room, but I don’t notice because my eyes are drawn to a poster on the wall. It’s screaming about a boxing match set for October 5, 1987. Two men, one white, one black, face off with grim determination. Mike versus Mac, it says. The Battle of the Decade.

We’ll see if my inspiration will continue. I’ll have to read some Sports Illustrated articles to check the writing style.

Edit: Hmm, I hadn’t realized how much of a first draft this was but it really needs some revision. Still, the seed has been planted, I just need to build on this.

Lev Grossman and Fanfiction

I’ve only now discovered that Lev Grossman – author of such works as The Magicians and The Magician King – reads fanfiction. Not only that, he recommended Archive of Our Own (also known as AO3) in his official capacity as a writer-type person for Time Magazine. Mostly I’m astonished because I’m peripherally involved in AO3 and I’m always surprised when I discover fannish kinship with an artist I like. I feel like when I found out Neil Gaiman also reads Gunnerkrigg Court.

Still, dear Lev does have a point that fanfiction is an important and unheralded literary movement. I wonder if he also writes fanfiction? I know N.K. Jemisin does. To be honest, I only discovered her professional output through her fanfiction when I started looking for other stuff she’d written. And I know of one English professor who writes Star Trek novels to pay the bills. Well, barring a drastic reorganization of the copyright system I don’t suppose anyone will ever discover the fanfiction that professional writers have produced. Oh, well.

Never Look Back (rec)

Just found this fanfic, Never Look Back. It’s a crossover between Neil Gaiman’s short story A Study in Emerald (full version, PDF) and Sherlock, the BBC tv series which sets the Sherlock Holmes stories in modern Britain. A Study in Emerald is itself a crossover fanfiction between the classic Sherlock Holmes series and H.P. Lovecraft. So basically the fanfic updates Gaiman’s story to the modern world. Read it. It are good.

Seriously, I’m not into slash but I’ll make an exception for the fic (that, and the slash parts are easily skippable). I’m green with envy at the prose.