Friday, May 22, 2009


Three new stories on the way from your reporter this year.

"Mr. Wosslynne," in Phantom, edited by P. Tremblay and S. Wallace.

"Violence, Child of Trust," in Dark Wings, edited by S.T. Joshi. No link I can find yet.

"Machines of Concrete Light and Dark," in Lovecraft Unbound, edited by E. Datlow.

In every case, my work couldn't possibly be in better company and my vanity has become grossly inflated.

A hunt for agents is underway - all replies welcome. Starting in on novel number nine, with four unpublished ones gazing reproachfully at me from a heap in the corner, I begin to feel a curious compulsion. But can I really betray a lifetime of principled sloth and carefully cultivated obscurity?


Kyle Muntz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MCisco said...

As I say, all suggestions welcome!

D_Davis said...

The Divinity Student is the best book I've ever read - seriously.

You are amazing.

However, I wonder, as an artist, what is most important to you: having people read your books, or having your books published?

I am a recording artist, and I decided long ago (about 15 years) to give my art away for free. To me, it is more important to have people listen to my work than it is to have people buy my work. I can make a living doing other things, and I continue to make my art.

Cory Doctorow once said that an authors greatest enemy is obscurity.

I believe this is true.

Take two of your unpublished novels and give them away online for free. I will help circulate them. I've already sung your praises on every forum I post at.

Give them away to get more people into your stuff - get your name out there. I imagine the amount of readers you will gain will be more than worth it, and you will be repaid down the road.

a.k.a. Carl Sagan's Ghost

Kyle Muntz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
D_Davis said...

Well said Kyle.

I think you might be right.

Self-publishing for profit can (but not always) look desperate, but giving away something for free to your fans is often seen as gracious (and it's a great marketing scheme to boot!).

Mr. Cisco, let's collaborate on something. Maybe I can write a soundtrack to one of your unpublished novels, and we could release them in tandem. I have some small netlabels interested in some future releases (I mainly compose ambient music), and perhaps they might be interested in a book-audio combo for download. We could find an illustrator and make something really cool out of the project.

You can check out a few of my albums here:


MCisco said...

Thanks for the comments D and Kyle. I'll put up a proper post in response shortly.

MCisco said...

Much of my obscurity is of my own making. I've spent much time getting my PhD and on writing and rewriting scholarly work. By the time that's done, I want nothing more than to write fiction again, and leave the self-promotion until another day.

I've considered giving things away, and I may yet do that, but first I think I would like to put these works before a few more editors. For that matter, books and music are consumed differently, so I don't believe there is such a strict analogy between them when it comes to distributing them on the web. The era of the recording-commodity seems to me to be ending; music will, I suspect, become more like television. It will be distributed at no charge, and the costs will be picked up by sponsors.

Reading novels online or on a machine is a drag, and printing them out is more of an expense than buying them. A freely-distributed novel of mine would also, as Kyle pointed out, probably reach only those people who have already heard of me.

That said, I haven't ruled the possibility out.

Mr. D - I'm interested. Let me turn that one over for a bit. I can contact you through your own site, right?

D_Davis said...

Thank you sir, and I understand.

I hope you know I'm serious when I say that The Divinity Student is my favorite novel (or novella I guess). Last year I read a lot of books - around 80 of them. Yours was one of those. I read it while on vacation in Hawaii. Every morning I read it outside on the lanai while listening to Harold Budd's and Clive Wright's Song for Lost Blossoms. The book totally blew my mind.

It's a remarkable work of surreal fiction, one that I will never, ever forget.

I actually reviewed it here:

Anyhow, I'm glad to be in contact with you. I've wanted to thank you for your fiction for some time now. So thank you.

And yes, I have contact information on my blog, link posted above.


D_Davis said...

Hello Mr. Cisco,

Just wanted to touch bases with you regarding a possible book/soundtrack release.

Hope things are going well.


Kyle said...

Hi Michael,

Would you be interested in submitting one of your manuscripts to Civil Coping Mechanisms? We're a new press focusing on transgressive avant-garde forms, particularly work that isn't viable even among experimental presses because of its treatment of unfamiliar concepts and genres.

I attached a link to CCM's site onto my post. If you're interested or want more information, send me an email at

Kyle said...

The link didn't show.

MCisco said...

Hello Kyle -

Sorry to be so long in responding. The end of the semester and all. I will definitely look into CM.

Kyle said...

If "The Narrator" is a full length, we would be particularly interested in seeing it. I read the excerpt you posted on your website and was very intrigued.