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Old 06-02-2007   #1
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New Feature - Collaborative Fiction (BETA)

I have long pined for a mechanism for hosting Collaborative Fiction at TLO. I believe I have found the software which enables this functionality. It was originally designed for Wiki implementation, but I believe it to be suitable for Collaborative Fiction as well.

I have created a new forum Forums-->The Repository-->Online Literature-->Collaborative Fiction. Creating an CF article is nearly identical to that of creating a post. The twist is that all registered users are able to edit and append to that article. A sequential history of revisions is logged and may be viewed for analysis of the contribution and progression of the article.

This system can be employed for stories, prose, poems, etc. I enjoy automatic writing myself, and look forward to seeing this writing method skewed by a collaborative effort. Though it is possible to edit previous content regardless of the author origin, please refrain from modifying the work of others. Instead, read the current content and append a section of your own. Since the software and concept are new features, this is to be considered a BETA effort.

THOMAS LIGOTTI ONLINE
A Shining Brainless Beacon Of Elegant Mutations And Cunning Annihilations
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Old 04-05-2009   #2
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Re: New Feature - Collaborative Fiction (BETA)

This is extremely tempting -- but who wou'd have the guts to go first? Not I....

"We work in the dark -- we do what we can -- we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art."
--Henry James (1843-1916)
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Old 04-05-2009   #3
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Re: New Feature - Collaborative Fiction (BETA)

Once upon a time...;)

I tell you everything that is really nothing, and nothing of what is everything, do not be fooled by what I am saying. Please listen carefully and try to hear what I am not saying. ~Charles C. Finn
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Old 04-05-2009   #4
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Re: New Feature - Collaborative Fiction (BETA)

...they called me Ishmael.

"What does it mean to be alive except to court disaster and suffering at every moment?"

Tibet: Carnivals?
Ligotti: Ceremonies for initiating children into the cult of the sinister.
Tibet: Gas stations?
Ligotti: Nothing to say about gas stations as such, although I've always responded to the smell of gasoline as if it were a kind of perfume.
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Old 04-05-2009   #5
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Re: New Feature - Collaborative Fiction (BETA)

It was the best of times...It was the worst of times...

I tell you everything that is really nothing, and nothing of what is everything, do not be fooled by what I am saying. Please listen carefully and try to hear what I am not saying. ~Charles C. Finn
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Old 04-05-2009   #6
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Re: New Feature - Collaborative Fiction (BETA)

At the risk of making an utter fool of myself, here's my feeble attempt at an opening chapter.

The Curious Employment

A Glumscribe Chronicle

Michael Foxton had not always held the position of Emeritus Professor of Melancholia at Huysmans’ College Of Obscure Diseases although one might think so to judge from his moribund countenance. Perhaps I should explain.

For several years Foxton had been employed as a location scout by a Los Angeles film production company called ‘The Carnival Of Souls’. Foxton had elected to pursue this career quite by chance after being mistakenly identified as an applicant for the empty post. Whilst on vacation he had detoured through a town called Diamond Springs because he wished to examine old newspaper archives which he hoped might feature articles on the clown-lore of Californian ghost-towns. In particular he wanted to validate the rumored existence of an auguste ‘savant’ called ‘the thossker’ which had supposedly overseen grim occult sacrifices by way of blessing mining ventures.

Foxton parked on the shady side of the main street and asked a wizened old hunchback for directions to the local library. The crooked man spat onto the dusty pavement and regarded the foreigner with obvious loathing. Overhead a cloud stationed itself directly above them both, glaring down balefully with ill-concealed malice. Even the air radiated with bestial animus.

“This is my town,” hissed the hunchback. He spat again but this time with insufficient force. The spittle flopped down onto his tightly buttoned and horribly filthy raincoat. His face turned black with rage at his perceived humiliation. He jabbed at Foxton with a taloned fingernail.

“It’s not too late to turn back,” he said in a dry, cracked voice before adding cryptically:

“Seven across; two syllables; the clown that kills.”

Before Foxton could react the old man had vanished into a crowd of elderly passing hunchbacks who, unhelpfully, were all wearing identical clothing. It struck the Professor as odd that none of them possessed a walking stick. He suspected that they might stand erect and leap about with unfettered joy once out of range.

“Excuse me mister, but are you looking for the library?”

Foxton dropped his gaze. An urchin with a pleasant smile was tugging at his trouser leg. The boy was an albino. His eyes shone like the Devil’s cataracts.

“That’s it over there,” said the small midget, who had morphed into something more sinister. The academic thanked him and crossed the road.

The building to which he was directed resembled a civic institution but the absence of books in the front window filled him with foreboding. He paused at the entrance to pop a valium. Glancing back Foxton observed the dwarf regarding him through pinprick eyes which glittered maliciously as he caressed his obscenely long beard. The Professor shivered and entered the office. He crossed a foyer and proceeded to make enquiries of the receptionist but before he was able to lay his case properly before her she raised a finger to silence him and picked up a telephone.

“He’s here.”

Instantaneously the door behind her desk opened and a man with a painted smile and an azure suntan rushed out to greet him. Foxton was propelled into an air-conditioned room with smoked glass walls and offered a cup of fresh steaming coffee. His kidnapper possessed intensely blue eyes. Foxton found them unnerving so decided to be as accommodating as possible lest he precipitate an attack of neurasthenia.

As he sat sipping at the hot drink a sea of jargon and boastful nonsense washed over him as the other man spoke. Ignorant as to the nature of the interview, Foxton opted to keep quiet, little suspecting that his silent attentiveness greatly furthered his cause. His failure to ask even one solitary question was deeply impressive, which is perhaps why the speaker suddenly broke off mid-sentence to offer him the job, there and then, which consisted of scouring California for suitable film locations.

The sheer unexpected nature of the offer rendered the Professor speechless which the other mistook for hard-bargaining. Foxton was immediately offered a wage five times greater than his existing academic salary. The expense package alone was worth a six figure sum.

It suddenly dawned on Foxton that if he were to accept the job he could combine it effortlessly with his research into clown-lore. Within a few short years he could become the world's leading authority on clowns.

"I'd be delighted at accept," he found himself saying. Glancing through the smoked glass and out across the foyer into the street beyond he observed that the hunchbacks had joined forces with the dwarves, and that they were congregating in a displeasing manner on the sidewalk.

"Relax," said his new employer, crossing his hands behind his head and reclining back in his chair. He beamed at Foxton. "We have a back entrance."
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Old 04-05-2009   #7
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Re: New Feature - Collaborative Fiction (BETA)

I see that you started it anyway. Good work. If I have some time during my weekend I may write something myself.

"A Mad World, MY Masters"
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