Max Eddy, Published Author

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In case you haven't spoken with my lately, I've managed to trick someone into printing my fiction. For me, simply getting my work in print was an enormous milestone. I haven't had any of my work printed since my time at the Gargoyle, and doing so now has given me an enormous boost of confidence. 

Though I am extremely happy (and grateful!) to have my work accepted, there are some potential consequences that I considered while writing it, but that did not seem pressing until now.

But first things first: You can read my story Jumper here, and e-zine issues will soon be available.

If you're a personal friend or family member familiar with my time living in Washing D.C.: Remember that this is entirely a work of fiction.

The Jar Project

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This was a little thing I put together as part of the Art House Co-Op's Jar project. For those unfamiliar, the Co-op comes up with art projects that everyday folks can sign up for over the internet. In the case of the Jar Project, participants received a small mason jar from the Co-op which they were instructed to "fill with stories" and mail back.


Story Card #2

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Hopefully with the completion of Story Card 2, I can actually call this a project of some kind. This particular story has been banging around in my head for months. I think this is probably the third time I've written it out, and each time has been different. I'm still not quite happy with it, but story cards really lend themselves to the "fable" format.

Story Card 2 was sent to Estelle, whose literary knowledge far surpasses my own. Read the rest below.

As a blogger, I spend a good deal of time roaming around the internet, looking for things to write about. Today, I was quite surprised to find an article about the town in Michigan where I went to highschool, where my brother and sister have been raised, and where my parents still live.

Apparently, Janice Daniels the mayor of Troy Michigan wrote on her Facebook wall on June 25 (before her mayoral run) that:

"I think I am going to throw away my I Love New York carrying bag now that queers can get married there."

My response follows in the form of an open letter. Even having written it, I am still unsure if it really captures exactly what I feel. I am offended and ashamed by what she has said, but I cannot say I am surprised. What's more, I believe that I lack the rhetorical flaire to pull off a really good letter.

But I had to do something. Click here to read the whole letter.

Story Card #1

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Story Cards is something I've been thinking about for a while. The idea is that I would sit down and write a short, unplanned piece of fiction on the back of a postcard and mail it out. After enough time had elapsed for the card to reach its destination, I'd post them online.  

Like most of my ideas, I wound up deciding to go ahead with it late at night and with no planning. I suppose I mean that as something of an excuse, but I am cautiously pleased with how this came out. The words below are not an exact copy of those on the card, but the changes are minimal

This first card was sent to my dear friend Kris, who has already been the recipient of my fiction-by-mail in the past.

And who said that Michigan could never do public transit. Ok, it's been slow going but at least things are happening! The latest news is the passing of Senate Bill 237, which releases $2.8 million in federal dollars for an all new train station on Fuller Road. It makes me wish I could be a student at UM again, but at a time when I could take advantage of the proposed improvements.

Speaking from experience, the current Ann Arbor rail station leaves quite a bit to be desired. It's old, cramped, and the only source of sustenance/entertainment are vending machines. It also handles a paltry handful of departures a day and is pretty far from everything. This could all soon change, especially since the money in question is part of a larger $400 million package to bring a 100-mph highspeed rail line from Chicago to Detoit, with a stop in Ann Arbor.

Since the report on the bill's passage mentions Fuller Road as the location, I have to assume that this is part of the proposed Fuller Road transit center (which I learned about just now). That's another major improvement for transportation in Ann Arbor: organizing it into one easily accessible facility.

While not living in Michigan means that I hardly have a stake in this, it does me good to see Ann Arbor becoming active with public transit. But having used Ann Arbor bus and rail extensively, I can tell you that it is certainly in need of an update. Here's hoping it all comes together!

Wait, You're Still Not Reading Casanova?

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Really? Because the second story arc is coming out in trade paperback in July and is completely awesome. In fact, now that color reprints of both the first and second series are out, and the third series starting in September, you really don't have an excuse to NOT be reading it.

Watch the full episode. See more Austin City Limits.


It's as if the universe gave me a special gift today: two of my favorite bands, back to back on the venerable PBS music program Austin City Limits.

Ganges 1 and 2

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I picked up Ganges #1 a month or so ago on a whim. Mostly, I liked the way it was printed and coming from Coconino press I felt some obligation to at least investigate the title. But having no expectations about this comic isn't really all that important, because it's a real gem.

The first issue of Ganges tells a hand full of loosely connected stories centered on the titular Glenn Ganges. Glenn's just a guy that hangs around the house, making trips to the local library, thinking too much, or being kind of a jerk to his girlfriend while arguing about the Beatles. There's a deep mundane-ness that made me check multiple times to be certain that Glenn Ganges didn't author these books himself (it's Kevin Huizenga, actually).

These characters feel shockingly real. They talk, worry, and wonder. They're faceted and present many faces at once -- both good and bad. And as impressive as that is, Huizenga's real trick is how he takes these living breathing characters and tells little stories with them that seem desperately important. In the first issue, Glenn rushes to get to the library and suddenly finds himself lost in questions about time and existence (all told with some of the most brilliant application of Scott McCloud's treaties on the power of panels in Understanding Comics). In another, Glenn simply can't get to sleep and spends a while puttering around the house. This is poetry made out of the everyday, but it's always natural and never contrived.


The second issue felt like a departure from the looser first issue. Issue 2 tells the story of Glenn's time working with a ficticious web company and the late night video game sessions that tied the employees together. Instead of many stories, it follows one narrative throughout the book and explains Glenn's backstory somewhat.

This book went up and down for me. At first, I was blown away by the beautiful and bizarre opening pages which depicts an absurd and artful video game. But the shift into a discussion of a first person shooter that Glenn was fond of years ago didn't resonate with me at first. Huizenga tries hard to make wonder at the nature of these games, how they can be so beautfiul and so depressing in their perfect eternal stasis. And while that's well and good, it's clear that he tells the stories of people much better. When we get into the story of this company, and the people inside it, I'm right there and loving every minute.

Another odd change to issue 2 is that Glenn's girlfriend (fiance?), the only other real character in the first issue, hardly appears and is always drawn from behind. Even on the back of issue two, where on issue we'd seen her face looming comically over houses, is just a teasing head of hair. She's always away -- either withdrawn, or perhaps ignored by Glenn who is very much centered on himself in these stories. This one puzzling artistic choice helps reinforce this sense of vague dread that settles over the entire issue.

I have worked hard to try and stop overusing superlatives, and so I hesitate when I say it, but Ganges is probably one of the smartest works in comics right now. It's down to earth without being trite or tedious, and its introspective without being boring or contrived. Not only that, it's superbly drawn and a real tour-de-force of what can be done with the comics medium.

It's more-or-less an all ages story, though there might be some course language and I think anyone under the age of 18 or 19 wouldn't be as interested in the stories of adults walking to the library. If you happen to see issue one, be sure and snatch it up and take a peek.

NASA Redstone.jpg

Fifty years ago, NASA found the best use for a ballistic missile and put Alan Shepard into space. He was the first American to go up in a rocket, and would become the first man to play golf on the moon.

I'm a bit of a space nut, and I get to write about it at work -- which is great. In doing so I ran across this puzzling essay by Neal Stephenson. In it, he describes the creation and reliance of rockets as examples of "path dependence" and "lock-in." That's all well and good (I guess), but this is the bit that always stuck with me.

It is illuminating here, though utterly conjectural, to imagine a dialog, set in the offices of a large telecommunications firm during the 1960s, between a business development executive and an engineer.

Biz Dev Guy: We could make a preposterous amount of money from communications satellites.

Engineer: It will be expensive to build those, but even so, nothing compared to the cost of building the machines needed to launch them into orbit.

Biz Dev Guy: Funny you should mention that. It so happens that our government has already put $4 trillion into building the rockets and supporting technology we need. There's only one catch.

Engineer: OK, I'll bite. What is the catch?

Biz Dev Guy: Your communications satellite has to be the size, shape, and weight of a hydrogen bomb.

This last line was particular haunting. At first I was struck by the hideous, evil spectre hanging over the entire space program: that it was built from the most terrifying weapons ever conceived. I think Stephenson intends this unsettling sensation. I have, however, come to a new conclusion.

Instead of spending all our time and money in a completely paranoid spiral plotting the hideous demise of the enemies and shrewdly calculating the scale of human loss sustainable in the even of a nuclear holocaust, two nations put people into space. Instead of a shooting war, we had the space race, which is one of the few times in human history when our aspirations matched our willingness. Not since the pyramids have people been so motivated to achieve a great a goal that wasn't essential to their immediate safety and survival.

This has two sides, I suppose. It's depressing that it took the threat of nuclear war and national xenophobia to realize space exploration. But I prefer to look at the space race, and Shepard's first flight as a forgiving experience. In the wake of most horrific of wars, we turned fighter pilots into explorers and weapons into the vehicles that took us beyond the Earth.

Image credit NASA.


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