Read an Excerpt from Adam Novy’s Work in Progress, The Gore and the Splatter

Hobart has published an excerpt of Adam Novy’s work in progress, The Gore and Splatter. I was a big fan of Adam’s last novel, The Avian Gospels, a dystopian take on terror and gypsies and birds. When I interviewed Adam a few years ago, he told me he was “writing a novel about the life and times of Medusa. It’s called The Gore and the Splatter. Ryan Chang got a bit more info about the novel in his interview with Adam, posted yesterday at Electric Literature:

I’m working on a novel about Perseus and Medusa before they get discovered. The early days of Perseus and Medusa. It takes place partially in mythic Greece and partially the suburb I grew up in. The characters are in the middle of mythic history. One thing about mythology I’ve always been really interested is what the characters know about their place and time in history. There’s this idea that the world is new and folks are creating meaning as they go along. Do they know they’re creating meaning? And what would it be like to be a teenager under those circumstances? Or a parent raising those teenagers, what would it be like?

I’m looking forward to this one. Until then we have the excerpt. Here is an excerpt of the excerpt:

Pentheus’s bedroom: hardly large enough to fit his mattress, a modest trunk of clothes, a wooden torso on a stick that wore his armor while he slept, and an altar to Athena. The floorplanks creaked, the roof leaked water, porous walls keened in wind. He’d let his mother and his nephews have the bedrooms with the windows. The den was also small, and too close to the kitchen for these rooms to be considered separate entities, and this house, such as it was, sat unevenly on pylons of old concrete, for the ground was a decline of dirt and sand on a rambling scrappy hillside, where any rugged vegetables that flourished in the desperate little gardens were scavengered immediately by rabbits.

The bungalow wasn’t quite dysfunctional, merely ugly, small, grotty, and way beyond the prospect of improvement. Still, the sneaky sisters Casey and Arden enjoyed their lives in an unfairly lavish home, and the house where the miraculous atrocity had happened, with the river and the tree, was nigh short of a mansion, if an ugly, nouveau, tasteless one. Perhaps whoever’d lived there had been killed for being vulgar. Pentheus had been working in a lumber yard adjacent to The Turnbull Farm—a huge, efficient version of the farm where Casey and Arden lived—when Mister Reddy heard that he was tall and took him on as his assistant. Your feet are very big, he’d said, you’ll leave a large carbon footprint. Pentheus thought he’d caught his golden opportunity, but all he got to do was walk beside the boss in heavy armor, sweat until he felt that he would rot, follow incoherent orders and let teenage girls humiliate him. And the pay was just as crappy as the lumber yard. Agave, his own mother, was a maid for Mister Turnbull. She was sixty-eight years old, but still she cooked, scrubbed the floor, washed stains from the clothes of messy children whose privilege didn’t exactly translate into manners. Pentheus and Agave paid their rent to Mister Reddy, who was Mister Turnbull’s partner, though Mister Reddy and Mister Turnbull also paid their salaries. Pentheus and his mother were little more than conduits for money as it looped its way inexorably back to whence it came. Jayden, Pentheus’s nephew, had said they were a kind of large intestine, where food was turned to shit and got excreted without their being able to enjoy it. Pentheus sometimes wished the boy was less articulate.

“Hibachi” — J. Robert Lennon/Benk

From the latest Electric Literature

For our new Single Sentence Animation, J. Robert Lennon has chosen a sentence from his story “Hibachi” that depicts a turning point in Phillip and Evangeline’s marriage: the night she reveals she is one furious Hibachi master.

The sentence: “And then, with a motion so swift and subtle it was hard to be certain that it had happened, she pulled a wooden match from a pocket, scraped it against the exhaust hood, and set the onion alight. ”

Single Sentence Animations are creative collaborations. The writer selects a favorite sentence from his or her work and the animator creates a short film in response.

Animation and sound by Benk.

“A Fable for the Living” — Single Sentence Animation


Kim Young Ha animates this otherworldly sentence from Kevin Brockmeier’s “A Fable for the Living,” featured in Electric Literature No. 5. The sentence reads: “She watched them flare and shimmer through their skin, their bones going off like bombs, every limb a magnificent firework of carbon, phosphorus, and calcium.” Single Sentence Animations are creative collaborations. The writer selects a favorite sentence from his or her work and the animator creates a short film in response. Electric Literature is an anthology of short fiction dedicated to reinvigorating the short story using new media and innovative distribution. Visit us at

“The West” — Carson Mell

Electric Literature Shoots Guns at Jonathan Franzen, David Mitchell, the Kindle, and Others

Single Sentence Animation from Ben Stroud’s “Byzantium”

Peter Lundren animates a sentence from Ben Stroud’s short story “Byzantium,” published in Electric Literature No. 4. Music by William “Lucky” Lee.

The sentence reads: “There I would watch others taking their pleasure—keeping to the shadows, my hand hidden, as I studied a chariot racer leaning into a prostitute, her leg wrapped round his torso, or libertines goading a gilded crocodile in the bearpit, their bodies slurred by powders from the east.”

“Three Figures and a Dog” — Roberto Ransom (A Single Sentence Animation by Andre da Loba)

Andre da Loba animates a sentence from Roberto Ransom’s “Three Figures and a Dog.” Published in Electric Literature No. 4. Here’s the first paragraph–

He liked to be in the chapel at dawn, and also in the afternoon when something similar, though not identical, occurred. For that to happen, he had to leave home when his wife got up to milk the cow. He’d finally wake himself up by putting his hand into the bucket next to the well and wiping his face. He usually carried a loaf of bread, a piece of onion, and sometimes a little cheese, wrapped in a handkerchief. He’d leave his brushes, pencils, paints, and other tools in a corner of the chapel, behind some stones that hadn’t been used during its construction. He didn’t paint at that hour. He was waiting for the right color. He’d observe the sky and mix paints in a small clay vessel, smudging them with his finger, measuring quantities, adding water or oil or, on one occasion, wine. He imagined that if the wine was his blood and the blue of the sky he was seeking was the Virgin’s color, and the Virgin was his mother and if he and the Virgin were of the same blood, then maybe…