About

Andrew Johnston is a former ESL teacher, occasional office jockey and deeply disgruntled writer. He has written a total of six books (one nonfiction, five novels), four of which he has tried to shop around with an average request rate of under 3%. That's bad, in case you didn't know. He has also been maintaining blogs since 2003, on topics ranging from politics to the craft of writing to original fiction to his travels through East Asia. He was briefly on the staff of a mid-size political website and was once cited in a NYT article on PRC propaganda, of all things.

Update - July 2016

Welcome back to the land of the living. I've revived this little blog and broadened its scope. It now deals with both fiction and non-fiction, which is to say I'll cram anything I feel like dissecting in here. There's no schedule - new content will show up here when and if I find anything worth addressing. If you feel there's a work that would be appropriate for this little space, leave a comment and I'll take it under advisement.

A Serious Note On A Not-So-Serious Project:

So a few years back, I wrote a post elsewhere on  people cashing in on the then-recent dystopian trend to push their politics. The post was titled something like "Two Tips for Dystopian Literature," where the two tips were basically "don't cram your personal bullshit into it." That post ended up generating a small but remarkably robust stream of search engines hits for people trying to find "tips for dystopian literature." It seems that the people who decided to write their own crap novels wanted advice on how to become less crap, and found nothing. And why would they? The literary community doesn't take it seriously - not the novels (Orwell was obviously a hack, right?) and not the dirty plebs who read it.

In literature, the best way to learn is to see what not to do. And while it would be easy to dig up some terrible self-published dross and pick it apart, it's far more instructive to look at something that got published for reasons other than the talent of the author - in this case, because of its connection to, and subsequent acquisition by, the most famous crank in this hemisphere. Read it for the gags, or read it to learn something - either way, I hope you'll get something out of this.

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