Monday, February 26, 2007

Who Sent Me Lint?

The other day, I got a package in the mail from the UK, with no return address, containing two books, both about the obscure cult science fiction writer Jeff Lint. Click that link and read a biography.

Now click this link, and get a gander at the line in italics:

It should be noted that Jeff Lint is not real.

Oh. Well, then.

The sharp-eyed among you may have noticed that the first link does not lead to Wikipedia, but a wiki on the website of Snow Books, an independent publisher in London. The second is the acutal Wikipedia link. It would appear that the first is part of a publicity campaign to sell the books of Steve Aylett, an apparent cyberpunk satirist whose splash page reads IMPERVIOUS TO POPULARITY.

Perhaps he's not so impervious, though. I'm publicizing him right now, after all. Did you send this stuff to me, Steve? I think maybe you did. Frankly, that was a good idea. I love little literary mysteries, especially when they result in my receiving free geeky books like these.

There is a long tradition, of course, of imaginary writers, and books about them by non-imaginary the top of my head I can recommend Peter Carey's wonderful novel My Life As A Fake, and all of the amazing imaginary poets who were actually Fernando Pessoa.

As for Jeff Lint, I wasn't fooled for long, only because the name is just too perfect. But I'll still read the books. Long Live Lint!


rmellis said...

Did you know that Dave Eggers is imaginary, too?

aylett said...

hi mr Lennon
yes, i sent that stuff. I think i saw you saying something a while ago about not finding much good SF lately, and since my ego is visible from space i thought you'd like mine. There are some strange cartoons here, supplemental to the Catty & the Major chapter -
The Caterer comic is now also available in real life, because people kept asking me where they could find a back-issue.
Anyway, hope you like the books.
Steve A ;8/

Anonymous said...

Ha haa, awesome! Thanks a lot, Steve! I will read these over our Spring Break trip to, God help me, Disney World. I never thought somebody would just up and mail me some books. Cheers, JRL