Zero Squared #39: Land of Hunger


Please take a moment this week to fill out a very short survey. Zero Books is working on offering a book club and we’d like to get your input.


Wayne Holloway is a writer director, working in commercials and movies in London and in LA. His first book, Land of Hunger, is out from Zero Books and is the subject of our conversation this week.

Land of Hunger is a collection of short stories, that interconnect, loop and return upon each other despite their seemingly disparate subject matter. Fragments that resonate across time and place, from the Ukraine during the Russian Civil War, to the miners’ strike, to the world of animal rights protestors.

It’s Wednesday, the 7th of October, 2015 and I’m Douglas Lain the publisher of Zero Books and the host of this podcast.

In this episode you’ll hear an excerpt of a cover of the Beatles’ Sexy Sadie by Joe Goldmark, a monologue from My Dinner With Andre, archival clips of advertising from the year 2000, the ’84 Miner’s Strike, the Bolshevik revolution, and Cyndi Lauper’s cover of John Lennon’s hit Working Class Hero.

The music you’re listening to right now is an astro funk hit by the Earons. This is The Land of Hunger and in just a moment you’ll hear Wayne Holloway and I discuss his book by the same name.

Zero Squared #16: Drink the Rest of That

Guy J Jackson is the guest this week and we discuss his collection of short stories Drink the Rest of That which came out from Roundfire Books in January. Roundfire Books is an imprint at John Hunt Publishing as is Zero Books. Drink the Rest of That is a collection of shorts meant to be read “at a rate of one per day in order to feel Zen for however many days that there are stories, or so claimed Roundfire Book’s late editorial assistant, Nils Samuels Chastain, even thought it wasn’t his place to decide that.”

Nathan Penlington is the author of “Roadkill on the Digitial Highway” and a drinking buddy with Guy. He blurbed the collection as follows:

Imagine if a Kurt Vonnegut/Richard Brautigan hybrid had written The Phantom Tollbooth and you are somewhat close to the uniqueness of this book. Drink The Rest of That is a dazzling, heartbreaking, laugh-a-loud collection that will leave you wanting more.

I’m having a difficult time imagining such a creature myself. It sounds like something out of a Cronenberg movie.

It’s Wednesday, April 22nd 2015 and I’m Douglas Lain the publisher of Zero Books and the host of this podcast.

In this episode you’ll hear a Christopher Knowles poem as recited by Robert Wilson, a Philip Glass style improvization by the youtube star Torley, train sounds and an excerpt from Paul Simon’s song Ordinary Child from his Rhythm of the Saints which was the album I listened to on my Realistic brand Walkman when I first travelled by train from Colorado Springs to Portland Oregon back in 1991. The music you’re listening to right now is the Soweto String Quartet’s tribute to Paul Simon’s Graceland, but in just a moment you’ll be listening to Guy Jackson and I discuss why you should drink that.

Diet Soap Podcast #213: The 666ties

Robert N Lee is the guest this week as we discuss his 666ties series of independent novellas. Robert N. Lee is an author, an editor, and a graphic designer, his website is Awesomedome.com and the cover art for this week’s episode is his work and I urge you all to take a look at the image with this week’s show notes.

I should also point out that the final collage is taken from youtube. The youtube star FarOff created the mashup you hear at the end. Here’s a link to The Bealtes vs LCD Soundsystem vs The Kinks.

This week I want to thank Daniel W for his generous donation to the podcast and urge all of you who are listening to find the paypal buttons at dietsoap.podomatic.com. You can also follow me on Facebook, twitter, and send me an email through my blog which is douglaslain.com.

In upcoming episodes of Diet Soap I’ll be discussing Lacan and Melanie Klein with a psychoanalyst, analyzing Columbo, discussing Feminism, Marxism, and twitter character assassinations, and, as always talking about Star Trek and Value theory.

Diet Soap Podcast #195: Former People

The guests this week are C Derick Varn and Steven A. Michalkow, the editors of the online literary journal Former People. We discuss modernism, neomodernism, and the impossibility of literature today.

What is Former People? According to their manifesto Former People is about bangs and whimpers. They wrote:

The past is not dead, it is not even past, to invoke Faulkner. And yet the past is obscured with dust, dross, and delusion. This seeming contradiction is but the inevitable process of human progress. The patina of confusion is make-up our world, the present merely being the current lie agreed upon. So too with “modernism”–a word whose archaic and historically limited reference strikes us already as self-parody. “Neo-modernism” seems no better – yet another joke of the post moderns. The kind of joke we now laugh at with no more vigor than in a reflex. “The new modern” – a redundant phrase, and yet on that has relevance to us. The goal of the Former People is to explore the future even as we look upon the past through the glass darkly. We aim not for nostalgia, but to combat the mid-brow and middle mind as well as the flippancy or over-seriousness of so much literary art. The literary arts are always intertwined within the new and the old, the high and the low, the experimental and traditional: we found all this already in the various modernism all over the world despite the pretensions to “modernism’s” difficulty.

We aim to be pluralists in our exploration of things neo-modern. This is not a movement nor is it a pretense to a clear aesthetic criteria as much as a zeitgeist and a de-personalization of the arts. We do not declare war against the philistine or the mid-cultist as that war is already lost–we are but an exploratory remnant that benefits from no want to make money on this endeavor and thus to be obscure or as popular as individual taste allows. We are like the orphaned children of deposed nobility, walking in the aftermath of their advances and retreats; their hundred visions and revisions. We are former people, who acknowledge that perhaps modernism has ended with both bangs and whimpers, and thus perhaps it can be appreciated and renewed as only something of the past truly can be: after all the mortar of future dreams is mixed water and quickener with ashes and pith of dead cities.

C. Derick Varn and Steven A. Michalkow
co-founding editors

This week you’ll hear from TS Elliot, William Butler Yeats, Allen Ginsberg, and Christopher Knowles. Remember, Literature is power. dietsoap195