There Are Other Authors Than Dan Brown and Fucking James Patterson


Introduction by Jack Moody

In a landscape of media saturation and the public’s dwindling ability to remain focused on a given task for longer than the span of time it takes to watch a Tik Tok video, the attention towards literature as a creative medium has largely been hoarded by an elite few authors who are either so firmly established that they could pen an unhinged manifesto written exclusively in Wingdings and it would rocket to the top of the New York Times Bestsellers List, or by those who check the appropriate boxes deemed to be profitable by the monopolized publishing giants. Graduates with an MFA are a plus, sticking to the formula taught uniformly by every creative writing college class is even better.

As a result, the far majority of avid readers are unlikely to have ever heard of the massive pool of talent budding from the independent literature movement, fed by grassroots, indie publishers and working-class writers, much of the time without any formal writing education. But it’s for those exact reasons that the indie community is experiencing a renaissance of boundary-pushing creativity. The writing is experimental, outside of the box, but most of all, untainted by predetermined requirements for commercial success. The writers birthed from this movement make their art for the sake of the creative act above all else. For this reason, some of the greatest living writers are people you have probably never heard of.

With this column, I intend to change that.


Installment #1: Quantum Diaper Punks, novella by Stuart Buck

In a landscape of media saturation and the public’s dwindling ability to remain focused on a given task for longer than the span of time it takes to watch a Tik Tok video, the attention towards literature as a creative medium has largely been hoarded by an elite few authors who are either so firmly established that they could pen an unhinged manifesto written exclusively in Wingdings and it would rocket to the top of the New York Times Bestsellers List, or by those who check the appropriate boxes deemed to be profitable by the monopolized publishing giants. Graduates with an MFA are a plus, sticking to the formula taught uniformly by every creative writing college class is even better.

As a result, the far majority of avid readers are unlikely to have ever heard of the massive pool of talent budding from the independent literature movement, fed by grassroots, indie publishers and working-class writers, much of the time without any formal writing education. But it’s for those exact reasons that the indie community is experiencing a renaissance of boundary-pushing creativity. The writing is experimental, outside of the box, but most of all, untainted by predetermined requirements for commercial success. The writers birthed from this movement make their art for the sake of the creative act above all else. For this reason, some of the greatest living writers are people you have probably never heard of.

With this column, I intend to change that.


The first book I’ll be sharing is titled Quantum Diaper Punks, a novella by Stuart Buck. As odd as the title sounds, the book itself is only odder, in every fantastic way afforded to the human imagination. Buck is a master of the disturbing, outlandish, and hilarious, and Quantum Diaper Punks is the perfect encapsulation of those three qualities.

It’s the story of an unnamed protagonist, and his meeting with the Messiah. At a punk rock concert. Her name is Eve. She wears nothing but a diaper. It’s freeing, she tells the protagonist. It is the outward, physical representation of her total disregard for societal expectations. She has Schrödinger’s equation cut into her thigh. Eve is searching for the meaning of life. Our main character is a wayward soul, an aimless man sifting through the ennui of modern existence. Eve is everything he needs. Eve is fulfillment, purpose, excitement. He loves Eve the second he sees her dancing in that diaper.

What follows is the most chaotic, mind-bending, violent, philosophical trip towards rock bottom I’ve ever read. Others soon find Eve, and see her as the same magnetic presence that our main character does. They form a cult. As you do. In search of the answer—just not any answer, but THE answer. Through a devolving series of events involving murder, arson, and copious drugs as a way of mind-expansion and connectivity, Eve and her cult, The Quantum Diaper Punks, go on a journey inward and downward to unlock the secrets of life itself, and to find God.

Stuart Buck’s novella is Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club if the characters hit bottom even harder and even deeper. It’s an exploration of metaphysics, spirituality, manipulation, a generation of lost and apathetic twenty-somethings, messiahs and messiah complexes, and sex and love as a form of worship, all framed by the backdrop of Gen X angst, music, and rebellion against the system. But beyond all the heavy themes and questions posed, at the very base of this work is simply that it’s entertaining as all hell. If you take anything away from this review, at the least, let it be that.

Installment #2: Soul Collector by Duvay Knox

Installment #3: Vivid Greene by Jacob Ian DeCoursey