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Userlands: New Fiction Writers from the Blogging Underground

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  37 ratings  ·  6 reviews

This anthology brings to light some of the new fiction writers who are using the Internet’s labyrinthine array of blogs and personal web pages to expose, test, and develop their work. They are gay, straight, young, old, and in some cases still searching for their identities.

Written by Dennis Cooper
Paperback, 362 pages
Published January 1st 2007 by Akashic Books
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Kelly Roger Lemieux
Apr 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This contemporary collection of new transgressive writers is edited by Dennis Cooper, the edgiest queer writer ever, and that is saying something. This book really inspires me and keeps me focused as a queer writer and reader. I also have actor and poet and performance artist as a part of my trick bag, just like the Editor of this volume. Sex, drugs, drink, crime; you name it, its in here. Did Elijah Wood's character from the film Day Zero have his storyline lifted from this tome? Mr Cooper did ...more
Chris Bronsk
Jan 10, 2012 rated it liked it
If you think the adjectives gentrified, conservative, and economics-driven describe Dennis Cooper, writer and editor of the 2007 anthology of blogging fiction Userlands, or any of his books, you are dead wrong. Or, you have him confused with someone else, maybe that Bradley Cooper of the silver screen. But if you agree with him that those words characterize most contemporary American fiction, then this anthology may just be your tumbler of mescaline.

Fresh, innovative, frequently dark, and somet
Lise Quintana
Feb 09, 2016 rated it it was ok
Dennis Cooper's introduction to the book says that these pieces were chosen from the group that assembled around his blog in the early 1990s. So this was already a self-selecting group. I don't know Cooper's work, and I don't know how well knowing it might have prepared me for some of the stories in this collection. I rate them poorly because they were not to my taste. Nothing was particularly poorly written (although there was at least one example of one of those twee "I don't use capital lette ...more
Oct 05, 2007 rated it really liked it
I am a mega fan of Dennis Cooper's blog, and "Userlands" is a collection of writings from writers who participate on his blog. The writing is strong and consistent, and the book touches on a lot of subjects.

I do strongly suggest everyone who reads this to visit Dennis' blog on a daily basis. It has everything from porn to high literature and the visual arts. It is an excellent place to pick up new names as well as the old avant-garde. Do enjoy!
Ben Arzate
Mar 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
Full Review

Like any anthology, not every piece works. However, it's an overall solid collection of experimental, transgressive, and interesting writing. This book shows even more why it's such a loss for Dennis Cooper's blog to be deleted when this had come out of it. Even if he's not able to get it back up, at least this was able to come out of it.
Mar 06, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
In the vast junkyard of the internet these pieces must have looked like diamonds, but many of them were just not strong enough to be in a published anthology. There was some good stuff in here, but too much of it relied on shock value rather than good writing or original ideas.
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Dennis Cooper was born on January 10, 1953 and grew up in the Southern California cities of Covina and Arcadia. In 1976, he founded Little Caesar Magazine and Press, which he ran until 1982. In 1985, he moved to Amsterdam for two and a half years, where he began his ten year long project, The George Miles Cycle, an interconnected sequence of five novels that includes Closer, Frisk, Try, Guide, and ...more

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