Rites and Passages

My new chapbook, out now with the wonderful Salò Press, is a mini choose-your-own-adventure book, inspired by FPS games like Doom and the labyrinthine fiction of French experimentalist Alain Robbe-Grillet.

Rites & Passages is structured as a maze from which there is no escape: go so far one way and space/time loops you back to the other end of the labyrinth. I’m fascinated by the repetitive nature of video games, and also the strange cognitive dissonance entailed in the FPS genre: the player is simultaneously herself AND the character. It makes for a disorientating and intoxicating experience, and that is what I was aiming for in writing this piece. When playing a video game, we draw on our memories of previous games and other cultural artefacts that we’re reminded of as we go: films, books (in this case, Dans le labyrinthe by Robbe-Grillet). The layers of artificiality and unreality accumulate into something that feels, paradoxically, very real.

Visual poet Luke Bradford provided superb cover artwork:

AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE is a reading from the chapbook, with doctored visuals from Doom and The Shining.

BELOW is a brief excerpt from the chapbook.

Rites & Passages is available for £3.99 + P&P from Salò Press.

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