I created a Goodreads account a couple of days ago. I then spent a feverish thirty-six hours entering every book I could remember reading. The more I added, the more I remembered, and the more I added. I knew I read a lot of books, but the number of books I had forgotten I have read was truly astonishing.
The recommendation system was the most damning part of the whole process. Every time I thought I had finally captured everything, another seemingly obscure title would materialize, so I’d enter that. Vonnegut’s Timequake reminded me of L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, reminded me of Gerrold’s The Man Who Folded Himself, reminded me of Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday. And on and on it went.
Then I suggested my friend, Brendan, create an account. He went through a similar process, spending hour after hour rediscovering those ancient books lost to the fog of memory. Only he took things a little further. I added a few books I wanted to read in the future. He actively mined for the most out-there titles. While I’m dubious to call it my ‘favourite’ recommendation, Pounded In The Butt By My Hugo Award Loss, by Chuck Tingle, was certainly noteworthy. I’ll admit, I’m hardly a connoisseur of erotic fiction, but this was really like nothing I’d ever seen before. My first instinct was to label it homo-erotic slash-fic of the kind you can find everywhere from DeviantArt to Fanfiction.com. But there was so much more too it. A story of seduction between a a man and the manifestation of his own failure. Or maybe just an anthropomorphic Hugo award. I didn’t actually read it. Brendan was partial to Pounded by the Pound: Turned Gay by the Socioeconomic Implications of Britain Leaving the European Union. What began as farce had clearly become high-art. And the cover art, oh that glorious cover-art. Never have I seen more smoldering looks and ripped abs directed at abstract sociological phenomenon.
On further investigation, its turns out I’m a little late to the Chuck Tingle metaverse. Running down his bibliography, the titles become increasingly self referential and increasingly bizarre. I’m almost a little jealous I didn’t think of this. Not enough to pay to read it, but a little.
So now I have to catch up. Chuck Tingle has dozens of titles listed. If I get even one I’d be happy. Time to start sketching out the plot of my own fourth-wall breaking erotica. How could anything go wrong?