What Would James Ellroy Do?

By Jason Boog Comment

joesluck.jpgSubmissions for the World’s Longest Literary Remix contest are rolling in, including a piece from novelist and Marvel Comics writer Duane Swierczynski. The author explained his remixing method: “It was easy once I asked myself: What Would James Ellroy Do?” Read his bear-fighting submission after the jump.

Swierczynski joined a brave crew of readers in rewriting one page from a Horatio Alger novel for fun and prizes–read his entry after the jump. 150 pre-registered GalleyCat Reviews readers have signed up to rewrite one page of Joe’s Luck: Always Wide Awake (cover pictured, via).

We will publish the remixed text as a free digital book. Each remix contributor will be eligible for a random drawing of special giveaway prizes. Three excellent sponsors have donated prizes:

1-Scribd.com and Blurb.com are donating 10 printed copies of the completely remixed novel, using the company’s new print-on-demand service.

2- The remixing experts at Quirk Books will give one lucky winner an assortment of Quirk Classics books, posters, and audiobooks–a prize package worth over $100.

3-The multimedia literary journal Electric Literature will donate “Electric Literature: Year One”–a complete set of the first four issues of the journal–a $40 value.

“Horatio Alger Confidential”

The bear was little more than a hundred feet behind him and was gaining steadily. Fatigue–terrible. Breathing–a hoarse pant. Mind alive SCREAMING TERROR. A shrill cry, exploding from his lungs. Hogan sank. Hogan shut his eyes. Hogan waited.

The bear–faster faster faster

Joe’s head swiveled.

“Now let him have it!”

Bickford squeezed—muzzle flash–pellets shedding fur–the grizzly’s wide SHOCKED face.

Animal screams–furious, wagging his head side to side as if to ask who the f***…


The two others. Meat on legs.

Rifles in hand.

The bear thinking: f*** Hogan.

The bear thinking: eat the others.

The bear bounding forward, fantasizing about sucking marrow from thigh bones.

Bickford, yelling:

“Give it to him quick, Joe! He’s making for us!”

Joe: rifle steady. Deep breath. Hold it. Don’t twitch. Don’t freeze. Don’t f*** this up.



The bear tumbled–sudden awkwardness.

Joe, wiping gore from his palms: “Is he dead, or only feigning?”

Joshua: “He’s a gone coon. Let us go up and look at him.”

The beast–not quite dead. Glazed eyes. Convulsing, paws twitching, then–


Bickford: He’s gone, sure enough. Good-by, old grizzly. You meant well, but circumstances interfered with your good intentions.”

Joe: “Now let us look up Hogan.”

The man had sunk to the ground utterly exhausted, and in his weakness and terror had fainted.

Duane Swierczynski is the author of Expiration Date, out now from St. Martin’s Minotaur, and a writer for Marvel Comics.

Want to read more? Check out these other amazing remix entries:
Horatio Alger and the Chocolate Factory
The Yiddish Version
Horatio Alger in Oz
Horatio Alger Versus The Doppelganger