The Launch of Fast Pop Lit


Hello! Today, April 27, 2023, we announce the launch of a new literary site intended as our “botkiller” response to botbooks and AI-created poems and stories– but also as an alternative to the established alternatives to the bots and other mass-produced offerings. Meaning, the stagnant New York-London-centered status quo, which has lost all sense of connecting with ordinary readers (not to mention current non-readers) as long as they please themselves in their endless self-congratulatory “I’m Okay, You’re Okay” backslaps of how important they are, if not compelling or exciting.

We’re out to connect with EVERYBODY. Our objective with Fast Pop Lit is to provide a literary thrill ride of fiction, poetry, opinions, analysis, and surprises. We hope to provoke reaction– if such a thing be possible in the sleepy-bordering-on-comatose world of letters.


We launch the site with Two Prose Poems by Brian Pilling. DON’T MISS THEM!

(Also, please sign the “Save the Writer” petition, if you haven’t already. Thanks!)

Human Fiction

Pop Lit Fiction

WITH IMMENSE CHANGE happening or about to happen at all levels of the literary and publishing worlds with the advent of A.I.-generated texts, at New Pop Lit we’re thinking about what’s important in our modest project. What do we wish to say or accomplish in coming months?

MOST IMPORTANT for us is the ideal of human creativity. Publishing the very best fiction and poetry– which we’ve been doing– while exploring new ideas of deep learning of human beings instead of deep learning of machines. Ideas counter to those of plutocrats pumping billions of dollars into ever-more advanced, ever-more insane technologies.

OUR LATEST example of excellent fiction not generated by bots is our new feature, “The View from a Window of the House on the Embankment” by Mark Marchenko. A story about the old Soviet Union– its author calls it “an alternative history fiction piece”– but maybe also a story about today. We hope you like it.

When the knock came at the door, Georgy was standing with his hands at the windowsill, gazing out of the window. Grey sky hung over Moscow. Before his eyes was ground covered with autumn splashes of orange and red, the square that was named after Repin (it was in 1958 when the monument to Ilya Repin, a Russian realist painter, was built on Bolotnaya Square; in 1962 the square was renamed Repin Square) just a couple of months ago, withered grass awaiting the first snow, a band of water, and the walls of the Kremlin. A river, slow, almost black, under his feet.


(ALSO, the “Save the Writer!” petition calling for labeling of A.I.-generated books– a modest ask– is ongoing. Please read and consider signing. 441 readers and writers have done so to date. Thanks!)

Pop Summer Crescendo

Pop Lit Fiction

WE ARE putting this project this summer as much as possible into the zeitgeist the vibe the flow of angst and anger rushing on all sides around us. We’re caught in a sense of chaos. Of reality, the world, and all stability preconceived notions of comfort and sense dropping beneath us– as if the floors and earth under our feet have given way. In all likelihood the challenges we all face are temporary. Which doesn’t make them easier.

This summer we plan to have the writing– the art– we present reach a crescendo. Afterward which (we hope) the world will resume a course of peace and harmony. Setting the stage for a fun and reinvigorating pop culture revival.

FIRST UP in our literary symphony is a short story by M.C. Schmidt“We Love You, Ringo”— ostensibly about a Beatles tribute band, but at the same time about a relationship, and maybe also, about the world we live in today. Humor combined with seriousness. We hope you enjoy it.


ALSO when you get a chance drop into our Special Projects room on this site and check out the latest piece of quirky writing there: “Aim For the Snyder Brothers” by Bud Sturguess. With more fun stuff already posted at the blog, and more (including a collaborative project?) to follow.

Don’t miss any of it!

Why Pop Lit?



Why read our web site?

Why “pop lit”– an intended fusion of the literary and the popular?

If you’re interested in writing and literature and believe literature can change the world (which at the moment needs an upsurge in cultural enthusiasm), then we’re a literary site to keep an eye on. None are more ambitious. (A sign of absurd confidence?)

What makes us stand out is A.) We believe the literary art, as well as the publishing industry itself, will change. As arts over time inevitably change. B.) We have plans to change it. Plans-– the plural, because we know many if not most of our ideas won’t work. Which is why we have a lot of them. We’re the innovation machine of today’s literary world.

This means: creating prototypes.

We have a primitive “3-D” multidimensional short story as our current feature, as one example of a writing prototype. We also have “zeens”– print journal prototypes– available for sale at our POP SHOP, in addition to the latest issue of a newsletter discussing more of what our plans are about.

Jump on the New Pop Lit bandwagon before it takes off!

Chaos In America

Pop Fiction

MOST of the chaos is in our heads as the networks and social media pump images of violence, tragedy, and trauma into our heads 24/7. BUT there’s enough reality to it to concern everybody with a conscience and with half a brain in their head.

The populace is in panic.

OUR TASK as a literary site is to capture the current cultural vibe– the real one, not a watered-down and insular Manhattan-Brooklyn version.

At the moment, the strongest vibes aren’t coming from New York. They’re coming from hinterlands like Uvalde or Buffalo, where the already-unhinged have completely lost it, and the world explodes into chaos like a fictional Killtown.

Which we present in a short story, “Chaos In Killtown.” Its “3-D” multi-dimensional framework is an ideal vehicle for the expression of chaos. The narrative comes at the reader from every direction. The goal with this particular story is to be completely pop, but also to capture the hysteria of now. Does it?

The mayor sat in his riverfront mansion at an enormous table sampling yet another enormous meal. Calls came into his private phone from aides saying the city was in chaos and he had to do something.

“The city is always in chaos!” the mayor shouted back, and disconnected.

Stalking a Writer



THERE HAVE BEEN a few of them over the years, even recently, as we find with our atmospheric new feature set in Manhattan, “That Time I Stalked Nick Tosches” by Brooklyn-based author Scott Laudati.

We wish we could’ve met Nick Tosches ourselves!

The Next Best Thing: To discover or create a few new literary celebrities. Which may be part of what this hyper-ambitious project is about. Until then, enjoy the essay.

“He’s a writer,” I said. “These guys don’t get the face time. They don’t hate their fans like actors do.”

It was a gamble, though. Would he dig a young fan interrupting his drink? There was a war in every line on his face. I hadn’t seen anyone else recognize him, but maybe that’s why he drank there. There was no way to know if he’d shake my hand or put his cigar out on my eye.


(Painting: “Portrait of Victor Chocquet” by Paul Cezanne.)

Fiction 2022

Pop Lit Fiction


–and it’s a good one, capturing the insanity of the hypertechnological world we live in now, but also structurally a terrific tale, full of unpredictability and imagination, as well as subtle humor. The story of which we speak is “The Swipe” by Michael Maiello, who is one of the finest talents on today’s writing scene. It has to do with a dating app, an image, and the world, and– we can’t say more. Read it!

A Year of Experiment



WHILE we plan to publish at this site a number of more traditional offerings of fiction and poetry, we also hope to showcase several more experimental works– how we define experimental. Meaning, in some way pop, but going beyond the merely entertaining and readable. It’s what we’re looking for anyway!

In the meantime, at our News blog we’ve posted two 2022 Announcements– here and here— about where we are as an ambitious literary project and what’s going on. Stay informed– we’re moving into new territory.

2021 Recap Part Two




America versus the Nazi war machine at the Battle of the Bulge– “The Deserters.”

A stripper working at a dive bar– “West Columbus.”

A young couple surviving the pandemic– “People Ruin Everything.”

The trials of online dating– “Symmetry.”

A whirlpool of surprise and terror– “The Boiling Point of Placid Water.”

Reflections of an aging mind– “The Age of Insomnia.”

The queen of storms– “The Sea At Night.”

An unusual man drops from the sky– “Cloud Dreams.”

A would-be superhero appears– “Waiting for the Superhero.”