Art doesn’t so much mimic reality as morph, stretch, and bewitch it. The so-called rabbit holes, the night thoughts, the stray bits we dismiss, the teeming multiplicity of various “realities” – in the coming months, the Action Books Strange Fiction Series will showcase texts that delve into such zones. The world is always waiting to be more haunted.

James Pate







quietness had accumulated over the shelves like silver dust—what a relief, leaving practical learning to the machine’s autopia!

they experienced desire as a subtle daydream, a set of passive and narcotic imaginations rather than an alibi for action.

the ruins of thought were full of trashed treasures and beautiful conspiracies, whose history, cyclically rewritten, had risen to the category of myth.

they barely remembered each other lying down on the untrimmed grass, on the dryshinning sand, on the mossy sofa.

or walking aimlessly, too tired or too aged for stunts, pursuing the wildest isolation.

they looked for people who, more than company, could provide an impression of loneliness that felt awkward and new, that vague sense the body acquires when it abandons itself to opioids and dissolves into thousands of small spheres rolling randomly over the ground, allowing the flesh to be reshaped—not even to beg nor to resist, without a hint of initiative, submitting to the generosity or cruelty of another dissimilar body made also up of undulating spheres, or to the revelry of other people’s limbs, or to the needle, more benevolent than the pathetic lust that used to invade thm in ever shorter cycles.

they’d never been that parody of a wind puppet, or how humans imagine themselves, or how humans believe to have created something that resembles them.

they’ve solved the wrong equation because they thought of time, of continuing a past that has never existed but still decorates them, paints them as figures or shadows in the background of a trompe l’oeil, in the geometric distance of a landscape made of staring eyes.

or worrying about the future consequences of every little impulsive act, fruit without season, involuntary but within the limits of their fever-coated fantasy, that’s why they felt so close to the imagination, so much an anticipated piece of the machine’s potential gears, so protechnical prophets.

each injection bringing the closer to the dull vibrations of the refrigeration system, through the sharp steel of the needle hanging from the hardened arm, through the hot liquid, the calibrated barrel, the body huddled next to whoever is pressing the plunger, through the splintered wood floor, the blood rubbed a million times, from the conglomerate of the walls, from the air, from rainwater, from the wet soil.

after abandoning everything they had anyway started without hope, not because of a special interest in going on but to rehearse the possibility of existing in silence.

they knew that the machine was already brewing inside the,, that it was already part of the cartilage as much as they were going to be part of its gestures and mood, and stop being so many other things.

the world as they knew it began to be unbelievable, like when they looked into the mirror after sex and couldn’t recognize themselves in that tremulous, sweaty beings with an urge to urinate, as if after being possessed by innumerable specters they had crossed a certain threshold, broken and put back together defectively, dream crusts still tender and fresh, right from the warmth of the sheets to the warmth of the suspended water to keep feeling enveloped by something more than air.

no matter how hard they tried to stop being themselves, objects, animals and plants continued to approach them in the same miasmatic and arithmous languages ​​originally conjured up by the bubbling babble of shaggy anthropoids, they should have avoided all forms of communication, any thought, erogram or enigma, they should have ceased to allow the world to be inside their bodies for so long, to take them from one side of the withered days to another.

the pale sun behind the fog seemed like a masked moon, a beheading mooncircle, more resplendent yet blurred, without contours, a silver coin at the bottom of a stream of sanded water.

so many evaporated souls have entered them, so many randomizers in the body-clot of wind and water consequence of what time gives rise to.

only the pills seem to revive the swarm of beings living other lives through this always fuzzy-feeling flesh.

wondering where the fire that used to hide like musk in the abstruse folds of the skin has gone.

haploid ghosts and inorganic biomes that have given up on transforming their past into routine.

their own plurality allowing them to ignore their substance and letting them be carried away by the undulations of imaginary metals.

a synchrony insensitive to the arrival of new elements, just like a newly arrived bee won’t glitch the swarm’s shimmering rhythm.

each possession, however, seemed loaded with a serene eroticism manifesting itself in a modular way and requiring compensation in the universe of signs, the exhalation of an imperceptible sigh at the instant of grammar disintegration, the renunciation of a pinch of oxygen.

every time a ghost settles down under the skin, a hair falls off.


all that insensitivity legitimately incubated in the most intimate cracks, invisible wounds in the calcareous armor, apparently smooth and immutable due to the soft and slow accumulation of sediment.

they had learned to roll down the inclined plane without breaking their bones, isolated by a layer of gutta-percha, and never stop fleeing from the fury of future phenomena.

they had left without thinking about it for a moment, as suddenly and unexpectedly as one enters the dream of the body that remains lying on the bed, evaporating after the titanic effort of having tried to conjugate it. it’s like entering a new cave, the promise of never imagined wonders at the other end of the journey that end up by being trinkets.

rainy and apoptotic mornings.

sweetening the coffee with the gaping pupils of some victim of the unraveling of a ball of yarn.

the god of the dead planets offering a temptation in each tendril, hypnotizing them to urge them to leave a door open, they run blind without a scepter, a heart without a center or a beat, silence after silence at each step, the lines hidden between the fingers, the need to decipher the subtle aroma of the morning, entrusted to the light, the fountain jet carved with lips, fleetingness, the entourage of the toes, the need to return to the forest, to stroll through the belly of autumn.


reading that they had not only absorbed the dead but also a considerable number of the living, that they actually ignored what they were trying to find in their random zigzag through the connections, that it was not about viruses and individuals, about the virtuality or a life not yet eternal but expanded in time, but about the suspicion of a possibility of fusion, of bodies becoming soft and sticky as they lose their shapes, a mix of hypertrophied organs and jelly in maximum compression as needles travel through soft tissues weaving internal corsets, sewing exoskeletons around livers, rage in esophagus, brains summing each other up.

their life has consisted of alternating periods of almost ascetic isolation with others when they only thought of throwing themselves into skin waves, into a hell of massive confusion as represented in the classical paintings. to be everything, to be the limits, to be a checkerboard of muscles and bones—or to be almost nothing, an insensible part of a turbulent flow of meaningless objects subjected to unreason.


there was a certain order, barely invisible, instituted by the circles and the cycles of money when money was becoming water, a sparkling ocean of currents and winds that shaped us fusiform.

they never knew how we managed to acquire salesperson abilities, the truth is that they were not bad at it—learned to be more free by looking at the mirrors of others, on which their disemboweled bodies spread like oil stains.

opening night will be coming too soon.

they have always existed at an intersection of contradictory impulses and imaginations, abandonment and enthusiasm, representation and abstraction, pleasure and pain, contemplation and action, eros and disinterest, love for life and curiosity about non-existence, the organic and the inorganic, the present passing and the future immobile, narrative and unreason, boldness and pusillanimity, passion and indifference, all those things that make them incomprehensible.

at some point companies became so big as to build worlds, and it seemed that some gods from before the monotheistic singularity were rising from their graves.

they realized that of all that had seemed to be the fruit of reason, only a maddening succession of images remained in the caucasian orb of henbaned rasputines—and some wanted to be part of the beginning of a new nature.


they were a good example of weirdness trying to keep their unbelievable condition a secret, so much time without stating more than doubt, hormones scurrying like ants through the vascular webs, their rabid bodies tossed about in their acanthus nests, but they still knew of other cases.

she who, for instance, was also a multiple with several body absorptions to her credit, perhaps excessive for her age, causing her some mental confusion, episodes of slight motor incoordination and a slightly blurred appearance, as if the right way of reflecting light had been forgotten.

auditory and visual hallucinations were not uncommon in the hours following the softening and mixing of bodies.

of fusion no memory is kept, and, to our knowledge, it has never been observed by a third party as to describe it from outside, so the process itself can only be reconstructed through a mythological approach.


chimeras are often the product of the fusion of two embryos in the womb, but here the fusion seems to be the consequence of a rare viral mutation induced by an idiosyncratic response to the beta versions of the primordial vaccine, a kind of autopoietic paraimmunity, favored perhaps by a still unknown epigenesis.

when the fusion ends, there is always someone who prevails, someone who has been transformed but keeps a big deal of their previous form, while others are absorbed without leaving a trace, as if one were the solvent and another the solute, perhaps some cells insisting on saying too much about themselves when they approach others to bathe in shared feces.

almost all multiples end up adopting an androgynous and inflamed appearance, but they didn’t—they are an exception within an exception, so it’s even easier to go unnoticed and convince the world that the fusion is nothing but an extravagant urban legend like day-walking vampires.


the existence of fusionants had initially been detected by some biosophists who didn’t research it further because it contradicted the well-established conviction that vertebrates are, in essence, individuals—things that function separately at first, and then, if at all, are put together, in common, associated to do half things.

or, at most, partial individuals, portions of a pre-existing and unfairly disjointed whole temporarily interrupted by its fall into existence, discontinuities in search of erotic continuity, pieces of a magnetic puzzle that tends to self-assemble, orphans of a hypothetical stability with a transcendent goal.


someone said that when science had displaced magic it only replaced its meanest part—that one obsessed with achieving practical results—, while ludic magic remained orphan, a properly playful science was never developed, a true philosophy endowed with new instruments, an intersection between curiosity and pleasure from which nothing is asked in return as we no longer ask for life in exchange for death and we only hope to learn to enjoy the moment when the light goes out, that eternal-ephemeral instant that disintegrates the future.


if future is the factory producing the present, its abolition leaves them in love with the void, in the paradox of an achronic consciousness.

perhaps it was back then when they began to rehearse their death the way a recital, a play, or a hypothesis is rehearsed, with passion and obsession to infect every detail—and finally, after so much waiting, the world would have begun to move to the rhythm of their random missteps.

their bodies are echoes of a future as old as whatever it was before the universe, propelled back in time by the final explosion, played by the machine that multiplies itself in thir existence, flooding them with glorious artificiality.


such was life, lips licking each other to the limits while the machine was downloading itself on them like it had tried before to download them on itself.


to the agoraphobic nomad all cities are confusing, all domes shine like they were covered with crazy diamonds, all brothels are lined with velvet the color of freshly skinned human flesh, all streets are freshly watered and smelling of the ozone given off by the dawn, there is always an afterlife of shiny chromed skyscrapers and rivers of artificial lava that seek to insulate them from fermentation over which they settle, a fuchsia death mask dancing through the streets, it is impossible to distinguish if an object is solid or trespassable, the walls seem polished but vibrate, the eye is no longer necessary, the wick points always north, plastic bodies resist the hermetic reading of the synthetic probability that makes our heroes up, avatars are automatically developed by the machine to multiply their perception of presence.

what was the point of traveling when they were already everywhere, desperately projected by electrical filaments, accepting the necessary pauses to adjust to the slowness of their senses?

interwild scribes of prosaic prosthetic prosic poetry thriving in each protein that at some point was accepted by the humachine.

it seemed madness first, or a dream, like so many others they had abandoned while wandering along highways kicking empty soda cans and getting their feet tangled in plastic bags of powdery and salty sweets, because they were convinced that the cartoon dolls could not contain the totality of what they were, that it did not make sense for reality to behave like the mirror in which another world seemed to see itself reflected.

confusion and the need to manufacture distance.

the groan of the chain link.

the hitchhiking queens talking to the wind in the swinging language of their tanned limbs.

traveling made no sense, cities were all identical and surrounded by wasteland, forest, jungle, taiga, desert, or simply sea.

diversity, friends, lovers, partners, collaborators, as well as all the objects worth paying attention to, acquiring, exchanging, creating, they were all found on the internet and some called them a virtue.

traveling was, therefore, an absurd job, as all jobs end up being, the summary of an exchange of places, geopathic signs and time malaise; perhaps the alchemical dementia implicit in the renunciation to find a phallusophal stone or tiny singing birds in softly watercolored anemones.

was there a nucleus of reason or desire to cling to, to rotate around in their multiple, simultaneous and changing nature?

they did not think about it, the opportunity suddenly presented itself when they didn’t know how to keep on fleeing anymore, when the soft world and the mutaverse intersected, a curious coincidence.

they had made themselves a whirl on any carpet, absorbing others is a slow and laborious process, crampy like the original oceanizers, mush of salt and oxygen bubbles, all those proteins and lipids vibrating and orienting themselves towards the abyss of the antimaterial, gelatinous undulating electricity, pretending to be a soft fungus, a colony of transparent jellyfish, a sweet toothed gel with ivory nails, a smoke demon loaded with soul pollen, decomposed by the rain that sculpts dancing and instantaneous ghosts in eddies and ringlets of suspensive drops.

the air transmitting atoms to the trees which in turn transfer them to the churning mineral subsoil, the planet turned into a huge brain, transorganic, calm and minute, the permanent dissatisfaction of certain elements like calcium, oxygen or chlorine does not cloud their natural unhappiness, while others like tungsten or radon seem much more somber, wicker baskets full of disorder, sheets that fall in love with their own wrinkles even before the dawn seems to be around.

what are the mechanisms, what are the gears, the dawn software with its vegetable epiphanies?

they left everything at the same moment that many insisted, ignominiously, on keeping the world still, nailed to an imaginary ground, chained to a chord, as if it were a snapshot of the future of cosmic metrics, renouncing its responsibility in the eternal change.

hadn’t their ancestors, before learning to speak, walked through jungles that have ceased to exist or lands that are now seas?

cold war veterans with their cold wounds, tormented by the pain of phantom reason, they can shuffle our body like a deck of cards and then deposit each of the cards on the table in a random superimposition, awaiting a confrontation or a combination that suggests a technical event to come.

wonders of cybernetic mummification.

they do not intend to explain themselves.

they’re just piled up in the lap of sensations like tears at the bottom of a silver balloon.

the museums were abandoned when life had become a museum of itself.

can you imagine building a machine, instead of to change the world, to prevent it from changing, to keep the ruins of the standing graveyard cities?

of course it hadn’t worked, the universe continued to flow through the earth as it always had, but the lives of many became a loop that reproduced the fiction of a past that had already been fictional when it supposedly was happening.

some rebelled and they simply decided to ignore it.

they equally enjoyed the dammed water and the torrent, and they drowned, without thinking it twice, in any of both.


it’ll mean mocking the empirical body, decentralizing the anatomical order, refuting any opposition, any of the masks engraved on the bony edges of the atavistic wings.

dissolve the black salt in the mercurial blood of Dionysus and you will get the stroboscopic video loop that shakes and wakes up the white-hot wire nerves, or perhaps it is the body electrocuted and reduced to dust that mocks itself while looking in the mirror at another hastily shaved skin to conclude that only the anamorphic reflection is capable of inducing a joyful iconic decomposition.

the video loop synchronizes a million lazy eyes in a distributed convulsion that turns out to be spray behavior, microdripped onto the surface of the earth.

not that the machine would have needed to unravel the secret codes of the mind-invading monarchs of the black light.


the generative song of foul language conjures up a vile and vain transcendence, the anxious return of the alchemical orifice.

hiding among the warheads of the time traps.

sometimes, in dreams, you are water-soluble singulacres, you just come out, throw yourself into the sea and immediately add yourself to the electrolytes, you become part of the liquid without a trace, no bone or pebble that sways accompanied by parasitic bubbles until reaching the bottom of the viscous gravity of the morsel.

perhaps the crux of your biogrammatic condition has been surrender, discouragement, leaving without fear or remorse, sending everything to hell and then starting any other action in a foreign and anonymous forge.

and they will have followed you, they will have written “good morning” every day until they managed to understand what is expected from them and what they hope to achieve by reorganizing themselves.

you will think that life consists of practicing certain habits, rituals, repetitions of the behavior of the one you imagine having appropriated, and that, because of its frequency, you consider kind to present publicly as an identity, that magical cycle that does not stop taking you to the same place over and over again until the place becomes a possession, believing oneself possessed and therefore fearing the eventuality of being dispossessed of the endearing properties, let’s say hollowed out by objects or consumed by the subtle flame of temporary internal demons, and thus gestures are recycled—displacements, intersections, slips are looped, implicitly tripping over the same stone of madness just removed by the trephine.

hatching the semiotic seed, a new form of transcendence linked to the law of economic calculation that does not end with the suture.

since there is no reason to be found, the impulse is reduced to a signature, a fingerprint, an ax embedded in the forehead, the recognition of some features that are refractory to metamorphosis, faces like eggs withstanding boiling water, slashed by scalpels and burst by artifice infections, grafted onto crystal chandeliers.


letting themselves be hypnotized by the recurring video loops that bounce and reflect off the steel shells of the buildings in the futuristic neighborhood of any city, they try to insert a new image into a crack in the video loop, the video loop is the pulse that feeds hearts with the false evidence of the pleasure of others, even those of those who have conjured an immortal deformity, even those of those who have retreated to the back alleys of nostalgic neighborhoods, even those who have pledged to set a match to all combustible material and already hide hydrocarbon in their basements.

they have been replacing the historical masters of our nightmares —gods, wolves, soldiers, viruses— until they became terrified of images of themselves.

they trust iconic memory too much, semantics, in the artificial rhythm of the messy biofilmography.

fingertips, however, preserve their own memories, that other digital memory made up of scraps and ashes of tactile experiences, screens of frozen oil, the soft resistance of the keys, the sadness scratched on a piece of paper with the tip of a pencil, pens and fountain pens molded in old plastics, what magic hides between the fingers, anxiety and the electric spark when touching a doorknob, a cream, that halfway between the desert and the ocean we call bed sheets, the earth and plants, knives, forks, gloves, coffee cups, cigarettes, erotic sideralia, clitoris, nipples, glans and various textures of hair.

for some reason, tactile perceptions seem to complement olfactory ones as precisely as sight and hearing intertwine, perhaps their cortex has been trained for certain certainties and it would have been different had they learned otherwise, to play a musical instrument for example.


nothing makes sense but everything is assigned a value, a collection of associated metadata, even to extinction, hindmost primadonna, even to zero, geomantic center of the platform-self around which toothed and elastic tentacles unfold, eye between lips, pupil hidden by rose petals of bruised flesh, drops of vitreous humor coagulating on the tongue, the voracious gaze of an anemic and ancient god that missteps but manages to cling to a tower or a bolt of lightning that has frozen in the air.

even to the silence that predictably will orbit their imagined death, the most insignificant of deaths, with whose news —or the delay in its communication— it’s is fun to think something or someone will profit.

someone or something will have automatically increased its value if in a week, a month, a year, they are still alive.

otherwise, alternative bettors will score the benefit.

a simple inference that activates a recharge, vertigo, trajectory deviation.

each provisionally resolved bet puts a million new stakes under way, bone-shattering random shots, scriptures, screens, an overcrowded firmament onto which new stars never cease to project, a dying heroine resting her bloody head on the marble breasts of a crooked goddess.

value arbitrarily assigned to any entity, associated with any exchange that can be minted by the stamp of a coded file.

all is currency, all is divination.

someone sits on a bench looking at his phone as if the source of eternity seethes underneath, violence that accompanies the atrocious mysticism that always ends up deceiving reason, a casino of active and indelible intellectual variables, deprived of bank, croupier or hierarchy.


there is no hand, innocent or cunning, finger on the trigger of a caress, spinning the drum or shuffling the cards with their clumsy flapping, nor an algorithm copulating with the patience to select random numbers.

the slot machine yingyangs, classifying and labelling the potential, inscribing related numbers and probabilities in the synthetic and encrypted representation of each variable before proceeding to break it down into even more elemental arrhythms, dreams within dreams, epihypnosis, abolished chances, passwords that unlock new screens, particles of dream atoms, imperceptible traces of unconscious night ambulance, oneironautical radiations product of the programmed disintegration of prefictional uncertainty.


with each step forward an infinitesimal financial prophecy is fulfilled, some anonymous dies, fragments of interchangeable reality emerge, unicornisms, concoctions, prelude after prelude.


technical love, however, is still sparkling through the tinfoil skin.





Germán Sierra is a Spanish neuroscientist and writer living in the internet. He has recently published The Artifact (Inside the Castle, 2018), Fabulae (Oneiros Books, 2021) and Interstitial Artelligence (Centre for Experimental Ontology Press, 2022), in collaboration with Brazilian philosopher Emanuel Magno.