The Problem with Choice
More than a few psychological studies have been dedicated to documenting the problematic phenomena inherent in free-will: the more options one has, the unhappier one becomes. It can be paralyzing, having to select the one from the many. Life is much easier when your options are reduced. Take, for example, Denis Johnson’s Resuscitation of a Hanged Man, wherein the lead character only finds a sense of peace when he’s sent to prison, where all choice has at last been mercifully repealed. Or, on the more pedestrian end of things, the simple agony of deciding what to order on your pizza.
Of course, having zero options is just as defeating as having too many, and there is plenty of historical evidence to prove that point as well. But a couple options? Yeah, a couple options is best. Which is why Pilot Editions has now released a second edition of my novel To Sleep as Animals. This new version—enigmatically known as the “Medallion Edition”—is slim enough to fit in your back pocket, features new black-on-black cover art by Will Thorneater, and is a few dollars cheaper than the original ultra-austere edition, which—of course—is also still available.
Meanwhile, the mini-collection Hot White Sun is now available exclusively at Space Gallery (538 Congress Street, Portland, Maine) as part of their Goods and Services exhibition. This hand-bound booklet, limited to twenty-five numbered copies, continues the story of Coleman that began in Brand New Moon. Sad and gritty and steeped in fortified wine, Hot White Sun will be available through the end of the Goods and Services show (closing January 31st, 2015), then will be gone forever.