Brooklyn Bridge

And if you read the fine print, Liberty Island discourages ax-grinding, content though they be with their niche. They prefer that an author’s ideas be a backdrop for the story rather than a theory he is trying to prove”€”the same way bourgeois realist assumptions underlie Iowa-school novels. The site welcomes work from writers with a variety of incorrect philosophies, from conservative Christians to atheist libertarians to contrarians and sensible liberals who have had enough of witch hunts.

You do get your heavy-handed satires on Liberty Island, some so clumsy I can”€™t see enjoying them unless Barack Obama personally came to your house and shot your dog. I”€™m sure they felt great to write, but the best-case scenario is that the propensity to blow off steam will taper once the thrill of not being censored or buried fades.

Already the majority of the ham-fisted bits are cloistered in the non-curated section of the site, under the “€œFree Range”€ tab, where readers can post their own stuff at will. “€œFree Range”€ is not a bad idea, however, as it also yields amusing rants about the state of the literary art and other goodies.

The more promising work in the curated section ranges from “€œhe”€™ll probably write a decent novel in 10 years”€ level stuff to long-neglected authors like Roy M. Griffis, who makes me wonder: “€œIf there is a God in Heaven, as this enviably talented bastard seems to at least hope is the case, then why in Hell couldn”€™t he find a publisher?”€ (Griffis, not God.)

In fact, Liberty Island is already moving closer to becoming a full-fledged book imprint: thanks to the modest success of the crowd-funding drive that winds down this Friday, they”€™ll be able to publish at least two contributors”€™ novels in the fall, including The Big Bang, the first of Griffis”€™ proposed Lonesome George Chronicles series.

Next: Liberty Island, Part II: The Long Slog of Roy M. Griffis


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