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Saturday, March 12, 2016

Ben Mack's book free to download

Ben Mack

Yesterday, I got an email asking about a book by Ben Mack,  a work of fiction called Poker Without Cards: A Consciousness Thriller. 

I had to admit I didn't know the author, but the Goodreads bio lists his influences as Kurt Vonnegut, Robert Anton Wilson, Neal Stephenson and Joseph Matheny. Pretty promising.

I also noticed that Poker Without Cards has as "letter of introduction" from Robert Anton Wilson praising the book. "Ben Mack is at the bleeding edge of avant garde fiction," Wilson writes.

I'm very busy right now, reading novels nominated for the Prometheus Award (book recommendations coming soon) but I'll try Mack's book when I can.  In the meantime, I can report that Poker Without Cards is available as a free PDF file. 

Hat tip: Aaron Grimaudo. Thanks for writing, Aaron.


Drew said...

I read Poker Without Cards a long time ago - about the time it first came out. The blurb that seems to be a quote from Wilson is something made up by Ben Mack. The book is really interesting and coined such phrases as "I want to lead a Fuller life" (allusion to Bucky Fuller) etc. I cannot remember much of the book, other than a scene where a person (the main character) "gets in tune" with the swaying of a tree, outside a university, just after he starts getting into mysticism &c and ends up in a trance for a few hours. I think it might have been the book that first spread the phrase "google it". I can't remember having heard if it, before that book.

Drew said...

I remember something else. It was that book that first spread the theory that the whole of the matrix trilogy is set inside the matrix - ie no one ever gets out. That is what explains why Neo can use his powers "outside" the matrix.

Unknown said...

I am honored this is posted here, and that new folks might read PWC, Poker Without Cards.

What Drew Zi suggests above, that I made up what RAW said, appears to me as partially accurate. For the record, Bob called my writing "bleeding edge" and I asked him if I could quote him. He said for $350, I could quote him, and for me to draft what I wanted him to say. Joseph Matheny brokered the deal. I did "make up" the quote, swiping from Buckminster Fuller's introduction to Cosmography, and Bob approved the quote.

You can meet Howard Campbell in this 32 minute documentary I produced on persuasion entitled The Pitch, Poker & The Public ➜

Poker Without Cards worked in concert with the book This Is Not A Game, A Guide to Alternate Reality Games, by the late, great Dave Szulborski, a book to which I contributed a chapter on magic. While PWC works fine as a novel without noticing the puzzles, the Primary Puzzle -- Poker Without Cards, when translated into Hebrew, פוקר ללא קלפים (Hebrew for poker without cards) = 707
707 base 3 = 121212 or 12/12/12
12/12/12, the date David Guerrero and I celebrated noon in each time zone with a rehearsal of The Wave Around The World.

Also, for the record, CCEO has nothing to do with BBDO for whom I was working when I wrote PWC, and I don't know how these rumors get started.

Unknown said...

Drew Zi... Thank you for reading PWC, and for sharing your thoughts. I get heartened reading what was meaningful to folks. I am grateful for your time and considerations.

Unknown said...

I agree that Mack is the bleeding edge of avant garde fiction and hope we see more from him in the future.

I have heard he his working on another novel. I looking forward to reading it, and at least 23 more of his works.

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