A Place So Foreign and Eight More

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  1. Here’s this story’s intro from the book:

    The most striking thing about cunning artifice is its sudden absence. While the actors are on stage, they can command our complete attention, still the nattering voices in our minds, suspend our disbelief to the rafters. But no matter how magical the action onstage is, it can’t touch the shocking and wildly dissonant moment when the curtain rings down and the lights come up, returning the theatre from a house of wonders to a mundane place of people and things. In that interstitial moment, the hot second when the world slides from fantasy to reality, our brains do a kind of flip-flop that is more interesting than anything on the stage or off it.

    If you ever have the good fortune to be on a Disney ride when it really thoroughly breaks down, you’ll get to experience this. The safety bar comes forward, the lights come up, the animatronics slide to a halt, and secret doorways are revealed leading to utilitarian service corridors tagged with old graffiti and scars from illicit cigarettes. In the moment where you walk from the “onstage” area of the park to the “offstage,” your brain undergoes exactly the same kind of flip-flop. It’s addictive.

    What would it be like to live in that interstitial zone, to be a cast-member at a theme-park, constantly traversing the equator girding the real and fantastic hemispheres?

    And on a slightly different subject: What the hell did Stromboli want to turn Pinocchio and Lampwick into donkeys for, anyway?

    (All the above notwithstanding, this entire story materialized in my head during a trip through the Pinocchio ride in Disneyland’s Fantasyland).

    Comment by Cory Doctorow — September 7, 2003 @ 7:31 am

  2. PDF

    Comment by Jeremy Keith — September 8, 2003 @ 4:52 am

  3. The link to .txt seems to be broken… (PDF works, though.)

    Comment by sq — September 8, 2003 @ 6:36 am

  4. The PDF link above points to quick’n'dirty conversion not much different to the original text version (no conversion of quotes, emphasis, etc.). All I’ve done is change the typeface to 12 point Helvetica.

    The width is still fixed at 80 characters.

    I’m sure somebody else will put together some more sophisticated PDFs. This was just a quick fix done using the “Save as pdf” print option under OS X.

    Comment by Jeremy Keith — September 8, 2003 @ 7:07 am

  5. I’ve converted all the available stories into Palm Reader format, suitable for one-click loading onto a Palm Pilot or Pocket PC (as well as looking rather nice using the Palm Reader for Windows and Macs.)

    The Palm Reader file’s available from here.

    Comment by Thomas Scott — September 8, 2003 @ 7:31 am

  6. Apple Newton Paperback format of all of the short stories:

    http://toronto.unna.org/unna/books/Fiction_Poetry/Cory_Doctorow/

    Comment by Victor Rehorst — September 8, 2003 @ 8:10 am

  7. Here are .doc and .pdf formats.

    Comment by Grant Henninger — September 9, 2003 @ 11:10 am

  8. I’ve got another Palm Reader version of this story, available here.

    Comment by Jon Abernathy — September 9, 2003 @ 11:14 pm

  9. Plucker is an open source compressed HTML format for Palm and
    other handheld computers. The reader is available from
    http://www.plkr.org/
    and the converted story is at
    http://home.austin.rr.com/rcp/plucker/Cory_Doctorow_-_Return_to_Pleasure_Island.pdb

    Comment by Rob Pettengill — September 17, 2003 @ 2:43 pm

  10. HTML versions of all stories can be found here. Converted with txt2html. The width is not fixed to 80 characters.

    Comment by Michael Schubart — September 18, 2003 @ 8:58 pm

  11. Two weeks

    Well, it’s been two weeks since I posted anything here so I need to get back at it. I have been posting to my random page and my mblog. I’ve been putting off writing here as I have some serious…

    Trackback by Marc's terminal — September 26, 2003 @ 11:58 pm

  12. The things one finds when ego-surfing. Thanks to Cory Doctorow for putting a blurb from my Tangent Online review of this fine story right up there at the top of this page. Wow. I guess I’ve arrived. :::ducking:::

    Comment by J. G. Stinson — September 30, 2004 @ 1:06 pm

  13. Tones, I think you misunderstand. This story has already been published in many places, most notably in my award winning short story collection, “A Place So Foriegn and Eight More” — http://craphound.com/place/buy.php

    Comment by Cory Doctorow — January 1, 2005 @ 7:57 am

  14. Cory Doctorow,
    anyway the story of J. G. Stinson has the right to exist. i liked it very much. Thinking to write my own…:)
    Really, great work. By the way, had some problems with .txt file.

    Comment by Prise — January 25, 2006 @ 5:57 pm

  15. Well, no problems at all. Everything works properly.
    I’m lucky I found this exact page…by custom reason :)

    Comment by Brian — March 1, 2006 @ 2:30 am

  16. I converted this to mobipocket’s prc format, that can be used in many readers, including the Amazon Kindle

    Return_to_Pleasure_Island

    Comment by jonnyflash — October 13, 2008 @ 9:22 am

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