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Four words, plus enough keystrokes to knock ʼem out.

Industrivism deals with the fundamental problem of modern experience.“But, up here, it just never stops.” He pointed to his temple. Big, with a huge right hand that wrapped around the beer stein like a towel. The pulp writer was Lenny Lick, Lurlene St Lovelace, Leonard Carlson—and whomever else it took to get a sale. “You don’t have to think about work at all the second you step through the factory gates and rejoin the rest of us unemployed chumps down here at the bar. Eight hours of work, eight hours of sleep, eight hours for what we will? So he took a look as he walked along St Mark’s Street and into the West Village and read: Have You Heard Of INDUSTRIVISM?? Industrivism was the idea of “intrapersonal industrial development”, of using “psychological and philosophical methods to improve the self” and become a superior being.In the same way that factories made superior products by assembling them one step at a time, so too could a human being be improved by embracing “psycho-industrial processes” that would refine and eventually perfect both mind and body.More like a giant underwater suit ten feet high, and vertical, up against the wall, limbs spread like in the middle of a jumping jack. He’d only ever given orders, and in a precise Germanic tone, via his phonograph contraption. He never really had been in a situation where he had to be politic before.And the old man’s head was behind a plate of thick glass. ALOUD.” Jake wasn’t much for elocution, but he did his best. “Well, uh, sir,” he said, “I think that Industrivism could be the wave of the future.” “THE FUTURE.” “Yes.Industrivism resolves the contradiction by embracing it. You’re no longer just a cog, you’re the blueprint, the design, the firing piston of a great diesel— It was possible to write this junk all right, but the pulp writer couldn’t imagine that anyone would believe it. Speaking of brain seizures, it was time for a drink. I can’t believe you’re still talking about the wobblies.” They finished their beers in silence. Who would believe that criminals would employ scientists and engineers, the rejection slips said, and besides the story made it seem like crime paid.

But the old man liked wordy paragraphs that were half religious tract, half boosterism, all nonsense. The pulp writer figured that a paragraph’s worth of beers would be fine for the night, and that included the possibility of fronting another patron a round. There will be another war starting soon, in Europe. The pulp writer thought about a story she had in her trunk; an unpublished one about a terrible world in which Prohibition had actually been declared and the criminal fraternity had begun working overtime to corner the market on illicit booze. “Pays better than pulp fiction anyway,” the pulp writer said, and Jake responded, “What? “Nah, I’ll just take the manuscript and go.” “Fine,” she said. She slid him the envelope that had been resting under her left elbow. ” “If not sooner,” Jake said, but the pulp writer didn’t respond, so he took the envelope and left.

The very first step was the hardest—admitting that you were a know-it-all, or a wallflower, or a bohemian, or a workaday drudge, a second-hander, or a thug. Once you had determined your own Essential Flaw, there were a number of exercises one could do to become a True Industrivist, a superior being able to control one’s own fate.

The pamphlet only hinted at what these exercises might be, but Jake was intrigued, even as he diagnosed himself as an also-ran.

So, uh, “enjoy”: We Never Sleep by Nick Mamatas The pulp writer always started stories the same way: Once upon a time.

And then, the pulp writer always struck right through those words: It was habit, and a useful one, though on a pure keystroke basis striking four words was like taking a nickel, balancing it carefully on a thumbnail, and then flicking it right down the sewer grate to be washed out to sea.

The pulp writer had to admit that writing advertising copy came much more easily than fiction.