Alternative Culture MagazineCougar WebWorks Celebrating Nature, Culture, and Spirit
Alternative Culture Magazine

Alternative Literature


Featuring Creative Writing, Poetry, Literary Criticism, Online Commentary, Speculative Fiction and Hypertext Fiction, and Free E-book Downloads


"Alternative Literature" as a phrase is almost redundant. Literature by its very nature provides an alternative to conventional wisdom, to mainstream values, and to ordinary versions of reality.

But there is every stripe of literature just as there is every stripe of politics or spirituality; or approach to health, income or lifestyle. We bring our cultural inclinations to our use of language and to our taste in literature. If you are alternative-minded, chances are you want, in a literary magazine, something off the beaten track--that is, if you still read at all.

So what is alternative literature? It's easy to think of examples but hard to pin down. Any literary magazine with truly creative writing will be full of alternatives: alternative worldviews, alternative methods of handling plot and description and characterization, alternative ways to construct a poetic line or personal essay. Included, then, in this alternative literary magazine are samples of creative nonfiction, philosophy essays, poetry, commentary on computerized culture, hypertext fiction, love poetry and nature poetry, a smattering of aesthetics and literary criticism, journal writing, channeling...

It's tempting to try to classify these into fewer categories, to give you an easier choice of navigation. You know, the old genres: fiction, nonfiction, poetry. Or, you could have organization by subject: wilderness ecology, technology and culture, new age spirituality, and so on. There is definitely a bias here toward alternative content (environmental politics and natural lifestyles, for instance; yet also alternate reality, via speculative fiction and imaginative poetry). The exploration of alternative forms leads to the wide-open field of free-verse poetry; also to prose-poetry, poetic prose and other forms of wordjazz; and last but not least, to hypertext (both hypertext fiction and hypertext nonfiction).

In the end, your baffled editor must throw up his hands at the task of classifying by pigeonhole. After all, alternative literature aims at breaking down barriers and boundaries, so that prose and poetry, fiction and nonfiction, visible and invisible reality may have someplace to meet.

The following pieces are my own. Other contributors' pieces are archived here.

arctic mysteryvirtual reality virus

Ebook Downloads:
Fiction and Creative Nonfiction by Nowick Gray


HyperLife: A Life in Hypertext

Prefaces and Introductions Without End

BabyBoom - cresting the wave of the century

The Boys in the Park - coming of age in the late sixties

Stephen King Through Rose-Colored Eyes - was it the great man himself?

The Meaning of Life - or, a walk through the meadow grass

Of Ducks, Trucks and Bucks - tweaking the homestead economy

Trumped in Peckerdom - caught in a nonviolent rebellion of Quebec Inuit


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