The Project

I aspired to authenticity, but I never got beyond verisimilitude.

"Ghost Writ" began in 2013 as an experiment in form and content; the text went live at in March, 2015. The book was edited through >30 drafts in 2015/2016, emerging in a print-on-demand version in September, 2016 with numerous typographical and graphical corrections and changes but largely the same content as the draft submitted for copyright in January, 2015.

Like most experiments, this one produced unexpected results:

  • "Joshua Cryst" announced the existence of via email to 50 people I've known at some point in the past 50 years, from childhood and school friends to latter-day professional colleagues—with mixed results: Some liked the book, several found it confusing or puzzling, most never reacted, and a few forwarded the link to people not on the original mailing list. "Ghost Writ"—the project—"escaped from the lab," as one reader put it, to circulate among a much wider audience in Cyberia.

  • Ghost Writ "the book" thus enjoyed a public incubation shaped by comments and questions via tweet, text, and email. These pointed out typographical and grammatical errors or suggested topics and language. A few discussed philosophical, rhetorical, political, cultural, and theological principles and problems.

  • Several readers argued for a POD edition.

  • Special thanks to those readers whose comments and suggestions could be voiced by a character or characters as part of a dialogue. Their participation in the creation of Ghost Writ fulfills what Joshua calls "the ongoing dialogue embodied by this book."

  • In the end, "this book seems to be what it seems to be about," one reader explained to describe her interest in the work.