Disclaimer: The Page 69 Test is not mine. It has been around since 2007, asking authors to compare page 69 against the meat of the actual story it is a part of. I loved the whole idea of it and so I'm stealing it specifically to showcase small press titles - novels, novellas, short story collections, the works! So until the founder of The Page 69 Test calls a cease and desist, let's do this thing....
Set up page 69 for us. What are we about to read?
This is a scene in which Max Langley, the more successful of the titular twins, is giving a reading at his local independent bookstore for his latest release—the third and final book in his epic YA sci-fi trilogy, The War For Anthropica. His brother Alan and their next door neighbor, Millie, are in attendance. There is also a glimpse of the "webmaster" in the form of a footnote. He is the unseen-assembler of the story we are reading, commenting and manipulating from the fringe.
What is your book about?
The Paradox Twins is the story of estranged twin brothers who reunite at their father's funeral to discover they no longer look alike. They move into their father’s house to settle his affairs, only to reignite old rivalries and uncover long-hidden secrets, most of which involve the young woman who lives next door. It is told in an epistolary format, comprised of excerpts from various memoirs, novels, screenplay adaptations, and documents of public record. It is is an experimental, sci-fi ghost story about the scariest, most unknowable quantity there is—family.
Do you think this page gives our readers an accurate sense of what the book is about? Does it align itself with the book’s overall theme?
I feel like it would be nigh impossible for any one page of this book to give the perfect example of what it is about, but if you included a few paragraphs in either direction, page 69 totally would. Sibling rivalry and the difficulties of family are huge themes in The Paradox Twins. It also has quite a bit to say about writers and writing and the creative process in general. The nature of stories and storytelling, and how malleable those things are. So with a little context, this is a pretty representative page, thematically.
THE PARADOX TWINS
THE PARADOX TWINS
Joshua Chaplinsky is the Managing Editor of LitReactor.com. He is the author of The Paradox Twins (CLASH
Books), the story collection Whispers in the Ear of A Dreaming Ape,
and the parody Kanye
West—Reanimator. His short fiction has been published by
Motherboard, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Thuglit, Severed Press, Perpetual Motion Machine
Publishing, Pantheon Magazine and Broken River Books. Follow him on Twitter at @jaceycockrobin. More info at joshuachaplinsky.com.