Polt and gang are are at it again. Their first series of collected typewriter fiction was such a bang up, that it landed them enough material from over 40 authors to fill two volumes: Cold Hard Type I & II. Both volumes explored the collapse of the digital world. If you’re new to the concept of typewriter fiction, authors were instructed to include a typewriter as integral to the story and produce a final copy written on their own typewriter.
With their latest call, they’re asking you to hop in the wayback machine and send your hero to the golden age of typewriters. The venture is called, Backspaces — Typewritten Tales of Time Travel.
If you haven’t read volume I or II, I highly recommend them. The quality of the writing and storytelling is top notch. While many offer a bleak post-apocalyptic tale, they’re often filled with hope and humanity. However, I must admit, with our own doomsday clock ticking forward, I had to read these volumes in small doses for fear of falling into a dystopian funk. What really breathed life into these stories was having each one produced on the author’s own typewriter. It gave them a quirky charm that would’ve been flattened out had they been published in perfect typeset font. By giving credit to the typewriter at the end of each story, we also get a glimpse into what the machine tells about the author.
As much as I enjoyed the first round, I’m looking forward to putting our current troubles behind and burying our heads in the glory of the past. In the meantime, I’ll soak in the comfy confines of a good binge of Downton Abbey and a healthy dose of Call the Midwife.
And lastly, since it is the season of giving thanks in America, a big hearty thanks to Richard Polt, Frederic S. Durbin, and Andrew V. McFeaters for publishing these stories. They give voice and motivation for writers to hone their craft with typewriters. More than anything, these volumes speak to the continued relevance of typewriters and highlight their rise in this second golden age of these wonderful writing machines.
For more information on this project: