Category Archives: Experimental Fiction

Ebook version of Exact Change is now available on Amazon

My first book Exact Change: Short Fiction is now available on Amazon!

Here’s a quick excerpt from the publisher’s website:

Henry James Korn’s first book, this collection of short form fiction was originally published by Assembling Press in 1974 with an original lithograph cover by photographer and print-maker Scott Hyde.

It now finds a new life in digital form as an e-book. Of particular interest to modern audiences are several clear links from Korn’s late 60’s and early 70’s literary experiments to the anticipated major themes, characters, and plot points in his forthcoming debut novel Amerikan Krazy.

Memorable stories include King Kong in the Kitchen, The Condemned of Altoona, and One Thing Perfectly Clear. It also contains one of his earliest modular experimental efforts The Pontoon Manifesto which was published separately in a variety of formats.

Source: Exact Change: Short Fiction | Boffo Socko Books

I’d kindly ask those who enjoy reading it to leave reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, LibraryThing, or your own blog. Sharing via social media is also appreciated!


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P.S.: You can get it for free if you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber. If not you can join now for 30 Days Free.

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Pre-Orders of Proceedings of the National Academy of the Avant Garde Available on Amazon

In getting ready to publish my debut novel Amerikan Krazy in November, Boffo Socko Books is re-publishing some of my experimental fiction and non-fiction. (Many have already had some fun with my modular experimental fiction piece The Pontoon Manifesto of which we just re-released an electronic version of on Monday.)

Today I’m pleased as punch (not necessarily Kool-Aid) to announce that the 40th Anniversary re-release of my Fall 1975 piece entitled Proceedings of the National Academy of the Avant Garde is now available for pre-order on for release on September 25th. The original publication of the book was made possible by a grant from the Literature Program of the National Endowment for the Arts through the Participation Project Foundation.

I hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I did writing it.


“I am amazed. Not only is Proceedings of the National Academy of the Avant Garde the only funny example of experimental fiction I have ever laid eyes on, it is the only example of experimental art in any form that I’ve seen in years that I thought was really good.  Give us more, Mr. Korn and mark my words they won’t be calling you experimental for long.”
—P.J. O’Rourke



From Henry James Korn, a leader in the experimental writing and small press community in Lower Manhattan during the 1970’s, comes volume one, issue one of an imaginary academic journal that administers the coup de grace to the American reality consensus.

Skewering topics as diverse as art, politics, agriculture, professional sports automotive supplies, food, pet products, and children’s toys, Korn’s Proceedings has had an influence on popular culture for over four decades. It is entirely possible that Lady Gaga’s meat dress, worn at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards, was inspired by Henry James Korn when he invented “a suit of armor comprised of 1000 transistor radios all tuned to different Spanish-language stations.”

Introduction by Loris Essary

“The higher comic vision of life,” writes Bergson scholar Wylie Sypher in The Meanings of Comedy, “is humane and an achievement of man as a social being.” Avant garde comic art remains our best, conceivably our only response, to an increasingly fragmentary world over which our individual control is minimal.

So now we have a publication by Henry James Korn with an oxymoronic title embracing programmed immortality, nostalgia for the future, and fluorescent chicken bones. But art exists where art is perceived and anything can be art at that point where we remove the object from the realm of the practical and personalize it though our own esthetics. Our misperceptions occur because we allow our reactions to be institutionalized and enslaved to official certifications of validity represented by the multiple choice and essay questions that Korn appends to his text in order to encourage reader response. “You cannot-a kid me, dere ain’t no sanity clause,” is the way Chico Marx expressed his opposition to authority in a Night at the Opera which Henry James Korn takes as a motto for his Proceedings. Elsewhere, Korn writes of two men in a room singing loudly, each in response to the other, filling the room with alternate balloons of sound. “Sometimes,” writes Korn, “we call this Opera and other times it’s the on-going process of life itself.’  Korn evidently understands much of what Franz Kafka was getting at in his notebooks when he explained he extravagantly exaggerated fictional situations purely in the interests of advancing clarity.


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Further Details

Further details as well as reviews and comments and links to social media sites for Proceedings can be found on its own page at Proceedings of the National Academy of the Avant Garde.

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45th Anniversary Re-release of The Pontoon Manifesto: The Electronic Edition


Back in the late sixties, I wrote an experimental and formally innovative work of fiction entitled The Pontoon Manifesto.  It’s had various print incarnations, some better than others in terms of relaying the intended meaning of my experiment.

Forty-five years on, I am proud to present a new and unlimited edition electronic Pontoon powered by a web-based randomizer which reorders the paragraphs at the click of a button. This gives The Pontoon Manifesto new life in a technological form unavailable at the time of its writing.

According to Richard Kostelanetz, critic, curator, editor, and visual poet, “Henry James Korn’s Pontoon Manifesto is a pioneering modular fiction.”  This late 1960’s literary experiment anticipated major themes, characters, and plot points in my forthcoming 2015 novel Amerikan Krazy.  The Pontoon Manifesto was initially floated in a pair of early 1970’s paperback offshoots of New American Review.

For the Print Purists

In 1975, my experiment was reprinted by the poet Larry Zirlin as a limited edition artist book in the form of a deck of cards to be shuffled and read in any order.  This may be one of the best ways to read the manifesto, and limited copies of this original collector’s edition are still available — drop me a note if you are interested in acquiring a numbered/lettered copy. Physical copies should also be available on shortly as well.


I’d love to have your reviews and thoughts once you’ve had the chance to check out my “manifesto.”  Feel free to post them on at your leisure.  Additional information about The Pontoon Manifesto including selected exhibitions, selected collections, and its publication history can be found here: The Pontoon Manifesto.


‘Thirty-three fictional beginnings to be shuffled and read in any order?’  I did it and I’m hooked.
-Alexandra Garrett, NewLetters, Beyond Baroque Foundation Los Angeles, 1975

Korn’s persona is a latter-day Huck Finn on his raft riding out of yesterday into today, graduating from innocence to the no-sense world of Tanguy, Ernst, Dali and Kafka.  This post-McLuhan Shandyesque card-read, play-book  is elegant, whimsical, politically satirical and truly surreal.
-Arlene Zekowski, Small Press Review, Dustbooks, Paradise, California, 1975

A fictional house of cards designed to destroy the everlasting sanity of librarians everywhere.
-Bill Katz, “Best Small Press Titles of 1975” Library Journal, New York, 1975

The Pontoon Manifesto can be read as many ways as it can be shuffled, creating a new plot with every reading.  In trusting his reader to create the fiction, Korn appears to believe my mind contains as many interesting possibilities as his own.
-Tom Montag, Learning to Read Again: Some Notes on Eight Recent Books, Cat’s Pajama Press, Chicago, 1976

Free from an established view of art and literature, Henry James Korn challenges us to take up the gauntlet and write our own stories.
-Loris Essary, Assembling Assembling, Pratt Graphics Center exhibition catalogue edited by Richard Kostelanetz, Assembling Press, New York, 1978

The Pontoon Manifesto electronic web edition was designed by Chris Aldrich of  Boffo Socko Books who deployed a web-based randomizer which reorders the paragraphs endlessly at the click of a button.

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