jon irons


I write for a living and I program for money. I live in Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America. My fiction examines literature beneath a surreal, disbelieving lens. Books and life have surprising interconnections; I want to illustrate those that most inspire and terrify me. Any character or situation you can imagine, even the strangest, probably has a true-life counterpart.

My favorite books make me want to read other books and aren’t shy about pointing the way. Information, fact or fiction, can be addictive. The texts that I like most recognize this and feed the hunger for more, not in order to sate it, but to make it grow. I believe that any book worth reading can’t be spoiled, that knowing everything in advance is not a detriment to enjoyment. I try to write my own stories based on these two guiding principles.

Unfortunately, some of that programming stuff has leaked into my thinking. While I once studied French so that I might devour even more works, for every hour I’ve read or written, I’ve spent five or ten more staring at a program’s source code. With a view like this, interconnections become links, links become pointers, and soon enough all text is a graph or a Markov chain. What a dream. Spending so many waking hours with computers has imbued me with opinions about their systems, about their tools. You might see some of that here or there. My apologies.

In recent years, I’ve also begun exploring electronic music and sound synthesis. Some of the work I do in this area will begin filtering in.


Between Soul & Word
Latest novel. Available here, but I recommend that you purchase them from Downtown Books & News in Asheville, NC (coming soon).
work log (rss)

When a man reads too much, what does he do? When he decides to become immortal, how does he go about it? The answers should not surprise you. The survivors might. Eli Milledge, misanthrope, derives literature’s hidden history by tracing correspondences, real and invented, between a very few authors from medieval times to the present day. A structure exists beyond life and death, one whose rungs are acts of manipulation, abuse, torture, and murder. Everyone must take a place in this structure, and Milledge wishes to be at the top.

We are many, and as you might guess, our weight threatens at all times to collapse the whole thing. That is why we have the rest of you.

Use K.
Precursor to Between Soul & Word. To be reprinted as a companion volume.

Stumbling into a soft, purportedly linguistic, job, a certain Thomas Wilkins slowly realizes that the absurd groups he encounters run the world and run it horribly. Chief among these is the Milledge Foundation, which in its founder’s absence has turned inward against itself. Wilkins can do little but smile at the meaningless conflict of which he becomes a central part. His amusement fades when he comes to understand the human cost, a cost too great for him to pay in another’s stead.


Istoria Soundtrack
The original soundtrack to the Marathon scenario Istoria. Available with the scenario itself, from the Internet Archive, or in high-quality audio formats from Bandcamp. You can also listen to it on YouTube.
Pieces from 2021. “Watch” it on YouTube.
Far From Optimal
A set of sound collages using cassette tapes and small synthesizers. “Watch” it on YouTube, or download the FLAC or MP3 versions.

As part of a trial run with equipment and material I was testing for a friend, I put together some simple sound collages from three sources:

  • A well-known, bestselling science fiction and self-help author whom I’ll call Elrond Hugger. This was from a tape that contained one of his lectures on a science and philosopy we can pretend is named Diuretics. The art also comes from a heavily modified portion of the lecture set booklet.
  • A cassette called “Uncommon Quotes,” which (from what little I listened to in a linear manner) seems to be a tribute by William S. Burroughs to Brion Gysin.
  • The 1983 BBC radio adaptation of The Lord of the Rings.

The equipment in question: a guitar-pedal looper; a hand-cranked cassette playback device called the Landscape HC-TT; the Korg Monotron Delay synthesizer. I wanted to create a simple setup that aligned with my friend’s interests in tape and collages.

Although this was mostly a technical experiment, the results surprised me: an ambient, moody, brooding, and sometimes silly work. Given my shameless theft from my sources, I won’t begrudge anyone who might choose to do the same with these tracks. Enjoy.


electronic mail
dead twitter
public key
65FBFB7A9BBCC58A61A5 66630169869EF089F812