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.


Between Soul & Word
Latest novel. Limited serial distribution beginning late summer 2020. Chapter 1 is available here with others to follow monthly.
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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.


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