When our parent company acquired the rights to Mr. Stearns’ work from his estate, we here at Kennison Publishing were unsure how to properly categorize it. Clearly, what you’re about to read was meant as nonfiction, meant as a document of the supposed plot to hide crucial information from the American public. The writer believed he was working in the grand tradition of crusading journalists like Woodward and Bernstein or Tarbell and Mitford. Consequently, he intended to unearth a complicated scheme to disappear all members of any organization who threatened to upend society through the propagation of website content that would radically alter the nature of humanity and its relationship to the government.
Of course, Mr. Stearns was a raving maniac.
This then begs the question: Can something be nonfiction if almost none of it is true? When it is, in the truest sense, fiction? Can you shelve paranoid fantasies on the same shelves as The Smartest Guys in the Room or The Boys on the Bus? We decided the answer to that question was no. Would you call it reportage? After all, Nate Stearns believed what he is about to relate to you is absolutely true and, similarly, journalists have reported information that later turned out to be false. Again, we have to say no. None of those professionals were blinded by mental illness; their blindness more often resulted from lax journalistic methods or overly stringent ideological partisanship. When Ted Kaczynski’s Unabomber Manifesto was published by our friends at Wingspan Classics, they classified it as Political Science, which we suggest was a mistake.
In the end, we’ve decided to call Mr. Stearns’s work what it is: fiction. There is a long history of insanity in the works of literature. From the megalomania of Ernest Hemingway to the delusions of Walt Whitman to the schizophrenia of Edith Warton to the paranoid ravings of Jonathan Frantzen--almost every powerful voice in American literature suffered from a mental illness. It is with that understanding as a context for debate that we present to you Mr. Stearns work--which has already reached a wide audience in its fractured distaff blog form-- as a strangely beautiful and utterly misconceived modern classic of delusion. While we recognize it holds no literal truths, it nevertheless compels us to behold the intricate dance of paranoia and fantasy that infuse our modern world so completely and relentlessly.