If anyone can be considered a psychonaut of literature it is Kathe Koja, a writer who utilizes prose to explore every altered state the page has to offer. With her latest project, Dark Factory, Koja enters the club scene, a place where mind-bending as old as licking a frog meets speed freak technology, and pagan archetypes dance with virtual avatars. I spoke with Koja about the sweet delirium of the project. * What attracted you to club culture for the world of Dark Factory? Everything I write starts with a character, and for Dark Factory, it’s Ari Regon—smiling, hyper-alive, throwing
the night you kept getting higher and higher with someone else at the party, surrounded by all our friends, I jumped off a bridge—not to be melodramatic, just to show you I could have fun too.
And lo, not fifteen minutes after the ship had cast off its ropes, a giant Phoenician dropped his last denarius into a brass bucket and Intracticus retired to the bar, where he proceeded to become loaded, even as unto the dice.
My sister had taken a bunch of us kids to the drive-in to see a scary movie, and we started out shrieking and giggling; by the end, we were jammed together in the front seat, silent, or crying. But the feeling I remember most deeply wasn’t fear, it was outrage.
We were scraping the gum off the underside of a desk when she removed her dress, folded it into a square, and rested it on the teacher’s desk. She said simply that she didn’t need the job of cleaning the gum off her clothes too. I stared at her sandy skin exhaling its own heat. I was sad for her: she was loveless.