When I first attempted this list it was all weird tales and ghost stories. Those are generally (almost exclusively) the short stories I enjoy. It was weird, but also weirdly pedestrian, a lot of Lovecraft and Charlotte Perkins Gilman. So I thought, with a chuckle, “I should put ‘Junkspace’ on here.” In ‘Junkspace’, the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas warns about the ubiquitous, homogenous, air-conditioned global environment of airports, shopping malls, convention centres and hotels, an edgeless “fuzzy empire” of “canned euphoria”. But his maddened, feverish tone is straight from Edgar Allan Poe or Colonel Kurtz. It has precisely the structure and prose style of a weird tale, in which a rational man glimpses something unspeakable and returns, his grasp on sanity loosened, to report to us. I’ve recommended it to other writers in the past, and they’ve come back from it wide-eyed. Yeah, I thought, ‘Junkspace’ definitely belongs on the list. And then I thought, what if the whole list was ‘Junkspace’?
In Junkspace with Running Room, Notting Hill Editions, 2013, by Rem Koolhaas and Hal Foster, available here