Late last week, Pat reminded me about this project called 48 Hour Longshot Magazine (they got sued by the TV show, don’t ask). The concept is simple: create a magazine from start to finish in 48 hours. Post a theme, all content is due 24 hours later, and then 24 hours after that, a print on demand magazine is posted for sale.

This time around, the theme was Comeback.

Here’s what they said about it.

Interpret it how you want. After all, comebacks are morally neutral. Disgraced politicians, the Taliban, and Whooping Cough have all come back. But beautiful babies have too, their little kumquat hearts restarting just in time.

You can come back from anything, even death.  This is a hilobrow concept. Sports teams stage comebacks. Skirts stage comebacks. Ideas stage comebacks. Even Lassie. Lassie always comes back home again. It is all theater, in a way, with very specific requirements. The preconditions are forever the same: you have to lose before you can win; it has to vanish before it can return; you must have faith.

Maybe some comebacks don’t seem so serious to you. What is significant about a basketball team coming back from 16 points down in the fourth quarter to win? It reminds us to hope. What is meaingful about the fashionability of the length of a skirt? It’s in the mechanics. Inch by inch, we get to witness change. It may seem like you’re analyzing hem lines, but they are just a stripped down and convenient model for how the world happens.

And there’s another definition, too. (Your mama probably knows it.) Maybe one time, someone said something to you that was real mean, and as you stood there, stinging, the most perfect retort rose into your brain and flew out of your mouth. It landed flush, and your opponent was staggered. You walked away proud, even though you don’t like violence. There are those comebacks, too.

About the only thing that unites all these things is that the best comeback is the least statistically probable. Comebacks are a reminder that weird stuff happens in the world! Norms are made to be deviated from.

So what did I do with that?

The nerdiest fucking thing possible. I wrote about game design and video games. Specifically about fungibility. A term that refers to how easy it is in a game to jump from last place to first, or fall from first to last. A metric of flexibility, sort of. I started writing Friday night, conked out around 1 or 2, woke up and finished the bit, shipping it off to Longshot at around 11am local time.

At about 11:10 local time I decided what I’d written was probably just a nerd game theory wankery and went on with my weekend.

But, low and behold, about 28 hours later, guess who’s name crawled up on the list of accepted submissions.

What? No. Mine, you assholes.

And here I am on page 24 of Longshot Magazine, #1.

I’m curious to see what they’ve done with my bit, because it looks like they’ve copy edited it down by about 300 words. And that’s probably a good thing.

So, yeah. There you go. My first published work.

If you want to buy it (which all of you should, the project looks awesome, I’m probably the low point of the whole thing), you can find it here.

I know a lot of you are printheads. This is the sort of project you should be looking at. Using new media to make relevant and interesting old media.