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September 24, 2011 11:24 PM   Subscribe

A playful mystery has been unfolding in Atlanta for a few months now, and has spread to other cities. Packages have been anonymously mailed to various writers, bookstores, publications and organizations around the city.

Envelopes have also been found tucked away in trees, books or doorways. All contain variations on a greeting letter (usually signed "Henri Rechatin"), an unidentified (but numbered) excerpt, and an envelope containing a crisp ten dollar bill. All encouraging the recipient to "follow your narrative urge!"

It's hit
Chicago, St. Louis and Minneapolis, probably more places. Is it an alternate reality game? A writing prompt? A strange networking tool? A wiki has been started to aggregate the clues.
posted by Maaik (15 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
Didn't want to include this in the post since it's a self-link, but WRITE CLUB Atlanta is a recipient and we've decided to turn it into our own little competition.

Also: no, I am not behind this in any way.
posted by Maaik at 11:28 PM on September 24, 2011


I wouldn't open any of these packages. Anthrax.

Mods, please backdate this comment ten years.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:57 PM on September 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's twice as much as in town!
posted by chavenet at 12:16 AM on September 25, 2011


.... what started as a playful mystery turned deadly today as....
posted by Hicksu at 12:21 AM on September 25, 2011 [7 favorites]


It's great that he's using his millions of chair-balancing dollars to sponsor authors, who obviously don't get paid nearly as much, books being a sort of a niche entertainment.
posted by aubilenon at 12:22 AM on September 25, 2011


Hmmm. This reminds me of the opening of Jon Ronson's The Psychopath Test
posted by Bwithh at 1:02 AM on September 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love this as a concept, but since my narrative urge requires about three days of sleep deprivation and a gallon of espresso to be followable, I'm prevented from seeing this as a feasible writing-encouragement strategy.

Still, I wish this would show up in Seattle.
posted by clavier at 2:46 AM on September 25, 2011


I've been doing this for years and I didn't make the news. Ha!

I often send money to charities this way. I put $5-$20 in an envelope and send it off with a letter. Almost always charities just send back the standard tax deduction form and a request for more cash.

The biggest mystery here is how did he get the authors' addresses? Seriously, that's near impossible for most.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:49 AM on September 25, 2011


Has anyone seen Edward Nygma recently?
posted by The Whelk at 8:10 AM on September 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


The ones I know of personally weren't sent directly to their homes, but to where they work.
posted by Maaik at 8:11 AM on September 25, 2011


Oh, oh—my officemate got one of these! It took me a sec to realize it was the same thing. And whoa, I also just realized, looking at the clues, I think they really did do at least a little research on her; even the number she got has significance both in terms of projects she's worked on in the past and our city at large. If that's not a coincidence, this whole thing must've been fiendishly complex to piece together.
posted by limeonaire at 8:58 AM on September 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I suspect it is not that they exhaustively research people, but rather that they send these missives to people who were extremely easy to research.
posted by davejay at 1:30 PM on September 25, 2011


#47. As before, I am trying to answer all of their questions with stories, but now with a single response to each. One response, no more. I've learned.

That one, and a few others, sound like Scott Turow, maybe Presumed Innocent, though it could also be the sequel, Innocent.
posted by misha at 2:02 PM on September 25, 2011


Also, the mystery has supposedly been solved, though I have my doubts this is really the person behind it.
posted by misha at 2:21 PM on September 25, 2011


Well, I don't know that I'd call that "solved." Thanks for posting that, I hadn't seen that interview (man, Scoutmob is on top of it, ain't they?). I am intrigued at how this is going to progress.
posted by Maaik at 2:50 PM on September 25, 2011


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