Conspiracies eldritch and bizarre
May 3, 2007 1:07 PM   Subscribe

Matthew Rossi spins elaborate conspiracies out of obscure and esoteric history: explaining the disappearance of Jamestown with reference to ancient Persian cults and secret books of knowledge, or exploring the idea that Ben Franklin worked with Thomas Jefferson and François Fourier to perfect a method of living forever. Several more ornate pseudohistories are available at the Encyclopedia of Heresies. There is an interview with Rossi about his "New Weird" science fiction book Things that Never Were, though Rossi seems to have vanished since, his homepage with other tales available only in archive.
posted by blahblahblah (25 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Rossi was apparently a former MeFite. Previous.
posted by blahblahblah at 1:10 PM on May 3, 2007

Sounds like something out of the Baroque Cycle.
posted by delmoi at 1:11 PM on May 3, 2007

By the "disappearance of Jamestown" did you mean the settlers who disappeared from Roanoke? Not the same place at all...
posted by jpburns at 1:13 PM on May 3, 2007

Yes, sorry Roanoke. The mystical ancient Persians confused my mind.
posted by blahblahblah at 1:18 PM on May 3, 2007

That was zombies wasn't it?
posted by Artw at 1:27 PM on May 3, 2007

The colony at Roanoke was kidnapped by UFOs.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 1:38 PM on May 3, 2007

posted by darkripper at 2:07 PM on May 3, 2007

So where did Rossi disappear to?
posted by craniac at 2:11 PM on May 3, 2007

UFOs came for Rossi because he was getting too close to the truth.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 2:25 PM on May 3, 2007

I note that today the BBC describes Jamestown another "lost" colony. Pretty interesting.
posted by washburn at 2:40 PM on May 3, 2007

That was zombies wasn't it?

And just like that, I have an idea for a low budget movie.
posted by quin at 2:58 PM on May 3, 2007

You might want to check with Max Brooks first I'm afraid.
posted by Artw at 2:59 PM on May 3, 2007

I went to high school with a Matt Rossi (common name, I know) who was just brilliant and offbeat enough to have grown up into this Matt Rossi. Can anybody here tell me where he lived as a teenager?
posted by GrammarMoses at 3:05 PM on May 3, 2007

The 18th century doesn't need any further crazy tales of conspiracy and esoteric mysticism, it came with plenty of its own. Cf. Joseph Priestley's religious beliefs.
posted by voltairemodern at 3:48 PM on May 3, 2007

He contributed a story to the Adventure! anthology. I was not impressed.

But zombies attacking Roanoke? Now that's compelling.
posted by Midnight Creeper at 3:50 PM on May 3, 2007

Somewhere between the Zombie Survival Guide, where the Zombies vs Roanoke allusion comes from, and World War Z he suddenly became a really good writer. ZSG is a fun conciet and okay for reading in small segments while sat on the loo, but esentially a novelty. WWZ borders on true awesomeness.
posted by Artw at 4:17 PM on May 3, 2007

Seconding WWZ.

posted by sourwookie at 4:26 PM on May 3, 2007

Yeah, I've read WWZ, but I didn't know that the ZSG featured anything on Roanoke. Nifty, I shall have to pick up that one as well now.

And I probably wouldn't have been able to do the film anyway, I'm so low budget that I would have had to film in my back yard, and while I might be able to make Wisconsin pass for the locale, the only actors I have are my dogs and the Wife, and I just know she is going to want to play the zombie horde. So, you know, it's a project I'll have to sit on for a while. At least until I can get period appropriate wardrobe for the doggy "settlers".
posted by quin at 4:43 PM on May 3, 2007

I'm Rossi.

I'm still out there. I have a new book coming out soonish from Prime Books, stories published in Adventure and Postscripts, and a translation of my stuff in Portuguese not too far in the future. Also, I can be found writing stuff for The High Hat from time to time.

But yeah, I mostly dropped off of the radar. Someone emailed me this post or I wouldn't have known it existed.
posted by Ezrael at 4:58 PM on May 3, 2007 [3 favorites]

No, he isn't. That's the UFOs working through a sleeper replacement for him.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 6:41 PM on May 3, 2007

Good stuff. If you enjoy this sort of thing, you should also check out Kenneth Hite's column in Pyramid, The Suppressed Transmission (also collected in two books of the same title). There's a sample column here, but it's one of his more game-scenario-focused ones, and isn't really representative.
posted by hades at 7:16 PM on May 3, 2007

If I was going to be replaced by something, I'd hope to at least be replaced by a former Soviet AI that has since manipulated human society for its own unfathomable ends, or perhaps ancient Picts using geomantic alteration to edit space time, or at LEAST a gestalt entity made up of the uneasy spirits of the ancient trilobites.

UFOs would be tacky.
posted by Ezrael at 11:13 PM on May 3, 2007

Artw- Total Side track, but WWZ is just freakish. it is a wonderfully written book with the concept of a supernatural but ignorant force that we have to fight (there isn't some single evil diety, or some army to fight, just billions of living dead, each an individual organism that has to be killed, like a giant man-o-war or something).

It's really dark and scares the crap out of me, and I love it for that.

Now I have to check out this Rossi character of it is in the same vein as Brooks.
posted by mrzarquon at 11:37 PM on May 3, 2007

(Anyway, everyone knows it was a parasitic culture of future elves that attacked Roanoke, driving them underground where they live in a city under New York and worship Croatan)
posted by Artw at 9:54 AM on May 4, 2007

posted by Divine_Wino at 1:03 PM on May 4, 2007

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