Stephen van Dyck's People I've Met From the Internet is a queer reimagining of the coming-of-age narrative set at the dawn of the internet era. In 1997, AOL is first entering suburban homes just as thirteen-year-old Stephen is coming into his sexuality, constructing selves and cruising in the fantasyscape of the internet. Through strange, intimate, and sometimes perilous physical encounters with the hundreds of men he finds there, Stephen explores the pleasures and pains of growing up, contends with his mother's homophobia and early death, and ultimately searches for a way of being in the world. Spanning twelve years, the book takes the form of a very long annotated list, tracking Stephen's journey and the men he meets from adolescence in New Mexico to post-recession adulthood in Los Angeles, creating a multi-dimensional panorama of gay men's lives as he searches for glimpses of utopia in the available world.
"Unputdownable. Young gay sex and super mundane details--two things I love, together."
-- Miranda July author of The First Bad Man
"Stephen van Dyck's meticulous sexual records reveal the true recent histories of America, the Internet, the nearly-defunct nuclear family and the author himself. Surprisingly touching, People I've Met From the Internet is a brilliantly written, taxonomic account of growing up queer in turn-of-the-millennium Albuquerque, Los Angeles, and beyond."
-- Chris Kraus author of I Love Dick
"This is an impressive work, modern, relevant, powerfully startling in its effect."
-- John Rechy author of City of Night
"Bold, brave, sexy. . .This annotated bibliography of encounters bridging the virtual and real worlds of desire feels like a nineteenth-century erotic novel transposed onto the present, filled with salacious stories and characters. A truly remarkable adventure."
-- D. A. Powell author of Cocktails
"A brilliant, deadpan account of sexualized youth. . . If it wasn't so effortlessly funny and wry, People I've Met From the Internet would horrify; as it stands, every sentence--every checked-off box of kissing? oral? anal?--brings on the warm flush a real writer gives you."
-- Dodie Bellamy author of When the Sick Rule the World
"As the internet transformed the gay world from a limited number of spaces to a virtually unlimited homotopia, things were gained and things were lost, but van Dyck was one of its argonauts. . . There's a new kind of queer text here, one needed for a new queer age."
-- Matias Viegener author of 2500 Random Things About Me Too
"A glowing diorama that is continuously unfolding with mountains, living, men, cities, and sex. I love the sense of absolute openness in Stephen van Dyck's People I've Met From the Internet, how direct it is, how witty, and at times how sweet."
-- Amina Cain author of Creature
"Stephen van Dyck's People I've Met From the Internet is a wholly original, brilliant and engrossing book. I couldn't put it down."
-- Kate Durbin author of E! Entertainment
"This is no ordinary memoir. It's a moving, funny and rigorous attending to technology, desire and community as experienced by a whole generation. . . A tour de force of post-internet life writing."
-- Janet Sarbanes author of The Protester Has Been Released