BookTuber Tuesday: 40: Ready Player One – Thom Dunn – Fuckbois of Literature with Emily Edwards

“I Love Spoilers.”

They did not talk about how Facebook Oculus employees were encouraged to read this book or the fact that it is shaping fb’s Metaverse, but I liked the point on male easter egg vigilance paralleled to the female obsession with true crime and their belief in hypervigilance (16:00 time stamp is where the convo gets really good, ~18:00 is the comparison mark).

The synopsis for our third mythpunk novel THE LATHING:

The Lathing (Vol. 3 of the Circo del Herrero Series) Synopsis:

[Smack dab in the Bible Belt’s buckle, Vulcan arranges His pagan pieces. The tribal casinos are nothing but referential backdrop for His latest hustle. The gods have all paid to play. They’ve offered up parts of themselves to help make “The Game”—some more than others—but their chimeric incarnations are not where they place their bets. It is the human players they gamble on. The gods know the game is rigged but that’s half the fun, figuring out just what Vulcan has pre-programmed— how it works—how they, too, might cheat.

And like the gods, some Automata think they’ve found the secret mechanism that makes it all tick. Other Automata, however, are not so sure. They choose opposing humans—humans with flaws and sins so much like their own. Those they pick show less about the beings they’ve become than the ghosts that still haunt and possess them…

THE LATHING is the final attestation of the Narrator and the Editor—the final volume in the CIRCO DEL HERRERO series. In it, once-gods may find forgiveness and be made whole again if they pick the winning team. Automata may find a self that is worth knowing and saving. But the humans, well, they were just lucky the game found them before Death did. They’ll live just a little while longer before finding something truly worth dying for. At the end of it all is glory and godhood and possibly a cat.]


“It’s not surprising that The OA: Part II ends by making another new beginning. What is shocking is that it does so by referencing its own existence as a work of art. It’s a move that seems a little cynical and earthbound within the context of The OA’s earnest sensibility and fantastical yet sincere world-building. But if, as Eliot’s poem suggests, the end of The OA: Part II is meant to “arrive where we started and know the place for the first time,” I have to think the series, which Marling and Batmanglij say they’ve mapped out for five seasons, may eventually take us back to an altered version of the dimension where things began in season one.

That meta twist seems like an important step on that circular path. Based on what little we see of the TV show at the end of the finale — the fictional TV show in the third universe, that is — it’s completely unclear what story is being told, how it syncs with the actual series we’re watching, how many other characters will appear in this metafictional dimension.”

[Via Vulture ]

Gabbler Recommends: “Geek culture has gone too far”

“No, the danger is that reference culture is increasingly becoming exclusionary rather than inclusive, where works of art pull from other works of art as opposed to real-life experience.

Watching and reading “Pixels” and “Armada” felt as if I were being subjected to a cheerleading routine rather than experiencing a work of pop art. Congrats, you remember “Centipede”! Honorary, you know which tattoos grace the characters of “Aliens”!

“Pixels” and “Armada” can’t exist without the success of prior texts. Aliens in both even communicate via clips of old TV shows and movies (that’s probably a reference to something I missed). They’re symbols of a larger landscape in which serving the cloistered and obsessed fan is paramount.

Why, just this summer we’ve seen that “Jurassic World” is more a nostalgic ode to “Jurassic Park” than it is a stand-alone movie. Also, “Avengers: Age of Ultron” shows that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is at risk of swallowing itself — a snake eating its own tail full of nods to past and future Marvel movies.

It’s not a tease, it’s a holier-than-thou turnoff. Take a scene early in “Armada” in which a typical bully is lobbing spitballs at an acne-addled freak. What Cline fails to see is that it’s him, the author, who has the power of the aggressor.

Nary a page of his book goes by without some need to reference a prior work of fiction. Infuriatingly, intergalactic war doesn’t inspire much concern. Instead, it’s an excuse to throw out nods to Buck Rogers and Admiral Akbar. And when the theories of a military official are questioned, this is the reasoning: “He doesn’t know … about common tropes in science fiction.”

Each of these is a spitball, needling the reader. Didn’t you get that “Time Bandits” joke? You mean, you prefer “Top Gun” to “Iron Eagle”? Don’t you remember the plot points of “Total Recall”? It’s OK, you love “Flight of the Navigator,” right? RIGHT? YOU MUST LOVE “FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR”?

Never seen it, and now I feel ashamed.

It’s a book that should have come with footnotes, because keeping up with all the references makes the text impenetrable to those schooled in something other than sci-fi.

It’s also exhausting. The counterculture I once found so communal has now become oppressive. Dorks are cool. Can we please stop trying to prove it?”

Read the rest.

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellowB&N | Amazon | Etc.

Ten MORE things you might not know about THE AUTOMATION – in GIFs!



1. If you did not know, THE AUTOMATION is a novel that thinks it’s a memoir, but whose editor thinks it’s a brilliant work of fiction.  Thus, there are footnotes that argue with the Narrator…

2. In the very first chapter, there’s a man who appears to be a time traveler (that, or he’s prepared for the next steampunk convention). However, he’s just traveled through time the old fashioned way—living it.

3. This man proceeds to commit suicide in front of young man named Odys Odelyn [alliteration purposeful]. 

4. But before all that he gives Odys Odelyn a gift. A – um – magic coin, you might say.

5. When Odys touches the coin after the man dies, something unexpected happens. The coin is not a coin. In fact, it turns into an Automaton. Kinda like a jinni in a bottle. But not.

6. This Automaton functions off of Odys’s soul—she is an extension of his body. Theoretically, the more Automatons you have the more bodies you have. Sort of like chopping up your soul into little functional pieces. Like Voldemort. But not.

7. BUT, in order to get more Automatons, their “Masters” have to die. Thus, most Masters agree you should only have one.

8. HOWEVER, there’s one master, named Leeland, who disagrees with this only-one rule. Like I said, most. In fact, he’s picking off Masters right and left and collecting their Automatons like some demented Pokémon master.

9. And let’s just say Odys has a hard time being both a boy and girl at the same time. He goes through a reality check or two.

10. Eventually, Odys will get closer to finding out why the suicidal man gave his Automaton to Odys. …And why he was willing to die to do so.

BONUS: Publishers Weekly called the Automation “charming” and you can read the entire novel for free at

[“BLA and GB Gabbler” (really just a pen name – singular) are the Editor and Narrator behind THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 of the Circo del Herrero series. They are on facebook, twitter, tumblr, goodreads, and Vulcan’s shit list.]

all yellow B&N | Amazon | Etc.