GABBLER RECOMMENDS: The OA: Part II

“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!

finalbday

In follow up to our original TEN THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT THE AUTOMATION, here are TEN MORE THINGS!!!

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 circodelherreroseries.com.

[“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.

GABBLER RECOMMENDS: The Real Don Quixote, on Radiolab

Liked for obvious reasons:

“Is our obsession with blurring the boundaries of reality a new thing? Or has it always been there? Everybody’s heard of the book Don Quixote, but we had no idea how totally insane, and how stirringly modern, Miguel Cervante’s masterpiece really was. It’s a story within a story within a story that beat Seinfeld to the punch by more than 400 years.”

The first Western novel was more meta than anything the Narrator and I could come up with.

[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.

What if you could be two people at once? What if that other-you was someone of the opposite sex?

 

#ThrowbackThursday

#MetaPost

So meta.