PSA: Read The Automation for free on Smashwords

Read it for free.

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“In the distant past, the god Vulcan created a handful of Automatons…”

#BLAThoughtOfTheDay – Yes, this explains one reason why I dislike Neil Gaiman’s American Gods

Other reasons include:

GABBLER RECOMMENDS: Vulcana

“Kate Roberts, nee Williams (“Vulcana”), the famous lightweight strongwoman was born in 1883 of Irish parents in Abergavenny, in Wales. When she was young she loved running without rest, climbing to the trees and all those things that girls were not supposed to do. Being a middle school student she surprised her classmates by carrying the weighty school organ. With strongman William Hedley Roberts, better known as Atlas, they toured music halls, in Britain, Europe and Australia, performing as “The Atlas and Vulcana Group of Society Athletes”. Atlas and Vulcana introduced themselves as a brother and a sister, even though they lived de facto as a married couple having many children which they kept with the troupe. Kate took the artistic name “Vulcana” when was performing with strength demonstrations in the “Music Hall of London” (alone or with Atlas). Her specialty was lifting men.

Vulcana reached the peak of her strength and popularity in about 1910. On May 29, 1913 at Haggar’s Theatre in Llanelly, she lifted a challenge bell that rival strongwoman harda failed to raise after twenty-five minutes of trying. Vulcana was triumphant in France, impressing the “l’Halterophile Club de France” with her feats of strength, earning her a medal from the “Father of French Bodybuilding,” Professor Edmond Desbonnet, and the cover of La Sante par les Sports. She was honored with over one hundred medals throughout her career. Her best-authenticated feats were bent press with her right hand of at least 124? lb (56.5 kg), with some authorities accepting a press of 145 lb (66 kg).

Although her power stunts were not especially innovative, being the typical for strongwomen, Vulcana was the first woman who included in her repertoire the unique stunt, so-called “Tomb of Hercules” which had been performed just by few powerful men. This act consisted in supporting a big platform placing on the abdomen of the performer who leans backwards on the floor by the hands and legs. The wonder is that two horses with their attendants stood on that platform and leave it for a few seconds. She struggled against the custom of wearing corsets considering this part of women’s equipment to be unnatural that was an instrument of torturing grandmothers of that epoch. There are a lot of legends about her strength and courage. It is said that once, in Paris, she caught a thief, grabbed him and took him to a police precinct. In 1898, at the age of thirteen, she stopped a runaway horse in Bristol. She freed a wagon stuck in Maiden Lane, London in October 1901 by lifting it before astonished witnesses.
She rescued two children from drowning in the River Usk in July 1901, for which she received an award in gratitude. On June 4, 1921 the Garrick Theatre in Edinburgh caught fire on an evening of the Society Athletes’ performance. Vulcana risked her life to save another act’s horses, and came away with serious burns on her head. For this she won commendations and an award.
Vulcana and Atlas moved permanently to London in the 1920s, and retired from performance in 1932. Vulcana was hit by a car in London in 1939, and was conscious when she heard her own death pronounced. She suffered brain damage, but partially recovered, and briefly outlived Atlas and her youngest daughter, both of whom also died in 1946.”

[Via]

GABBLER RECOMMENDS: Strong Women

“Sometime in the late 1800s the appearance of strong women became more prevalent in sporting events and were also a common attraction in circuses where they would showcase their superhuman strength. This in turn paved the way for other rule-breaking girls such as female wrestlers and bodybuilders….

Another notable strong woman Kate Roberts went by the intimidating name “Vulcana.” In addition to her muscular build and ability to lift heavy weights (allegedly 181 lbs with one arm) she has some fascinating superhero-style folklore attached to her. In addition to saving a couple of drowning kids, Roberts dragged an unfortunate would-be purse snatcher who tried to steal her handbag all the way to the police station by herself. According to various historians Roberts also freed a wagon that had become stuck in a ditch in front of a crowd of awestruck Londoners.”

[Via]

January Roundup: Februa

So, perhaps the most interesting thing to happen last month is for BLA to get into an argument with Neil Gaiman on Twitter about the crappy representation of Vulcan in the new American Gods adaptation. I think BLA is more attached to Him than previously thought.

As always, I recommended some things on the GABBLER RECOMMENDS tag, like this essay by John Kaag.

I don’t recommend our Social Medea posts these days, as they are full of Trump news and other dreadful things.

My favorite BookTuber Tuesday post was this one. (Have a BookTuber vid you want featured? Send us a link below in the comments).

Be sure to sign up for updates in the right hand corner of the blog to never miss a post.

-Gabs

 

[“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.

GABBLER RECOMMENDS: B.L.A.’s Twitter Rant About Vulcan’s Representation in American Gods

So BLA recently went on a tangent about how Vulcan is (seemingly going to be) represented in the new American Gods Starz adaptation:

[“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.

What are some of your favorite books that have a Halloween theme/scene?

halloweenauto

Let us know in the comments below!

 

[“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.

Read it for free on Goodreads:

glitchygif

[Read the entire novel for free.]

Tweets of the Week: Goosey, goosey, gander…

 

…It was a slow news week for us.

Hephaestus the Juggler:

vulvul

The circus is still traveling, but it stops here.

[“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.

“Homer’s description of these metallic ladies as accomplished, smart, and strong has surprisingly modern ring: they are…”

“In ancient Greece and Rome, small female figures made of clay, ivory, and even bone had articulated hands and legs fastened using pins or wire so that they could look animated when shaken or moved. In Greece, the figures were often too fragile to be toys; instead, they were used as votives or offerings to the gods placed in household shrines, temples, burial sites, and graves where they could also be protective devices or prized possessions of the deceased. Young girls offered the doll figures to Apollo, Artemis, and Aphrodite before their marriages to ensure that they would attain a healthy, functioning female body that produced and nourished children, the ideal of ancient Greek femininity.

The Idea of automatons – self-moving female and male figures – had been around since ancient times. The ancient Egyptians produced animated, hot air-driven statues used for religious and political purposes, and in Greece some of the oldest female figures were described in Homer’s epic poem The Iliad where Hephaestus, the blacksmith of the gods (later called Vulcan by the Romans) is helped by two maidservants as he goes about making a shield for Achilles. In Homer’s ancient Greece, women (apart from the great goddesses like Aphrodite and Athena) were largely consigned to loom and family, but Homer’s description of these metallic ladies as accomplished, smart, and strong has surprisingly modern ring: they are

all cast in was gold but a match for living breathing girls / Intelligence fills their hearts, voice, and strength their frames, / From the deathless gods they’ve learned their works of hand. “

From My Fair Ladies by Julie Wosk.

[“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.

GABBLER RECOMMENDS: A History of Robots

Combines two things we love: WheezyWaiter and robots in myth.

[“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.

May roundup: Juno the meaning of love?

This Juno.

Well, it’s that time of year again – JUNE. The time for weddings. Just ask Juno, Queen of the gods and goddess of marriage. She knows alllll about marriage. Believe me. Hers has been a roller coaster. Marriage on the rocks? She feels yah.

Anyways.

Dare we ask how many weddings are booked on your calendar this year?

If you’ve been crashing too many and haven’t been paying attention to this CIRCO blog, here’s what you’ve missed:

Not this Juno.

News broke that Homer’s Odyssey is being adapted into a legit film by the Hunger Games directer and we’re super excited.

BLA gave some predictions for Jo Walton’s newest book in her Thessaly series.

We made fun of James Patterson.

And, as always, Gabbler Recommended some things and BLA had some thoughts and be sure to check out our Tweets of the Week.

Farewell, May. Don’t forget your pole on your way out.

[“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.

#BLAThoughtOfTheDay: TWO predictions for the number TWO book in the Thessaly Series by Jo Walton

Two book predictions for the number two book in the Thessaly series:

If you haven’t read THE JUST CITY, then don’t read these SPOILERS underlying my predictions for THE PHILOSOPHER KINGS (out June 30, 2015). Disclaimer: I have not received an advanced copy and these are just guesses (but I would gladly check myself before I wreck myself, dear publisher Tor. SEND ME A COPY). Though, I have read the first chapter online for free.

Prediction #1: Athena (AKA Athene) will be redeemed in some way. She kind of came off as an irrational jerk in the last one. Aaaand, she also — shall we say — fudged the data in her “experiment,” which made her seem like a cheater who was more guilty than clever. My guess is Athena will admit to wanting the experiment to fail. Maybe so far as for the purpose of teaching her brother an elaborate lesson. Give Athena some credit, I mean. She’s the motherf*cking goddess of wisdom, man. Only she could have pulled off such an elaborate scam — and get the god Apollo to fall for it. And let’s be honest. Apollo raped someone. IN THE BEGINNING OF THE BOOK. Won’t say he wouldn’t deserve it.

Prediction #2: Pytheas/Apollo will sacrifice himself. He is an incarnation, after all. It’s bound to happen. What kind of a god would waste a perfectly good body on old age? (Cough, cough).

So, there you have it. If you’ve read the first book, what are your predictions? If you’ve got your hands on an ARC copy of the second, shut up and give it to me.

[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.

Tweets of the Week: Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.

[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.

April Roundup: Goodbye Spring Showers, Hello Maia Flowers

Vulcan and Maia. Maia is not very ticklish, clearly. “Git ur smith hands off may!”

Here are our April highlights, mortals:

Gabbler rewrote some Mumford and Sons lyrics because s/he’s pretentious like that.

We binge-watched Netflix’s new show Daredevil.

We found out we are part of a rising trend of nameless narrators. Who knew we were so trendy? 

And, of course, you can always check our tweets of the week for weekly news if this monthly blast isn’t greasing your gears.

**********************

[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.

On automatons and AI:

“Humans have been experimenting with automatons for centuries, but it is only we moderns who have worried about the consequences. The Greeks saw nothing to fear from artificial life. In their mythology, the god Hephaestus was responsible for the creation of mechanized beings—from the golden slaves he designed for his personal use to the bronze giant Talos, who guarded the island of Crete. Stopping one of these machines was as simple as removing the plug and letting the ichor (immortal blood) run out.” – Amanda Foreman.

Read the rest on the WSJ.

We tend to like the idea of Automata and cyborgs. For no reason in particular.

[“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.

How the internet is changing art:

Miller: As someone who is primarily interested in books, this idea does trouble me. The form of the book hasn’t changed. It might be delivered electronically but it is still a text narrative, good or bad. I don’t really care whether a novelist is charming or is adept at pitching their work in a video or website. When it comes to the David Foster Wallaces of the future, what I want is their books. That’s it. I’m concerned that I won’t get those books if the authors also have to be good at marketing themselves to have any career at all.

Doctorow: But that’s always been the case. It’s just who you’re marketing yourself to, and how you conduct yourself. My one certainty is that there is and always have been so many people who want to make art for reasons that are innate to the human condition. Whatever factors favor which artists, there will be more art than I can ever consume that I will love and that will uplift me. That just seems axiomatic to me. There is more beautiful, wonderful work being published today than ever before. And I can access it more readily than ever before. My concern as a working artist and someone who cares about the fortunes of the people who make the art that I love is that whatever money is in the system preferentially is diverted to them. And that in the process of making marketplaces for art we don’t set up the conditions for totalitarianism.

From here.

We will say it would be much harder to do our own art if we could not maintain a veil of anonymity. It is kind of the point.

all yellow

In other news, we have a giveaway going on for the above book (^^^) and Ursula K. Le Guin’s THE LATHE OF HEAVEN. (Enter here!)

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

What the hammer? What the chain? In what furnace was thy brain? // October roundup:

In case you missed the whole month of October on this blog/are too lazy to keep on scrollin’, here are some highlights:

We asked the Internet why J.K. Rowling didn’t self-publish her Robert Galbraith novel if she really wanted her pen name to stay a secret.

Gabbler wrote an essay over post-apocalyptic stories.

We shared some thoughts on Lev Grossman’s The Magicians series and Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series.

Gabbler recommended a bunch of crap. Like Halloween Songs and this comedian.

We gave you a look at B.L.A.’s original manuscript for THE AUTOMATION preface.

Here is a reminder of some of our social media accounts.

Out now - in paperback and ebook formats
Out now – in paperback and ebook formats

“Homer was blind. Milton was blind. I am mute.” – B.L.A. from THE PREFACE of THE AUTOMATION

iammute

“He cut out my tongue. There is nothing to say.”

 

You can buy THE AUTOMATION, vol. 1 in all these places and more.