Reading: Exit Vector, a wovel

Jeff VanderMeer’s Finch pointed me at Underland Press, and they seem to have some pretty neat projects underway. I’ve also had my eye on The Pilo Family Circus, since I read a review of it in Locus.

I just caught up with Exit Vector, a wovel published by Underland Press. First, I’m not quite sure we need a new name here. This is a novel serialized 4 pages at a time. Second, I’m not quite sure what’s gained from paginating the installments. I guess this is what happens when you lose the constraints of the physical page, you have to make decisions about the display and not everyone is going to agree with the results. I do like the justification of the text.

The story, though, is enjoyable. Opening in a bar, it quickly feels like the start of a zombie story. Add a steampunk element and let reality disintegrate a bit. Reference some Lovecraft and introduce a portal. So far the elements haven’t meshed, but the world that Simon Drax is creating gives him many options. On the comments page Drax’s style is referred to as Anime in Prose, and that’s a pretty valid description. Whatever it is, I like it and Drax is officially on my literary radar (litdar?).

The neat twist for this serial production is that a small choice is offered to the reader at the end of each installment. The first choice offered seemed almost irrelevant when in the second installment both choices were integrated into the story. Thereafter the choices seemed to have more impact on the actual story. I highly recommend, if you’re getting into the story that you check out Iciban Weapon Ready, Drax’s delightfully named blog. His thoughts add much to the story, and make me wish he had a bit more space for his ideas to grow.

In the mean time, I’ll read his Last Star also available for free on the Underland Press website.

[update] Having read Last Star, I can now highly recommend it. I’ve been developing a fondness for “entropy-punk” as I’ve dubbed True Names and some of the trappings of Spin–Deriving something fascinating and complex from the last dregs of our universe. Drax works with those same tropes but weaves a simple fable. The Ugly Duckling and The Angry Giant and an anthropomorphic star remixed as a grand space operatic tragedy. It skirts the edges of trite, but I’ve been looking for more examples of magical realism science fiction like Her and in that context, this doesn’t disappoint.

~ by mentatjack on July 25, 2009.

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