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Graphic Design

Some More Going Away-ness

I’m sure I’ve blogged book covers before, but this one’s a gem.

The cover of The Gone-Away World looks like a good photoshop job, but investigating (well, following a couple of links) further, the creative process appears to have involved sawing up a collection of Mark Twain’s letters. That’s dedication in the graphic arts.

The rest of the photos are here.

Elsewhere, as I hinted yesterday, I’m writing an introductory essay for the journal Science Fiction Film & Television examining the relationship between modern SF and Alternate Reality Games. Specifically, my notes at the moment address the nature of the reading/viewing experience and the inherently serial format of game narratives. I’m starting with the way in which players of an ARG position themselves as complicit in the creation of the narrative direction (even though they’re usually not – see The Immersive Fallacy in a future Glossary entry) because they see a way into the ‘rabbit hole’ of ARG structures, and the formatting devices used in near-future SF.

SF set twenty minutes in our future relies on the reader’s understanding of the modern world. The tropes used are those which are familiar to readers of contemporary fiction, and as such, the format has something more in common with magic realism than is usually acknowledged, in that something in it works to jump the reader outside of ‘normal’, and into the parallel future of the story.

Right now these are notes, but any thoughts would be appreciated.

And Niall responds to yesterday’s post here (this is going to turn into pingback city if I’m not careful). The televisionistic notion is an interesting one. In much the same manner as Nick Harkaway (hi Nick) responding in person to my ideas about his book, the nature of an increasingly pervasive media ecology is that things are going to influence each other more obviously than they were able to in the past. Postmodernism can’t be avoided, even if we try.

On that note, Jon Dovey remarked to me yesterday that Pervasive Media (see another unwritten Glossary post) is actually what happens when new media and relativity meet. Which is interesting, although I really ought to get my head around the theory of relativity before I start employing that aphorism. Personally, Pervasive Media is representative of a more active media ecology than we had ten years ago. In no way would I suggest that McLuhan’s media ecology is passive, but I would propose that the current iteration of the toolset demonstrates a deeper interconnectedness than in the 1960s.

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