Reading too deeply into these things since 1981
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Me and Mary Ann!

Dawn Wells, of Gilligan’s Island fame, has graciously signed a copy of her new book for yours truly. Yeah, that’s cool and all, but that’s not what you care about.

What you care about is that she also signed a second one as a special, early Christmas gift for one lucky reader of Noiseless Chatter. Because she loves you!

Wells was every bit as charming and lovely as I’d hoped. She’s still an extremely beautiful woman, and almost absurdly polite. She’s easily one of the warmest celebrities I’ve met, and there’s something magical about a 75-year-old woman who can get a roomful of young men stammering just by giving them a smile.

I haven’t read the book yet, but I have flipped through it, and happened to stumble right upon a cute little anecdote about Alan Hale (who played The Skipper) breaking his wrist on set and not telling anybody, so that he wouldn’t inconvenience them. So, yeah, I think I’m going to love this book.

But again, THAT’S NOT WHAT YOU CARE ABOUT.

Do you want to win this special, autographed Christmas gift from Mary Ann?

THE RULES

What Would Mary Ann Do?

There is no charge to enter, and I’ll foot the bill for shipping. Just do at least one of the following by the deadline of October 15:

* Share this post on Facebook
* Share this post on Twitter
* Share your favorite Noiseless Chatter post (whatever it is) on Facebook.
* Comment below with the name of the Gilligan’s Island character you would most like to take to the prom. AND WHY

Each of those will earn you one entry, and you can do multiple things to earn multiple entries. The winner will be chosen via random number generator.

If you share something on Twitter or Facebook, be sure to “tag” Noiseless Chatter (or @NoNoiseChitChat) so I’ll be sure to see it. If for any reason you’d prefer not to do that, or can’t figure out how, you can email me the screenshot(s) of your posting(s) here(s): reed.philipj at gmail dot com.

When commenting / sharing / emailing / tweeting, make sure you do it from an account you actually check, as that’s how I’ll be contacting you to say YOU WON AND YOUR LIFE IS NO LONGER MEANINGLESS

I’ll send the package out in late November or early December (depending upon how long it should take to get to you) and I’ll probably include another few goodies along with it.

So, yeah. Dawn Wells is incredible. I’ve already thanked her for you. Now get enterin’. You have until October 15!

Antiphony, Chris KatsaropoulosSo I’m going to try something a little bit new here. Please take a moment to read this post, and let me know what you think in the comments below. (There are some prizes available for commenting, which will hopefully be a nice incentive for you, but mainly I want your feedback.)

SO WHAT IS IT?
I’ve decided to take part in an online book tour. If this is well received, I will do more of them moving forward. You may remember that I’ve reviewed a few self-published and indie books in the past, and that’s something that I’d like to keep doing. The difference with an online book tour is that instead of simply receiving a copy of the book in exchange for review, Novel Publicity & Co. will be ponying up gifts and prizes to commenters on the blogs hosting the tour.

AND WHAT DO YOU GET PHILIP? HUH?
In the interest of openness and full discretion, I will say that I don’t get anything for this that I wasn’t getting for my standard reviews. That is to say that I receive a copy of the book for review…and that’s it. In the further interest of openness and full discretion, there is a cash prize available to one of the blogs that hosts the tour. I don’t know what the qualifications are to win that prize, and it’s certainly nothing I’m angling for, but if I somehow managed to win this contest that I don’t fully understand, rest assured I would disclose that fact on this blog as well. Really, what I’m hoping is that this will be a way to benefit you guys while still indulging my desire to provide exposure to small-time authors.

HOW DOES IT BENEFIT US?
Well, you get to read all about a book you might not have otherwise heard of! You’re welcome!!! …nah, there is that, but in addition Novel Publicity & Co. offers a cash prize of $50 to a random commenter on one of the host blogs. Additionally, I have an extra copy of Antiphony that I will personally be awarding to a commenter on this blog, also at random. On top of that, there’s a Rafflecopter thing below that looks easy enough. I’ve entered contests in the past that way and haven’t ended up on any spammy mailing lists, and that’s a third way to win something. I can’t speak for Novel Publicity & Co.’s selection process, but in terms of winning a copy of the book from me, my only requirement is that you comment below with your real email address. It won’t be displayed, but if you win I’ll need to contact you, you silly billy.

ANYTHING ELSE?
I don’t believe so, but if you do have any questions, please comment below and I’ll be happy to answer them. If this is something you guys like, I’ll do more of it. If it’s something you don’t, then I probably won’t. So please, please do let me know your thoughts one way or the other. Oh, and I guess it’s worth mentioning that all the text below the review has been provided by Novel Publicity & Co. You probably could have guessed that…but there you go.

THE REVIEW:
Antiphony is a short read; it’s a mere four chapters long, consisting of around 50 pages each. I wouldn’t normally open a review by talking about something so superficial, but in this case I think that it’s actually a selling point. It’s a muddled experience and I’m not entirely certain that the book is aware of what it’s trying to achieve, but since reading it is such a brief experience and there’s plenty in the book worth meditating upon, I think the brevity works to balance out some of its emptiness.

The central character is a man named Theodore, who is set to deliver his findings in the field of Perturbation Theory to a group of highly-esteemed physicists. He misplaces his notes, however, and finds himself forced to piece together his speech from memory. What follows is an unexpected — to him and to his peers — presentation about God actually being the answer that scientists have been searching for.

Antiphony claims to chronicle Theodore’s professional decline from this point forward, but that’s not strictly true. I wish it were, because that would be a very interesting book on its own: somebody says something they don’t particularly believe, and then have the choice of either facing the consequences for their own carelessly chosen words or doubling down on them and attempting to push through the controversy. Something like the movie In the Loop, where a single offhand comment ruins and makes political careers while hurtling an unaware world toward armed conflict.

This would be on a smaller scale, of course, but that’s not quite what we get. Theodore’s story is an internal one, and that’s also where Antiphony is at its best. The deeper we get into Theodore’s head — his confusion, his second-guessing, his fear — the more interesting the story is. That is to say, the further we get from the story, the more interesting it is. It’s the external stuff we see Theodore deal with that poses a problem.

For instance, about midway through the book one of Theodore’s private emails gets forwarded to his colleagues, and he can’t figure out how it happened. There are half a dozen ways that this conflict could be resolved in a thematically appropriate manner…but Antiphony goes with the least interesting and least satisfying answer possible. There’s also a painfully clumsy exchange between Theodore and a right-wing blowhard who speaks less like a character than a lazy political cartoon.

These lapses in narrative judgment are frustrating, because Antiphony achieves moments of solid beauty and passive profundity along the way. It’s at its best when it’s raising questions, but stumbles a bit when it wants to pull us toward an answer. Most frustrating, however, is the novel’s treatment of Ilene, Theodore’s wife.

The text is cruel toward Ilene without a hint of self-awareness, putting her down, diminishing her needs and opinions, and ultimately providing Theodore with a moment of profound disrespect toward her that I believe we’re meant to celebrate. If I had more faith in the book I’d say that this was some artful commentary on broken relationships and power imbalances, but I don’t think I can give it quite that much credit, however good much of it manages to be.

In the end, Antiphony is more like an experiment than an experience, though I don’t mean that in a bad way. It’s like the message Theodore finds himself relaying to his colleagues, or like Peter Finch relays in Network; we get a sense of what it means to the characters…but don’t necessary need to have it mean anything to us. Network utilizes this disconnect for satirical purposes…Antiphony isn’t quite sure what to do with it and so doesn’t do much of anything.

Yet, for all of its flaws, it’s a very interesting read, full of legitimately impactful questions and moments of smooth, textual loveliness in the least anticipated places. It’s nothing I would recommend without reservation, but for its length — and especially if you win a copy for free — I’d say it’s worth your time. I’ve spent more time thinking about it than I spent reading it…and, personally, I think that’s one of the largest compliments any novel could hope to earn.

Thoughts below, please. Every comment is entered to win.

About the Book – About the Author – Prizes!!!

Welcome to another exciting publishing house spotlight tour from Novel Publicity. Join us as three new titles from Luminis Books–we’re calling them the Luminis Literary Triad—tour the blogosphere in a way that just can’t be ignored. And, hey, we’ve got prizes!

About the prizes: Who doesn’t love prizes? You could win either of two $25 Amazon gift cards, an autographed copy of Antiphony by Chris Katsaropoulos, or an autographed copy of its tour mates, A River So Long by Vallie Lynn Watson or Sabrina’s Window by Al Riske. Here’s what you need to do…

  1. Enter the Rafflecopter contest
  2. Leave a comment on my blog

That’s it! One random commenter during this tour will win a $25 gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win–the full list of participating bloggers can be found HERE. The other $25 gift card and the 3 autographed books will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked below or on the official Luminis Literary Triad tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!

About the book: Theodore Reveil is one of the leading lights in String Theory physics, on his way to present his latest research at a triumphant meeting of his colleagues from around the world, when he realizes he has lost the notes for his presentation.

At the podium, in the midst of his distraction and confusion, he poses the question: “What if the universe, instead of being a giant machine, is really a giant thought?”

Then he crosses a line which he can never step back over again, saying, “The infinities and singularities in these equations may be telling us that what we are missing is unknowable in terms of physical science. These unsolvable terms in our equations may be roadsigns pointing to consciousness—to God—as the missing piece of the puzzle.”

Antiphony traces the downward spiral of Theodore’s career in the wake of what he has said, and the remarkable transformation that leads him into the depths of madness . . . or the revelation of the Final Theory, the ultimate secret of the universe.
Get Antiphony through Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About the author: Connect with Chris on his website, Facebook, Twitter,or GoodReads..

Luminis Books was launched in January, 2010 by husband and wife team Tracy Richardson and Chris Katsaropoulos with a mission to publish thought-provoking literary fiction for children and adults. We publish what we love: Meaningful Books That Entertain. Our award-winning books engage and inform readers and explore a wide range of topics from love and relationships, teen sexual assault and homelessness to string theory, consciousness, and the Universal Energy Field.
Luminis Books is a proudly independent publisher located in Carmel, IN.

Learn more about Antiphony‘s tour mates HERE.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Lost Worlds of Power

Calling all writers / humorists / parodists / gamers / whatever else you are. This is an official announcement of a one-off fiction anthology that I will be assembling, and I need your submissions!

The anthology is called The Lost Worlds of Power, and I would love to get as many submissions as possible, so please pass this on to any writers you know who might be interested in being published in a collection!

THE LOST WORLDS OF POWER

The Concept: Worlds of Power was a series of notoriously awful and totally inaccurate novels based on popular video games. What we’re doing is writing more of them! I want you to choose a video game (see the rules below) and novelize it. If you aren’t familiar with Worlds of Power, you can read a bit about the series here. You can also read my reviews of two of the books (with excerpts) here and here.

The Final Product: The Lost Worlds of Power will be an electronic, one-off fiction anthology. I will not sell it, and will make no profit off of it. In fact, I will pay out of pocket to have it professionally designed and formatted…and hopefully illustrated. I will host it here for free download, and I’d encourage anyone interested to host it and distribute it themselves as well. It should be something a lot of people can enjoy, and your submission should see a wide and appreciative audience!

The Style: You’ll be writing a “lost” installment in the Worlds of Power series! The obvious route here would be to write something intentionally bad, but that’s not the route you have to take. All styles, lengths and degrees of artistic merit are wanted. If you want to be outlandish and silly, that’s perfect. If you want to write a heart-stopping work of emotional brilliance based on T&C Surf Designs, that’s equally perfect!

The Length: There’s no hard and fast length requirement. Use as much or as little space as you like. The original Worlds of Power books were only around 100 pages long, with large type, so probably around 40 or 45 pages of traditional text. You can shoot for that, or you can let the spirit move you. Personally, I’d encourage you to do the latter.

The Rules: Read carefully, and make sure you adhere to the following rules when submitting:

– Your “novel” must be based on a game that was released on the NES. It doesn’t have to be a game exclusive to the NES, there just needs to be a version of it that existed for the NES (or Famicom). If it was something that was originally an arcade game or was later ported to the SNES or Genesis, that’s fine!

– Games that were actually adapted into Worlds of Power books are not eligible. (Remember, the idea is to write a “lost” installment in the series.) Therefore Blaster Master, Metal Gear, Ninja Gaiden, Castlevania II, Wizards and Warriors, Bionic Commando, Infiltrator, Shadowgate, Mega Man 2 and Bases Loaded 2 are all off limits. You can, however, base your submission on a different game from those series.

– Only one adaptation of any given game will be selected for inclusion. In essence, if I get five submissions based on Super Mario Bros., I will only choose one of them, even if they’re all very good. For this reason it’s probably best to either choose something relatively less popular, or make sure you’re confident that the adaptation you’re writing will be the absolute best I receive!

– Be creative! Don’t just write out the events of the game…have fun with them! Get things wrong. Grossly misunderstand your protagonist’s motives. Skip over the best fights and spend time on mundane interactions with townsfolk! The Worlds of Power books are legendarily off the mark, so warp your filter a little bit! Do your Goombas look like carrots instead of mushrooms? Is Link’s traveling companion a rapping leprechaun? Does the dog from Duck Hunt travel through time and solve mysteries? Are your ideas better than these? I hope so, and I can’t wait to find out!

– You retain the rights to your submission (barring, obviously, any trademarked characters or titles you incorporate). I will only have the rights to collect and distribute it if you are selected for inclusion.

– Multiple submissions from the same author are allowed.

– We reserve the right to edit submissions for spelling, punctuation and formatting reasons.

What if I Don’t Know Anything About Video Games? The original Worlds of Power authors didn’t either! Just use the characters, settings, and / or plots as a springboard. From there, this is your story to tell!

The Prize: There is no financial or physical prize…just inclusion in the one-off Lost Worlds of Power collection. Still, it’ll be fun, and being published in a fiction anthology, no matter how small, is something that will be a great credit toward getting your future work published elsewhere! You’ll also be eligible for the title of First Person to Ever Brag About Writing a Worlds of Power Book.

The Deadline: Januaray 31, 2014. I know. That’s soon. Believe me, that’s a good thing. The Worlds of Power books aren’t known for being particularly well thought-out.

All submissions and questions should be sent to reed.philipj at gmail.com. I’m not picky about the format of your submission, as long as it’s a common file type (.doc, .rtf, .txt, etc.) and you’ve taken the time to proofread before sending it in.

Please let me know if you are interested in submitting. If enough folks are I’ll be more flexible with the deadline. The more the merrier, and I look forward to seeing your submissions!

Credit to James Lawless, die-hard Worlds of Power fan, for the idea!

Turtle Tale name contest

Friend of the website Tony Miller got in touch with me to let me know about a contest he’s organized with Saturnine Games. You can read the whole thing here, but the short version is that their upcoming 3DS eShop game, Turtle Tale, stars a hero that still doesn’t have a name. But you can fix that:

From now until May 31st you can submit name ideas through a number of various outlets. You can go to Twitter and tweet your ideas to @SaturnineGames and @Nintendo_Okie. Be sure to include #nametheturtle in your post. You can send an email to nametheturtle@nintendo-okie.com. If you’ve got a Facebook account you can go to the Saturnine Games page or the Nintendo Okie Facebook Group and submit your ideas there. Entries can be submitted through all of the various means, but please don’t spam the same name to them all, be creative.

Anyone can enter, but if you live in North America and happen to be one of their favorite entries, you’ll also get a free download code for their excellent game Antipole. And I’m not just saying that…when I got the chance to curate my own shelf in the 3DS eShop last summer, this was one of my selections. Here’s why, if you don’t remember. It’s pretty awesome.

Anyway, that’s all…just wanted to pass on the information. Now get turtle namin’!

External: Mario Kart 7 Contest

September 21st, 2012 | Posted by Philip J Reed in contest | video games - (1 Comments)

Just a quick note to say that friend of the website Jeremy Hardin is hosting a Mario Kart 7 tournament, starting on Saturday, October 27. That’s just over a month from now, so get your practice in, and register for the event!

I’ll do my best to be there, and it should be fun. Mario Kart 7 is a great game, and Jeremy’s giving away a WiiU and some games to the winners, so it’s worth checking out.

If you have any questions, remember, this is a Nintendo Fuse event, not mine! So check out his site and find out what you need to know. Hopefully I’ll see you there, and thanks to Jeremy for the heads up!

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