Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Twistery Illustrated

So, Blog Time Passing readers who have been in it for the long haul may remember a post that appeared during our first month of operation, back in March of 2007, entitled Modeling Media Ecology, which featured Robert K. Blechman, otherwise known as "Bob" and his famous Gilbert and Sullivan inspired video (it's still there, if you've never seen it, be sure to take a look), not to mention his blog, A Model Media Ecologist, which is still going strong.

And even if you joined our program while it was already in progress, perhaps you recall my post from April of 2010, Twitterature, when (among other examples) I cited Bob's efforts at writing a humorous mystery novel via a long series of Twitter tweets?

And I have had occasion, since then, for example in this past October's post, More Scenes from the Center, to mention that Bob's Twistery, as he termed it, will be published, in print, under the title of Executive Severance, by NeoPoiesis Press, the same good people (and I am one of them, so I know) who gave you Media and Formal Cause by Marshall and Eric McLuhan (as first announced here in the classic post from last February, Media and Formal Cause in Effect!) and many fine books of poetry too (check it out at http://neopoiesispress.com).

And I should mention the fact that Executive Severance, while a work of fiction, is delightfully full of references to media ecology,  and especially to Marshall McLuhan.  You don't have to be a media ecologist to love Executive Severance, or laugh at Blechman's extraordinary sense of humor, but if you are now or ever have been one, you will get a great deal of added enjoyment from your reading experience.

So, anyway, I am pleased to share with you the news that Executive Severance is now in print, and easily available online through all major outlets, including good old Amazon.  In fact, here's the link to go buy it right now.  Why delay?  You don't even have to bother finishing this post if you don't want to, just go get your copy.

What?  You're still here?  Okay, maybe you need some more convincing.  Let me get out the press release, and share some information with you.

Contact: Lance Strate, NeoPoiesis Press 
Phone: (718) 817-4864 
email: info@neopoiesispress.com

Executive Severance 
by Robert K. Blechman 
illustrated by David Arshawsky

Now, let's get a real good luck at that book cover, shall we?

Now, how about some old About the Author-type stuff?

Robert K. Blechman is not a cartoonist. —That’s Robert O.— Robert K. was born at the start of the turbulent 1950’s and spent the first 17 years of his life in a house on the western boundary between Maryland and the District of Columbia, that is, on the demarcation line determining voting and non-voting citizenship. He graduated from the University of Chicago with a BA in English Literature and went on to earn an MBA in finance and a Ph.D. in Media Ecology from New York University.

During the Viet Nam War, Dr. Blechman received a moderately high draft lottery number and so avoided military service. He was gassed once during an anti-war protest in Chicago, but otherwise emerged unscathed.

Until recently he held a senior technology position at a major medical school. He has worked a variety of jobs, including summers as a counselor at Camp Zakelo in Harrison, Maine, and several semesters as an adjunct professor of media studies at Fordham University.

In the course of his corporate career Dr. Blechman has held management positions at iconic national institutions and has experienced a major bankruptcy, a major merger, downsizing, resizing and rightsizing. He could write a book. He was triaged from Columbia University Medical Center when royalty money from the Axel patents dried up; expelled from the New York City Board of Education on pedagogical differences; debited at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP by his counterpart after a major merger; remaindered at HarperCollins Publishers during a change in senior management and deconstructed when Olympia & York Real Estate Management went belly up. All things being equal, Dr. Blechman looks forward to retirement.

Besides the present volume, Dr. Blechman looks to his three children, Alexander, Sara and Eliana to validate his time spent on this planet. Otherwise it’s pretty much a wash.
Dr. Blechman continues to tweet at RKBs_Twitstery, discusses his Media Ecological musings and speculations at his blog, A Model Media Ecologist at www.robertkblechman.blogspot.com and is hard at work on a follow-up novel to Executive Severance.

Executive Severance 
Robert K. Blechman 
NeoPoiesis Press/December 14, 2011 
5.5”x8.5” perfect bound, paper/ $16.95/ 148 pages 
ISBN: 978-0-9832747-5-9

P.O. Box 38037    Houston, Texas    77238-8037    www.neopoiesispress.com

And you want some reviews?  We got reviews!

Executive Severance, a laugh out loud comic mystery novel, epitomizes our current cultural moment in that it is born from the juxtaposition of authorial invention and technological communication innovation. Merging creative text with new electronic context, Robert K. Blechman's novel, which originally appeared as Twitter entries, can be read on a cell phone. His tweets which merge to form an entertaining novel can't be beat. Hold the phone; exalt in the mystery--engage with Blechman's story which signals the inception of a new literary art form.” 
- Marleen S. Barr, author of Envisioning the Future: Science Fiction and the Next Millennium

"A He Dunit.
Sometimes a little verbose, but OMG this is the best twitstery I ever read. It's got everything: narrative drive, mystery, comedy, thrills, tension, laughs. Blechman is on to something, a genre as important to literature as the invention of haiku in rhyme. ..."
- Marvin Kitman, famous critic

"A delightful 'twitstery' - a mystery written in real time Tweets - that is compelling, entertaining, and shows off what can be done in the 140-character form with style and mastery.    Blechman's delight in the language shows in every tweet - that is to say, every thread of the story. His plot is tight, tingling, and diverting.    Poe would have been proud of the new form Blechman has given to the mystery story."
- Paul Levinson, author New New Media and The Plot to Save Socrates
“Embracing the challenges found in publishing via the medium Twitter, Bob Blechman’s super silly story Executive Severance is stuffed with punny dialogue, clever character conditions, and a total lack of adherence to the old “rules” of storytelling. It’s a meaty tale told in deliciously rare, bite-sized chunks that I’d recommend for consumption to anyone hungering for fiction that satisfies. Well-done, Bob!”
- Michelle Anderson, ♥ mediaChick, author of The Miracle in July - a digital love story

And there you have it.  But enough about Bob.  Because, even if you read every tweet as Bob tweeted them on Twitter (and how many tweets can a twitterer tweet if a twitterer could tweet tweets?), and know the story by heart, what makes the print edition of Executive Severance truly exceptional is the amazing illustrations that accompany the story, produced by the acclaimed cartoonist, David Arshawsky.  To give you an example, here's an illustration taken from Chapter 1 of the book:

So, for more information about Executive Severance, visit www.neopoiesispress.com or drop me a line via info@neopoiesispress.com.  But then again, what more do you need to know?  When it comes to the question of whether you should buy a copy of this book, the answer's no twistery, I mean mystery--just be done with it!

1 comment:

Beth said...

Hi there! Thanks a lot for sharing this information about the book and some reviews. I will definitely read it a bit later!