Tag Archives: weapons industry

Locus Amoenus in the Woodstock Times

treehouse

Alexander in a treehouse like the one that appears in her novel.

woodstock

Upstate Novelist, Victoria N. Alexander, To Give Reading at the Golden Notebook
by Gary Alexander

Have you spent too much time trying to convince your girlfriend that ‘Decadent’ is not a flavor? Or are you ticked off that some nutritional idealist wants your school cafeteria to use coconut oil on something your kid might eat for lunch? (Not here! We don’t have coconut trees along the Hudson River!) The most stark divisions in America may spring not from political, ethnic or racial backgrounds but from informational sources and a currently prevailing chasm between American cultural lifestyles.

This is a theme explored in the darkly humorous novel, “Locus Amoenus” by Victoria N. Alexander, Ph.D. (my new bride-just joking; she’s no relation), who will be reading at the Golden Notebook bookstore in Woodstock at 6 PM on Saturday, August 1st. Continue reading

No Lies Radio: Locus Amoenus, a retelling of Hamlet, featuring a NIST bureaucrat as Claudius

freefallvna9/11 Free Fall Radio
July 16, 2015

http://noliesradio.org/archives/101478
Interview starts at 9:55. Here’s a snippet:

AS: “What do you want people to get from this book?”

VNA: “Well, in the passage I just read where Hamlet [a conspiracy theorist] makes his big revelation. He makes some very logical points and asks some very good questions. But what’s the response to that? Evasion. Nobody really takes the point [chuckle]. Nobody really gets what he’s getting at. The whole thing is kind of ineffective, really [chuckle].

“One of the things I wanted to do for people, who have tried to talk to friends about some evidence they’ve read, is to give them a story that they can relate to. We’ve all gone through this. We all know what it’s like to bring up this conversation at dinner and have very good our friends treat us very coldly.

“And I wanted to give the conspiracy theorist a place in literature. He is a very important character, as was [Shakespeare’s] Hamlet, for really defining who the modern man is. Continue reading

Likely Stories Book Review on KWBU “Heart of Texas Public Radio”

kwbuVictoria N. Alexander has constructed a clever and engaging novel loosely based on Shakespeare’s masterpiece, Hamlet.  This dark comedy revolves around the tragedy of 9/11.  Alexander has several novels to her credit, as well as a work of non-fiction, The Biologist’s Mistress: Rethinking Self-Organization in Art, Literature, & Nature.  She is also working on a comedy screenplay about a high security dystopia.

kwub-picHamlet’s father has apparently died in the collapse of the twin towers, and Hamlet and his mother Gertrude move to a rural village, Amenia where the residents are suspicious of strangers.  The town suffers from an epidemic of obesity, because of a local connection to big agriculture farms producing only high fructose corn syrup.  When Gertrude tries to sway the school board to a healthier diet for the students, she and Hamlet are isolated from the rest of the town.  Hamlet’s former science teacher shows up and convinces Hamlet his father was killed on 9/11 as a result of a conspiracy to justify the Iraq War.  Claudius, who has just married Gertrude, is an engineer, who worked on part of the official report of the events of 9/11. Continue reading

Book Signing in Middletown, CT July 3, 5PM

bookbowerMain Street Market,  386 Main St.
Middletown, CT  860.704.8222  www.bookbower.com

Victoria N Alexander will be signing copies of Locus Amoenus at the Book Bower on Friday in the midst of the Middletown Fireworks Festival, which will take place 4-10PM, near the main street market.  Come out to express your inner patriot and pick up copy of Alexander’s scathing satire on runaway American consumerism and political corruption.

locus-amoenus-cover-thumbnail

In this dark comedy, a 9/11 widow, Gertrude, and her son, Hamlet, move from Brooklyn to the pastoral countryside to start a sustainable farm. Unfortunately, they don’t really get along all that well with the outrageously obese locals, who prefer the starchy products of industrial agriculture. Hamlet has just turned 18, and he’s beginning to suspect that something is rotten in the United States of America: health, happiness and freedom are traded for Walmart, endless war, Zoloft, and environmental degradation. He becomes very depressed when, on the 8th anniversary of his father’s death, Gertrude marries, a horrid, boring bureaucrat named Claudius, who works for NIST. Then, Hamlet learns from Horatio, a conspiracy theorist, that Claudius is a fraud. The tricks, spying, corruption, and uncertainty end, as Shakespeare’s play does, in tragedy

 

Fireworks poster2015

Locus Amoenus Interview on NYC 99.5 FM Sat 3PM

tori3HopeheaderNYC:  Listen Saturday, June 27th 3:00-4:00 PM EST Now archived online http://www.equaltimeforfreethought.org/2015/06/27/show-535-developing-a-progressive-narrative/

WBAI 99.5 FM with host Barry Seidman

Developing a Progressive Narrative

As many may already know, science fiction and speculative fiction in general can investigate and articulate the state of our nation and/or world in very direct but also metaphorical ways. We have talked about Star Trek, for instance, on Equal Time and how Gene Roddenberry was able to discuss humanism and naturalism via the small and large screen. And there have been many novels and short stories since at least the late 19th Century which have done the same.

Victoria N Alexander and Adrienne Maree Brown are two authors who have relatively new speculative fiction books out. Victoria, who has a PhD in English and philosophy of science, is also a novelist and the founder of Dactyl, a foundation that fosters dialogue between artists and scientists. She is the author of several novels including the topic of today’s discussion, Locus Amoenus. The novel brings Shakespeare into the post-9/11 world we currently experience and sows an emotionally powerful geopolitical drama.

Adrienne Maree Brown is an author, a life/love work coach, a singer (including wedding singer), events facilitator and a scholar on the late Science Fiction novelist Octavia Butler. In Octavia’s Brood, Adrienne has co-edited a collection of both speculative and science fiction stories founded on the spirit and creativity of the late author.

Tune in, pay if forward, and question everything
http://www.equaltimeforfreethought.org/

lacoversmall

 

blank

Reading/signing in New Paltz, Sat June 27, 5PM

peaceNew Paltz Neighbors For Peace
invite you to a reading/signing with
Victoria N. Alexander, author of Locus Amoenus
The Elting Memorial Library
93 Main Street, New Paltz, NY
Saturday, June 27th at 5PM.
About the novel: In this dark political satire, a 9/11 widow and her son, Hamlet, have retreated from Brooklyn to the idyllic rural countryside upstate, where for nearly eight years they have run a sustainable farm. Unfortunately their outrageously obese neighbors, who prefer the starchy products of industrial agriculture, shun their elitist ways (recycling, eating healthy, reading). Hamlet, who is now 18, is beginning to suspect that something is rotten in the United States of America, when health, happiness and freedom are traded for cheap Walmart goods, Paxil, endless war, standard curriculum, and environmental degradation. He becomes very depressed when, on the very day of the 8th anniversary of his father’s death, his mother marries a horrid, boring bureaucrat named Claudius. Things get even more depressing for Hamlet when his friend Horatio, a conspiracy theorist, claims Claudius is a fraud. The deceptions, spying, corruption, will ultimately lead, as in Shakespeare’s play, to tragedy.
locus-amoenus-revised-cover-web

 
blank
 

Nice short summary of Locus Amoenus in TriCorner News

Screen shot 2015-06-15 at 6.38.51 PM Novelist at Amenia Free Library 

Amenia–Local novelist Victoria N. Alexander will be promoting her new novel, “Locus Amoenus” at the Amenia Free Library book fair on Saturday, June 13th, from 10 a.m. to noon.

“Locus Amoenus” (which means pleasant locale) is a story based in Amenia which satirizes the Webutuck School District Wellness Committee. Local complacency and conformity feeds into a larger narrative of post 9/11 corruption, junk food, junk news, big pharma and war.   Continue reading

VNA interview now archived online

kevin

Kevin is such an interesting and intelligent person to talk with. In the course of the hour-long interview, I was drawn into mentioning a thing or two about my favorite philosopher C.S. Peirce in relation to the plot of one of Pynchon’s earlier conspiracy novels, The Crying of Lot 49.  Years ago I wrote about Pynchon and the link between teleology and conspiracy theory, here.  We went on about Noam Chomsky’s ridiculously unscientific, because unfalsifiable, “theory” of universal grammar. (Chomsky has sent some hate Kevin’s way because Kevin has said that sometimes some people in or associated with the U.S. government some times to do corrupt things.)  With his semiotic theory, my favorite philosopher (uh oh, Peirce again) explains the emergence of grammar much better than Noam.  (Terrence Deacon provides a good slap down of Chomsky in The Symbolic Species.) And yes, we did talk about Locus Amoenus too, as well as Tom Breidenbach’s book of poems Wicked Child/IX XI.  Tom, a mutual friend, was the initial inspiration for the Horatio character in my novel.

The interview is now archived online here:  http://noliesradio.org/archives/99840

 

Locus Amoenus on WWUH radio Hartford, CT

wwuhListen online at 8PM EST tonight while I talk with Cheryl host of “Wake Up Call” on WWUH about my post 9/11 novel Locus Amoenus.  

http://wwuh.org/index.php?q=0043-listen-online

 

blank

William Irwin Thompson on Locus Amoenus in WRR

WildRiverReview-logo-H1

 

 

Victoria Alexander’s Honest Look at American Culture

In much the same way that James Joyce used Homer’s Odyssey to create a classical stage set for the characters of Ulysses in the dear dirty Dublin in 1904, V. N. Alexander’s new novel uses Shakespeare’s Hamlet as an archetypal structure that casts a shadow over the stereotypes of our new American life of junk food, junk politics, and NSA/Homeland Security.

Like the tight narrative and focused attention of Thomas Pynchon’s shortest novel, The Crying of Lot 49Locus Amoenus uses hilarity and conspiracy theories to present the tragicomedy of a contemporary America that is beyond belief. Alexander has a good ear for prose rhythms, and the uplifting wave of her prose style picks you up and carries you all the way to her Coda—a coda that reminds us as her story becomes framed in journalistic reporting that American History is a dumpster and not an Akashic Record backing up karmic justice. From Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase that made Manifest Destiny and the American Empire inevitable to Jackson’s Cherokee Trail of Tears to Lincoln’s suspension of Habeas Corpus to FDR’s Day of Deceit with Pearl Harbor to Wolfowitz’s and the Neocons’ call for a new Pearl Harbor that became 9/11 to Obama’s National Defense Authorization Act and Arctic Drilling for the oil companies, the United States has always been bad while believing itself to be good.

Alexander is truly humorous in a bittersweet way that never becomes nihilistic. Everyone notices European Evil, whether it is the case of the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror or Hitler’s Holocaust, but no one noticed when Obama shredded the Constitution of Madison and Jay in the National Defense Authorization Act, and no one noticed when the One Percent bought out the country in a hostile takeover brokered by Goldman Sachs.

Locus Amoenus is an important contribution to contemporary American fiction, and perhaps it is time now for Alexander to move up from the small arty presses to the major publishing houses in Manhattan. (Farrar Strauss take note.) But, on the other hand, since the large publishing companies now are all owned by the giant corporate conglomerates who produce our junk food for the mind, we should celebrate the contribution of The Permanent Press of Sag Harbor for being, like the Farmers Market in Union Square and the Berkshares local currency of Great Barrington, Massachusetts, a healthy alternative to airport fiction.

http://www.wildriverreview.co/lit/bookreview-victoria-alexander/

locus-amoenus-revised-cover-web

blank