pages, 5 1/2 x 7 37/100
You've never experienced a novel like this. TOC is a multimedia epic about time—the invention of the second, the beating of a heart, the story of humans connecting through time to each other and to the world. An evocative fairy tale with a steampunk heart, TOC is a breath-taking visual novel, an assemblage of text, film, music, photography, the spoken word, animation, and painting. It is the story of a man who digs a hole so deep he can hear the past, a woman who climbs a ladder so high she can see the future, as well as others trapped in the clockless, timeless time of a surgery waiting room: God's time. Theirs is an imagined history of people who are fixed in the past, those who have no word for the future, and those who live out their days oblivious to either.
A new media hybrid, TOC re-imagines what the book is, and can be. Produced as a DVD for playback on personal computers (both Macs and PCs), TOC retains the intimate, one-on-one experience that a reader can have with a book even as it draws on the power of other art forms to immerse readers in an altogether new multimedia story.
TOC is an entrancing digital novel that explores temporality's elusiveness and how, ultimately, the more we think about time, the less we really know about it. Reminiscent of Borges, Calvino, and Ballard, TOC functions less through plot than thesis, less through character than idea. Steve Tomasula's latest is nothing short of brilliant.'Lance Olsen
With stunning visuals, a compelling and complex narrative, a gripping soundtrack, and a user-friendly but satisfyingly sophisticated interface, Tomasula's TOC is one of the few pieces of digital media that feels fully integrated and profoundly literate. It brings us to the trailhead of the genre's future, and then takes us a good way down the path.'
Steve Tomasula is the author of the novels VAS: An Opera in Flatland, IN & OZ, and The Book of Portraiture. His short fiction and essays have been widely published in venues including McSweeney's, The Iowa Review, Leonardo, Data Made Flesh, and Musing the Mosaic.
Stephen Farrell is a graphic designer, essayist, and illustrator. His works include the collaborative novel VAS: An Opera in Flatland, Visible Citizens, and The Volgare Project, a collection of multimedia, music, and type design.
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