Fiction Collective Two is an author-run, not-for-profit publisher of artistically adventurous, non-traditional fiction.

Toc: a New-Media Novel


TOC: A New-Media Novel
by Steve Tomasula

DVD
2009
Price: $16.95

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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 breathtaking 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 both. 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 as it draws on the power of other art forms to immerse readers in an altogether new multimedia story.


http://www.tocthenovel.com


Gold Medal Winner: Best Book of 2010 (awarded by eLit Awards)
 
The Mary Shelly Award for Outstanding Fictional Work (awarded by the Media Ecology Association), 2010.


"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." —Brian Evenson

"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, TOCfunctions less through plot than thesis, less through character than idea. 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, 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." —Brian Evenson 

" ... an elegant meditation on the nature of time ... A fascinating look at some of the possibilities of narrative in the multi-media ... age ..." —Ed Falco, American Book Review

"...cutting-edge [but] surprisingly easy to navigate...a hard-hitting (and visually and aurally magnificent) rendition of one of the world’s most ancient moral lessons." —Virginia Konchan, ForeWord Reviews

"Marked by aesthetic ruptures, discontinuous narratives and diverse modalities including video, textual fragments, animated graphics and sound, TOC creates a rich assemblage in which the conflicts between measured and experienced time are related to the invention, development and domination of the Influencing Engine, a metaphoric allusion to computational technologies.  … TOC explores its conditions of possibility in ways that perform as well as demonstrate the interpenetration of living and technical beings, processes in which complex temporalities play central roles." —N. Kathyrn Hayles, How We Think: Digital Media and Contemporary Tecnogenesis.

"TOC is an evocative, steampunk fairytale. It also represents a new literary genre: a marriage of conventional narrative and image use with the possibilities for fiction that are opened up by the computer."—Yuriy Tarnawsky, Rain Taxi Review of Books.

"Exploring untrodden paths out of the groove of language, TOC releases us to a different approach to temporality that may also provide a cure for…chronology." —Jean-Yves Pellegrin, Études anglaises: revue du monde Anglophone (Paris).