Book Reviews,  Dystopian,  Speculative Fiction

Book Review: Ship of Theseus

Ship Of Theseus: A NovelShip Of Theseus: A Novel by Jeremiah Strickland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In the early 70s, without the aid of drugs, I experienced my first trip into a virtual reality. It was achieved by putting headphones over my ears and Firesign Theatre’s album, “Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him” on the turntable. Relaxed on the couch, I had a 42 minute out-of-body experience.

Reading/hearing/seeing Ship of Theseus reawoke my muscle and mind memories of that long ago journey. But this time around, with the media technologies available today, the experience went much further than my old vinyl record was able to do.

The official blurbie says, “Shiny Red Nothing is proud to present Ship Of Theseus, a genre-bending novel that pits a troubled young writer named Wayne Bird against his own demons before rocketing him 150 years into the future to meet Skyrat, the superhero he created when he was a little boy. Ghosts, vampires, skin-shedding monsters, hive-minded street gangs, alien viruses, math obsessed cultists, drugs that induce nirvana, and an adventure like none other awaits!”

How could I not want to explore this world with a teaser like that? The author has not just written a book, he’s crafted a transmedia storytelling experience. “Transmedia storytelling” can be defined as ‘a technique of telling a story across multiple platforms and formats using current digital technologies.’ Readers eager for an immersive experience can explore illustrations, character bios and maps. There’s also an audio book, videos, a soundtrack, and a board game. Besides being a talented author, Jeremiah Strickland is an accomplished musician and artist, or as he puts it, “… an author, musician, artist, armchair philosopher, and recovering curmudgeon.”

The soundtrack is excellent. I enjoy the author’s band, Shiny Red Nothing, and have started listening to the group purely on its own merit, as well as having listened in conjunction with the book. Speaking of that, there’s a list of specific instructions about when to cue up a song while reading for the optimum immersive experience, such as: Go Beserk” by Shiny Red Nothing. This one will begin in Episode 2 when you read: “Headlights illuminated them…

The attention to detail is what puts this project over the top for me. The most interesting aspect of worldbuilding is the flotsam and jetsam that transforms a setting from a sterile environment to something you can believe you are walking through.

More about Jeremy Strickland, Shiny Red Nothing, and Ship of Theseus are at Strickland’s website, Shiny Red Nothing.

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Lori Alden Holuta lives between the cornfields of Mid-Michigan, where she grows vegetables and herbs when she’s not writing, editing, or playing games with a cat named Chives.

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