April 10th, 2009

MUT008

A Survey of My Failures This Far
Gabriel Boyer

6" X 9" | Softcover | 952 Pages | $12.00 | NOW AVAILABLE

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Boyer’s influences range from William Faulkner to David Lynch, from Hunter S. Thompson to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Jorge Luis Borges. A Survey of My Failures this Far, his third book to be released through Mutable, is on the one hand just what it purports to be, a collection of materials (mostly narrative) from Boyer’s library of unpublished manuscripts, but it aspires to be something more, and perhaps herein lies the failure, what Faulkner called the “splendid failure to do the impossible.” Descriptions of each individual book within the larger collection to be found below.

 

The Many Lives of Yours Truly
A collection of stories about a single character, Bosworth Paine. It is a collection within a collection and opens with a passage that could perhaps describe the author’s relation to Survey as a whole, “This is how it is for me. I am so many different sorts of people it makes me want to stick my fingers in your mouth.” Many of these stories return to his adolescence, and an obsession with one woman in particular, for she was tied to another Bosworth could only grin in the face of so much suffering, rather than always muttering obscenities in the corner.

Jacks and Jill’s Sunshine Retreat Center
A psychedelic horror comedy that takes place on a wellness retreat just outside Santa Fe New Mexico and run by a man name of Colin Jacks. Persons have begun to disappear at an alarming rate. “And besides, you have warts on your penis.” Similar sorts of witty banter to be found within.

Chewing in the Land of the Bonobos
Characters A and B throw seeds in a bucket, and occasionally attempt to bed each other, while watching the development of war, agriculture, and ultimately resort hotels.

Devil, Everywhere I Look
An economic collapse has brought the end of the United States of America, a civil war having raged ever since, and Jackson Cole, political pamphleteer by profession, is becoming more and more caught up in a greater game of political intrigue with every step he takes, only to finally discover the truth about his younger brother’s death at the same time he finds himself addicted to the new hallucinogenic narcotic some claim is transforming humanity into an altogether different species, these being the last days before The Atlantic Bloc fell to the Midland Coalition in this post-apocalyptic nightmare world.

The God Game
A gaming manual, in which you play the game by creating the game, the God Game begins with an exploration of basic games, though the bulk of the manuscript involves universe creation and ultimately LARPing the God Game. “Does the ground consist of spires that reach to the tips of the atmosphere, or is the entire orb made up of a teaming mass of encephalocapsules?” Many questions are posed. Few are answered!

The Manikin Textbook
We open on the protagonist’s adolescence, spent as a fugitive whore in the Capital of the North American Districts, obviously modeled after New York. Then it is ten years later, and now our protagonist (also Colin Jacks) is married with children and concealing contraband information within his larger memory template. Throughout his travels he will meet a woman infested with multi-dimensional carniverous vegetation who believes he is the messiah, a man who leads him through the underground facilities where dreams are developed and propagated upon an unsuspecting populace, and ultimately a shape-changing agent of the Ministry of the Morning Star.

Shorthand with Periodic Tenderness
A collection of the sorts of poems P. K. Dick’s androids would write, especially the more abstract (such as one entitled “The Myth of Technology” which involves the repeated re-arrangement of six words), although there are more traditional poems in here. “In the Smallest Hours of the Night”, for example, contains the lines, “Face as beautiful as any god’s / Androgynous icon / And as present as crumpled sheets,” but many seem as if concocted by some computer in an effort to simulate intelligence.

Click to download excerpts from A Survey of My Failures This Far