Galley proofs for Locus Amoenus are in

The galleys (review copies) of Locus Amœnus  came out today. Permanent, the publisher, will be sending them to Library Journal, Kirkus, and Publishers Weekly and various other trade review publications.

Locus Amœnus will be out very, very soon.  You can pre-order from Permanent or from Amazon at a  15% discount.

Cover for Locus Amœnus

lacoversmallHere is the final cover design for Locus Amœnus, which will be released at the end of April.   The novel is a dark comedy/tragedy, a revision of Hamlet set in rural upstate New York in 2009.  I requested a graffiti font for the tile to add a bit of irreverence to contrast the pastoral scene.  The designer chose to use a  bullet-holes-and-blood font to make it look like a thriller.  The story does involve an old murder, two accidental deaths, some bloody noses and an allusion to Shakespeare’s heap of bodies at the end of his play, but no one actually gets a mob-style hit in Locus Amœnus.

You can pre-order from Permanent or from Amazon at a  14% discount.

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Permanent announces 2015 titles

PP-logo__2_The Permanent Press, which will be publishing my novel Locus Amœnus, announced its 2015 titles today.  I am pleased to find myself among some very talented writers.  I am also happy to discover that several of the sixteen novels on the list have anti-war themes; one takes on drone warfare, another economic disparity; a couple of them are pretty quirky; one even invokes Hamlet, as mine does.

I like the company.

From the catalogue:

LOCUS AMŒNUS by Victoria N. Alexander Continue reading

How can art and science interact meaningfully?

Based on a talk at the Leonardo Art and Science Rendezvous (LASER) meeting in NYC on April 12, 2014, Victoria N Alexander, PhD discusses how art can benefit science through a biosemiotic perspective. This is the second video in the “Science, Art and Biosemiotics” series, produced and directed by Lucian Rex

 

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Locus Amœnus on “No Lies Radio”

lacoversmallI just sent my manuscript off to the publisher a week ago, and, as luck would have it, I got a call from Andrew Steele, host of  No Lies Radio, asking me to do an interview on the theme of the book.

The program will air Thursday, January 23, 2014

Here’s a summary of the story: In this dark comedy, 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, Zoloft, endless war, core 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.
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Trixie is out!

I’m happy to announce that my latest novel, Trixie, is now in print.

With Trixie I have taken uncertain steps as a writer.  My previous novels were published under “Victoria N. Alexander,” the name that appears on my passport, not “Tori Alexander,” the name my family and friends use.   The reason for the switch is to “disambiguate” myself, as they say these days, from a popular writer of Romance novels named “Victoria Alexander.”  I am decidedly not a Romance writer.  If any thing Trixie is anti-Romance as my heroine is not too keen on Continue reading

The Choice Issues in the Health Care Bill: eating meat and reading literature

Two extremely important issues–that are not strictly health related–are holding up the health care bill. These are: whether the government should help fund abortions and whether the government should help fund end-of-life consultations between patients and physicians. Anyone who knows my novels knows that I’m a feminist and so would expect me to support Pro-Choice, and I do. Anyone who has read Naked Singularity knows that I would fight for choice on the issue of euthanasia too. Nevertheless, I think both should be withdrawn from the bill. Here’s why: Continue reading

Smoking Hopes is now available as an Ebook

My first novel Smoking Hopes was released in hardcover by The Permanent Press in 1996.  I’ve wanted it to go to ebook for a long time now, for reasons that I’ve been writing about in my “Literary Fiction” posts. Mainly the ebook appeal involves copyright protection for authors as well as greener practices for the globe. So I was really glad to see The Permanent Press go digital.

Teleology revisited

Teleology is the study of the purposes of action, development and existence. Its practitioners believe nature is purposeful. An ancient and enduring form of inquiry that has been out-of-fashion among educated people for centuries, teleology’s slow, steady decline as a scientific discipline began in the 17th century with the birth of modern empiricism and continued to plummet apace with the rise of the Enlightenment, Darwinism, and quantum mechanics. Nature is not purposeful, it was said, and those who continued to think it was were primarily spiritualists, artists, or madmen, who credited the guidance of gods, muses, or fate. Continue reading

Nature is a Work of Art

Telos is Greek for an “end” or function, which helps explain why something exists or why its previous actions occurred: in order to serve that function.  Telic action requires some kind representation of the goal that helps achieve it.  In short, teleologists argue that ideas, or something like mental concepts or thoughts, cause events in a way wholly different from the way that objects cause events (atoms, molecules or larger bodies hitting each other and/or reacting). Continue reading