The site has a fledgling book review section that should not be confused with the rest in terms of tone. The books and reviews are sincere, the rest of the site is only sincerely entertaining, relying on (as far as I can tell) completely farcical news stories. The articles on the site are a mixture of the sardonically devious and sublimely observant. Shining both sides of such a coin is something difficult to pull off and I wish the folks pulling the strings behind the site (or managing the wordpress installation, as it were) the best of luck.
Consider this article on the singularity, containing both the technological trappings of the real thing (or at least what some people predict might be the real thing) and a simulacrum of how the average American, so overfilled with media-defined misappropriations about science, is unable to recognize reality. The clever writer subtly jabs at the most distinguished names and tropes in science fiction. After all, how different is Jenny DeFrieze’s limo driver’s epiphany than David Brin’s portrayal of the singularity as a digitized rat brain? The difference is that LaLaLander winks at us in the way Douglas Adams did with a jocular premise, but dives into the complicated reality of its subjects in a way Adams (surely smart enough to understand the material himself) never trusted his readers to comprehend. Imagine the one-star Amazon reviews on Hitchhiker’s Guide if it ever had a sentence like this:
“. . .machine functions may prove to be similar to the organic software the human brain uses to fashion its own consciousness, but it is not proof that the most complex machines were, are or ever will become as conscious or self-aware as we know it.”
Although each article on LaLaLander is attributed to a different staff writer, I have a feeling they’re all written by one author, needling a way into the complicated landscape of authorship in the internet age by putting his skill on display not by uploading word docs to Amazon, but drawing an audience from smaller pieces of absurdist humor then directing them to the real work: published novels available for purchase. That was a long sentence. This is a shorter one.
Click here to read Ryan’s review of my book, and stick around the site for humor that will make you think.
Stay tuned here, too, as I’m going to return the favor and review Stay Younger Longer.