Sunday, April 06, 2008

Fallen Nation review on Spiral Nature

I just saw that they did a review on Spiral Nature of Fallen Nation: Babylon Burning, after all. I would nit-pick some of the details (such as classifying it as "occult fiction," I took many pains to make this particular book work just fine for people with little or only passing knowledge of the occult; the autobiographical elements in this book are painted with such a broad brush in this one that it is very nearly entirely fiction, and so on), but it is nice to see someone actually summarize the plot fairly succinctly.

I've never lied about this: I'm god awful at plot synopsis. So far as I'm concerned, plot is something that happens as a result of the characters thinking, wanting, fearing, desiring, and then the ways that those things play out in the world around them and come in conflict with one another. Plot is incidental, and being told the plot of a movie or book tells me so little about whether I'll actually get something out of it or not that I usually don't much care. But I acknowledge that there are few who see eye-to-eye with me on that one, it has most certainly been a thorn in my side with publishers and promotion alike, so- if you're looking for a very basic synopsis of the plot, thank God, here you go:


Fallen Nation James Curcio’s second book, takes up where Join My Cult! left off. Agent 139 and Jesus are in a maximum security mental institution held as suspected terrorists after a restaurant was blown up in the previous novel. Agent 139 wryly comments:

“Bottom line: ideas don’t count for a whole lot in this world, but on their own, they’re mostly benign. Ideals on the other hand can get you a special jacket with one sleeve. Ideals can get you shot.”

Agent 506 breaks them out via mysterious means, and, after a brief visit with Agent 140 fits them with a van tailored with all the tricks and tools they’ll need, the three of them set off on their way to new adventures. They soon pick up a hitchhiking guitarist and decide to form a band, Babalon. The van serves as a tour bus as they pick up groupies and collect followers, making waves wherever they go.

“I like the sentiment of anarchy, but you’re idealizing it. In a world of so many conflicting cultural signals, each person’s idea of what social responsibility is, and how it should be enacted differs. When there is differing opinion, there is conflict. When there is no difference of opinion, there is absolute fascism. Take your pick. The freedom of this ideal turns quickly into the lowest common denominator, the law of the jungle, as people’s priorities and ideals clash with one another. This is exactly how the world is right now, and how it has always been – the war of all against all…You want anarchy? You already have it. In disguise. Anarchy’s always been, and always will be.”

A government agent is charged with the task of eliminating Babalon, perceived as a threat to the status quo by Those In Charge. Cultural warfare becomes more than abstract theorizing when things escalate in a desert battle pitting agent against agent.

(Full review.)

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