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The Countdown Begins! [UPDATE]

It's me reading from The Voyager Record. Photo by Kurtis Darby

Flapperhouse regularly hosts a release party whenever another issue of its bizarre mélange-genre spreads open its jazzy wings and takes flight, but on Wednesday they were kind enough to make room for The Voyager Record as well, and let me join the line-up. If this is the start of the Countdown for The Voyager Record's liftoff, and we start counting down at "ten," consider this event to be Ten Nine Eight Seven and Six.

The event was at Pacific Standard in Park Slope. I haven't been there before, but I feel like I have, as I'm always at Flapperhouse events in spirit. Other readers in attendance were William Lessard, Stephen Langlois, Christina M Rau, Leona Godin, T Mazzara, and Joanna C Valente. Flapperhouse mastermind Joseph O'Brien was MC and much more: he also performed the uke-end of a duet cover of David Bowie's "Starman" along with flapsome muse, Alibi Jones. Alibi went full Ziggy Stardust for the song, something that arguably made the show. Also making appearance was the late, great Carl Sagan, who gave us the tracklist for an 80s rock radio update to the Voyager record soon to leave this planet for the stars. Here are some pics of what it looked like.

Joe O'Brien Stephen Langlois Christina M Rau William Lessard just a few of the folks at Flapperhouse #9 Flight Party/The Voyager Record Prelaunch Countdown

Some of the faces of the Flapperhouse #9 Flight Party/Voyager Record Prelaunch Countdown: (starting top left) Joe O'Brien, Stephen Langlois, Christina M Rau, and William Lessard.

I had a lot more envisioned for the first reading I was going to do for the book than I managed to pull off. At one point I thought that it would make sense to project the book trailer on top of me as I was reading to accompanying music from the record. Then it seemed to make sense to try and get a hold of a Theremin and learn how to play it. Do you know that it is very difficult, even prohibitively so, to find a rental Theremin in New York City? I do. And also that the cheapest Theremin kits (~$99) are probably not very useful if you don't know anything about playing them.

Instead, I opted to read without any gimmicks because I spent all of the time I had to prep making sure that I had commemorative The Voyaer Record t-shirts ready for the big night. I came up with three designs. One of them is based on the actual mission patch for the Voyager mission. The other two are warped views of the data contained on the Voyager record seal and the Pioneer plaque, tortured by me in Photoshop. One of them (I call it "Wave Form") is specifically meant to evoke the cover of Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures. The other disabuses the scientific information of the record to create an almost-mystic tablaeu: not unlike the poetic view of Voyager in the book.

T-shirts for The Voyager Record: A Transmission by Anthony Michael Morena

Voyager Record t-shirts designed by me for the purposes of merchandising.

I might have these shirts for sale soon on the site, but until then be assured that I will have them with me at AWP, where you can find them at the Rose Metal Press booth. Hopefully, there will still be some left when you get there. Supplies are more than limited. Speaking of buying stuff: you still need to preorder your copy of the book, huh?

In the end, The Voyager Record could not have gotten a better start to its mission. There was a good crowd, and good readers. Not even having my mic die in the middle of the reading could stop that. I rather read without a mic, though, regrettably, the folks standing all the way by the bar room may have had a hard time hearing me. But all in all, good times. If you can, join me at the next one: the AWP-offsite in LA with Diagram and The Cupboard.

UPDATE: The audio of the entire show has now been made available on the Flapperhouse Podcast which you can listen to or download now via Soundcloud:

(Top image: It Me by Kurtis Darby.)

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