Thursday, September 28, 2023

Eight novels using television as a plot device

Nora Fussner has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MFA from CUNY Brooklyn College. Prior to moving to western Pennsylvania, she lived in Brooklyn and taught for eight years for CUNY Start, an intensive developmental reading and writing program at Kingsborough Community College. Since moving to Pittsburgh in 2018, she has taught for the University of Pittsburgh.

The Invisible World was partially inspired by a freelance job she held while pursuing her MFA, working as a logger on several reality shows including The Haunted on Animal Planet and Psychic Kids on A&E.

Fussner grew up in a 200+ year old house but, sadly, never found evidence of a haunting.

She lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and their senior dog, Karly.

At Electric Lit Fussner tagged "eight novels about characters who are on TV, want to be on TV, or use television to in some way figure themselves out." One title on the list:
Episode Thirteen by Craig DiLouie

While plenty of other novels incorporate found footage, trial transcripts, etc., alongside narration, DiLouie cranks it up to 11—Episode Thirteen is all found footage/found documents: the lost tapes and journals of the crew of Fade to Black, a paranormal investigative show. Fade to Black’s crew is scrappy, and in need of some new stories as they embark on an investigation of Foundation House, a building used in the 1970s by researchers to conduct experiments in the paranormal, metaphysical, and hallucinogenic. The house has never been fully investigated, and it’s on the verge of being torn down. As the team spends more time inside, extending their shoot and the number of episodes they need to air their footage, their findings loop back to the crew themselves in seemingly impossible ways. A found-footage novel in 2023 ought to be self-aware of genre tropes, and one character confirms to the audience that the urge to document, even as their situation grows ever more frightening, persists.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Page 69 Test: Episode Thirteen.

My Book, The Movie: Episode Thirteen.

--Marshal Zeringue