Ted Weber’s cyber-thriller, Sleep State Interrupt, set in near future Maryland
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Sleep State Interrupt by Ted Weber.
I was surprised by the ease with which Weber’s characters moved between this world we know and the cyber-world he has created. The journalist Waylee is the protagonist. The novel opens with her using digital eyeglasses, making live video recordings of a protest in Baltimore. Additional information on her video eyeglasses tell her how many followers are logged in, what media corporations are forwarding the video — and Waylee interprets the clusters of feedback to recognize when the media stream is being cut off, diverted, eliminated. And I, the reader, believe it. The intersection of worlds makes sense and aids the plot as it races from event to event. I was thoroughly surprised and delighted by the easy portrayal of the interface with future digital gadgets.
Sleep State Interrupt is good reading for what it is and for what it means. It is a fast paced tale of how societal cast offs: an out of work journalist along with a computer hacker who is sprung out of jail anda young innocent digital game addict – and other ostensible losers, all oppose the homogenization of thought by media through small but brilliant media interruptions. They crash the party with finesse, whether it’s at the Smithsonian castle or at the Super Bowl. They break the law without breaking moral boundaries (how do they do that?!) and I found myself wishing for their success and fearing their failure.
I live in Washington, DC and host a radio show based in Takoma Park, Maryland. My proximity to the places Weber’s novel visits gave his story an added appeal: Montgomery County, Prince Georges County, DC, and Northern Virginia — Sleep State Interrupt weaves through the map of my hometown.
You have to bring your morality with you to this text, almost as if the readers moral perspective is an additional unnamed character in the story.
And speaking of characters, the digital game addict, Kiyoko, is a fictional masterpiece in her combination of absorption within her computer world and capacity to use that world to create positive change in the world outside digital imagination.
I loved also that I couldn’t tell the race of the author. Characters were introduced in terms of style, clothes, coloring, hair – but after a while I found myself wondering if the author were black or white or Asian or an ethnic group, because Ted Weber’s way of introducing people didn’t emphasize or single out a particular type. I like that. I like this near future Baltimore and Washington, DC that makes us non-cyber freaks feel that we belong in this world to come.
Please find Ted Weber’s cyber-thriller Sleep State Interrupt from Barnes and Noble, Amazon, the library, or wherever you like to acquire books.
I Remember When the National Mall Was Made (streamed live on acrossthefader.org 9/23/2016 10:15-11:15 AM)
On Friday, September 23, 2016 students of Shining Stars Montessori Public Charter School (DCPS) present essays and drawings as responses to people and places of the National Mall. In one essay the student imagines herself reminiscing as the Statue of Freedom on the top of the Capital dome, above the National Mall. Additional essays reflect on National Mall events, people and places such as the AIDS quilt, the 1963 March on Washington, the cherry blossoms, the Smithsonian castle, and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. The event is one of many EpicCentering the National Mall events welcoming the new National Museum of African American History and Culture to the National Mall.
Songs played during broadcast of conversation with T C Weber, author of Sleep State Interrupt were: Codebreaker by Atari Teenage Riot, Television, the Drug of the Nation by The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, and Wake Up by Rage Against the Machine.
January 31, 2017 Noa Baum, author of A Land Twice Promised: An Israeli Woman’s Quest for Peace
Noa Baum Part 1
Noa Baum Part 2
Noa Baum Part 3
Songs played during broadcast of conversation with Noa Baum, author of A Land Twice Promised: An Israeli Woman’s Quest for Peace, were Thing of Others by Mira Awad, Deep River by Paul Robeson, and O What a Beautiful City by Marian Anderson.
January 24, 2017 Ellen Prentiss Campbell, author of Contents Under Pressure and The Bowl with Gold Seams
Ellen Prentiss Campbell Part 1
Ellen Prentiss Campbell Part 2
Ellen Prentiss Campbell Part 3
Songs played during broadcast of conversation with Ellen Prentiss Campbell, author of Contents Under Pressure and The Bowl with Gold Seams were: Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall by Joan Baez, Where Have All the Flowers Gone by Joan Baez, and Violin Concerto in E Minor by Felix Mendelsohn, played by Joshua Bell.
January 17, 2017 Clinton Parks, author of Broken Wonder and Dem Douglah Guhls
Clinton Parks, Part 1
Clinton Parks, Part 2
Clinton Parks, Part 3
Clinton Parks, Part 4
Songs played during broadcast of conversation with Clinton Parks: A Place Called Home by PJ Harvey, Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division, True Love Waits by Radiohead, and O What a Beautiful City by Marian Anderson
January 10, 2017 Hamzah Jamjoom, Saudi Arabian Film maker, Factory of Lies and other movies
Hamzah Jamjoom, Part 1
Hamzah Jamjoom, Part 2
Hamzah Jamjoom, Part 3
Hamzah Jamjoom, Part 4
Songs played during broadcast of conversation with Hamza Jamjoom: Sineen, Red Sea, and Timeless Time from the movie Arabia, and O What a Beautiful City by Marian Anderson
January 3, 2017 Alan Page, Author of Enter the Wu-Tang: How Nine Men Changed Hip-Hop Forever.
Alan Page, Part 1
Alan Page, Part 2
Alan Page, Part 3
Epic City, Bruce J Berger, November 1, 2016
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Carolivia Herron talks with novelist Bruce J. Berger. Bruce is a creative writing student at American University and his publications include Nate and Adel, To Hide in Athens, and Dear Grandpa and Other Stories. Bruce is a retired lawyer.
Here are Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4 of Carolivia’s conversation with Bruce. Songs played during their conversation (not included here) were Unforgettable and Autumn Leaves by Nate King Cole, Try to Remember from the Fantastiks, and O What a Beautiful City! by Marian Anderson.
Epic City, A’Lelia Bundles, October 25, 2016
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Carolivia Herron talks with author and journalist A’Lelia Bundles, the great great granddaughter of Madame C. J. Walker, the first African American millionaire. A’Lelia is chair of the Archives Foundation and her publications include, On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madame C. J. Walker, and Madame Walker Theatre Centre: An Indianapolis Treasure.
Here are Parts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 of Carolivia’s conversation with A’Lelia. Songs played during their conversation (not included here) were Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child by Marian Anderson, St. Louis Blues by James Reese Europe, The Entertainer by Scott Joplin, O sole mio by Enrico Caruso, and O What a Beautiful City! by Marian Anderson.
Epic City, Jennifer Bort Yacovissi, October 18, 2016
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Carolivia Herron talks with author Jennifer Yacovissi about her fictionalized history of her family, Up the Hill to Home, October 25, 2016 Part 1. The novel traces a Washington, DC family from before the Civil War through the 1930s. The text includes an affecting description of civilian life during the Battle of Fort Stevens in 1864.
Part 1 of the Yacovissi conversation is followed by the song Just Like A Woman by Bob Dylan. The song is not included here.
Carolivia Herron continues her conversation with Jennifer Yacovissi, Part 2.
Part 2 is followed by the song Lay My Lily Down by Bob Weir. The song is not included here. Carolivia continues her conversation with Jenny in Part 3.
Part 3 is followed by the songs, Knight of the Hobby Horse by Robert Schumann and Stormy Weather by Billie Holiday. The songs are not included here. Part 4 continues the conversation between Jenny and Carolivia.
Part 4 of the conversation between Jennifer Yacovissi and Carolivia Herron is followed by the theme song, O What A Beautiful City by Marian Anderson.
Epic City, Jeff Richards, October 11, 2016
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Carolivia Herron talks with author Jeff Richards about his Civil War novel, Open Country, October 11, 2016, Part 1. Jeff’s book is of particular interest to the Takoma Park audience because it covers scenes related to the Battle of Fort Stevens that occurred in our nearby neighborhood of Brightwood.
Part 1 is followed by the Civil War song, Vacant Chair sung by Kathy Mattea, not included here.
Carolivia Herron continues her conversation with Jeff Richards, October 11, 2016, Part 2.
Part 2 is followed by the Civil War song, When Johnny Comes Marching Home played by the United States Military Academy.
Carolivia Herron continues her conversation with Jeff Richards, October 11, 2016, Part 3.
Part 3 is followed by the Civil War song, Run, Mourner, Run, sung by Sweet Honey In the Rock.
Carolivia Herron continues her conversation with Jeff Richards, October 11, 2016, Part 4.
Part 4, the final part of Carolivia’s conversation with Jeff, closes with the show’s theme song, O What a Beautiful City, sung by Marian Anderson.
Epic City, Donyel Marbley, October 4, 2016
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Carolivia Herron talks with teenage artist Donyel Marbley October 4, 2016. Here are Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 of their conversations. Songs played during their conversation (not included here) were Ché by Judy Collins, Save the Country by the Fifth Dimension, Beautiful by Carole King, and the show’s theme song, O What a Beautiful City, sung by Marian Anderson.
Epic City, John “Skip” McKoy and East Rock Creek Village, September 13, 2016
Carolivia Herron talks with novelist John “Skip” McKoy and Sharon Flynn of East Rock Creek Village. Here are parts 1, 2 and 3 of their conversation. Songs played during the broadcast (not included here) were Angel Dust by Gil Scott-Heron, Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues by Nina Simone, and Ché by Judy Collins.
Epic City, Seth Glabman, September 6, 2016
Carolivia Herron talks with musician Seth Glabman who performs his own music live, September 6, 2016, Part 1. This part includes Seth’s songs How Many Times and A Matter of When. How many times is an anti-gun violence song inspired by a talk by Colin Godard, a survivor of the Virginia Tech Massacre.
Carolivia Herron continues her conversation with Seth Glabman who performs his own music live and improvises blues accompaniment. September 6, 2016, Part 2. This part includes Seth’s songs, Chai Times Dos, Crystal, and a reprise of How Many Times. Chai Times Dos is a mix of multicultural and Jewish threads. Crystal is a classical piece with a pensive mood.
Epic City, EpicCentering the National Mall, August 30, 2016
Carolivia Herron, Cardo Henderson, Tamara Robinson of Takoma Education Campus is on her way to the studio, August 30, 2016 Part 1, discussing the full scope of the EpicCentering the National Mall project.
Carolivia Herron, Cardo Henderson and Tamara Robinson of Takoma Education Campus (on her way), August 30, 2016 Part 2, discussing the full scope of the EpicCentering the National Mall project.
Carolivia Herron, Cardo Henderson and Tamara Robinson of Takoma Education Campus, August 30, 2016 Part 3, discussing the full scope of the EpicCentering the National Mall project.
Carolivia Herron, Cardo Henderson and Tamara Robinson of Takoma Education Campus, August 30, 2016 Part 4, short conclusion.
Epic City, E. Ethelbert Miller, August 23, 2016
Carolivia Herron and E Ethelbert Miller, August 23, 2016 Part 1. This segment includes a brief description of the EpicCentering the National Mall project.
Carolivia Herron and E Ethelbert Miller, August 23, 2016 Part 2. Between Part 1 and Part 2 we played The Temptations, “Smiling Faces Sometimes”
Carolivia Herron and E Ethelbert Miller, August 23, 2016 Part 3. Between Part 2 and Parat 3 we played John Coltrane, “Love Supreme.”
At the end of our conversation with E Ethelbert Miller we played Stevie Wonder, “As.”
Epic City, Morowa Yejidé, August 16, 2016
Carolivia Herron and Morowa Yejidé, August 16, 2016 Part 1
Carolivia Herron and Morowa Yejidé, August 16, 2016 Part 2.
Carolivia Herron and Morowa Yejidé, August 16, 2016 Part 3.
The Learning Maestros provides tools to inspire students, teachers, and adults to explore connections among the arts, sciences, the environment, social conscience, and diverse cultures. Founded by the acclaimed composer and educator Bruce Adolphe and cultural impresario Julian Fifer, TLM assembles scientists, artists, writers, and educators to create interdisciplinary learning guides, music, dialogue, and video for classrooms, cultural institutions, the home, and web TV.
Their many collaborations with leading cultural and educational institutions include a one-act opera about Marian Anderson to celebrate the 70th anniversary of her Lincoln Memorial concert, with a libretto by Director Carolivia Herron. This libretto, Let Freedom Sing: The Story of Marian Anderson has been published for high school students with illustrations by Keshini Ladduwahetty.
The following organizations have contributed valuable insights in developing the EpicCenter and have already expressed an interest in working with EpicCenter Stories and The Learning Maestros further:
Arizona Public Schools, Phoenix AZ
Bank Street School, New York, NY
District of Columbia Public Schools, Washington DC
Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA
Howard University School of Education, Washington, DC
The Juilliard School, New York, NY
New York City Public Schools, New York, NY
Potomac Anacostia Ultimate Story Exchange (PAUSE, Washington, DC
Project Humanities of Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library, New York, NY
Takoma Theater Conservancy, Washington, DC
University of Arizona, Phoenix, AZ
Many individuals have contributed contributions in kind and their support is also invaluable.
EpicCenter Stories focuses on personal epics, stories, of children, communities, artists, writers, and individuals in all walks of life. The center’s programs develop and present stories in many contexts including:
teaching resources for classrooms
workshops to develop community stories
storyteller led programs in classrooms
a radio program interview with artists and writers
performances resulting from story workshops
speaking to groups, including educational and community organizations
The epic development programs create community epics that spark curiosity and personal relationships to learning. The EpicCenter’s educational and entertainment products for use by individuals, school systems, and communities teach the common core through story development. This includes the physical sciences, mathematics, social sciences, and the literary, performing, and visual arts. The story of the community becomes the foundation for the integrated study of all academic disciplines.
With this approach, learners understand that they themselves are the beginning of knowledge. History, science, math, physics, music, dance, and poetry surround every person. Wherever life is lived—in the jailhouses, universities, museums and homeless shelters—storytelling captures and conveys what we know about the world.
Award winning Takoma author Carolivia Herron hosts a weekly radio broadcast, Epic City, on Takoma Radio. The show features live conversations with local authors and artists and highlights a few songs that interconnect with the conversation.
Epic City, Tuesday, 4:00-5:00 on 94.3 AM
August 9, 2016 Patsy Mose Fletcher and African American Leisure Destinations
With guest Patsy Mose Fletcher and co-host/engineer Cardo Henderson. The juxtaposition between joy and grief, as described in Patsy’s book about how African Americans created leisure destinations near Washington, DC, was made more poignant because a cousin of Host Carolivia Herron was shot and killed at a local playground. This show shares the grief and the escape.
Bruce Adolphe / Carolivia Herron, Who Do You Think You are?
With guest Tope Folarin and engineer Susan Catler. Tope Folarin is the winner of the 2013 Caine Prize for African Writing for his short story “Miracle”. We discussed Tope’s amazing short stories and the uneven history of Nigerians in the United States. Mr. Folarin participates in the Pen/Faulkner Writers in Schools program.
With guest Louise Parker Kelley and engineer Susan Catler. We discussed what has been and may continue to be “unacceptable (nappy) hair,” “unacceptable (Black) race,” and “unacceptable (gay) sexual orientation. We featured a discussion of Louise Parker Kelley’s book, LGBT Baltimore, Arcadia Publishers.
With co-host Ruth Secular and engineer Susan Catler. We discussed the connections between cities and epics . . . what city IS the Epic City? You decide. An epic is a long narrative, describing the origin, nature or destiny of a people, depicting a hero or heroic ideal, and incorporating the cultural world view. The epic of Gilgamesh, shown here in a cuneiform tablet, is the oldest human story extant in writing.
With co-host Cardo Henderson. On the grand opening day of WOWD-LP, “Epic City” with Carolivia Herron and Cardo Henderson gave a preview of broadcasts to come. They started out with Chuck Brown, “I Feel Like Bustin’ Loose,” discussed how Carolivia became the Grandmother of Hip Hop, played “The Message” by Grand Master Flash, and ended with Cardo sharing contemporary DMV hip hop artists including Swipey and Zippy.
Takoma Radio is a project of Historic Takoma Inc. Its mission is to offer local, non-commercial radio to the diverse, urban community neighborhoods in Northeast and Northwest Washington DC, and Prince George’s and Montgomery counties in Maryland. Programming focuses on individuals, groups, issues, stories, music and history that are overlooked or under-represented by other media.
Takoma Radio is supported by donations and grants.