In the fifth chapter of Feed, the blogging team meets Peter Ryman. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Feed.
I wonder if the American government is still largely the same. Ryman is a senator, so I assume the three branches of government is still in place. There are government agencies, federal laws, national regulatory systems… not much of this seems to have changed. Even the secret government base fits in with the system we have in place now. Actually, can I just state that I am really stoked that I want to know all of this stuff? I think a truly great fictional world gets me thinking about these sort of things. While I think Rowling’s wizard universe still takes the cake, I’m beginning to like what Grant is giving me so far. (Actually, now I’m having an internal debate about the best fictional universe in terms of detail and completeness. China Mieville’s Bas-Lag trilogy is just… holy shit, it’s weird and expansive and ridiculous and there’s nothing in the world like it. But there’s also so much depth to the magical world in Harry Potter, too, and a lot of the charm comes from the comparisons between our world and the wizarding world. And Middle-earth is just beautiful and breathtaking. Oh fuck, Lyra’s world in His Dark Materials is my life, y’all. I can’t decide right now.)
This is a fairly short chapter, and most is devoted to our first introduction to Senator Peter Ryman. The team goes through a rigorous process to get approved, and they’re flown to Clayton. I’ve hiked and biked Mount Diablo quite a few times, so I can totally imagine a secret government housing complex being located there. It’s kind of perfect, at least for the Bay Area.
Ryman and his wife, Emily, are… well, they’re normal. And likable! And I didn’t get the sense that they were putting on too much of a show for the bloggers, either. Obviously, one is necessary, and being followed by Buffy, Georgia, and Shaun is probably a tad intimidating to them. But I couldn’t help but feel that Ryman’s interest and enthusiasm in the End Times team was genuine. I hope I don’t regret saying that, but Georgia is an astute person. I think that if she felt something was wrong with these two, she’d know right off the bat. She’s not the most trusting person when it comes to strangers. So, if this is the case, then I’m guessing that whatever happens that sends this story into overdrive won’t be something to do with Ryman being a secretive asshole. (So much for predicting.)
And the only reason I’m bringing this up is because I can’t escape the feeling that something is wrong. These first five chapters of Feed are a set-up, but what are they setting into motion? I don’t believe that the drama is simply going to be a presidential campaign. not that that wouldn’t be interesting, for the record! I think that I would adore to see this sort of political event described in the context of this new media dynamic. I’m doing my best to also pay attention to the dates these blogs are posted so that I can keep track of the span of time of this story. Blogs are an archive by nature, and seeing a presidential campaign chronologically in this context would be fascinating.
But I don’t think that’s it. Something is going to happen, and it’s making me nervous.
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