SEVEN ELEVEN, The Complete Files is a collection of short stories, stunning graphic visuals and theoretical science embedded in conspiracies and passed to the reader by a consortium of characters. An experimental genre of storytelling; the Exhibition Novel.
PART ONE, The Cash Register Files, are stories that revolve around a mysterious source of data which has been streamed directly into the store’s cash register. The codes, buried in the pop-visuals, have been decrypted by a group of renowned geneticists. The implications on our current understanding of human behavior are troubling. The characters—who are trapped in the convenience market—record their passing time in a variety of ways, which become their graphic stories. Several of the characters are young designers. Their designs are represented and critiqued in the book by a bevy of important professionals. Their reviews become another novella embedded in the overall saga.
PART TWO, The Radio Interview, is the recorded and transcribed interview of the main characters long after the major event has passed. Their hardships become another narrative of noir drama, laced with suspicious conspiracies. The story comes together in the real time interview, eventually to dissolve into further unanswered questions. The unexpected conclusion is a shocker, especially for the author.
The Exhibition Novel format works well to contain the multiple personalities of the author as well as the multiplicity of characters in the Seven Eleven story. The climax of the Large Panels, while spectacular, does not bode well for a society of cultured human beings.
If William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, J.G. Ballard and maybe Phillip Dick got together in a convenience market to solve the riddles in this culture trip, this is the document they’d generate in an attempt to wrangle it all in. A bright light in an otherwise dim genre.