I listen to vinyl records, I’m decent with the guitar, and I even have a small home recording studio. And so, it’s not a surprise that Panadrome is my favorite character in Mechanique, a fun novel which I just recently discovered. As you’ll see in the book itself, he is billed as the “Human Orchestra.”
Panadrome’s sound is described as “tinny” that “swells to an orchestra” (hence his circus moniker). It is said that it seeps through people’s blood, and transforms them to metal to trap the music so the heart is felt beating.
In an interview before, author Genevieve Valentine spoke about Panadrome’s “attachment to beautiful and doomed things from his old life.” It is shown in the way he interacts with his accordion and the world’s last piano. (I imagine that he once had the best home studio equipment, like maybe the top microphone for recording vocals & acoustic guitar.) People probably share that same attachment with Panadrome, and it’s what connects his music to even those who are supposedly “more human.”
Panadrome is described as more of a machine than a man. It’s like he’s a pile of metal, wherein on top is a mounted human head that appears to move “like it was alive.” And it’s not a pretty sight — a glance at that human face is enough for most (his appearance makes circus goers uncomfortable). Such descriptions remind me of the Doof Warrior from the recent Mad Max movie. He is a “human” on top of machines and is also unsettling to look at (see below).
But Panadrome doesn’t dislike his appearance. He has silver hands with wrist joints smothered with oil, but he has never asked to have them covered. And that’s despite of Boss (another character) herself offering him “a pair of gloves” several times. He is actually proud of how Boss “artfully” made his phalanges, and that hints a lot about how he sees the leader. It should be noted that he is the Boss’ first and most complicated creation.
You can read more about Panadrome in “Study, for Solo Piano” by Genevieve Valentine at Fantasy Magazine (which is now inactive, but still online). To discover more fun novels that you can read, check back here often.