Imagination Sinkhole

Behind the Bobo

Following in the tradition of behind-the-scenes posts like The Making of Idiot’s Mask, I invite you now to take a look at the genesis of my most recent serialization effort, Bobo, in which I will share my originating ideas, my thoughts on the themes in the story, and even some “deleted scenes” that didn’t end up in the final novella.

Also: Bobo is available right now in every e-book flavour under the sun, including but not limited to Kindle and Nook or Kobo or iOS or Sony and Palm, and even as a good old fashioned PDF. ($3)

Bobo for President

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Inventing the Future

The Pains: A Book For Our Times

My teenage daughter knows a bit about life and art and intellectual pursuits. But only a bit. She rated John’s “Acts of the Apostles” as “not bad”, which is to say she liked it a lot. It’s a good read, and she can relate to its view of uncool dudes in the world. But having grown up living the technology instead of studying it, she takes too much for granted to appreciate the detailed references or the jokes.

I’m not yet recommending John’s latest book to her. She does not yet have the intellectual background for “The Pains.” Thank God.

Everyone over 20 should read it. It is an easy, funny and entertaining novella to read, with terrific pictures, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. But it has a challenging subject that forms a litmus test of whether you’ve been out in the world and paying attention and asking questions: What is the scope of science, religion, and politics?

“The Pains” is no wishy-washy thematic rambling — it has an opinion. (My favorite line is when the heroine meets the obviously dying hero for the first time in an ’80’s dance bar and declares, “I hate the fucking Eagles.”) I had first thought that opinion was centered on the general theme of “neo-con totalitarianism is bad, starting with Reagan.” As such, maybe the story was a bookend capturing a dead era?.

But the deeper theme of personal vs messianic science, religion, and politics are certainly not resolved this January, 2009. Indeed, a soul’s freedom requires perpetual awareness, and I think I hope that it always will.

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My Thoughts Exactly

Picture, if you will. . .

I continue to struggle with my little novella The Pains. Perhaps it’s fitting that a story about a humble human of common decency but no particular kozmic talent who is evidently picked by the universe to redeem the world through his own suffering should not come easy. Or, actually, the story came mostly easy; it’s the prose, dammit, the words, that are long-dark-night-of the soul-ing me to death.

Anyway, I have written a few more chapters which will be up soon, and a few more beyond them are in the queue. I can’t believe I’m still working on this thing! But I will finish it! Oh yes! It will be mine!

Those of you who’ve read any of our story thus far have seen this illo:

The Cell of Lux

In the meantime, mostly as a prod to myself, here’s a nice little illustrated summary of the book by its illustrator Matthew, AKA Cheeseburger. Take a look.

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My Thoughts Exactly

A painful tale

Today, Cheeseburger Brown and I announce our illustrated novella, The Pains (written by me, illustrated by him). Here’s my introduction.

It started with a simple sentence in a Kuro5hin diary. Farq Q. Fenderson wrote,

“I woke up this morning with a pain in my body that felt like it might be a soul gone bad.”

I was struck by that conceit. What might “a soul gone bad” feel like? And how would you know? What would cause it? And by the way, what exactly does that phrase mean, “a soul gone bad” : Bad like falling irremediably into sin? Or bad like rotten meat? I liked the way Fenderson wrote, “pain in my body”, making explicit and emphatic the distinction between a soul-pain and a bodily pain.

(The rest of that diary entry is pretty intriguing as well, but in a much less mystical way.)

For weeks that sentence ran around in my head. Eventually I wrote to Farq Q. and asked him if he would mind lending it to me for a story I could feel bubbling up within me. Fenderson responded afirmatively right away. The bubbling up, however, took a while. In fact the story bubbles still.

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Wetware and Hard Science

Heinlein predicts again

Starship Troopers was Robert Heinlein’s novel about future soldiers. One feature of the book, besides a very right-wing political stance, was the suits worn by the soldiers in battle. Just as inventors made real the remote controlled hands in Heinlein’s novella Waldo, the military is looking to nanotechnology and MIT to make battle suits.

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