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Black Hole, Blowback, Postsingular Excerpt

Finally the rain stops for a day.

As Thuy works, she’s letting events impinge, maybe listening to music. I’m practicing being Thuy myself by walking and biking and driving around wearing my iPod. The continual soundtrack. It makes things seem cool and arty. But it also gets to be too much. I end up waiting for some songs to end. Wishing I could have some quiet. Feeling rushed.

Thuy can replay thought sequences. She can replay scenes and then tweak them with “what ifs”. That’s what I do when I’m writing, in fact. I layer on a few minutes a day. I re-experience the part that came before, re-dream it, getting a running jump.

Some force is guiding her, its a Rebel Angel called Azaroth. Azaroth is guiding Thuy so that her tangled plot will reproduce Chu's Knot, which is an interdimensional jump-code.

Something I’d like to express in describing Thuy writing the metanovel: When I’m in the zone on a novel, really flying, dreaming while awake, I sometimes find that my life is changing. I get a synchronistic sense that the world is pushing back, helping me, collaborating.

I read this great graphic novel, Black Hole, by Charles Burns. It gave me nightmares. What terrific line-control and chiaroscuro.

Here’s a bit of the Postsingular chapter I’m working on, Chapter 3: Thuy’s Metanovel.

[BEGIN NOVEL DRAFT QUOTE]

“Westinghouse yam in alleyway,” said the improbable virtual spambot, formed like a waist-high two-legged sweet potato with multitudinous ruby eyes, wreathed in crackling blue sparks, peering at Thuy from a rain-wet alley off Valencia Street, the same spot where Grandmaster Green Flash had died. “Vote for Dick Too Dibbs,” added the yam, once he’d caught Thuy’s attention.

“Dibbs already won,” said Thuy, not bothering to sic her filter dogs on the apparition. These days she enjoyed wandering the streets alone, open to the ether, playing the patterns, riding the flow. The heavier scenes went into her metanovel, which was growing at a rate two or three minutes per day.

You could measure a metanovel’s length in terms of how much access time a typical user took to finish the work, assuming they didn’t set it aside. Thuy’s target-length for Wheenk was eight hours, about the time it would take to read a medium-fat book.

“I like Dick,” said the virtual yam, falling into step next to her, the misty rain drifting through him. “Does Dick like ye?”

“Give it a rest,” said Thuy. “The election’s over, you slushed pighead. Bernard Lampton conceded.” The orphidnet was noisy with the thin cries and hoarse roars of celebrating marshmallow people. To drown them out, Thu had her favorite Tawny Krush symphony playing, and she was enhancing the sound with violin squawks triggered by smooth gestures of her arms and legs: all but dancing down the street…

…The yam sputtered, twinkled, and faded out — leaving Thuy with a sudden suspicion that maybe that hadn’t been the true flesh-and-blood Prescription John running the yam, maybe it had been the procedurally-animated virtual Prescription John from within her “Losing My Head” metastory. Hanging around the Metotem store the other day, she’d heard some of the metanovelists talking about this not uncommon phenomenon, which they called blowback.

Gerry Gurkin, for instance, kept having visitations from the simulated Gerry Gurkin of his autobiographical Banality, the virtual Gerry clamoring that he wanted metanovelist Gerry to edit in a girlfriend character for him to f*ck. Telling this story, portly Gerry had been darting hot intense looks at Thuy, as if he were planning to feed a model of her to virtual Gerry, which was perfectly fine with Thuy, and she said so.

Thuy was a lonely-but-coned-off emotional state where she was ready to accept any admiration she was offered, as long as it was virtual and with no strings attached. Re. “coned off,” she’d heard a woman actually saying that about herself the other day, as if she were a wreck lane or a crime site. That phrase went straight into the metanovel. The yam’s, “I like Dick, but does Dick like ye?” seemed usable too. Oh, for sure that had been the real Prescription John, a beezie animation couldn’t sound that stupid.

[END NOVEL DRAFT QUOTE]

One Response to “Black Hole, Blowback, Postsingular Excerpt”

  1. gamma Says:

    hey this is good & i van relate to the spiderocity of the web – yesterdave this guy Francesco turned up & guess what? he was from Roma in Italia & yes yu got it he liked Frank Zappa — just like pulling us all together into a moebius vortex of big notes – 2morrow the MUFFINZ
    G


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