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For new material please visit my main blog, CHEESEBURGER BROWN: SCIENCE-FICTION STORY-WALLAH.

6/24/2005

Lesson In Loyalty


A bird woke me up.

It was brightly coloured, and as large as my head. It sat on the sill of the open window, looking at me and emitting a soft cooing noise. Its eyes were amber and its curved bill was a plastic shade of yellow. Blinking and yawning I sat up in bed. The bird screamed like a woman in distress, startling me, and flapped away, its wings flashing in the bronze morning light.

"Wow. Did you see that bird?"

"Shut up," muttered Glory from beneath the covers, the edge of which was stained with a crust of sour vomit.

I got out of bed and met Pish in the sitting room. We rolled around on the floor tickling the dog for a while and then ran out to the terrace to spit over the side. I think I hit a taxi, but Pish claims I missed...

Simon of Space - a science-fiction novel by Cheeseburger Brown
Dear readers,

It's finally happened: the free version of this science-fiction novel has been taken offline in order to make room for the hard-cover printed edition from Ephemera Bound Publishing, on sale in stores and online beginning Valentine's Day, 2008.

I regret any disappointment. I kept the free version available as long as I could. Pleasure be sure to check out the new edition! See Cheeseburger Brown.com for more information and updates.

Love,
Cheeseburger Brown

P.S. You can read more of my free fiction via my weblog or in the complete story achives.

27 Comments:

Anonymous SithSnoopy decreed...

I can't believe you don't already have some fiction
published...

Dude, this was a very cool "episode". :)

Fri Jun 24, 05:40:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

Crikey! Now I'm hooked to this, can't wait to find out what happens next!

(p.s. Is anyone getting a strange vibe of a mix between Minority Report and The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy? Maybe it's Simon's fondness for robes ;) )

Fri Jun 24, 06:17:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Dave decreed...

Typo in this line:
Breakfast arrived along with a table. They robots wished us good appetites as they departed.
Note "They robots".

Also, how did he use a cab, with no money? Just curious.

Awesome story as usual... keep up the great work Matthew.

Fri Jun 24, 08:09:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Matt decreed...

Simon still had his wallet, the thugs left before taking it, that's how.

Also, when the mung hits the fan just call - the fornicating killer robot! My WAG is that Jeremiah was a royal assassin which would explain the royal dialect and the inability to acknowledge his kills for secrecy's sake. I'm probably completely wrong though. :)

Fri Jun 24, 08:22:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Rick decreed...

"Listen, this doesn't mean there's anything between us"

ROFL LMAO, Great work Cheeseburger.
I cannot express how awesome you are to let the story unfold before our eyes.

Where do you get your inspirations?

Fri Jun 24, 09:17:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Christien Lomax decreed...

Now Simon needs to find another woman ;)

Great post... hope the next one comes now :D

(one CAN hope...)

Fri Jun 24, 09:37:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Cheeseburger Brown decreed...

Rick,

The long (and herein undocumented) answer is that my inspirations are just about everything I've read and/or seen in (and outside of) the fields of scifi and fantasy -- but there are a handful of scifi/fantasy influences which can be felt particularly through this text, I think. For example:

The specific passage you noted mirrors a similar situation in one of Asimov's books, though for the life of me I can't recall this moment whether it's something that happens to Elijah Baley or a young Hari Seldon. In either case, Asimov's scene cried out "latent homoeroticism!" and so in my tip of the hat to the moment I decided to bring this intimate intimation to the forefront. So, there is an element of "Isaac Asimov, only funnier."

There are also several clear parallels to "The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy", not the least of which being Simon's penchant for pajamas (which is indeed a conscious and respectful reference to Arthur Dent's wardrobe). Unlike Dent, however, Simon will become the captain of his destiny and not remain a hapless bit of ape-flotsam for all his days: the galaxy he is introduced to is not as much comically absurd as tragically so. Thus, in a way, there is an element here of "Douglas Adams, only more serious."

If you're into slightly less mainstream writers, my style draws heavily from two science-fiction masters of the golden age: Clifford D. Simak and Cordwainer Smith.

Simak is a "country back-porch"-style storyteller, even when he's dealing with aliens, robots and talking dogs. His meandering, dialogue-driven stories often take place in the middle of the countryside, where inexplicable things happen to simple folk (like the time some guy's dog got lost in another dimension, or when a country village was visited by a friendly alien who became intoxicated on human tears). Very down-home, warm, contemplative, slow. About SIMON OF SPACE you could fairly say, "Like Clifford D. Simark, only *stuff actually happens.*"

Smith was a studied orientalist who wrote scifi stories in the style of ancient Chinese myths. With sparing prose he was able to take very simple stories and give them the weight of age-old legends -- romance, tragedy, and didactic semi-Christian evangelical overtones. "Like Cordwainer Smith, only without all the goofy talking animals."

Finally, the astute among you who are steeped in the genre will have no doubt already recognized the strong influence of Alfred Bester's seminal classic, "The Stars, My Destination!" (a.k.a. "Tiger, Tiger" in the UK), surely one of the most rollicking, adventuresome and lyrical space romances ever told. I would feel praised to the gills to ever hear something along the lines of, "Like a modern Bester."

Oh crap, look how I've rambled on -- and I'm supposed to be crushing on a deadline. Gotta go!

Love,

CheeseburgerBrown

Fri Jun 24, 09:57:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

The nature of this format lends itself to a movie script: short action/drama filled sequence; quick introduction and establishment of character and theme that gain complication over time; humor to break tension; its something very prosperous you should explore.

Previous posters nod to the robot being a royal assassin is very much like the robot in the game KOTR.

And CBB, even if you don't admit/realize it, there is much Gene Wolf in your writing. If you haven’t I highly suggest ‘The Book of the New Sun.’

I appreciate the difficulty in writing these ‘chapters’ on such a quick pace. I think it’s the true marvel of your talent: deep, worthy episode in a day. That being said I can’t help but selfishly want more when I arrive at the site on a morning like the 22nd to find no new updates.

Thanks for letting the readers in on your thought process from time to time. Makes it seem as though you write for us personally. A modern day patronage if you will.

Fri Jun 24, 11:46:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Dave decreed...

I just thought about it, after reading your latest comment Matthew, but have you ever read Spider Robinson's Callahan's Crosstime Salloon series?

Just curious.

Fri Jun 24, 12:25:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous ScottieVegas decreed...

Another great BLOG. I to look forward to Simon meeting another (hopefully trustworthy) woman. Onto Glory, was the vomit because Simon knocked her up or because of those handy crack/cancer/heroin sticks she smokes?
Grammatical Error/unclear statement:
He touched and contact and both Fartles and his comrade began to twitch uncontrollably, their limbs jerking out from under them and causing them to bounce across the floor.

I second the note for the Vader BLOG in Paper Form. I'd buy it, along with this once it's complete!

Thanks Mr. Brown!

SV

Fri Jun 24, 12:26:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Sylver decreed...

I agree with the previous post, about a paper form of Vader's Blog, and this one as well. You said your 17 Drawings didn't sell well enough, but I think those two really would.

Royal assassin robot!

Fri Jun 24, 01:48:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Lilaena decreed...

This. Chapter. Was. Fricking. Awesome.

The best part is how Simon breaks Nilo's arm without really trying to.

Fri Jun 24, 01:52:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

ScottieVegas: I would hardly think someone can get knocked up and throwing up after one or two days. Then again, this is sci-fi so anything could happend.

I guess that arm-breaking was a hint of Simon's past?

Great Episode, CBB. I think of this as more of a radio serial. That would be a great. Just to keep on being picky, I think the fighting at Nilo's went down a bit quick. Still the adventure is getting even more fun.

Orick

Fri Jun 24, 04:27:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Niels decreed...

I... I don't know what to say. I enjoyed this episode a lot, that's for sure.

(Oh, wait, there is one thing; the wallet question.
When one of the thugs wants the wallet, the other one replies that it's no good without the finger. Why didn't he just skip straight into trying to cut the index finger off?
You'd think that's a normal criminal reaction in a world that is familiar with this kind of... wallet.)

Excellent work, to say the least. This novel is working it's way up my bookmark list.

Fri Jun 24, 04:53:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Jim decreed...

Somehow I get the feeling that we haven't seen the last of Glory... there have been plenty of signals that, although she betrayed Simon, she *really* does like him, and that she really isn't such a bad person.

She's just so coitally fornicated that she doesn't have any choice!

(Could the vomit mean she was sick with guilt after trading the robot? For that matter, why would Jeremiah have allowed himself to be taken??? oh well ...)

Fri Jun 24, 05:00:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Phy decreed...

Re: Glory's apparently intriguing barf, I'd chalk it up to a combination of nervousness and alcohol. Cheeseburger has the final say on the matter, of course, but both can make you queasy.

For those of you that might have missed it (and yet read the comments), Nilo was a Langranger like Monkey. He adapted to walking in Samundra gravity, but appears to have retained the fragile bones of a light-worlder. This is why Simon snapped Nilo's arm with little trouble.

Good chapter again, Cheeseburger. Thanks much.

Fri Jun 24, 08:44:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Jillster decreed...

scottievegas and sylver -- you can download the PDF version of Vader's blog at:

http://mfdh.ca/starwars/darth-vader/

(You can also make a donation to MFDH via PayPal.)

Fri Jun 24, 11:07:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Jillster decreed...

Could be that Glory barfed because she ate too much, too fast at dinner, and made herself sick....

Fri Jun 24, 11:09:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

Naturally, I attributed Glory's vomit to her stating the night before that she wanted to get drunk. Great job with Glory's character so far though CBB, I completely dislike her ;)

Niels, I believe in "Forest Flight" the doctor explains to Simon that his wallet will only dispense money if his living finger is in the wallet.

This story is becoming more intricate; I look forward to reading more chapters! Keep up the good work CBB, and thanks for the great writing!

Sat Jun 25, 02:08:00 AM EDT  
Blogger tee decreed...

good post!
as to the seemingly unlimited wallet, the shift into resolute action, and the ability to snap an arm without trying (not to mention the unremembered & unknown past of simon & jer) - do i see a nod to ludlum, maybe?
thanks, you make my brain churn.

Sat Jun 25, 02:33:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

Frankly, it all just seems too perfect... almost as if they set him up with all this stuff and turned him loose a la Total Recall.

If so, I can't wait to see him turn the tables on "them", whoever "they" are.

Also, is Duncan actually dead? I thought he was just disabled by whatever they used on him. Or are we supposed to wonder about that?

Sat Jun 25, 10:56:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

Also, I agree that Glory is much more conflicted about all this than some might think; the night before, she's clearly trying to distance herself (and the others) from Jeremiah in an attempt to mitigate her betrayal.

...or IS she?

Fantastic writing.

Sat Jun 25, 11:00:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

*evil grin*

Go Jeremiah!

Sun Jun 26, 02:38:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anne Arkham decreed...

*evil grin*

Go Jeremiah!

Sun Jun 26, 02:38:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Cheeseburger Brown decreed...

Dear all,

Re: the wallet and the "living finger"
I reckon organized crime has ways of dealing with this barrier, such as suspending the severed digit in some sort of magical brine which simulates life for a period. I don't know. If it comes up as a specific issue I'll figure it out.

Re: Glory's barf
Glory ate too much too fast, and drank herself into unconsciousness after helping Nilo's men lure Jeremiah into the corridor with feigned distress. The barf was a result of all of these things.

Re: Jeremiah the Assasin
Here are two bits of Jeremiah trivia:
#1. When I introduced Jeremiah I intended to dispense with him almost immediately, hence his unintelligible accent.
#2. From this humble beginning Jeremiah has grown in my mind to become instrumental to Simon's destiny.

Re: Nilo's arm
Nilo was indeed from a Lagrange settlement, and no matter how adapted he became his bones remained more fragile than those of someone born deeper in a gravity well.

Re: "Total Recall"
Let me say this: what's happening to Simon is real. It is not an illusion, or a game. He will not wake up and find this all to be a dream.

Love,

CheeseburgerBrown

Mon Jun 27, 02:44:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Marsha decreed...

Yeah! someone else writing serial fiction. I am also writing serial fiction online.

Madie

Fri Jul 22, 07:50:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

As all others have recognized, this is great work. I'm enthralled and jealous.

And I particularly liked the image: hero strides into the warehouse, guns blazing and white bathrobe billowing in the breeze. badass.

Mon Jul 25, 08:10:00 PM EDT  

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