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


The Death Of Simon Fell

Constable Guillaume escorted me wordlessly back to the grey interview room. I sat down on the cold chair and appreciated the minimal insulation provided by my orange plastic jumpsuit, which rustled and squeaked as I moved.

I was experimenting with my newfound ability to whistle when Greskin Mile burst in and sat down opposite me. "Good news, Mr. Fell!"

"We're free?"

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

It couldn't be avoided: the no-cost 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 no-cost version available as long as I could. Please do be sure to check out the new edition! See Cheeseburger Brown.com for more information and updates.

Cheeseburger Brown

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


Anonymous timboc decreed...

"You'll find, Mr. Fell, that we take Jeremiah's opinion very seriously."

Perhaps it should read "You'll find, Omar,..."?

I really enjoyed today's post. The idea of Simon learning about his own world in the same way that Pish is learning - with wide-eyed wonder and unabashed joy - is both fascinating and intoxicating. Thanks, CBB, for providing the highlight of my working day :-)


Tue Jul 19, 09:24:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Jillster decreed...

Second post! Woot!

I caught the "Wizard of Oz" reference!

I wonder why taking the World Train was a better idea to Jeremiah. I guess we'll find out!

Many thanks, CBB, for another enthralling installment.

Wed Jul 20, 12:08:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Simon (of not space) decreed...

Methinks Jeremiah quickly cottoned on to the fact that by heading 'home', Simon would no longer be within striking distance should Pish leave his protection, thereby cancelling the unintentional protective influence he has over Simon.

The World Train was a means to delay that arrival.

These are getting better with every one. Thanks, CBB.

Simon (of not space)

Wed Jul 20, 12:26:00 AM EDT  
Blogger X decreed...

"Cha, nine heartless ninjas with cufflinks that cost more than my car"

Simon has an expensive legal team and a security staff. Hmm. Perhaps he also has a crystal like Crushed Head Faeda? The will of a man erased vs. the one who inhabits the body left behind . . .

I worry for Omar. Though we have not known him long, I fear he and Jeremiah are destined for conflict. Thus far, nearly everyone who has tangled with Jeremiah has lost.

I love it. Keep it coming, CBB.

Wed Jul 20, 01:32:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Sith Snoopy decreed...

I also caught the Wizard of OZ reference. :)

People come and go so quickly, or some-such. :)

Awesome entry, Dude!

I loved how he didn't even know that he'd already
been transported. ;)

Wed Jul 20, 02:24:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous converted decreed...

CBB, you have surpassed yourself. This post was absolutely intoxicating - your best one yet, I think. Just beautiful!

Wed Jul 20, 02:27:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Niels decreed...

This is indeed a great post. The 'Cha' is starting to remind me of Wakka from Final Fantasy X. He used to say things like "We didn't mean to, ya?".

I like what you're saying about old vs. new, X.

Wed Jul 20, 05:13:00 AM EDT  
Blogger J. Francis Lehman decreed...


If I'd bought this as a completed book, I would not be able to put it down.

And you gave me a bit of a start with the title of this installment, too!

Wed Jul 20, 05:35:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

Exactly! I was terrified when I saw the title of this installment.

Fantastic as ever, no, in fact it was better than ever! I love this tale.


Also, I couldn't help but get an image of Michael Clark Duncan when Omar entered the story. (Y'know, that huge actor, was kingpin in Daredevil, or in the Green Mile, or the Scorpion King and loads of others).

Speaking of which, if Simon of Space was made into a film, who would you like to see in each of the roles?

Wed Jul 20, 05:43:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Harrdy decreed...

Hi, I really enjoy reading this online novel (I call it that way, even if it's not "modern").

Regarding a movie (which I guess is far from possible, while it certainly would be good) I first thought of Bill Murray as Simon, but then I thought again and maybe Bill Murray is better as Greskin. So I guess Robin Williams would be "the" Simon for me (I'm quite sure he could translate all that "wonder"-feeling) 8-)


Wed Jul 20, 06:34:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Dave decreed...

Awesome entry CBB... got me on pins and needles for each post!

I still think there's a LOT more to Jeremiah than meets the eye...

Wed Jul 20, 08:18:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

Hi CBB, in this episode you said:

At Omar shocked expression I added, "You'll find, Mr. Fell, that we take Jeremiah's opinion very seriously."

Like the first poster, I find the "Mr. Fell" a little confusing. Also, I think it's Omar's shocked expression, rather than Omar shocked expression. Having said that, if I were to start a rock n roll band today, it would be Omar Shocked Expression.



Wed Jul 20, 08:20:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Matt decreed...

Ok, seriously, please stop using words that I can't find in the dictionary (I use m-w.com) like epicanthal. It is not the first and I assume they are real, but where are you getting them?

Wed Jul 20, 09:13:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Jim decreed...

So I guess Robin Williams would be "the" Simon for me

er... methinks more like Jackie Chan. CBB seems to clearly be indicating that the people of Maja (including Simon) have Asian characteristics.

Wed Jul 20, 09:14:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous matt decreed...

I forgot the :) to indicate I'm not trying to be a dick. :)

Wed Jul 20, 09:15:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Michael McHenry decreed...

Don't be silly!

Ewan McGreggor is Simon.
Greskin is Michael Keaton.

If I had to put Bill Murray somewhere... Maybe Captain Gold.

Wed Jul 20, 09:16:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Rick decreed...

I am starting to think that the figure "March Peebles" is meant to be a reference to a figure like Santa Claus. Your writing is truly captivating. Thanks again - CBB

Wed Jul 20, 09:38:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Jillster decreed...

Matt -- try using dictionary.com:


Wed Jul 20, 10:18:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Drkdstryer decreed...

Oh my god, this just keeps getting better every time I read a new entry - just like The Darth Side did. If/When you publish this into a dead-tree version, I'm buying it so quickly.

Can't wait for the jeremiah/Omar faceoff. It seems to me that Omar might actually give Jeremiah some trouble. Head personal security guard of a fabulously wealthy individual? It will be an epic battle, I'm sure :D

Kudos to you, CBB. I can't wait for the next update.

Wed Jul 20, 10:56:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous sheik yerbouti decreed...

Huh... I'd always thought it was epicanthic.

Also, the use of the word synesthesia (archaic spelling, no doubt) was great; it's nice to be challenged by leisure reading.

Double fun with the Oz reference, because people come and go in bubbles... now if some other folks exploded in a ball of fire and smoke, that would be even better!

Any chance that Jeremiah had something to do with the gate problem? I fear for Omar somewhat, but I think that of all J's casualties so far, this one will be the toughest to defeat.

I wonder if the board will try to wrest control away from Simon since he doesn't know squat... or will he go on the run because he *does* have a memory backup... OR will he continue because this is all part of his plan after erasing his memory?

So many questions, and still I ramble on. This stuff keeps me glued to the screen; heck, I come back a few times per day just to read the feedback!

Wed Jul 20, 11:25:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Cheeseburger Brown decreed...

Dear all,

Re: the misplaced "Mr. Fell"
Thanks for the correction, timboc. It should've have turned up for any of you after that -- except, it now occurs to me as I type, for those of you who read SoS through Bloglet-issued e-mails. I guess you poor saps get stuck with whatever I cough up first, without the benefit of the reader proofing phase. I could promise to do better proof-reading on my end, but it wouldn't be a very effective promise. I'm usually in a helluva rush when I'm generating SoS entries, and I must admit they often only get their first complete read-through from me once they're up on the blog. Ah well...let this be a lesson to us all: haste makes wastkq.

Re: the title of today's installment
You have to afford me my cheap shots sometimes -- I'm trying to keep you on the edge of your seats. I wanted this entry to be one that you couldn't put off reading without going mad with curiosity. So, yes: I was indeed deliberately being cruel those of you who download SoS for consumption at a later time; and yes, I did with full knowledge purposefully thwart your productivity, for those of you who browse from work and risked your jobs to read the whole thing at a sitting, to-do lists be damned. Heh.

Re: unputdownable hypothetical print edition
As I've mentioned before, there will be a print edition of SoS once we're all wrapped up. It won't be the same, however, in terms of the experience. J. Francis Lehman wouldn't be able to put it down, apparently, and that's just my point: the experience of a story is partly composed of *your* memories of the consumption. Wolfing back Simon's story in a sitting (the way my wife just pounded her way through HARRY POTTER VI: THE UNDISCOVER'D COUNTRY in less than 24 hours) is a monotone, if intense, set of memories. The more spread out experience of the anticipation, the small servings, the cliffhangers, the weekend spent considering an odd turn or mystery -- *these* memories linked to your hu-mon, day to day memories of life are what enrichen the experience of enjoying the story in a way a paperback just can't touch. It makes it just *a little bit* more like Bastian Balthazar Bux uner a blanket in the attic of his school, nervously turning the pages of THE NEVERENDING STORY. I'm also coming to more fully understand the nostalgia of Saturday movie serials in the first half of the last century...how they wove into the cultural memory, linking life moments to media moments. (Arguably it may have done something perverse to our civilization, but only time will tell.)

Re: "The Wizard of Oz"
As I have referenced (and will reference) many of my favourite stories throughout SoS, there was no way I could escape without a nod to Dorothy.

Re: Epicanthal
Your dictionary appears to be on the fritz, Matt. Google is your friend. The whole world is talking about epicanthal folds, and you're invited to the party.

Re: "SIMON OF SPACE: The Hollywood Blockbuster"
There's no denying that I love Bill Murray (THE LIFE AQUATIC is one of my absolute favourite recent movies -- "Somebody get this guy a red cap and a speedo!"), but as Jim pointed out anyone in the role of Simon would either have to have somewhat Asiatic features or else spend the whole shoot with dabs of chromakey-green smeared around their eyes for later replacement by ILM. However, I hesitate to cast such a hypothetical project lightly, for fear of putting the wrong images into folks' heads. (I'd have Doug Chiang design the ships, though.) At any rate, I think SoS would be more suited to an HDTV mini-series than a 110-minute film. Like 50 episodes each 44 minutes long, or something -- that's enough for two seasons of television. Not so mini, I guess. Hey, we could even buy the rights to stick in Chewbacca for like a two second long, totally extraneous scene in order to cash in on the merchandizing with Burger King! Yippie!

Re: stuff to buy
This issue was raised by someone last week. In part answer I am currently working madly on an illustrated storybook for children. I started on Sunday, and I have completed 11 of the 14 required drawings. Layout should only take me half a day, and then I'll need a week or so to get a proof from the printer. Then it'll be up for sale -- those of you with kids, heads-up. Here's something you'll be able to buy to support the cause of further creation of SoS. Watch for news about it here, and on my regular blog, I AM A CHEESEBURGER (hyperlinked in the sidebar).



Wed Jul 20, 11:29:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Jason_in_Amishville decreed...

Hey CBB,

Great stuff, as always. It appears that whatever changes you made for "You'll find, Mr. Fell, that we take Jeremiah's opinion very seriously." this din't take, as it's still showing up for me at 12:43 PM EST

Wed Jul 20, 12:47:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

Thoughts about Jeremiah...

Jeremiah is clearly a very intelligent robot. He has the capabilty to plan stategically for future events, rather than just reacting to the immediate situation. Given this, why did he tell Simon, "As long as you protect the boy, I cannot move against you."? It seems like Jeremiah gave up an advantage by warning Simon.

I can think of two reasons, neither completely satisfying, but there may be more.

1) Jeremiah was afraid that Simon would get rid of/ditch him, thereby preventing him from protecting Pish. If this was the case, though, why not lie to Simon and say, "I intend you no harm, and by protecting the boy you are helping me."? We know from the Monkey incident that Jeremiah can lie.

2) Jeremiah thinks that Simon is good for Pish, but is concerned that Simon might abandon Pish. Therefore, Jeremiah is trying to scare Simon into remaining Pish's protector. However, all of Simon's actions so far indicate a strong desire to protect Pish. So Jeremiah's threat seems unnecessary to motivate him, unless Jeremiah expects future revelations about Pish to change Simon's feelings.

On a related note, I don't think that Jeremiah tipped off the police before the gate. The first thing the police did was seperate the three of them, isolating Pish from both of his protectors. This does not seem like a result that Jeremiah would desire.

Wed Jul 20, 01:15:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Delirium of disorder decreed...

First - CCB, I think this is one of the best of the SoS series. Very thought provoking and emotional.

Second - CCB has refused to divulge the inhabitants of his conjectural casting couch, but we can still have fun, I did not go back and re-read all character descriptions but my minds story tells me these fit:
SoS - Chow Yun Fat: may be a bit tall
Phish - Freddie Highmore: of Chocolate Factory and Finding Neverland Fame
Duncan - Liam Neison: rough but benevolent
Glory - Rachel McAdams/Bridget Fonda
Captain - Bob Hoskins
Voice of Jeremiah - Jeremy Irons: I know, too obvious, but that dude is the creepiest of creeps
Corinthia - Catherine Deneuve: all I can say is ‘wow!’
Miles – Jen Reno: we could put Bill Murray here, but I’m holding out for a drier comedic relief character TBD
Omar – Michael Duncan: tough having just entered our story, but I too instantly envisioned our Green Mile friend

Omar -

Wed Jul 20, 01:46:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous delirium of disorder decreed...

CBB, why do I keep callng you CCB?

Wed Jul 20, 01:48:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous sheik yerbouti decreed...

Creedence Clearwater Brown?

Funny, I put Liam Neeson in for Duncan as well.

BTW, "stocatto" should be "staccato", no?

Methinks there would need to be some rewriting before a movie/series; after all, how many times can a farting dog be funny (or better put, not mind-numbingly banal) if stripped of CBB's descriptive prose?

Wed Jul 20, 02:06:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Jeff S. decreed...

I know you're extra busy and already doing illustrations for your children's book, but have you thought about or maybe already sketched a few drawings for SoS? I would love to see your take on Jeremiah. I was mentally picturing him as a smooth blue-green iRobot, but now that we know you're a Doug Chiang fan ..?!!! He could look much cooler than I imagined. What do you think?

- Jeff S.
ps... Awesome story telling.. ThankYou !!

Wed Jul 20, 04:32:00 PM EDT  
Blogger indrax decreed...

Where was Omar when Mr. Fell lost his memory in the First place? Why were they seperated? Was it Mr. Fell not wanting to let anyone know about his trip? Did Omar simply miss work that day(uh huh) or was he intentionally absent? Or, was he there, and left?

Or, was Mr. Fell running from Omar?

This is a great story.

Wed Jul 20, 07:08:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Irish Wolf decreed...

I'm getting a Citizen of the Galaxy vibe going on - I'm wondering if maybe someone rigged one of those private hyperspatial gates in an effort to kill Simon, only to have the attempt fail, as Simon came out the other end mindwiped...

Thu Jul 21, 01:57:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Admetus decreed...

For consistency's sake, Mr. Fell wasn't traveling alone when he took his fateful trip. We can probably write off a lot of the odd parts of that passage to his being a newborn. (Birds chirping? That wouldn't fit in with what we just saw of gates.) None of those people or other staff members saw fit to watch over him in the hospital, which I find odd. He has a private security force, but they just ... left him for a few weeks?

Also, I have to object to the gate's transparency in one aspect. It's established that they don't have artificial gravity, so the change in gravity would be something you would notice immediately on transport. Switching planet classes, as I think they just did, would really be obvious.

Just trying to point out some nits I would pick.

Thu Jul 21, 04:48:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous TO Reader decreed...

Of course, Fell must've been running from Omar. It all makes sense now. Why did Omar suddenly show up to accompany Fell alone? Fell has an expensive team of legal representatives, surely there is a team of security guys too.

Thu Jul 21, 10:56:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

A cliffhanger is what you got and in the past two day i have flipped back and forth through my computer screens so that my coworkers wont get mad that i am not working. and i have caught up to the beginning of where you stand today. and i fully stand in complete and utter suspense untill you blog again.

and now it is time to return to the real world.

thanks for the new refreshing out look of my boring day at work

and keep up the good work


Thu Jul 21, 11:01:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...



Thu Jul 21, 01:09:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous delirium of disorder decreed...

re: Omar - friend or foe

Simon has no memory, thus he 'relies on the kindness of strangers,' which in his case everyone is a stranger. All we know for certain is that he has alot of currency, and has a reputation. All other pieces of information about his identity/background have been presented by characters that may or may not have an agenda, including the staff at the hospital.

>if he's so damned popular and important, and Duncan equally so be it as a villian or cook, why didn't Duncan recognize Simon?
>Its clear somebody tipped off someone to Simon's presence prior to the gate jump. Criminal element, friend, or foe?
>The mobsters knew of his presence - and he just happens upon a cab driving lawyer who's a dead eye shot? Protection? ruse?
>Simon's presence is 'known' at two points: the hospital where he is left to make the jump with a nurse who can't hail a cab, then in jail where Omar the Mountain shows up as protection. Numerous possibilities from Omar is there to make sure Simon goes where Omar wants - be that in agreement or not with Simon's perceived destination - to Omar's concern isn't so much for Simon as for his ward. Perhaps Simon is a wealthy but otherwise unimportant man who has tripped into a bigger plot and now attributes of his identity (rich man must have powerful lawyers and security force) to get access to Phish and Jeremiah.
>Jeremiah may have said that Simon was his enemy, but he didn't say who was his friend - and he's leaving a nice body trail. Just maybe when ol' Jeremy speaks in class today he will have alot more to say than, '___ is Volmash'

Red herrings? Future plot twists? simple nods to CBB's pop culture favorites? time will tell, but Mr Burger is a wiley one and I don't expect to see the truths exposed much earlier than he would like us to.

To paraphrase John Galt (because I don't have the book at work to get it exact): if the facts seem to conflict with your understanding of reality, check your premise

Thu Jul 21, 01:27:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous converted decreed...

Perhaps Simon is not N. Simonthrat Fell? Perhaps he just thinks he is, because that is what he was told?


Thu Jul 21, 02:43:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Cheeseburger Brown decreed...

Dear all,

I'm working on the next post. Many obstacles eat my schedule.

Time is rare, and stupid.

I've radioed down to Scotty to put more power through the energizers, but for some reason...I get no response.



Thu Jul 21, 02:55:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

So... like... we're *waiting*.. :-)

Just kidding. Your story and style are excellent, and I can't wait to read more.... when you get the clock under control. Should we take up a collection to send ya coffee? I hear that increases the number of hours in a day. Thanks for what you've written thus far.


Thu Jul 21, 03:33:00 PM EDT  
Blogger cnc decreed...

Aww...that's great. I'm getting all misty eyed.

Thu Jul 21, 03:33:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Bones decreed...

GodSpeed Scotty.
(reverent silence)

Thu Jul 21, 03:34:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Garnet decreed...

I've radioed down to Scotty to put more power through the energizers, but for some reason...I get no response.


Thu Jul 21, 08:43:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Simon (of not space) decreed...

I hope you're getting a little more traffic here, CBB. Slashdot finally published the note I sent to them, but it was in a subsection of their site so may not garner as many hits as one would like. Link is HERE, part way down the page. Just search for 'simian' if you're interested.

Fri Jul 22, 01:12:00 AM EDT  
Blogger razorsmile decreed...

nine heartless ninjas with cufflinks that cost more than my car.

Tee hee hee.

In other news, why I am getting a vibe of Bourne Identity meets The Game? Hmmm ...

Sleepless, Jeremiah and Omar sat rigidly opposite one another, ever vigilant.

Oh, it's on now. Awesomeness galore.

Fri Jul 22, 05:03:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

"His pinched the bridge of his nose and closed his eyes for a moment" shouldn't it be HE pinched the bridge...? but what do I know. still in awe. will make a donation as soon as I update myself in the story.


Thu Sep 15, 11:37:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Tirade decreed...

Nice little wizard of Oz reference there. :) Almost missed it.

Fri Sep 23, 04:28:00 AM EDT  

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