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


Have Gun, Will Travel

I have never been so tired in all my life.

I feel like I've been hit by a ton of bricks. In fact, I am a ton of bricks. Whatever else you may hear let me for one assure you with authority and conviction: gravity sucks.

Ahem. We have arrived on Annapurna.

There was an opulent banquet on the night before we left, and Captain Gold insisted that Fartles sit by him so that he might enjoy the high comedy of the dog's various effluvia working their magic to bend the pretentions of the upper crust. Pish and I were also seated at the captain's table, which earned us venomous looks from the two displaced Rouleighs throughout the night. When one of them swept past me to have a word with Captain Gold she hissed, "Improper!" in my ear...

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.

Cheeseburger Brown

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


Anonymous Nyxll decreed...

Jeremiah paused, and seemed to consider this. "We are all of us animals, sir."

A very interesting and human idea from a robot. Hmmm... makes me wonder how unusual he really is.

Great stuff CBB, very inspiring and captivating.

Mon Jul 11, 10:21:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Niels decreed...

Ants assuming a large role in terraforming? A gun that grows it's bullets from liquid? Simon owning a company with inter-Solar shareholders?

It's nice to know that Simon apparently uses his other name (Nestor) for his business associations.

I personally like this entry best, mostly due to my love for dusty rock planets.

Again congratulations for this great story, CBB, because this is one of the few fiction stories that I can actually see as if it were a movie.

Mon Jul 11, 10:42:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Sash decreed...

I was going to say...

AAAh! What?!?!?

Great post other than driving me crazy until your next installment. Thanks for the link, too!

Mon Jul 11, 11:27:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous sheik yerbouti decreed...

Yeah, what niels said.

At least we know that Simon (etc) really *is* his name; I've developed the habit of not taking anything here at face value, including the questionable Madam Tag.

Hopefully we haven't seen the last of Captain Gold... perhaps we'll also learn more about the extraordinary person Pish is revealing himself to be. Once again, wonderfully believable characters in spite of their fascinating, er, "unusualness".

Mon Jul 11, 12:59:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous converted decreed...

Two small corrections:
"The salesman took me through engaging the disengaging the weapon's firing status..."
I think that was supposed to be "and."

"The end of the terminal was bisected by a indoor glass-topped river."
Should be "an."

Nice segment. It's sometimes frustrating to get the story in such small pieces. On the other hand, the anticipation is worth it. I'm enjoying it greatly.

Mon Jul 11, 01:12:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Cheeseburger Brown decreed...

Dear Converted,

Thanks for the corrections.

You call 5,000 words a "small piece"? Lord, my fingers are nearly falling off!



Mon Jul 11, 01:14:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Phssthpok decreed...

Great chapter. I get the feeling they're going to be on Annapurna for a while.

You mentioned hours as money again. I presume this is a reference to Arthur C. Clarke's prediction that the kilowatt-hour would become a major unit of currency. Is that the specific unit you had in mind? If so, the shuttle rescheduling fee was quite reasonable indeed.

Oh, and synchronisity should be spelled synchronicity.

Mon Jul 11, 02:28:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Irish Wolf decreed...

They seem small, Maestro Brown, because we're always so anxious to see what happens next that the words flow by uncounted. It's a tribute to your skill.

I think my favorite line in this one is (paraphrasing), "'That's the Thither Sea. It should be wet any decade now.'"

Mon Jul 11, 02:42:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

We are all of us animals?

Let me think, maybe Duncan isn't Terron Volmash. Maybe Terron transfered his consciousness into Jeremiah, and Duncan was the one who did it.

Mon Jul 11, 03:19:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Jeff S. decreed...

Jeremiah collected our bag from the conveyor and waited patiently at my side while I flashed my plate around. "So, property of Hellig Apples," I said, reading the label off my plate when it was pointed at him, "where do we buy our tickets for the gate?"

It's so cool to know that our comments may help inspire the story. And even this 'answer' gives me another question. "Who reprogrammed Jeremiah's label, Duncan or Jeremiah?"

I was trying to picture Jeremiah better in my mind, so I re-read "Duncan's Bliss" and "Monkeys & Borders" again. I was surprised to see this:
"He turned it over and the light winked across the ornamental curlicues that were inscribed over most of Jeremiah's carapace. "This is Kamari Filigree!" Monkey told me, tracing a finger along the contours of the design. His eyes dropped and he mumbled something which I asked him to repeat, but he refused."


Mon Jul 11, 03:43:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Stilgar decreed...

Hey good stuff CBB. You said earlier you wanted corrections so... last sentence, fourth para:

"When one them swept past me ..."

I think you might want to put an "of" in there somewhere.

Again, nice work, although you are a bastard for not telling us what he was going to say at the end.

Mon Jul 11, 04:44:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous noodlebucket decreed...

Hours as currency reminds me of (I think this was in Larry Niven) the use of days as currency, each "day" amounting to an extra day of life using life extension procedures. In that case, 1000 hours (for the pants) is a lot. Presumably, most people would earn about 24 hours in a day....if an average person could earn much more, there would be no incentive to work that hard. More accurately, a person probably earns about 48 hours/day (some of the money goes to food, clothing, shelter, leaving only 24 for life extension).

Thus, a rough conversion, assuming a $20/hour salary (today) in an 8-hour workday, or a 6hour/hour salary (to make 48 hours in one day), means that an hour is a little more than $3. So, $3000 for the pants.

Course, this could be totally wrong as to the meaning of hours.

Mon Jul 11, 05:32:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Irish Wolf decreed...

Actually, the only place I've found life-hours kept track of like that was in Harlan Ellison's classic short, "'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman", in which the Office of the Master Timekeeper kept track of how much time a person wasted, and subtracted that from their allotted lifespan. Hit the end, and they blank your cardioplate - and you die. (I do highly recommend finding yourself a copy of that story, if you haven't read it - it's a classic for a good reason.)

I'm presuming "hours" in this story is just the local slang for the basic unit of currency, just as Niven's characters dealt in UN stars, Wunderland bucks, and Plateau body-credits, among others.

Mon Jul 11, 08:09:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Scottie Vegas decreed...

Another great entry! You are correct CBB, it was an epic entry. Really covered a lot! I am glad that Fartles has found a new home. I'm all about gassy humor, but I was feeling a unsure about ole Fartles. I think he's a GREAT fit with the Captain!
Interesting POV on the ants. I'll be stepping a bit more lightly next time I'm around them! Maybe I shouldn't have played with the magnifying glass when I was young. Poor ants!

Thanks CBB!


Mon Jul 11, 08:24:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous argan0n decreed...

You've painted a wonderful image of terra-forming mixed with the wild-west!

Great work.


Mon Jul 11, 11:07:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous SithSnoopy decreed...

Jeff S. said...
> It's so cool to know that our comments
> may help inspire the story. And even
> this 'answer' gives me another question.
> "Who reprogrammed Jeremiah's label,
> Duncan or Jeremiah?"

Maybe Monkey did it?

CBB, awesome story once again!

I can totally visualize this planet!

Dude, you are SO awesome. :)

Mon Jul 11, 11:36:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Dave decreed...

I'll ask about the same thing:
We are all of us animals

US? From a robot? Hmmmm
And who really IS Simon?

Tue Jul 12, 07:50:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous converted decreed...

Cheeseburgerbrown -
They are "small pieces" only in that they are part of a much larger story. In NO WAY did I intend to minimize the time and effort you put into SoS. I hope you consider it worthwhile, because we certainly do. :) Thanks.

Tue Jul 12, 10:03:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous sheik yerbouti decreed...

Hightly doubtful that Duncan is Volmash. Go back and read his conversations with Simon; there's no way. Unless, of course, his memory has been altered, but how many people are we likely to hit who've had *that* little snag?

One wonders what Tallum Gold lost to the Horror. Hopefully we'll learn more someday.

Also, why does Jeremiah describe Samundra as "terrestrial" and Annapurna as "jovian"? I had thought these referred exclusively to Solar planets... or do they merely indicate the habitability of one and the large size of the other?

On the subject of typos:
Should "ungangly" be "ungainly"?

Is "glasse" another old-timey French word, or should it be "glass"?

The hairy fellows ran up to me, each presenting a small patch of till on the sleeve his jerkin
I'm assuming you'll want an "of" in there...

Pardon the nitpicking; hopefully it's helpful in tweaking an otherwise phenomenal story.

Tue Jul 12, 01:28:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Phy decreed...

Nitpick of a nitpick! Great fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum and all that. Sheik, you've got your planets backwards - Jeremiah describes Samundra as a jovian world and Annapurna as terrestrial. I'm assuming on that basis that "jovian world" is a term applied to inhabited or inhabitable gas-giant moons, as opposed to "jovian moon" (non-livable moon) or "jovian planet" (gas giant itself). See: Europa, Ganymede, although both would be awful cold. Terrestrial, then, would be a rock world without a gas giant buddy to orbit. See: Earth, Mars.

Tue Jul 12, 05:08:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Garnet decreed...

I would just like to comment on the taxi driver's slang, which has to be some of the most inventive and imaginative I have seen in genre fiction for some time. It really brings him alive, both as a person in general and as a person who is distinctly not just a transplanted North-American. Well done.

Tue Jul 12, 05:10:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

the description of the "little person" immediatley made me think of that viral that was going around last year: Trunk Monkey!

Just excellent. Great imagry conjuring Anapura

Tue Jul 12, 05:58:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

Annapurna is 'terrestrial' or relatively like Earth, while Samundra is actually a moon orbiting a larger Jupiter-sized ('jovian') planet named Aramaiti. Samundra, just like our moon, always keeps one face to the planet. Simon had never seen it until he left and had to ask about it.

Tue Jul 12, 06:10:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous sheik yerbouti decreed...

Thanks, fellas; apparently I had my planetary geography (?) slightly askew.

So where's today's episode? I've been checking back every half hour for something new, and had to content myself with the latest feedback (which is always enlightening).

Now I think it's time to check *myself* into the literary equivalent of the Betty Ford clinic.

Tue Jul 12, 06:15:00 PM EDT  
Blogger J. Francis Lehman decreed...

*jonesin' right along side Sheik Yerbouti*

(And the Zappa reference is entirely too cool! "That l'il girl got the jones...")

Wed Jul 13, 02:24:00 AM EDT  
Blogger tristan decreed...

Even aboard Castle Mine there were windows. I believe that's supposed to be Castle Misne. only typo I found.

Tue Aug 16, 12:10:00 AM EDT  

Post a Comment

<< Home