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7/15/2005

A Meek Cancer


A young maid woke me up to inform me in broken language it would now be my special privilege to be washed in dung.

"I'm sorry?" I said.

On the way outside the cave Greskin Mile the limping lawyer-cum-taxicab driver explained to me that the Ruffians had been moved by the recounting of my adventures last night, and that they wanted to make us all honourary members of their clan. This would involve several noxious rituals, including a ceremonial public bathing in the sanctified dung of a rare silver cow.

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.

28 Comments:

Anonymous Truman decreed...

First Comment -- Score. Mr. Brown, I'd just like to express how much I enjoy reading this story, as well as all of your other work. Thanks for making the Internet a little more interesting.

Truman

Fri Jul 15, 08:39:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

Great read! How do you find the time to write this! Doesn't matter, just keep on writing!

Fri Jul 15, 08:41:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

The scene between the taxi driver and the medicine woman kind of reminds me of the conversation between Obiwan and Han Solo in The New Hope.

Another good read. Was looking forward to this installment after the last delay.

Fri Jul 15, 09:02:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

Fantastic as ever!

But, I have a serious question for you guys.

Do you think Simon Of Space would be as popular if it was published as a book?

I mean, does a lot of its appeal lie in its episodic nature?

Fri Jul 15, 09:11:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Christien Lomax (thecatwhisperer) decreed...

Anonymous (#3): Most books are episodic in nature, they are simply written in chapters, which is more or less what CBB is doing here.

What I fear is that the end is coming. And Simon's tale will be told. Granted it seems like there is much story telling left, but You feel the same when you are reading a great story and are 1/3 the way through. You know the book ends and it is sad.

I've not fell in love with a story since I picked up George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice & Fire" series.

Great writing CBB, I hope to see much more from you in the future, not just here on "Simon of Space" but elsewhere as well.

PS: I like how they referred to him as "Simon of Space" :D

Fri Jul 15, 10:16:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Michael McHenry decreed...

If Simon of Space were published as a book, I would have finished it weeks ago!

The episodic nature of it makes it great bedtime story reading, though. This might reflect CBB honing his craft by storytelling to his daughter.

Perhaps I will try to tell more original stories to my kids - it's fun doing story time with the lights off.

Fri Jul 15, 10:48:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Dave decreed...

Excellent installment CBB!

Tell me, WILL the gate bring back his memory?

Awaiting the next installment.

Fri Jul 15, 11:07:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Cheeseburger Brown decreed...

Dear all,

Re: where do I find the time?
Short answer: I don't. I've just had the good fortune/bad fortune to have a relatively open schedule lately. So open, in fact, that I may be forced to abandon my freelance commercial art practise in favour of getting a 9-to-5 at some soul-crushing corporation. I'd rather not have to, but I have a child to feed and the pays are unpaid. In the event that I do end up at somebody else's desk in the near future, I fear we will have to drop to just two posts per week. I hope not, though.

Re: SoS in print?
SIMON OF SPACE will be issued in a self-published printed paperback book on the day this blog ends. It will contain the unabridged text of this blog, minus some spelling errors. There will no significant re-editing for this edition (sorting into proper chapters, for instance), though that might happen for a second edition.

Re: when will the fat lady sing?
Don't worry -- Simon's adventures won't be concluded next week, or anytime very soon. But they will end, it can't be denied. It should also go without saying that it will not end prematurely -- that is, unfinished. I would never, ever, ever do you all the great disservice of rewarding your loyal readership with a kick in the teeth like that. Never ever. We'll all get to that ending together, one way or another, come Hell or high water.

Love,

CheeseburgerBrown

Fri Jul 15, 11:22:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Cheeseburger Brown decreed...

One more thing!

Re: episodic nature of books.

I was reading all about Charles Dickens when I came up with the idea for this story. Charles Dickens wrote his books bit by bit, issuing bi-weekly digests of chapters in paper folios with adverts. He used to surreptiously listen in on conversations in the pubs to find out what people wanted to see happen in the end, and then write accordingly.

Carlo Collodi issued episodes of PINOCCHIO in a similar way, appearing weekly in a children's supplement included in some Italian newspaper.

That's also how a lot of the magazines bought novels and novellas from the SF Grand Masters back in the Golden Age: chapter by chapter. Isaac Asimov issued FOUNDATION in five discrete chunks, for instance.

Love,

CheeseburgerBrown

Fri Jul 15, 11:27:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Phy decreed...

Two things this entry leaves me pondering. First, you know it's the future when cancer cures are handwaved. Either that or we're in Cockaigne, so bring on the pre-roasted-pigs-wandering-about-with-knives-in-their-backs-so-as-to-make-carving-easy.

Second, what happens if Simon gets his memory back and it turns out we don't like him? Not a big chance of that, given the undercurrent of frustration-of-cliche, but still.

Fri Jul 15, 11:53:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Dædalux decreed...

Phy said: "What happens if Simon gets his memory back and it turns out we don't like him?"

I this it should be more like, 'What happens if Simon discovers he dosen't like himself?'

Fri Jul 15, 12:04:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Wil decreed...

I'm a little worried that Simon will lose his memory again, and we will not like the new one.



Wil

Fri Jul 15, 12:20:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous sheik yerbouti decreed...

If he loses his memory again, we'll have to start from the very beginning, and THAT would be a pretty frustrating way to come up mid-story. Besides, you see how utterly unlikely it is that the gate caused the memory loss...

Pretty cool about the ants; based on Simon's description of the way things went down, I hope we can expect Greskin Mile to discover that Dr. Quinn was right all along.

I'd rather not have to, but I have a child to feed and the pays are unpaid.

Okay, everybody; make with the donations! Call your friends and call in favors... I wonder how many regular readers there are, i.e. how much it would be if we all ponied up ten bucks for a great story...

BTW, I didn't notice a single typo today (although I could have missed a few, I guess); very impressive.

Fri Jul 15, 03:00:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Ewan decreed...

The man that Simon was owns a vast enough corporation that a stockholder of his is out in a rather undeveloped corner of space and still wants to help him out.

I think it's safe to say there was more to Simon's loss of memory than a hypergate can explain. In fact, if you ever watched "Matchstick Men" you may have an idea of the kind of "care" that Simon was most likely receiving.

Of course, as in that movie, you do have to wonder just how much chance there has been to Simon's companions so far.

Fri Jul 15, 04:37:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous ScottieVegas decreed...

Alas, I missed a day and had to catch up! What a read! These adventures are truly incredible. I greatly enjoy reading them and will continue to do so. A couple of questions though.
Why didn't Simon go for his gun during the initial assault in the hammocks? You'd think that at the least, while he was running he could have drawn and fired a shot or two. I think it may be because he detest violence and would much rather run then fight. Interesting perspective.
Jeremiah definitely earns his keep! Evil or not, he is indispensible, providing knowledge and protection in a cruel, cruel world(s).
I'll be clicking on the links and donating today CBB.
You mentioned artwork? Anything that your humble readers could look at online and possibly purchase to support the cause?

Many Thanks,

SV

Fri Jul 15, 05:02:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Irish Wolf decreed...

Re: no typos - I think there was a missing comma in there somewhere, but I was too caught up in the narrative to care.

I did really like Mr. Mile's dismissive comment about cancer: "I have a pill at home." :)

Fri Jul 15, 05:53:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Marmar decreed...

Well I did in fact notice a mistake, and I only post it because so many people thought there weren't any in this otherwise perfect read.

In this way we passed down the broad central boulevard of Purandhi, the grey towers rising like cliffs on either side (of) us.

Fri Jul 15, 06:41:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Cheeseburger Brown decreed...

Dear Scottie,

Simon didn't reach for his gun during the hammock attacks because in his first moments of bleary consciousness it simply didn't occur to him that he was armed.

This stands in contrast to Greskin, who unholsters and aims his weapon before he's even had a chance to fully take what's happening. Like most Annapurnese, it's an instinct.

Simon's ability to develop this kind of reflex is hindered by his discomfort with the idea of violence.

Re: artwork.
The only thing I have for sale right now is '17 Drawings' (the non-child oriented storybook listed in the sidebar of this blog). I will be generating a new, child-oriented illustrated storyboard this weekend (if all goes well), which should be available to buy in about two or three weeks.

Some drawings are posted at ' http://mfdh.ca/drawings ', the most recent addition (or the second most recent, I can't remember) was a paid commission done for a wedding.

I believe I've just been hired to paint a picture of somebody's cat.

Love,

CheeseburgerBrown

Fri Jul 15, 07:33:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Sith Snoopy decreed...

Dude!

I am SO buying the first and second editions of
this book!

So bloody addicted..... can't... stop... reading...
aigh!

Fri Jul 15, 11:23:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

SoS's format reads like the Da Vinci Code. That is, short chapters (relatively) packed with action on every page.

It has the flavour of the traveller and his journey home. Like Odysseus having adventures as he makes his way home. Or Dorothy picking up friends on the yellow brick road as she makes her way to Oz and eventually home.

For the readability and action, SoS would do well in print, especially as teen fiction for boys, which is so underserved right now. This is not a slight. Look how they now do an adult version of Harry Potter. SoS has the potential to attract teen and adult audiences.

But I think SoS would do best as a comic book series, where CCB, you can also be illustrator. I like this idea.

TO Reader

Fri Jul 15, 11:48:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous anne arkham decreed...

(1) CBB, if you wind up at some soul-crushing corporation, I'm going to cry.

(2) Alexander Dumas wrote the same way.

(3) *waves hi to sithsnoopy!*

Sat Jul 16, 01:41:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

One typo: ... which con[c]luded in the sad tale ...

Sat Jul 16, 01:33:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous converted decreed...

Just a wave of recognition and appreciation for another great installment.
I can't wait until "tomorrow."

Sun Jul 17, 01:47:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Bruce decreed...

Simon recovering his memory and not liking who he is... well, it will have to be done well if I for one am not to be disappointed. I've yet to be so disappointed, however, so I'm willing to see how it all turns out. Very well written, as many have said. The gradual unfolding of the universe is spectacular to behold.

Sun Jul 17, 09:06:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

I feel like I have changed just as much as Simon has. All good books do that to me.

Sun Jul 17, 08:33:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous BalRog decreed...

Mr. Brown,

Are you perhaps acquainted with the works of Douglas Hofstater? In particular, have you ever read his Pulitzer-prize-winning book Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid?

The book contains a small vignette story in which one of the recurring characters, an anteater, introduces us to his friend, the intelligent ant colony. It was fun for me to compare and contrast the way you approached the idea with the way Hofstadter approached it.

I especially liked how you both, each in your own way, dealt with the idea of the attitude of the colony to the deaths of individual ants.

Great stuff! Keep it coming!

Tue Jul 19, 01:21:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Jarkko Oranen decreed...

... the word 'Jia' means home ...

"And the word 'Maja' is almost 'māja', which in latvian language means 'a house'. And if we add an 's' in the end, we get 'mājas' which means 'home'. Nice coincidence."

... And the word "Maja" is exactly "maja" which means a small house (like a tree house) in Finnish. Hee hee hee.
I love your story.

Sun Jul 24, 08:00:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

Hmm. Seems like I posted a comment on the wrong blog entry. Odd. Oh, well

- Jarkko

Sun Jul 24, 08:02:00 AM EDT  

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