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8/08/2005

Lick A Bet Outta Hell


I was back in the hospital, about to catch scent of Nurse Randa.

And then I wasn't, but the dreamy aftertaste inspired me with the will to open my sleep-stuck eyes without dread. Though I saw no sunlight, my body was telling me many hours had passed -- perhaps more than a usual night of sleep. For the first time in days my brain did not feel as if it were working through a haze, and my chest did not ache with worry.

The canopy of hard stars shining through the port was slowly revolving. I was in space.

An amber lamp glowed in the alcove above my bed. There were three other lamps, in a row. Thus eight tiny pinprick reflections gleamed in the eyes of Jeremiah, standing sentinel by the door. Now more familiar to me than Nurse Randa ever was, I took a moment to consider how the robot had ended up both my and Pish's keeper.

Corinthia Tag spoke in my ear, making me jump.

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.

50 Comments:

Anonymous justin decreed...

wow, cbb, i've been a fan since darth side, and i just have to say that you are a really great author, and i can't wait for more :D

Mon Aug 08, 12:16:00 AM EDT  
Blogger snowflakes decreed...

woo hoo, I can't wait for the next installment! I think I may be going mad... checking the SOS blogspot constantly!

Mon Aug 08, 12:53:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Drkdstryer decreed...

Jeez, just when I think I;m going to go to bed, I see there's an update on SOS.

This story is just so good. I congratulate you once again, and hope that you can post more often :D

Mon Aug 08, 01:02:00 AM EDT  
Blogger J. Francis Lehman decreed...

Much fun.

But more cliffhangers! Auugghh!

You need to win the lottery or something...

Mon Aug 08, 01:22:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Sith Snoopy decreed...

:)

Mon Aug 08, 01:34:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Garnet decreed...

I got lost on the way to the bridge. It wasn't my fault: all of the corridors look the same.

A possible tense problem; I'm not sure if 'look' needs to be in the past tense, though the rest of the sentence and the following one are, though.

I hopped down the carpeted steps and around down into the well at the centre of the consoles,

'And around down' is a strangely akward sentence construction.

She fitted my head between two firm pillows, gave me a pill to eat, and told me I we'd have to wait

Either/or, but not both.

She has just now returned to tell me what I will have to be unconscious

'What' should be 'that'.

Now that that's out of the way, this chapter just raises all kinds of questions. Is Olorio really better off with Simon offworld? What was Glory when she was Vera Tse Llatella-Bond? Why isn't Pish showing any signs of moving into puberty? Why is Pish registered as being deceased? And, of course, the biggie; why was Simon's leg replaced?

For every answer, two new questions...

Mon Aug 08, 02:30:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous sheik yerbouti decreed...

Man, you just keep doling out the surprises. Great stuff.

So is it difficult to keep writing in Captain Ting's heretofore unidentified accent? I keep waiting for you to slip up and make him talk normally :)

Mon Aug 08, 04:58:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

So many twists, so much confusion!

Mon Aug 08, 07:25:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Dave decreed...

I'm confused.... first I see:
"I'm afraid not, Simon. Your memory has been systematically cleared. There's nothing there to find."

Then:
"If I remove the blocks, you may remember more."

Which is it?

Either way... excellent installment CBB.

Mon Aug 08, 07:54:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Christien Lomax (The Cat Whisperer) decreed...

Dave,

What I think the doctor was getting at was that any memories the HAVE been erase3d are GONE, but those that were just damaged or "misplaced" in the programming and butchering may be recovered.

Simon, does begin to remember more and more about general things, but I think they removed events and people/places/etc that they do not wish him to know.

The bird for example, he might remember and his brain makes it a nightmare to emphasizes to him it's importance. Perhaps the event began in his office & the bird was the last thing he saw before the "wipe".

/tcw

Mon Aug 08, 08:45:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Eric K. decreed...

Spontaneous "You are safe. Do Not panic." comments are pretty creepy and don't make people feel so safe, it seems.

...Or so my coworkers tell me. >:)

Mon Aug 08, 08:59:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Jim decreed...

CBB, you have a talent for developing strong and memorable characters; it's easy to keep track of who's who in your universe. Captain Ting is hilarious (I would like to know who the prototype for his accent is though! Another possible candidate: Inspector Clouseau!).

One thing that I would love to see: a roughed-out map of the galaxy, to help keep track of the places mentioned. Unfortunately, I wouldn't want you to take time away from writing to draw a map! Damn!

Keep up the good work!

Mon Aug 08, 09:54:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Cheeseburger Brown decreed...

Dear Garnet,

"A possible tense problem; I'm not sure if 'look' needs to be in the past tense, though the rest of the sentence and the following one are, though."

Ah-ha, it's a trick tense change! While funny, it is logical: remember that Simon hasn't sat down to write his memoirs years later -- it's writing them daily. That means that while his confusion did indeed take place in the past (several hours ago), the self-same corridors exist in the present (he's still aboard the ship).

Thanks for the other notes, though. :)

Love,

CheeseburgerBrown

Mon Aug 08, 09:58:00 AM EDT  
Blogger tee decreed...

great post! i think simon should know by now to warn jerimiah any time he's being put under or whatever; "no killing this time, okay jer?".

Mon Aug 08, 10:20:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous FasMaster decreed...

"the unearthly transition from
hue to hue"
strange how Simon uses the word "unearthly" considering he's never been to earth..

great work again!
I especially love the new Logo to the website..
now, even more than before, I imagine the title of this work to be pronounced:
Simoooooooooooon..
..oooooooooooooof..
..Spaaaaaaaaaaaace..
(with lots of echo, of course)

..and I still maintain that the Captain is from South Africa..

Mon Aug 08, 10:50:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous biscuitus decreed...

since i saw the title of this log before i read the previous one, i was highly confused by the title!

the riddles keep piling on - keep 'em comin'!

Mon Aug 08, 11:05:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Jillster decreed...

I just noticed the new title graphic for the blog! I like it! I'll miss the quote "My name is Simon...or so they tell me," but the new graphic is spif!

Mon Aug 08, 11:37:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Edmund decreed...

I agree with Tee that the doctor might be in some danger. I don't think she's evil; her reactions to Simon's care about Glory wouldn't indicate that. However, I don't think Jeremiah is interested in Simon regaining his memory, which means that the doctor may go the way of Monkey.

I'll walk WAY out on a limb here and speculate that Pish is some sort of Human Executive. Very superior engineering, and probably some extremely important computer programs running in his head.

Brilliant storytelling, CBB!

Mon Aug 08, 11:38:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Edmund decreed...

Oops! I meant to say that Jeremiah isn't interested in Simon regaining his memory.

Mon Aug 08, 11:39:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

GHAAARRR!!!!
MORE SUSPENSE!!!

how could you CBB? how could you leave poor simon in such a place? next update, post haste!

amazing work, as always
TRH
www.xanga.com/dvd_pirate

Mon Aug 08, 11:51:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

well, Pish could be some sort of superhuman...or he could be nine years old. which he is. so he really doesn't need to be undergoing puberty yet.

TRH

Mon Aug 08, 11:55:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Kumar decreed...

Oh god...
THE SUSPENSE!! IT KILLS!!1

If I should ever meet Mr. Cheeseburger, I shall be giving him a handshake. Not a limp wristed handshake, either, but one of the hearty, firm, double-handed variety.

Mon Aug 08, 12:55:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous eric decreed...

My newest conspiracy theory.
1) Duncan actually is Volmash.
2) The tramatic experience of the Horror was Duncan projecting the experience of losing his son is some terrible way.
3) Pish is a clone/executive replacement version of Duncan's son

Mon Aug 08, 03:39:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous scott decreed...

eric said...

My newest conspiracy theory.
1) Duncan actually is Volmash.
2) The tramatic experience of the Horror was Duncan projecting the experience of losing his son is some terrible way.
3) Pish is a clone/executive replacement version of Duncan's son

*******************

I like that idea, especially if the horror was revenge against the bureaucrats/political system for letting his son die(or not saving him). Sort of like "John Q" http://imdb.com/title/tt0251160/

great entry CBB

thanks

Mon Aug 08, 04:45:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Jimmy decreed...

I think that Captain Ting's accent is from either South Africa or New Zealand. More probably South African, keep and eye out how he pronounces 'Fish and Chips' If he says it 'Fesh and Chups' he's from NZ (hehe its how we learn to tell here in Australia)

Mon Aug 08, 06:41:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous mandrill decreed...

Like the map idea. Would have been cool if it had been there at the beginning and you could see it growing as Simon travels.

Yet again, Sterling work Cheeseburger, This universe is a marvel.

Mon Aug 08, 07:46:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Jim decreed...

Since speculation is rampant, I'll toss in a few idle thoughts (nothing revolutionary, however):

1 - Duncan *may* be Terron Volmash; but in that case, Terron Volmash is probably *not* the villain everyone thinks he is. Maybe a freedom fighter who has been framed, or some such?

2 - Osorio is probably not the villain either. he seems far too obvious. He does seem to have his own villainous agenda, however.

3 - Then who is the villain? Blighton also seems to be a somewhat obvious choice, since he is the only one who even knows that Simonthrat Fell didn't physically exist. Why would someone have "cloned" or created Simon, and even "created" a family for him, if they didn't know that the real Simon didn't exist?

In fact, doesn't it seem strange that Jia seemed to know a number of the people at Blighton's party? Even Osorio seemed to personally know her, and yet we "know" that (according to Glory), Jia did not previously "exist". Since Osorio knows her, that seems to make Osorio look like a suspect, since he would have to be "faking" his knowing her (since he created her). Unless... unless Blighton had previously paraded around in a "Jia" costume, so that the fictional persona would have a physical presence in the real world. Osorio could be an (innocent?) victim of Blighton's elaborate charade.

That would make Blighton a prime suspect for classic arch-villain: superficiously a "santa clause" do-gooder, but with an insidious agenda. What that agenda is, I dare not speculate.

On the other hand, since Glory recognized Jia's true identity, that kind of rules out her having been invented by Blighton.

!!!

Well, CBB is good at surprises. So I hope that these theories are all wrong, and I am blown away by an awesome unexpected plot twist!

Mon Aug 08, 08:57:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous sheik yerbouti decreed...

First of all, it's "Olorio" :)

Second, I'm not so sure about this whole "Simon as fiction" concept. This would mean that (a) someone would have to have created him -- unique genes and all! -- and somehow gotten his genetic sequence into the master government/Fellcorp/whatever database, and then created a lifetime of memories which they then selectively erased.

I have a hard time believing that Blighton is a malicious character. A bit twisted, perhaps...

Also, I'm thinking that Jeremiah will turn out not to be as hostile as Simon thinks; this increased attention he gets when he remembers something may just indicate J's dedication to getting the truth.

As for Olorio, I've got to trust Simon's primal judgement there. Remember how his early senses allowed him to detect emotions and intentions back in the mental ward? While Yatti may not be the big bad guy, he's likely not all sunshine and lollipops either.

A typo:

it became apparent that any one of the spheres was large enough...

Bring on Crushed-Head Faeda! I'm pretty sure she'll remember Simon; it's just her personality that will be drastically changed.

Mon Aug 08, 11:25:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Jim decreed...

Damn! Did I say Osorio??? Wrote it half-a-dozen times so I can't even claim it was a typo!

Mon Aug 08, 11:38:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Jeff S. decreed...

I think Captain Ting is Scottish. Like the late Scotty. (godspeed scotty). It's easy to picture him... and I guess easier for me to read the accent that way.

Tue Aug 09, 02:16:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous argan0n decreed...

Hmm interesting Pish conjecture. I too think the cute-little-bastard is up to his wet ears in no good -- somehow...
Nothing is cute and innocent for long in space dammit! We knew he was not progressing "normally" anyway! What kid has that kind of palette? :)
Perhaps he's a vessle for some{thing,one} else? Pish, Simon & Jerimiah all parts of a greater whole persona?

Bleck. I'm reaching now....

Tue Aug 09, 02:20:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Yappy decreed...

There's no way that captain's Scottish!!! He's defo South African, without a doubt....

Excellent post again CBB, looking forward to the next installment

Tue Aug 09, 08:52:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous sheik yerbouti decreed...

I still say Chekov. Haven't you people ever heard of a Black Russian?

Tue Aug 09, 10:43:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Jillster decreed...

Who can tell who Captain Ting is based on his accent? These people are so far removed from the Earth we know that other accents in the English language would have had time to develop and spread. Fer instance, how long did it take for the Australian colonists to develop an accent distinct from any other British regional accent? Not that long, in terms of human history. Ting's accent might reflect his origin on some other planet, but not likely a specific country on the Earth we know and love.

Of course, CBB is basing Ting's accent on something he knows, but so far he ain't tellin'!

Tue Aug 09, 11:45:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Jeff S. decreed...

Doh.. I totally missed that he was black. (or "dark brown").. I don't think I've ever heard of a Scottish man that looked that way.

sooooo.... my new theory is that he's Haitian... I worked with a guy from Haiti that sounded this way.

Could go with the S. African theory too.

Tue Aug 09, 12:08:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Rex Schrader decreed...

RE: The Accent
I've always though it was French. In particular since CBB just got an actual French au pair.

Tue Aug 09, 12:10:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Lilaena decreed...

Pish = Terron Volmash. It's frighteningly obvious, esp. if he's a Human Exectutive.

However, this is probably incorrect. Unless... Duncan lost his real son Pish, and then as a desperate act took a replacement that would never age. The Pish we know from the story. This replacement Pish is a Human Executive with TERRON VOLMASH's personality hidden in his brain. This is why no one has been able to find Terron Volmash, because he is hidden inside a person who looks like a young boy. This would have to do with Faeda's memory being in crystals, and with the chemical computers inside everyone's heads. Pish probably has something similar going on in his brain, blocking the Volmash memories and personality.

Jeremiah came with Duncan's replacement son, and is registered to Terron Volmash. Although I don't see why that fact wouldn't be popping up on *everyone's* plates when the look at the robot. Luckily for Jeremiah, on Maja they don't like robots, and so it's likely no one really looked at him anyway.

dun dun DUNNN, can't wait to hear what is up with that bird. :oD

Tue Aug 09, 05:42:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Lilaena decreed...

When THEY look at the robot, not 'when the look at the robot.'

Tue Aug 09, 05:44:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Irish Wolf decreed...

I gather that Jeremiah's registered owner display was altered while Monkey was giving him the new carapace (the one without the fancy, giveaway filigree).

What the memory problems here remind me of most strongly are the struggles Emerson underwent in Brin's second Uplift trilogy. He had had his memories forcibly removed by an ancient race around a red giant star, then was crash-landed on Jijo (which wasn't supposed to have inhabitants, but one area was occupied by several races trying to escape the society of the Five Galaxies). Whenever he came close to remembering something important, his head would hurt - the closer he got, the more intense the pain became. He eventually started using that as his guidepost; if it hurt, he'd press further into the pain, until he came out the other side with some of his old information back.

Too bad Omar and Jia couldn't do that - I guess whoever wiped their memories was even more vicious...

Tue Aug 09, 06:23:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Lilaena decreed...

I took the liberty of whipping up another banner for the blog, not because I think you'll use it, Cheeseburger Brown, but because I was bored and this was fun.

http://swf-agglomeration.net/sigs/SOS-banner.jpg

Tue Aug 09, 06:27:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous sheik yerbouti decreed...

If you've ever read Stephen Lawhead's Empyrion Saga, the memories-with-headache concept will be quite familiar also.

By the way, we need to remember that it isn't necessarily Faeda's *memories* that were stored in the crystal; it was her *personality*. Perhaps this was more important to someone in her position...

Tue Aug 09, 11:17:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous argan0n decreed...

Grooooovy pic Lilaena. Just like the robes and slippers I imagined

But -- that's not a colorful toilet he's sitting on is it?
:)

Wed Aug 10, 12:10:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Lilaena decreed...

lol, no, it's a bed not a toilet.

Wed Aug 10, 01:39:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Yappy decreed...

What?! Still no more posts?? It's 12.42pm over here in Aberdeen (Scotland!!) and already I've been onto check for an update too many times today! Hope my IT department don't notice.... Eek.

Nice banner Lilaena :)

Wed Aug 10, 07:44:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Michael McHenry decreed...

When captain Ting speaks, the voice I hear belongs to Michel from the show Gilmore Girls.

Essentially a very pretentious black man with a french accent from who-knows-where. France, I guess.

Wed Aug 10, 12:15:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

So let me get this straight, Simon is on the operating table getting his brain fixed, Gloria is dying, and we choose to spend 20+ comments arguing whether Captian Ting is from Sydney or Lancaster?

Wed Aug 10, 03:07:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

Who's Gloria?

Wed Aug 10, 03:16:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous sheik yerbouti decreed...

Or Edinburgh!

This is what happens when you leave us too long between posts :)

Wed Aug 10, 03:17:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Cheeseburger Brown decreed...

Dear Shiek Yerbouti,

Problem now solved.

Love,

CheeseburgerBrown

Wed Aug 10, 03:31:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous argan0n decreed...

Lilaena:
Ok cool. I'd never seen a toilet like that before. A bed makes more sense... :)

I like the blur strips you put over the image, and of course the fade in of the stars - very nice.

Maybe when CBC published this that'll make it's way on the jacket... Better art than most novels for sure.

Wed Aug 10, 11:00:00 PM EDT  

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