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


Aurora My Witness

I awoke to chanting. I opened my eyes and sat up. A few snoring pilgrims slept on around me, but most blankets were abandoned.

The predawn light was grey and meagre, the plaza beneath the temple in which I had slept suffused with an unsettling, inconstant green cast from the slowly boiling aurora overhead. Dozens of people knelt in neat rows along the plaza, all pointed in same vaguely south-westerly direction, and sang.

I pulled on my longcoat and went down the steps to the ground level where a toothless crone with a wide smile handed me a steaming bowl of broth. I accepted it gratefully, sipping at it as I walked. I met Utopia, who had her own bowl of broth. She crinkled her nose at the contents. "You like fish?"


"Not me. Except octopus. Have you ever had octopus?"

"I don't know what an octopus is."

"People say you shouldn't eat them, because they're clever," Utopia said thoughtfully, stirring her finger absently in her bowl. "But of course I expect to be eaten when I die. It's only proper. And sometimes some people say I'm clever."

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 Anonymous decreed...

i got it
ha ha ha

Thu Sep 08, 11:14:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Enrogue decreed...

Wow, I'm enjoying this so much.


Thu Sep 08, 11:45:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Phy decreed...

Holy cats.

I finally get why Jeremiah never outright told Simon who he was: Assuming the name implies assuming responsibility for the man's actions; and if responsibility can only be taken, not given, then Simon needed to do that for himself.

Best lines:
"Stuff it, Jerry," snapped Utopia. "I'm making this royal business now."

"Do not call me Jerry."

"Do you have a telephone?"

"I am a telephone."

Wordveri: nejpgm. "Any jpg, 'im." The answer to "What's the first thing a formerly blind man would like to see on a computer?"

Thu Sep 08, 11:45:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous delirium of disorder decreed...

I’m sure my pulse quickened with these lines.
And then her eyes were on me. All eyes were on me.

I stepped forward.

Well, this episode certainly highlights the Christ symbolism, albeit with a twist.

And of course a recurrence of Wizard of Oz. I’ve taken note that this film is an expressed favorite of CBB in his bio.

… and stop calling me Shirley

All in all a brilliant episode, worthy of the revelations and story position it holds.

veri word fun: zmlwygi
not much fun here. its the travel ouija board 'Small Oujia"

Thu Sep 08, 11:59:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

Now letting that out. I have now made the first comment and it had to be "I got it ha ha ha"

I feel I must say that I am growing to think of Simon as a friend and I am quite scaired about the trial.
This chapter has showed that Simon HAS changed and he does have compassion within him.
I think all the old characters will stand trial with Simon and tell the stories that have brought them all together.

Also, I was wondering could the Queen be fartles the dog??

What a shock that Brother Phi is alive =O
Who else will come back from the dead??


word veri= zpuyzns
can't do much with that. Or is i don't have much of an imagination??

Thu Sep 08, 12:05:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous delirium of disorder decreed...

saana -
what the mad genius said would be his choice to kill his nemesis 'zee poisons'

Thu Sep 08, 12:07:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous sheik yerbouti decreed...

Teehee... Fartles the Queen. Way to put an unconventional spin on things, CBB.

Phy, great analysis. Simon's being the first to declare his former identity gave tremendous weight to the statement.

I can SO see this as a movie... even if it were more of a miniseries. There are parts that I can hear being acted out in my head. This of course would call for some very gifted actors.

Riveting yet again.

Thu Sep 08, 12:15:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Darch decreed...

What a Adamsian twist to reality: The QoS being so damn regal that she cuts wind without a care.

CBB, this is great stuff. I, too, am dreading its end. However, there are far too many questions to be answered, and I _pray_ that you take the time to do so in the proper manner, and not just throw it all together, a la Episode III (DAMN YOU, LUCAS!)

Keep up the great work!


(Verification: qoqzfk. NO, I'm not kidding, and no, it's just too damn easy)

Thu Sep 08, 12:18:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous sheik yerbouti decreed...

Darch: huh?

One typo I noticed:

Her crinkled her nose at the contents

I get the feeling it was going to be "Her nose crinkled" and then the sentence structure changed, leaving Her behind (which is appropriate for Her character).

Thu Sep 08, 12:34:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous scott decreed...

possible typo

"I'm sure you're delicious," I said, and then flushed. "I didn't to suggest anything untoward."

I didn't MEAN to suggest...

Thu Sep 08, 12:39:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Cheeseburger Brown decreed...

Dear Sheik,

You're indeed not the first to suggest that they could easily see this as a movie, and -- I might be just revealing what an ass I am -- but it is my feeling that I do bear some credit for what, because I have consciously been narrating the events of SOS in a very cinematic way.

You may note that in many of the exchanges between characters the steps of advancing action are predicated on who is looking at whom, and following the eyes of other characters to see what they are looking out. This is a persistent thread of visual narration that connects the scenes, and moves us along from A to B within each scene.

My reason for this craft is simple: I find it an effective way to communicate with readers who have been raised in a storytelling culture dominated by cinema and television.

(There are crafted literary moments as well, but they are few in comparison to the steady beat of cinematic language and cues.)

Take any particular chapter see how it is driven by where Simon's eyes are pointing. He is a camera. He is our access point into this world, and he passes this information on like a veteran cinematographer: establishing wide shots, cutaways to details, using B roll elements to break up stretches of dialogue.

There are sounds in SOS, too, but they are generally supporting elements rather than defining elements, as in movies. The fidelity of your mind is superior to THX is almost every respect.

(There are smells in SOS, but they are clearly tertiary.)

The only thing SOS lacks to make it a true Space Opera would be the incidental music. Ting did his best to supply his own, but ultimately music is very hard to convey in print unless we're talking about a song everyone and their slow cousin can hum along with, like God Save the Queen or Let It Be or Also Sprach Zarathustra.

(Is anyone out there imagining a soundtrack? What does it sound like? Symphonic or electronica?)

I will say this: if there ever were an actual movie/television version of this story, I would die a thousand deaths before I'd let them do it with sound in space.

There is no sound in space.

Not. Freakin'. EVAR.



Thu Sep 08, 01:05:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Teddy decreed...

wow. i don't agree with Simon though. he inhabits the body which, prior to great reconstructive efforts, belonged to Terron Volmash. his mind, however, was wiped clean. he does not need to stand trial for Terron Volmash's crimes because he did not commit them. however, humankind needs to blame somebody, so him stepping up to take the blame is incredibly mature and brave. i think the queen of space will take into account far more than simply the original firing of the Nightmare Cannon. i think she will look at what he has done, and those cameos we were promised will be people witnessing to his character - Greskin Mile the gun-toting lawyer cabby, Duncan Menteith, possibly even Pish and Glory. captain gold would be nice too, i really liked him...and fartles, dear fartles. i think he'd make the queen laugh. i think the queen really needs a good laugh. she seems so sad and lonely.


word veri: iphrkq. if our queue...first half of a rhetorical question posed by brits in a long long line.

Thu Sep 08, 01:10:00 PM EDT  
Blogger mandrill decreed...

Tears, real tears, at the beggar's exploitation of Simon and Phi's remark afterwards
And a lump, when Simon stood before the QoS.
Good god man you're too good.

Verifun: hvoqjyxf, I ain't even going to bother.

Thu Sep 08, 01:29:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

Good installment... some petty details:
'Her(She) crinkled her nose at the contents. "You like fish?"'

'she managed to pronounce, and then closed her eyes as(and) winced as she made another loud, earthy sound. She fled to her screen.'


Thu Sep 08, 01:31:00 PM EDT  
Blogger indrax decreed...


This episode could stand as an amazing story all by itself.

It is a moment, and when it is put on screen it will be one of the best cinema moments in history.

Next Cameo: Corinthia Tag, and she's not happy.
And Duncan?

I wonder: If we had waited in line, would we know Jermiah's other secret by now?

It's a 6000 year old headline:
"Zoran Proccessing Unit uses New Secrets"

Pfft, marketing. It's the exact same 128-qubit architechture, just with some multimedia extensions. So now the executives can be telephones.

Does anyone know if this kind of veriword thing is done elsewhere on blogger? It seems like a neat social meme, but as far as I know it started here.

Thu Sep 08, 02:07:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous delirium of disorder decreed...

teddy you hit on the theme that this story started with, was questioned heavily in the hospital by Crushed Head, by the nature of Pish, Blighton, Simon’s wife, and other plot points too numerous to mention, and may be explained/answered in the manner you suggest (in trial): what defines us as distinct entities/souls? Is it our SSN, our name, our body, our thoughts, our memories, our actions?

If the vessel that (in a different form) housed the machinations, ambitions, and will that allowed TV to launch the Nightmare Canon (aside: note that the power of the Nightmare Canon was unleashed by TV via TV) now houses a being that has shown great compassion, empathy, charity, and searches for truth where the former self sought power, is it the same person/soul?

If culpability does not lie with Simon, then flesh does not define the person and we are defined by our current thoughts independent of our past – the foundation of rehabilitation and repentance. The same conclusion – innocence – may be drawn if the soul has infinite choices and is defined by the decisions or conclusions ultimately arrived at; this then is indeed the same person who began as TV but has now chosen a different path when enlightened by a new teacher – Jeremiah (the original being Duncan, and the past for which he must pay) – and the final destination the soul reached after a lifetime’s journey was one of redeeming benevolence.

The flipside and Simon is guilty: be it the soul or the flesh, the vessel is filled with the entirety of our life’s thoughts and actions and must be judged on the whole. A moment’s remorse cannot balance a lifetime of evil.

I think you can actual make good points on Simon’s guilt or innocence with either (or other) definition(s) of self.

Regardless, CBB’s is a much more involved, interesting, and in-depth probing of this question than most traditionally published and celebrated writers.

How good is Jeremiah that he manipulated Phi to put the last mind scramble on Simon prior to the QoS.

Pensively yours,

Veri word fun: lspvvyxh
Geeze, ok how about: a speech impediment that can be successfully treated with traditional cold remedies – “lisp vicks”

Thu Sep 08, 02:12:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

Wow !!!

your good at the word veri

how about this one :)

keujuxpf (I did not make this one up)

Thu Sep 08, 02:37:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Dave decreed...

WOW! Powerful post CBB... and I'm still waiting, hoping Brother Phi isn't the only person we see from Simon's past.

One typo I saw:
"Even has her stink filled the chamber" should be "Even as"

Wordblurb: fuvklzo

Thu Sep 08, 02:53:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Dave decreed...

Indrax, no no, we learned Jeremiah's other secret.
He's a PHONE! *LOL*

Also Indrax, the word verifier has been part of blogger for a while, but has to be turned on.

I wonder if Greskin Mile will be Terron's Lawyer????

Wordblurb: kurol ('k, you are old!)

Thu Sep 08, 03:00:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Lilaena decreed...

No sound in space indeed. Part of why I love the canceled show Firefly so much. :D

When Simon of Space is done you should certainly shop it to a movie studio. I agree with Indrax - this episode would be one of the most moving and best moment in cinematic history. Just to see all of the different worlds come to life on the big screen - wow! And the Queen of Space is written beautifully, poor girl and her nervous stomach.

Simon claiming responsibility is stunning in a way, yet fitting. My only hope is that we don't see the 'everyone from Simon's past' parading across the pages like the series finale of Seinfeld.

Thu Sep 08, 03:01:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous sheik yerbouti decreed...


Good questions always, and really posed by Simon himself in the first episode:

How am I beholden to the man who lived that life?

Duncan, Phi, and Jeremiah have presented their arguments already. Methinks that CBB will have the last word by the time our saga draws to a close.

Thu Sep 08, 03:07:00 PM EDT  
Blogger indrax decreed...

Dave: I mean the practice of turning the jumble into meaningful words, id it start here?

Thu Sep 08, 03:24:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

I beleive it started when someone said that they couldn't read the jumbledness of the letters??

and I have yet to see the word fun anywhere else.

word veri- ohcady
"Oh don't go for that cady he doesn't know a nine iorn from a putter"

Thu Sep 08, 03:37:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous delirium of disorder decreed...

Thank you for you kind words/baiting anon. You too can have veri word fun. Just follow my training regime: tacos beer and less than 5 hours of sleep a night. I prefer hot peppers to bring on the hallucinations that often give the answers over traditional pharmaceuticals.

Possible meanings for: Keujuxpf

A line of elderly Jewish men with colds – Que Jew Xpf!

From a novel about the suppression of sexual preference, a hateful remark toward a group of gays someone wants to get in line – “Que You X-Poof!”

A Chinese programming methodology derived from Xtreme Programming - Que Ju XPf

I think if you try you can do better.

Thu Sep 08, 03:42:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous sheik yerbouti decreed...

Have you ever misread something, realized your error, and then been nearly disabled by the sheer hilarity of your mistake?

Right after Simon asks to stand trial, and the Queen flees behind her screen again, he says...

There was no stifling the din this time.

This apparently refers to the crowd, but on first reading, I thought he was talking about the noise from the toilet.

Of course, I don't sleep much these days, so perhaps it wasn't all that funny after all.

Thu Sep 08, 03:46:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Drkdstryer decreed...

I also don't think that Simon is culpable for what Terron did in the past. Sinom just ISN'T Terron Volmash. Yes, he inhabits the same body, but it's a very different mind. In the very best sense of the word, TV committed suicide, and Simon stepped in as the new owner of the body.

I do think it was genius to wait until now to have Simon say that he was (formerly) TV. That scene is an instant classic in my mind.

Amazing writing as usual CBB. Can't wait until the next chapter, and hopefully more than a few after that.

Verifun: oaxtmx

Oh, axe the mix! What a DJ could say after a long night of work.

Thu Sep 08, 03:49:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous delirium of disorder decreed...

If you haven't yet, go right now to the comments of Pilgram's Way and see CBB's last post. Most enlightening.

We novices finally provoked the old master into teaching us a lesson.

Thu Sep 08, 03:53:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Jim decreed...

Yes, he inhabits the same body, but it's a very different mind.

Actually, it's neither the same body, nor the same mind. That's what makes the concept so ... intriguing ...

Thu Sep 08, 03:55:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

sheik yerbouti:

I was just reading your post and for some time now i have been trying to figure your name out. And I think i got it,

Shake your booty_turn it around_back that a-- up_wind go down??

am i right??

Thu Sep 08, 03:55:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Phy decreed...

I do think it was genius to wait until now to have Simon say that he was (formerly) TV.

But he doesn't. He says he is Terron Volmash, which is an entirely different kettle of fish. If he was TV, that introduces the possibility that he could not be now, and therefore is not currently responsible for the Kamari Horror. If he still is TV, he can then be held accountable for the sins of his former life. He's Duncan's and Jeremiah's student, all right.

Wordveri: xsrroinn. Excess ronin. When one is finding masterless samurai in one's henhouse, or in the coal celler, or tangled up in the wash lines, one has excess ronin.

Thu Sep 08, 04:18:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Darch decreed...


In re: Huh?

(Verification: qoqzfk. NO, I'm not kidding, and no, it's just too damn easy)

The verification was QOQZFK. Knowing how we like to make little phrases out of these delightful mishaps, I thought that CocksyF*ck was just a bit too easy (and too blue) for this group of MENSA candidates.

If the Huh? was re: Adamsian twist - this was in reference to Douglas Adams (of HHGG fame)

That is, if you cared.


New verification: hblwj - as is "Fix the Hubble, would ya?"

Thu Sep 08, 04:24:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous sheik yerbouti decreed...

Darch: the word ver, not the nod to greatness.

Er... thanks, I guess... for explaining.

Do not call me Jerry.

Thu Sep 08, 04:37:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Teddy decreed...

hey, CBB, when all this is a movie (or miniseries, or anime, or cult indie film, or whatever), who would you like to see do the music? how about direct? who plays the various main characters? Pish, Olorio, Glory...who would play Jeremiah?

and DoD, i was practically in tears. you nailed it on the head. we are defined by our actions and choices. by erasing the previous mind, we should be able to rid ourselves of those actions and choices, but in shedding this responsibility we lose who we are, commit a mental suicide. is it better to retain self and stand up to consequences (think Duncan), or is it acceptable to shrug off everything that makes us who we are and start anew? in other words, i'm looking for a debate on the morality and ethics of TVs choice to "take the money and run", to "live like a king but without the rule". yes, he gave us Simon, but Simon decided who Simon would ultimately become. all that TV really gave us was a blank slate upon which the universe could inscribe what it would. somehow, it got inscribed with something wonderful.

and CBB, a prequel would be awesome. when i saw Episode III, i loved it not for the space battles, the lightsaber duel, the storytelling (or lack thereof), but for that feeling of hopeful nostalgia at the end, as we saw luke and leia as infants going to where they would grow up, and realizing just what exactly is in store for those kids. i think a scene with TV debating his future could do exactly the same.

oh, and DoD, i read your post after my last in the previous ep. for all my life i have gone by Ted (just Ted) and it isn't short for theodore, it's Edward. i deplore that name because it sounds far too grown up, too intelligent and stiff. first names only though.


word veri: okqdn; ok, cue den! which room do we go in? the pool hall.

Thu Sep 08, 06:25:00 PM EDT  
Blogger mandrill decreed...

I was going to post about how I had started the word verifun game to my own attempt at blog fiction (no link I'm not that mercenary) but then decided that it would be nothing more than a plug for my own blog so decided to post this instead which served no purpose whatsoever except that it allowed me to play the game :)

Verifun: hptauira; hop toe era? the period of human history when it was fashionable to hop on one toe. didn't last long for obvious reasons.

Thu Sep 08, 08:18:00 PM EDT  
Blogger The BS decreed...

Though I think it's brilliant that we've been set up with such a great philosphical dilemma as the story's climax, and given that this is fiction and CB can do whatever the hell he likes, I think in 'reality' (the reality of the story) a man standing in court confessing to being Terron Volmash, who looks like Terron Volmash, and who has the weapon used in committing the crime sitting chirpily on his shoulder, aint going to brook much sympathy for being canny enough to erase his memory afterwards. A comparison: If Hitler (tired I know) had got a bump on the noggin when his bunker collapsed, completely lost his memory, decided his name was 'Herman' and spent the next few months wandering the German country side, giving aid to the wounded, helping people out and generally being a stand up fellow, would questions of Herman's acts vs Hitler's acts even arise? I mean they'd still be philosophically relevant, but would anyone care?

Not trying to be a spoil sport here, but trials don't take place in Ivory Towers, and a scapegoat is often the next best thing to Justice.

mubhauq: A flightless bird with poor English skills, and delusions of granduer "Emu b Hawk!"

Thu Sep 08, 09:56:00 PM EDT  
Blogger indrax decreed...

Hey, maybe CBB will let us be extras. (there are certainly enough parts) I'm sure we could all pass for beggars or mental patients. I'd like to be a religous nut in the Citadel, but I'll be a shock troper if that's what it takes.

mandrill: now you've got me.

Keep in mind though that this galaxy has very different ideas of justice.
I am certain that the last world will be Simon's punishment, or reward.

Thu Sep 08, 11:18:00 PM EDT  
Blogger razorsmile decreed...

- so that's what the Equivalents are. I really should have guessed.

- Goddamn, there are so many good lines in this one, I won't even bother with a line-of-the-day today.

"The human animal is a liquid which flows to fill every crack," said Brother Phi significantly. "Niches nurse strange experimentation."

- Brother Phi just shot all the way up my list of favorite characters.

*eyes CBB suspiciously*

He ... isn't an Executive ... is he?

Phi chuckled not unkindly. "And if you had succeeded in using him to assuage your guilt, should he not feel exploited by you?"

He just went down again, the smug bastard. And there's something - can't quite place it - something wrong about his comment on using context to justify.

- Even has her stink filled the chamber

should be "as", yah?

- the climax rocks on every level.

All in all, an excellent entry. There's a growing sense of melancholy as the story draws to a close - for me anyway.

weevee: iziriv (oh this is an easy one - "is he alive?" as asked by Captain Ting)

Fri Sep 09, 03:18:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Anak decreed...

Hmm I believeI have read the exchanged between simon and the legless beggar some where before. Or at least something very similar.
I love this story but just thought I would mention this.

Fri Sep 09, 03:55:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Teddy decreed...

Indrax: i call dibs on Mr. Oliver! and as such, i nominate Halle Berry for the part of Glory. hehe.

sry, inappropriate. but yeah, CBB, if this does become a movie, you totally gotta hook all of us originals up with at LEAST tickets to the premiere. i'm sure that Blogger.com can get ahold of my IP address somehow and verify who i am. and parts as extras, mental patients or (gulp) minor parts, like Greskin Mile and Mr. Oliver, those would be awesome. here's to dreaming.


word veri: vtjkb. tough one, no vowels. vitchek bee. cool name. might use it in my own story.

Fri Sep 09, 04:26:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Danae's Dad decreed...

It looks to me like Simon has discovered the power of exercising "total responsability". Given the situation, his request for a trial is possibly the most powerful of all possible actions at that moment in time, where "power" in this context roughly means creating of the future of his choice. It works on all scales, from personal (think of Pish) to social (gives the NC-afflicted millions a chance to forgive and to heal) to historical (may put an end to the Equivalents, thus ultimately saving humanity from the wicked that this way comes).

And it works equally well whether or not Simon is TV: If he is, then owning up is his only path to redemption and hence freedom from past deeds. If he isn't, then since TV created Simon in order to escape facing his own responsibility, Simon is powerless in the face of TV's overwhelming legacy. What better way for Simon to reclaim his own life and ultimately his own freedom than to assume responsability for TV's actions? It's also deliciously ironic -- the very person that TV changed into in order to escape from justice is the very person who will bring him to justice. (Well, at least to bring him before the law, which as we all know is a poor approximation to justice, but the best we have so far...)

Veri soup: ixbojlm = I expo jail 'em = Thanks to me, they go into the clink on public display.

Fri Sep 09, 04:44:00 AM EDT  
Blogger indrax decreed...

CBB: I just read your philosphical post from last episode and I have to ask: Are you a Unitarian Universalist?
I suspected before that you might have similar opinions, but that comment pretty much nailed it. Hell, that comment could pass as a sermon.

And another note on this episode:
In the last scene, I got the feeling I get when I've made some terrible mistake.
You induced a physiological panic response by describing the Queen's court. That is skill.

Fri Sep 09, 05:32:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Maria hønen decreed...

I truely love this story and am very sad that it is coming to - but what an end! What defines a human being body or soul.

As much as I love Simon he is still the body of Teron who has caused all that pain and I feel proud that he reckonize that. It was Teron that decided to have his own memory erased - thereby creating Simon. But can that excuse him? As time passes he should regain all of his memories right? What if he finds that his reasoning for creating the Kamari Horror seemes ok (for some warped reason that I trust CBB could make plausible) and chooses to do it all again?

I am looking forward to see how this predicament is solved - 'cause I am sure none of us want to see him hang - he is just too nice.

Fri Sep 09, 05:57:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

Awesome, as usual. The story is taking a lot of twists and turns, though some might be anticipated.

Truly excellent story telling, Mr. CBB. Keep it going!

Would love to see the end of this series, which way CBB would take it to.

Word Veri: jlttq (jilted tequila?)

Fri Sep 09, 06:12:00 AM EDT  
Blogger indrax decreed...

See, Mr. Oliver is a character, you'd have to try out for that part. The extra's are unobtrusive to anything the director might want t do, because anybody can be an extra. Especially in this universe, are there any little people in the audience? (and by that I mean Chimpanzees)

I like your analysis. Things like that are why they're still going to be talking about this in 100 years.
Someone should start now on 'The Philosophy of Simon of Space' so it's ready for the endcap at Barnes&Noble when the movie comes out.

Are there any philosophy professors in the audience?

Fri Sep 09, 06:12:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Danae's Dad decreed...

What I'm curious about is, what was the important lesson that Jeremiah wanted Simon to learn waiting in the queue for days?

Almost certainly the people around him would have discovered who he was, one way or another. Then, in facing them, he would have learned something about the reality of the Kamari Horror's effect on people, and perhaps learned what the galaxy really needed him to do.

Perhaps it turns out that there is something more important than healing the damaged. Perhaps the vast harm wrought by the NC actually serves to avert a greater harm. Or perhaps Simon simply has to fully come to terms with his own fallability and insignificance, in order to balance his power (which he has in spades due to his unique position and companions) with humility.

For certainly, on Simon's actions hinge the success of the human executives' project, otherwise Jeremiah wouldn't be with him. Simon has gradually but inevitably accumulated a degree of arrogance as he has discovered how central he is to the affairs of the galaxy. His tencency to rail against the arrogance of the human executives is certainly a dead give-away of this, and also that he is unaware of his own arrogance, otherwise he wouldn't turn his judgement on Jeremiah so readily.

Abandoning his arrogance and surrendering fully to the world of consequences would be a bit like returning to his innocent state in the hospital, but with knowledge. Something like the Zen thing... going though the whole tumultuous and elusive quest for enlightenment, only to finally achieve it when you realise that it was always there at the start, and all you really needed was the ability to recognise the divinity in your own ordinaryness.

So... has Utopia's rash impatiance spoiled things, and does Simon now face his great challenge not fully equipped? Will he become a tragic hero as a result, and ultimately fail because he did not overcome his essential flaw? Or will he rise to the occasion, as it appears he may have in requesting to be put on trial? Or is that just an extension of TV's enormous ego trip? Is that what is contained in the lesson with the greedy, legless beggar?

Keep up the excellent work, CBB!

Fri Sep 09, 07:10:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Sith Snoopy decreed...

Amazing. :)

Wonder if this is what Jeremiah was hoping Simon would do?

Wow. Poor Simon!

Fri Sep 09, 07:13:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Dave decreed...

Indrax, whoops, my bad bud!

Yes, I believe a PREQUEL to this story would ROCK!

One more thing.

If this were made into a movie, who would YOU see playing Simon?

For me, maybe it'd be John Cusack, as he's always got that "lost" look *LOL*

OR.... Kevin Spacey (Remember K-PAX?)

Word blurb:dksmwlpr (no idea)

Fri Sep 09, 07:50:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Jim decreed...

The bs said:
A comparison: If Hitler (tired I know) had got a bump on the noggin when his bunker collapsed decided his name was 'Herman' and spent the next few months wandering the German country side, giving aid to the wounded, helping people out and generally being a stand up fellow, would questions of Herman's acts vs Hitler's acts even arise?

Dude! You've just invoked Godwins Law! I guess that means that SoS really has reached the end!

On a side note: what a cool idea for a story! "Herman of the Reich!"

Of course, he would have been recognized very quickly, so it would probably be hard to make plausible!

Fri Sep 09, 08:28:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Jim decreed...

Dave said:

For me, maybe it'd be John Cusack, as he's always got that "lost" look *LOL*

We've had this discussion in the past ...

Simon is asian!

Fri Sep 09, 08:32:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Simon (of not space) decreed...

OK, I've finally gotten this thing sussed out.

Simon goes on trial as Terron Volmash and then just before a verdict comes down, Jeremiah unzips himself and out steps Blighton from his greatest costume ruse to date! He's been masterminding the whole thing.


Glory (Vera) wakes up from inside her little stasis bubble, yawns, scratches herself, farts and goes into the washroom only to find Simon in there already, taking a shower. It was all just a dream.

You know I'm right.

Word Veri Fun: nkimsze
When asked who ate the last doughnut.
"In Kim, see?"

Fri Sep 09, 08:35:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Phy decreed...

Another in the pantheon of significant utterances... Has anyone other than Simon ever said "Mother of love!" before? Or is the QoS the first?

wv: uzlni. Use Lenny. It's a dessert topping and a floor wax.

Fri Sep 09, 11:13:00 AM EDT  
Blogger indrax decreed...

For Simon you need an actor with great range, who can be an animal and a king. You need to handle comedy and seriosu drame in the same line, with the same face.

Jim Carey

He'd need makeup or CGI, but given these settings that's hardly an issue.
But I doubt you could get him for a miniseries, which is where I'd prefer this to go. Too much would be cut for a movie, or even a trilogy.
Probably couldn't afford him anyway.

Realisticly, I'd want a good but unknown actor. Someone with no history.

For Jeremiah: Christopher Walken?

Fri Sep 09, 11:38:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

re: The BS. reality vs. the court

First, Simon doesn't look like Terron Volmash due to cosmetic surgery. When he hands the weapon to the Queen she has no idea who he is. If Simon looked like Terron he most likely would have been killed long before now.

On top of that it is the Queens duty to grant Simon whatever he wishes. Remember the story from the previous chapter of a past Queen:

"The Queen of Space is the devoted servant of Solarkind. She can refuse no request."

"What if the request is not reasonable?"

"Then she can only hope to dissuade the requester, or that his peers do. She is otherwise at his mercy, but in the long history of this tradition the Queen has never been abused. It is understood that none come before her lightly."

"That's not true," interjected Utopia hotly. "Sigh Pi-Lion dragged Her Majesty to Ninurta and made her eat beetles to show her how terrible the conditions were in the Fallen Megalopolis of Camp Andrew."

"The Queen did not object," argued Jeremiah.

"She died from sepsis," Utopia pointed out.

re: actors/actresses

Greskin Mile - John Goodman... ever since the line "You can be ready for gate-off before noon, as sure as sandwiches. Is your harness snug there, dude?" from Have Gun, Will Travel all I could think of was John Goodman from The Big Lebowski.


Fri Sep 09, 12:01:00 PM EDT  
Blogger indrax decreed...

Leo, Your cropped the best part!
"She died from sepsis," Utopia pointed out.

"Appropriate, given the circumstances," he claimed.

and yea, John Goodman.

Fri Sep 09, 12:32:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

I would take a part as a legless person on the side of the road. Just to be able to say "Look it's me!!!!"

Or better yet one of the people from the hospital. I'll lay in a bed a twitch a little.

I think if it did become a movie and actors read it they would all run for the chance to be simon no matter what part of the country they are from.
and just as long as simon isn't played by Ben Affleck cause all his recent movies seem to be flops.
we should be ok.


word veri- hardla
I don't think i should play with this one. it did a good job on it's own.

Fri Sep 09, 12:37:00 PM EDT  
Blogger indrax decreed...

Typo in Amalasthuna:
"I thought we lost her the ship exploded"

Fri Sep 09, 12:44:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous sheik yerbouti decreed...

Also, DD... I don't think "something wicked" refers to the Equivalents. They're in the Neighborhood and known, whereas SW is thousands of light-years away and yet to be encountered.

Fri Sep 09, 01:40:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous delirium of disorder decreed...

Yes Your Royal Bootiness, based on the past few episodes we now know SW cannot be the Equivalents (we really can’t know anything for certain in science fiction world still unfolding, but as usual, I digress)

So what is something wicked coming this way?

Your mother-in-law come to visit for three weeks?

A collection of Fartles and the QoS greatest "hits" that have gathered on the edge space and now waft towards our hero gagging everything in its path? THAT is a Nightmare Canon?

Perhaps the Staypuff Marshmallow Man?

Maybe an EMP of such huge magnitude it wipes out the Executives, if that can even happen.

A broadcast from the ’39 Olympics.

Reruns of Little House on the Prairie?

Any guesses? Need to read back and find that one liner of foreshadowing CBB is so fond of.

Investigatively yours,

veri word fun: xvtkbjgw
(phony) documents uncovered by CBS show positively that President Bush is a communist. "X-vet KBJG W". The KBJG being the Junior KGB.

Fri Sep 09, 02:18:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous sheik yerbouti decreed...

72-hour marathon of Highway to Heaven, followed by a director's-cut showing of Ishtar, with commentary by Alan Alda.

Oh, and I was actually talking to DD (Danae's Dad), who postulated the above in a recent post on this episode. Not DoD.

Quote of the (yester)day from CBB:

(There are smells in SOS, but they are clearly tertiary.)

I can't tell you how relieved I am to hear that. Besides, if this *did* become a movie, the director would probably cut a lot of the farts.

*ducks and runs*

word veri: scsdli
Sarcastic deli. Would you like some Gilbert Gottfried with that Reuben?
(just say no)

Fri Sep 09, 02:43:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Edmund decreed...

Simon of Space is turning into Der Zauberberg, with all this philosophizing and bodily functions! And it may end up being just as long if CBB continues apace.

I'm still hoping for the scenario where Jeremiah and Simon broadcast the Ultimate Ecstacy from Risa using the NC and everybody lives happily ever after, but I'm guessing Simon's fate is more like Hans Castorp's.

word veri fun: utclk - UT Clock - will Simon pull a Charles Whitman and shoot up his trial?

Fri Sep 09, 02:58:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous argan0n decreed...


Wonderful chapter & thanks for the post in the previous chapter. I envy you your country location.

Isn't it odd that I was sufering a bout of the "gas" (from good chili mind you) when I was reading this last night? Irony's run deep.
The screen the QoS went behind was a great prop to add; smacked of the one in "The Golden Child".

Head meet Nail. With that line I kept thinking of Goodman's character from The Big Lebowski too. Perhaps a bit of his Character from "O' Brother..." for good measure.

I want more info on the Equivalants soon. Didn't the Exec's see that permutation of human evolution comming?
What made Drago Tesla Zoran's view of things so correct in the first place when he set about to take care of the human race via the Exec's? Still seems a bit too "deus ex machina" if you will.
Don't get me wrong: I love the Exec's, and how CBB has molded their place into things. I wish we'd a few running thing on this planet right now. But we get to know so very little about Zoran... perhaps that's best though.

txvgjf: Texas Veggie Jiff, the new kind of peanut spread!

Fri Sep 09, 03:28:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous delirium of disorder decreed...

Booty of Sheiker Heights -

Ah dern.

Got caught by the proverbial wave-back-at-hot-chick-who’s-really-smiling-at-her-boyfriend-behind-you.

We know at least one person who would ‘buy the world a Coke and teach it Harmony’ if they held the power of the NC. And Edmund here would broadcast the Emmanuelle in Space series.

What would everyone else do?

For starters I would broadcast each of my favorite sports teams winning their relative championship by beating their rivals. Then the feeling of walking in a new pair of sneakers, after hearing from an old friend, leaving work and headed out on a two-week vacation. And throw in the complete Bill Murray collection on DVD. That’s Universal. There would be a smile for everyone they meet.

A special broadcast would be sent to all Yankee and Red Sox fans that each team never really existed so that they would all just shut up.

(if this were not tongue in cheek there would be some Hurricane Relief, Word Peace, an end to Poverty, and the complete Bill Murray Collection on DVD. Then I suppose we would watch Entropy come calling and ruin all the best-laid plans. Cursed Thermodynamics.)

Another scene/answer I’d like to see that may have nothing to do with the story: the Executives currently seem to operate like a collective, but Jeremiah obviously pulls weight based the responses at the gate ( You’re a Five! ). Who’s in charge of these crazy things? Is Jeremiah a lackey or like the James Bond of Executives? He sure is popular in prominent circles.

Bored on a Friday,

Veri word fun: htbjuxx
I’ll keep this PC.
You’ve always been a bad one with mixed metaphors and getting cliché’s wrong, wo when describing the feeling you get watching the guy at lunch room win his bet by eating everything off everyone else at the table’s tray, mixed into one disgusting glop: “heed b jecks” (ie you meant to say the “he be gee bees”)

Fri Sep 09, 03:34:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...


If we Yankeers want to fret over the Red Soxs let us at least there are 2 teams that can play real



word veri- doosh
Don't tink i shoult touch that one. HUMMM???

Fri Sep 09, 03:52:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

sorry, Spelling messed up
It's fryday :)

Fri Sep 09, 03:59:00 PM EDT  
Blogger indrax decreed...

Zoran got it so right because he had the power to destroy a star, but chose instead to make people that are smarter than him.
They likewise are choosing to use a system (diverse evolution) that is smarter than them.
It is possible that evolution will in turn produce something even smarter. (either smarter than the execs, or smart enough to find the perfect solution)

Zoran wasn't perfect though, one of his creations betrayed him.

Fri Sep 09, 08:04:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

Hmmm If I had the power of the NC.
Well if I was Simon I'd broacast my feelings of remorse and guilt about what the other-me did. Then again, that'd just make everyone feel bad & may get me into deeper poo-poo.

I guess *I* would just try to find a Buddha and brodcast the feeling of Enlightenment... I'm a cheater I guess.

indrax: Good points. I didn't rate the merit of his work against the other possible choices he could've made & the mistakes that were. The first mention of him made me feel a mix of "pay no heed to the man behind the curtain" & the worry of what our modern, mypoic scientists sometimes create not thinking of it's misuse... Then again that's what Zoran was trying to protect against -- misuse.

Fri Sep 09, 08:24:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

No story has given me goosebumps as i read it like the ones I have now since The Darth Side's final chapter. This is truely a testament to the skills of their author. I can oly expect to get used to the feeling as Simon of Space draws to its conclusion.

Fri Sep 09, 09:41:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Mark decreed...

This was indeed a great chapter. I never thought my vacation would get in the way of keeping up with SoS. I'm caught up now, though, and vacation ends soon.

Great post, and powerful indeed. I think SoS could be made into movies in a trilogy. However, before we go there, I think a novelization is in order. Sure, CBB has admitted that he wrote it with a movie in mind, but many bestsellers obviously were written that way. The difference between a lot of those (Crichton, for example) is that they are written in third-person. SoS is in first-person, so it would make an even better novel than those.

Most folks agree Jackson did a good job with LOTR in only three movies. Sure, a lot was left out, but that's the nature of epics being made into movies.

CBB, you make us think, you move us, and you throw in enough sci-fi gadgetry and space scenes to keep our inner nerds entertained. It's just great stuff.

Fri Sep 09, 10:18:00 PM EDT  
Blogger J. Francis Lehman decreed...

I'll agree that something feels wrong about all this. We're being led into the conclusion that Simon will be thrown to the wolves for Terron's crimes, but I'm not convinced it's going to work out that way.

All of you wondering at the good shiek's monker need to click here.

VeriWord: fpswzaka


...feet per second was also known as..?

Fri Sep 09, 11:31:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Teddy decreed...

DoD: get ahold of a child, a young child, no more than four. take the kid on a field day in Maja, just get that childish sense of wonder going nuts, all out. then blast that sense of wonder to the masses. i think everybody ought to have that.

by the way, J. Francis Lehman, Feet Per Second was also known as Rate of Ascent. i hold a private pilot's cert, i know these things. by the way, CBB, excellent job w/ most of the flight stuff, regarding the Neago. a few nitpicks: any important building, like, ah, i dunno, the citadel of the recovery, or the white house, you can't land on their lawn without express permission regarding your registration number, name of pilot, date and time of landing, nature of your business, any of that. but, meh, simon's filthy rich with a pack of lawyers that really know stuff from Stuff (i usually use different words there, but they still start with s) and he's got Greskin Mile (i haven't even seen Big Lebowski, but i still think John Goodman would rock in that position) too! Neighborhood Aviation Administration be damned, Captain Ting will do what he pleases! and captain ting, by the way, how about sean connery. the character is kind of half James Bond and half Professor Jones Senior, and he'd be perfect. and that's proof that i read way too fast as well, cause i've completely missed out on most of the descriptions of the people. i prefer the sweeping landscapes and panoramas and the intricate details of the storytelling, both backstory and central plotlines of the tale. i have no capacity to attach names to faces in my mind, so in real life i remember faces and on paper and internet i remember names.


word veri: soynt. easy. charlton heston talks too fast. "Soyn't Green's People!"

Sat Sep 10, 01:48:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Sith Snoopy decreed...

If I had the nightmare cannon... and assuming we can configure it to transmit pleasure instead of pain...

I would go back to Palau, scuba dive in the 82 degree Fahrenheit water, on a clear day when the sunlight is streaming down into the water, and do drift dives along a wall at 60 feet. I'd also have one of those underwater music players, where it transmits the music through your jaw or something. [Yes, they have those.] And I'd be playing these songs:

1. Porcelain, by Moby
2. Into the Blue, by Moby
3. Voices, by Dario Gand
4. Everloving, by Moby
5. Soak Up The Sun, by Sheryl Crow

If the universe wasn't in a good mood after all of that, well... oh, well. :)

Sat Sep 10, 02:30:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous makita decreed...

hmmm...just checked the TOC, and looks like the next chapter's name is posted...could we be getting a weekend post???

Sat Sep 10, 02:44:00 PM EDT  
Blogger indrax decreed...

If I had the nightmare cannon, I would tell it to use a Human Executive as input, and let the Neighborhood know what they go through just watching us.

Might improve relations a bit.

Fifty Million Hours.

Sat Sep 10, 03:07:00 PM EDT  
Blogger sleeperg decreed...

Excuse me, but I think this is going far to easy towards the trial. I mean, talk about the opportunity for narrative and exposition.

So here goes my major speculation - TV did not commit the crimes of which he is accused. Let's think now, we have Fellcorp meds, which have the capability of altering one's consciousness, which could be used to perpetuate the lie that TV did it all.

Now, things that don't add up. Why would TV design a maze that responded to him and then populate it with a robotic monster over which he has no control (tore your leg off, did he? Hmmmm)? On his way to talk to QoS but really can't remember why (mind wiped twice?). He obviously didn't make it, as he was not recognized. Jerry goes through this protracted exposition at the school, etc., all to convince Simon/TV that he is responsible for the Kamari horror.

Brother Phi tells Simon that he did not create the NC but probably did it with the assistance of the Equivalents, whose mission seems to be to recreate the Secret Math and, presumably, throw off the yoke of the executives and QoS.

What better way to consolidate their power base than to smear the Equivalents by allegedly making them part of the author of the Horror? Qos and Executives discredit and have an opportunity to destroy the Equivalents. Even if the NC destroyed the latest crop of Executive children, so what? Jerry does not hesitate to kill in furtherance of his mission. So this could be part of some QoS/Executive plot to frame Simon/TV - one so successful that even he believes it.

You will have to excuse me now. I need to place my tinfoil hat on. Major League Baseball satellites are spying on me.

word veri: yxrqwcuz

YX Reverse Coordinates

Sat Sep 10, 03:59:00 PM EDT  
Blogger indrax decreed...

Jerry does not hesitate to kill in furtherance of his mission.

What story have you been reading?

Sat Sep 10, 05:02:00 PM EDT  
Blogger sleeperg decreed...


What story have I been reading?

Oh, I dunno....
The one in which Jeremiah kills Monkey
The one in which Jeremiah kills an entire squad of Citadel guards, one by one when entering the maze.

Ah say, keep up; ah say, keep up son. Am I moving too fast for you?

Sat Sep 10, 05:19:00 PM EDT  
Blogger indrax decreed...

Is there anyone he could not have killed with a thought?
How many people have hindered his missions?

He does not kill unless he has to.

He is an expert in hesitation.

Sat Sep 10, 05:27:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous sheik yerbouti decreed...

Not hesitation... patience.

BTW, my Captain Ting would be that guy from the Red Stripe lager commercials. Every time he did something particularly cool or came through a dangerous situation, he could chug a Red Stripe, mug for the camera, and yell "Hooray, beer!"

...and oddly enough, I'm not even a Zappa fan (never heard his stuff). I just thought the name was too good not to use.

word veri: ckkdtt
Sounds like a couple of kids playing at automatic weapons.

Sat Sep 10, 09:30:00 PM EDT  
Blogger indrax decreed...

On the subject of is Volmash vs. WAS Volmash, I think that the title of the next post indicates that the trial will find that he IS not Volmash.

It could be read differently.

My veriword:

Sat Sep 10, 09:57:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Mark decreed...

Somebody asked a few posts back where the word verification games started. I thought maybe sanna had a hand in it, but I've been on vacation and just now had a chance to go back and look. I don't know if it's been done elsewhere, but the first mention of it here was after the Minotaur post. Sanna (as anonymous) said that some of them were hard to read. I agreed, then later mentioned that I got "tvmsg" as a word ver (but didn't expand on it possibly meaning Terron Volmash Message). Under comments for the same post, anonymous(signed sm) typed out the word ver "Dentyinn."

Teddy and Edmund followed soon after, and a phenomenon was born.

word ver: diohqvpl
Dio - high quality vitriol playlist.

Sun Sep 11, 10:16:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Edmund decreed...


Don't forget that Blighton thought Jeremiah killed Jia, too.

Sun Sep 11, 10:50:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous decreed...

I was thinkin all weekend that there was going to be a post brought up 'cause the the chapter name was posted.
But, it's way ok I will have something to due once I go to work

veri word- inshare

The new and improved ensure more vites and a fesh new taste Inshare what all people drink.

Sun Sep 11, 10:41:00 PM EDT  

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