Monday, August 18, 2008

Progress Report on Joe

I just posted the 19th chapter of my novel, Joe the Control Room Guy, which as you may have heard is a kind of high-tech fairy tale about "an ordinary guy in an extraordinary place" - as GKC puts it.

Just in case you are scared of the technology, or perhaps the Catholicism (nah, it couldn't be the length that's frightening you!) I have convinced the author to give you a taste here...

[Where we are: Joe is the new guy; he's been there two weeks now. Andy, a good worker but perennial trickster, is training him today. Both of them got in to work before Jeff, their supervisor, who loves practical jokes...]

“Hey Andy – look, here comes Jeff.”
“Oh, yeah? Let’s see... what can we do? How about I hide in the storage closet?”
“That won’t work, Andy – he’s sure to spot your cycle. And my car – so I can’t hide either. Besides we don’t want him to panic...”
“Yeah.... I know!” He ran into the storage closet and came out with a videotape. “Production left this one here a long time ago – we found it was bad, and they just ran off another for us.” He teased the tape out of the cartridge, and began pulling it out. “Now, come over here, to the encoder...”
In just a few seconds, Joe, the encoder, and the chair was thoroughly entwined in the tape.
“Awesome...” Andy said, stepping back. “I wish I had a camera. Now you just whimper – tell him Traffic dropped off an emergency re-encode – I’ll be in the computer room with the clipboard...”
“Got it,” Joe mumbled from within the web of tape.

“... and I told Al I’d cover. I didn’t expect to find Joe in already, doing the chores,” Joe heard Andy say as the Computer Room door opened. “So I thought I’d just check over his work.”
“That’s fine, Andy,” Jeff said, following behind him. “But why isn’t he with you?” Then he saw Joe. “Oh my God, Joe! What on earth?”
“Uh... I think I did something wrong.”

Andy, holding the clipboard,is at the far left next to Jeff, their supervisor. Joe is - uh - tied up at the moment, in front of one of the encoders.

For any doctrinal problems, please call the Vatican ASAP. But for more, tune in to Joe the Control Room Guy and find out who dies, who falls in love, who does magic and why(!), where the secret passage leads to, why there are eyes that go back and forth, and why there are Latin quotes up on the big monitoring screens that report the status of hundreds of machines within the cable TV ad insertion system of AC&TG... and - uh - oh yeah! And what the Pope has to do with any of this.

Please Note: No humans were harmed during the writing of this story, or during the drawing of the pictures. We use only stuffed humans. And your lunatic author was that way long before he started work at... uh... but it wasn't called AC&TG. Hee hee!

One more thing: if you are wondering about the availability of the hard cover edition, I will be signing copies as soon as they are ready. If you hear a rumor about who will be publishing them, do let me know. Hee hee. I'm working on the sequel, but can't decide if I should call it "Joe: the Encoder Strikes Back" or "Joe and the Control Room of Secrets" Hee hee. What fun it is.


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