Sunday, October 12, 2008

Three new pictures...

Our poor overworked illustrator has finished three more pictures for chapters 29, 30, and 31 in my novel. Here's one just as a sample:

Here we see our hero's good friend Andy (with the black leather jacket) being tricked by Paul, the master-trickster of the Tech Shop. Yes, Joe (in the blue shirt, he's not through his probation/training period yet) bought a box of DOBS and the Field Techs are happily eating them. He also bought donuts, recalling the famous Sherlock Holmes quote, "It's only goodness that gives extras."

No doubt you would rather that I post more text, or perhaps explanations of the larger matters connected to the story, or perhaps the source code for the transport software that does Subsidiarity, but - er... Anyway, I have to proceed with some care. I still have editing to do, and of course no one is pushing me to do it. (It might be different if I had a publishing deadline to worry about, I don't know.) Please bear in mind that the story is complete - two people have already read it all the way through. There is even a completed short-story sequel, which is also a prequel. (You have to be a computer scientist with strong ontological leanings and sleep on a heap of Tolkien books in order to do such things. Hee hee.) And if you are interested - though I am sure you, like me, would rather be reading Chesterton - there are other stories now under development: the sequel to the Black Hole (a rare edition is available from Loome but you may want to wait until the paperback edition comes out), and a special request for my friends over at ChesterTeens or whatever they are calling themselves now.

But you wanted some Chesterton. I had a bit of a quandary to pick something suitable for this great day, the day of the single greatest discovery in history, when the long-sundered halves of the world were united: as the great naval historian Samuel Eliot Morison wrote, "Not since the birth of Christ has there been a night so full of meaning for the human race." I have previously posted the poem I wrote at 2AM October 12, 1992, which you can find here if you wish to read it. But after some pondering, I found an interesting paragraph which provides the proper Chestertonian vantage point, especially when someone wishes to debate the discovery:
Nobody knows, perhaps, how many people have discovered America. In a very interesting little book of essays from Dublin, called "Old Wine and New," by Conall Cearnach, I have just read the suggestion, which seems not without support, that an Irish missionary discovered it in the Dark Ages. Anyhow, the Mexican Indians had an ancient tradition of a white man in long robes who taught them to offer bread on the altar instead of their customary human sacrifices. But it seems clear that, if so many people did discover America, an even larger number of people must have managed to undiscover America. It does not sound at first sight so very easy a thing to do. I do not mean to insinuate that any splendid distinction, in the style of a statue of Columbus, is due to the man who undiscovered America. Even the verbal formulation of his claim is open to criticism. I suppose the true opposite of discovery must be covery. And it certainly seems that even the claim of Columbus is less colossal than that of a gentleman who should boast that he had covered America. To have hidden the continent from the human race, when once it has been noticed, would seem a secrecy calling for no little art. Nevertheless, I can easily believe that the frontiers of human geographical knowledge have often expanded and contracted like a tide; and the thing which had once been a matter of knowledge only lingered as a legend. That is one of the many reasons for believing in legends. Long before the continent had been discovered and called America, it had been undiscovered and called Atlantis.
[GKC ILN July 22 1922, CW32:411-412]


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