So, I never gave a proper update when I put ‘Apocrypha’ online 2 weeks ago. Why? Cause I’m a big fucking asshole, that’s why. (Actually, it’s cause I didn’t get my edits finished and it uploaded until nearly 1am on a school night and I went to bed without ever making the post. Then I forgot about. Sooo, eat it.)
But, because I’m a swell son of a bitch, I decided to make that post now. And tell you all a little bit about the story’s background while I’m at it. Cause that seems like the cool thing to do.
‘Apocrypha’ began as two separate story ideas that I jammed together into one. The first was ‘What if it was mankind’s purpose to destroy the earth rather than save it?” and the second was “Humans (organic life) find it relatively simple to create machines & computers (inorganic life). Does the opposite apply? Would a machine find it easier to create an animal rather than another machine?”. Then I took those two ideas, combined them together, and gave them a MASSIVE dose of religious undertones (if you didn’t pick up on that, look up what the word ‘apocrypha’ means). As for the sciency stuff, some of it I learned along the way (like Von Neumann Probes), some of it I already knew (like the Fermi Paradox), and some of it I plain made the fuck up (like Speaking in Tongues).
Honestly, I found it funny that no one had ever thought of the whole “speaking in tongues” thing before (or, at least, no one has to my knowledge). I’ve read & watched a lot of science fiction over the years and having lots of alien species communicate seamlessly with one another is an issue that comes up frequently. It was also one that I had to mull over for a while, too, since I knew there’d be scientists from all over the world during First Contact. Why would The Machine know English and not German or Mandarin or Swahili? Or what if he did? How would he communicate those languages all at once? And this is when you learn to never be satisfied with your first idea. Cause my original idea was to have The Machine learn all of the Earth’s languages during the 3 days between the cowboy event and the scientist summit. Then it could just speak different sentences to different people as needed. The problem there was still the cowboy event. How would it say “This is awkward” to the cowboys? I debated deleting the line, but it just had too much weight. It was such a funny line for such an epic moment, it seemed wrong to remove it cause I was being lazy and couldn’t think of a better solution to my problem. So, I thought about it some more and realized The Machine shouldn’t even speak in language. If it’s so advanced, why is it using just simple, auditory syllables strung together into words & sentences? It should speak almost psychically, in bursts of thought that are simply understood or translated by the recipient. This, of course, would mean it would be speaking not just every language on earth at once, but every language in the universe at once since any animal capable of thought would be capable of understanding The Machine. Really, I never got into it, but technically The Machine could speak dog and dolphin and llama, too.
So, there you go. That’s how much thought went into just that little segment of the story. Honestly, in a lot of ways, ‘Apocrypha’ was harder to write than ‘A Kind of Drug’. All those technical bells and whistles required a TON of forethought, not to mention properly mixing them all together to get a story and not just a jumbled mess of information & ideas. And this has just been all the technical crap. I mean, none of this even gets into the characters of Lou & Eden. Or the religious subtext. Or that I was pissed that there’s currently a brilliant comic book being published called ‘Saga’ (cause that’s what I really wanted to name this story before I chose ‘Apocrypha’).
And I’m tired now. And this post is excessively long. So, I’m going to go now. Till next time. Cheers.
So, Heartlessness II is up and all that jazz. Though this post is about 12 hours late. This is what happens when all the pre-work you do on your website the night before doesn't save (for whatever fucking reason) and then you wake up in the morning to find you have to do it all over again. This can be a problem when you have things like, oh, a job. So, needless to say, things did not go according to plan with the update this morning. These errors have now all been corrected.
Anywho, today's update is my way of trying to speed things along a little. Personally, I didn't want to write a book like Cormack McCarthy's The Road. Mostly because it's already been written. So, while I did play with the idea of really getting into the gritty, every day emotional battle that was this new world, I opted not to. I felt there was enough going on with the story that it was unnecessary. Also, I decided that it wouldn't really make a whole lot of freaking sense for the narrator to pore over page after page of serious emotional detail after some of the most trying experiences of his life.