The Bullhorn of SILVER BROWN

Now Playing: Chapters Eleven & Twelve

Chapters Eleven and Twelve of SILVER BROWN are presently being cast into the Twitterverse for the reading pleasure of the good people of Planet Earth. My normal shtick is to tweet these chapters at a rate of one page a day, but I think this time around I’ll do something a little bit different and only do that for Chapter Eleven. Twelve is an offshoot of Eleven, a by-product of the many countless rewrites Eleven underwent. It consists of only two pages, and reads more like an epilogue to Eleven than a chapter in its own right. So I might just tweet Twelve in its entirety in one fell swoop as a grand finale.

These are the first chapters in the book that are narrated by any character other than Florys MacNab. Both are written from the point of view of the story’s villains. To accentuate that point, the narrative styles of each of these chapters are a pronounced departure from Florys’ characteristic vernacular. Chapter Eleven is written in epistolary form, while Twelve has more of a stream-of-consciousness vibe to it. David Wong (a.k.a. Jason Pargin, the former editor of used this technique to great effect in his comic horror masterpiece John Dies at the End, which featured nefarious entities from other dimensions that were introduced to the audience through excerpts from (fictional) textbooks. Some variant of that technique was bound to find its way into my own yarn.

Machinations of the SAAZMOL organization that were only casually alluded to in the earlier chapters are portrayed in all their eldritch unglory at this point in the story. There’s a remote chance these chapters might be high-octane nightmare fuel for some people, but I would opine they’re way less frightening than the current zeitgeist. Compared to the news headlines of any given day in 2020, these chapters are about as scary as the scariest episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.

tenor (13)
Writing these chapters felt like this for me. Or at least a version of this without the unfortunate transphobia. I’ll just leave it at that.


The Journey of SILVER BROWN

Sherman: A So-Informal-That-Clothing-Is-Optional Introduction

I’ve been actively editing the manuscript over the last several weeks, gutting and reconstructing several chapters that I had written months earlier but still had a sliver of some ineffable quality that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. A certain not-yet-ready-for-prime-time quality. I wasn’t quite sure what that quality was before, but now that the chapters in question have been allowed time to breathe, doing the necessary killing of the darlings is a much easier task.

The portion of the book that I’ve revealed to the public so far actually represents a very small percentage of the totality of all that the book is. There are many more characters and wacky adventures to come. One of those characters is called Sherman. He’s a talking ferret – more accurately, a utility program in ferret form, a program capable of running other programs in the Environment. He could hypothetically appear in any form he wants to, given the fluid and malleable nature of the Environment. But a white ferret is his preferred guise, and the only one he really uses. Unless he’s in the mood to change colour. He is Kent Fairholt’s sidekick, confidant, chief science officer, cigar lighter and occasional weapon.

His name is derived from Sherman Avenue, one of the major thoroughfares in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, which for seven years was my hometown. Many characters in the book are named after streets in Hamilton – two other characters, Elmýr Garfield and the aforementioned Mr. Fairholt, were surnamed after the two streets to the immediate east of Sherman Avenue along Main Street. That was actually the part of Hamilton I used to live in, so it’s kind of near and dear to my heart.


I like to link of Sherman as a sort of Google Assistant with fur. He processes whatever request Kent gives him, and always seems to be the expert on every question under the sun. Except that Sherman speaks in an ultra high-speed variant of Morse code expressed in the normal clicking sounds ferrets make. Since this book takes place at a date far off in the future when humanity has long forgotten about Morse code, Sherman’s utterances can only be interpreted and understood by Kent, who has special software installed in the microscopic computer in his brain that translates Sherman’s ferretese into something ordinary humans can readily understand.

Sherman also has a transubstantiation engine in his stomach. Whenever Kent needs something, be it a weapon, some kind of tool, or even just something to munch on, he can just ask Sherman for it. If Sherman feels Kent’s request is honourable and within reason, he uses his stomach to compile whatever it is that Kent needs, and regurgitate it out his mouth. If not, he just gets all lippy with Kent about the merits of his request.

“I refuse to cough up anything with peanuts. You know damn well I have viruses, you bloody twit…”

The transubstantiation engine is not the only program that Sherman can conjure. He is also running a complete and thorough digital replica of Her Honor the Crocus Rupertia, Most Blessed Vicereine of Lodge No. 7714 of the Thirteenth Nation Sisterhood – a veteran cyberwitch of the most erudite disposition, and Elmýr Garfield’s late mother. Crocus Rupertia has a mind of her own, and frequently speaks to Elmýr using Sherman as her medium. I could tell you more about that, but then we’re getting into a whole other character and that’s really the subject of another blog post.

The Bullhorn of SILVER BROWN

The Eclosion of Four New Chapters!


First of all, let me start by wishing you all a very merrie solstice. May all your feasting and orgying this holiday season satisfy the gut and the heart, and may the birth of a new sun usher in a year of happiness and prosperity for you and yours. As my gift to you, it is my pleasure to announce that the long-awaited malmiracle of Antinature has arrived at long last. The literary creature growing inside me has finally undergone the first of many moltings. It now has four new chapters it didn’t have before, and a slightly different cover. It’s been uploaded to this site now, available from the usual download page. I double-dog dare ya to click on that cover.