The good folks of Planet Earth are presently being granted a sneak peak at Chapters Seven and Eight of SILVER BROWN through something they tell me is called Twitter, at a rate of one page a day. These two chapters are roughly equal in length, and constitute the first part of a distinct four-chapter story arc. The second part will come later in the year.
This particular story arc is one of few in the entire book that actually has its own title. Since it’s a depiction of the first genuine test of Florys MacNab’s mettle as a cyberwitch, it is (somewhat aptly) entitled The Final Exam.
A merrie solstice and happy new year to you and yours. The days will get longer from today until midsummer; here’s hoping they get brighter too. In the spirit of the season, I gift you a little something to help bring about the brightening of those days. Available for download now is a brand-spankin’ new edition of the SILVER BROWN e-book – an edition that encompasses the novel’s entire first act. Compared to the previous edition, this new issue includes two freshly-minted chapters, and several additional graphical enhancements.
My original idea for SILVER BROWN was that it would be a trilogy. I later scrapped that idea, though. Trilogies are great when they’re done well, but not all trilogies are created equal. Some of them kick things off the right way with a strong first installment, but then lose their way and decline in quality with the second and third installments. The Matrix or Ally Condie’s Matched come to mind. So instead of committing to the daunting task of writing a trilogy, I decided instead to compose SILVER BROWN as a single volume in three acts – a narrative structure somewhat comparable to the one George Orwell used in Nineteen Eighty-Four. This first act has an identifiable climatic moment with a falling action serving as a lead-in to the second act. At the same time, not enough loose ends are tied up by the end of it to make it a complete novel in and of itself.
This is probably the last version of the e-book I will publish for at least a year. The narrative starts to take on a noticeably different tone after Chapter Eighteen, delving into topics like the deeper mythology of the Environment, the complicated relationship between the Union and SAAZMOL and the current status of Florys’ father. These are aspects of the story I don’t want to elaborate on publicly just yet. But I think there’s enough here in the first act to get people’s appetites whetted, so I’ll just leave it at that. Oh, and did I mention it’s free? Yeah, I’m letting people download and read this at no charge, ’cause I rock like that.
Click or tap on the book cover below to be taken to the download page. When you get to the download page there’s another book cover there you have to tapclick on to download the actual book. Think of it as the three gates you have to pass through to get to the Southern Oracle. Except there’s only two, and there’s no risk of bodily injury involved in passing through either of those gates. At least I bloody well hope not.
A famous Zen master (can’t remember if it was Thich Nhat Hahn or not, but it most likely wasn’t) once described the Twitterverse (or something similar to it; the abnormal behaviour found on social media actually predates it by millennia) as an ocean full of gasoline. A collective monkey mind which the smallest spark will cause to violently explode. My former boss possessed such a monkey mind. I once casually described it in such terms to the executive assistant du jour. When the boss found out what I said, she went right ahead and proved my point in plain view of me, completely failing to notice I had proven it. How could she notice? She never had the beginner’s mind to notice such things. From her perspective, she was the stable genius who was always right, and I was always wrong. Because she went to Harvard, and I didn’t. The executive assistant (who also didn’t go to Harvard) quit in disgust a few weeks later upon realizing I was right.
Years later, she who attained Eternal and Everlasting Rightness during her time at Harvard went wrong. Very wrong. As in, attempted murder wrong. Going insane and stabbing a dude doesn’t fit any definition of Rightness that either I or the Crown are aware of. A couple of weeks before The Incident, she spoke to me on the phone. One final time. With a tone of voice that sounded very loving and motherly, she told me I had a “brilliant mind” and that she was proud of me. Make of that whatever you will. For me, it felt like a Luke-unmasking-Vader moment with a faint tinge of Lovecraft to it…
Since I obviously have plenty of practical experience dealing with monkey minds, I like to think I’ve learned a thing or two over the years about channeling their energy towards more beneficial ends. In many ways, the outrage culture makes the Sea of Tweet ideal waters for the maiden voyages of new chapters. If a creative work of any sort can survive a perilous trek across the great ocean of gasoline, then she’s seaworthy and can be brought to port.
Chapters Five and Six of SILVER BROWN have had their maiden voyages already. Not only were there no devastating explosions to speak of, but I actually got some positive feedback to boot. Having passed the first test, these chapters shall now be archived at a rate of one page a day. On a platform with a significantly less restrictive character limit, allowing for the massive herds of happy-clappy types native to the area to pen their famously impassioned rants detailing why this author is assured of eternal damnation. In either title case or all caps. With the mandatory quota of at least three Biblical citations and a non sequitur reference to some “socialist” politician that apparently ruined their life. That platform being the Zuckerberg Tabernacle, of course. A late show is presently afoot there, for the benefit of those who missed the early show. Click or tap on Zuck’s head below to watch. The price of admission is your soul. Because it’s Facebook.