The Journey of SILVER BROWN

Out With The Old

Hey, it’s a new decade. Thank the Dagda. The Weenie Teenies (which I personally think is a catchier and more befitting name than the Two Thousand and Tens, so I’m just going to go with that) will probably go down in history as the worst decade humanity has seen since the 1940s. So I’m glad that’s all over with. Sure, it was a decade that saw vinyl LPs come back from the dead. That was the shit! But then there was a shitload of other shit that was as shitty as all shit. Hopefully this new decade will bring more shit that’s cool, like the aforementioned second coming of the long-playing record. May these Twenties be twenty percent as roaring as the last ones, so they don’t end as badly.


If this reminds you of someone, you’re officially not going crazy.


In this spirit of dispensing with the old and embracing the new, I’ve decided to prune a couple of characters out of SILVER BROWN entirely. There was a scene in one of the early drafts where my main character wakes up in the offices of one of the most powerful cyberwarlocks in Sector India. There, the witch Florys MacNab is approached by this warlock’s man Friday – an eight-year-old boy known only as The Kid.

The Kid grew from an intellectual seed that was planted in my brain by an Ojibwe elder from an ancient land we now call Minnesota, by way of a book he wrote I once burrowed from the library. He would tell me of a forgotten yesteryear well before there was any such thing as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, when the Ojibwe did not bestow names upon their children at birth. In those days, it was an ingrained part of the culture and tradition that a name be thought of as something one had to earn. Many kids didn’t earn those names until they were eight or nine years old. Some not even until puberty, or later. But finally doing something to earn a name was one of the most important rites of passage in a child’s life.

A few of the customs observed by the Society of Wheel Turners in SILVER BROWN invoke this bygone Ojibwe tradition to a certain extent. In the early drafts, young Wheel Turners in training were literally nameless. Hence, the reason why The Kid was just The Kid, and nothing else. I eventually had to dispense with The Kid entirely, because his sole function in the story was to reveal exhibition that had already been revealed. But the tradition he embodied lives on, albeit in a modified form. In the current draft, children born into the Society receive a totem from their council of directors when they pass a strenuous series of cybermagickal aptitude tests. The warlock of Sector India I mentioned earlier is known solely by his totem. His legal name is the one registered with SAAZMOL, which is why he doesn’t use it. He is instead addressed by his contemporaries as Lord Pukerabbit. There’s a whole explanation of the hidden meaning behind that appellation, but I won’t get into that here and now.

There was another character I had to get rid of when he ultimately proved superfluous. A utility program called Dunsmure the Bird, inspired by watching too many videos on YouTube like this:



I initially threw Dunsmure the Bird in the story to serve as a sidekick for Elmýr Garfield. In later drafts, Elmýr Garfield would gain the ability to shapeshift, his new powers reducing Dunsmure the Bird to a Jar Jar Binks – an unnecessary character that could easily be removed from the story without the story suffering any, and in fact should be removed. The bird’s jarjarbinksiness wasn’t the only reason I got rid of him, though. There’s already a character in the story who’s a talking ferret; I figured throwing in a talking bird on top of that would be laying it on a tad too thick.

The Journey of SILVER BROWN

The Politics of SILVER BROWN

My apologies for the lack of sexiness in that title. It is no secret that in the current zeitgeist, nothing kills the sexy quite like any mention of politics. But I decided to go with that title anyway, in the hopes that it will be vindicated by the passage of time. Perhaps this blog post will have a sexy title in another era. An era when the free world is not being ruled by a living breathing Oompa Loompa. An Oompa Loompa of a far less intelligent breed than the familiar Wonkan stock, with an even looser grasp of human normalcy than the experimental bastard child of a wolverine and some thousand-fanged entity that hatched from an undigested corn kernel buried deep in a roadside pile of excrement shat by the Dark Lord Cthulhu himself somewhere in the same parallel timestream in the multiverse where everybody’s evil twin lives. A timestream where CEO is an anagram of God, but dog is not.

A couple of weeks ago while I was waiting on baited breath for some special announcement telling us of the grand opening of a fancy new dog park at a certain house on Pennsylvania Avenue, politics as it relates to world-building in fiction spontaneously came up as a discussion topic on the aforementioned Oompa Loompa’s social media network of choice…


twitterconvo

The Journey of SILVER BROWN

The Colossal Esophagi of ₪EYONUGIISHI

The chapters I’m editing now see Florys being taken to the headquarters of Lodge No. 7712 of the Thirteenth Nation Sisterhood, located on the forest island of ₪EYONUGIISHI. There, she is to have a face-to-face discussion with the dreaded and ill-tempered Crocus Acadia, a senior cyberwitch and reigning Vizier-Queen of the Lodge, who (among other things) smokes her cigarettes through a big hole in her neck that she had surgically installed on purpose, and has the ability to rip a person’s head off (“like it was made of paper”, as Florys puts it) using nothing but a stare. I won’t elaborate too much on what the discussion is about. You’ll just have to wait until I eventually publish those chapters to learn more about that. I more so wanted to highlight ₪EYONUGIISHI itself and what a freakishly surreal place it is.

In addition to the myriad of booby traps on the island that were put there to deter outsiders (which include ravenous flesh-eating beetles that only experienced Sisters know how to tame and trees that excrete highly corrosive sap when touched), the entrance to the Lodge headquarters is located in an impossible-to-find spot, inside a tool shed in the middle of a meadow…


DSCN1750
Something like this one, except with different graffiti.

The meadow is a wandering meadow – a special type of program devised by the Sisterhood that alters its own coordinates daily. It could be on one side of the island one day and the other side the next day, the only constant being that it’s always on the island somewhere. Its outward appearance is merely a diversion; it’s not really a tool shed. It’s actually an elevator. A living elevator.


8Pgul


From its walls it emits a substance closely resembling spider silk. This silk accumulates into a wad roughly the size of a small horse every two hours or so, which sits neatly atop an orifice in the dead centre of the floor. Once the Entity has scanned a Sister’s fingerprints and verified that she is worthy to enter the Lodge headquarters, the Sister gets inside the tool shed and puts the wad on, as if it was a fur coat. The Entity then swallows the wad whole down the orifice, with her inside.

The Entity has several other esophagi aside from the main one, as well as several anal openings that provide a way out of the Lodge headquarters. Some of the other esophagi are comparatively pleasant compared to the main one. But Florys doesn’t care about any of that. She hates all these elevators, and always complains to her Aunt Jennifer whenever she has to ride in one. She would prefer an elevator with an impeccably dressed attendant, a string quartet and a fully-stocked champagne bar.