Friday, March 21, 2008

New Beginning 469

0 Childhood's end

1 Childhood

The Seeding

On October 4, 1957 the Soviet Union launched the first of humanity's machines to reach my realm. Sputnik means "co-traveler" so I hitched a ride and waited 92 days to plummet to Earth on the burning Star of Sputnik exactly 9 months before I was born on October 4, 1958. I entered the developing egg of a random woman and waited while minions, terrified of a primitive tin can in space, scrambled to create ARPA, the organization which would design your web of weapons of war while also giving rise to Gog.

First Blood

mom says that I looked like a monkey when I was born. All arms and legs with a teensy body. It's stuck with me to a degree, but I can't scratch my knees anymore.

I had a hernia which needed to be surgically repaired. Not a big deal, but when the doc mentioned something about the possible dangers of anesthesia in the first year of life, mom took on an insane task. Since crying was painful, she would try to keep me silent until my first birthday.

Present Day

Evil Editor laid the page down on his desk. Excellent opening, he thought. Have to remember to strike the mention of "minions," though. Don't want anyone realizing it's my autobiography.

Opening: the antichrist.....Continuation: McKoala


Evil Editor said...

Unchosen continuations:


Dad says That I'm a one kid poo machine. It was nice when I was born but now, in my second year things have reached the gas mask and smear stage.

I stubbed a toe learning to walk and Dad took on the impossible task of keeping the kitchen cabinets closed so I couldn't spread Ajax, Babbo and Comet all over the floor.

I sleep a lot.

--Dave F.

In retrospect, her use of scotch tape to keep my mouth shut wasn't the best of ideas. The adhesive left me with quite a rash, and I grew extra cranky being force-fed through my nostrils. No wonder I grew up hell-bent on destroying the universe.


Second Blood

she didn't succeed. I bit her hard on that little nipple of hers. Would've gotten the other one, too, but she was faster than I expected.


I looked like a naked mole rat after my surgery. Mom kept me quiet with massive doses of oxycontin.

I looked like Rush Limbaugh after I kicked my drug habit. Exactly five years later I became an editor because I missed all the minions who were terrified of my rejection. I grew massive sideburns so that I wouldn't be mistaken for a radio talk show host.

I use Gog to relieve the itching on my knees. Mom says it's a miracle cure.


Unfortunately my Earth mother didn't realize we communicate through every orifice where I come from, and the hernia just gave me an extra voice. Her effort was valiant, though, and I like to think it's down to me that she's now a world class saxophonist.


Evil Editor said...

0 Childhood's end
1 Childhood

That part does nothing for this, and will make a bad first impression on most readers.

I didn't get the knee-scratching line.

Anonymous said...

This is definitely unusual. Ditto EE's comments. As I love spec fic, I'd have read on a bit, but something needs to happen pretty fast.


EB said...

The knee scratching line puzzled me as well. But then I figured the narrator has become a brain living in a jar or something like that and it all made sense. At least as much sense as the query I think we read for this a few days ago.

Sarah Laurenson said...

This goes with that Quantum Magic query. Same first paragraph.

Yeah, the knee thing lost me, too. I keep picturing some sort of weird disfiguration that makes it impossible to reach.

It's an interesting beginning. Needs a bit of tweaking. On its own, I'd read further. Combined with the query, I wouldn't.

Sarah Laurenson said...

P.S. EE, I didn't mean to put my cont as anon. Forgot to stick my name at the bottom, I guess. Ah well. Wasn't chosen anyway.

Whirlochre said...

I agree with EE that the Childhood headings add nothing.

Ditto the italics.

I can see that this may upset your opening structure, but that first para has to go, in any case. It's confusing and impersonal. It reads like a technical manual - esp the bit about the 'random woman'.

Para 2 is far more interesting, and I would start there if is it was me. I can visualise a kid who looks like a monkey straight away, but not so the 'I' in the first para. Plus - there are jokes. Once you've established your monkey kid, all the technical stuff about the Sputnik from para 1 can follow - and have more meaning. Then you can introduce Gog. I'm sure he/it is important - in which case he deserves more of an opening fanfare than merely being dangled from the end of that faceless 1st para.

I agree with WW that something needs to happen pretty soon.

Robin S. said...

I don't have the time to read through yet, but wanted to stop in and say- love that continuation, McK.

Fabian Trunz said...

What was it called again? Oh yes, "in media res." This sounds like it could be a lot more interesting if you just started somewhere in the middle of the action. Action is good!

Dave Fragments said...

You can't use "Childhood's End" because that is the Arthur C Clark book. There might be books with the same title, but not as iconic as Clark's Childhood's End.

McKoala said...

This was intriguing, although a bit confusing, I'd probably read further to try and figure it out.

My original continuation was a germ of an idea that was badly written and contained a crass error. EE has edited it into gold. He's good at that!

Xiexie said...

The knee-not-scratching observation made me think the narrator was a sort of brain-in-jar type something.

Author, what's the significance of the:
0 Childhood's end
1 Childhood?

I'd read more just out of its weirdness.

Anonymous said...

Feels like quite a dramatic voice change between "The Seeding" and "First Blood". I prefer the second, the first feeling rather over-used; and I prefer story to lecture.

I'm guessing the "knee scratching" bit refers back to the "monkey" suggesting that his arms are no longer out of proportion. If so, it still doesn't work as you don't need extra-long arms to scratch a knee.

I entered the developing egg of a random woman...

Yeah, well that's a pretty typical Friday night up Newcastle.

Bernita said...

Submitted by the "antichrist?"
That's quaint...

none said...

Clarke's book is so iconic that Dave can't even remember how to spell the author's name....

You British, Iago?????