So, it finally happened. I have written over 400 pages. Even though it feels like a momentous achievement there is more to be done! Four more major events need to happen so it might, unfortunately, be up to another 100 pages before I call the first draft complete. That would bring me back to 80% complete – but I won’t change the target. Instead I’ll just stay at 99%, keep working, and write the best post-apocalyptic novel since Mccarthy’s The Road.
Meanwhile I’ll actually provide you with an extract foreshadowing some of the events and themes of the novel:
I stared at the hologram of my young father with widened eyes. He flashed a smile. The interviewer leaned in and whispered in his ear. My father laughed, his body jerking back violently. Holding his hand on his stomach, he dried his watering eyes and apologized for his crude sense of humour. The interview then resumed.
“Why are you so obsessed with this?” The interviewer asked.
“Why shouldn’t I be? Babylon thought it possible – so it should be! He, I mean it, hasn’t been wrong about a single theory so far, why would this be the first? Just because we can’t get it to work doesn’t mean it’s flawed.”
“Still, I can’t see your obsession. How can such an invention benefit us? There is so much space to explore all around us, what good would it do to suddenly build a colony at the far end of the universe?”
“It’s not about the colonisation, we are doing fine as we are, it’s the other possibilities, the new opportunities, this device would give us!”
“Well, first of all, have man not always dreamed of meeting other intelligent life? Chances are with us. In fact, I am certain there are other intelligent species out there, but we would never be able to get to them. They are too far away and the universe is expanding too fast. We’d all turn to ice before ever making contact. Completing this machine would enrich us in so many ways that I can’t even begin to describe!”
“So your employer, Xevhraholt, pays you to complete this device so you can make contact with aliens?”
“No, that was only an example. As to why he wants me to finish it, I cannot even guess at, but the man is smart. He’s always had a plan so I doubt he’s simply paying me for the sake of it. But for me, it’s different, and it’s not about aliens. Another possible use would be time-travel, or rather, travel to a parallel universe nearly identical to this. Imagine that! Being back in the 10th Century or even earlier! Think of what one could see, and learn!”
“Meeting aliens and travelling through time… Fascinating. Anything else?”
“Well, yes, but I’d hate to dwell on the past and in beliefs that are since long gone. But imagine this, if we could go into other planes of existence, planes ruled by intelligence far different from the one we know, in a world where there is no matter, we could find anything! Even something as ridiculous as God suddenly becomes possible.”
– F H Hakansson