Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Spanner Chapter 1: Spanner in the Works (Revision 4)

Chaos Angel Spanner — Book 1: Rock City Blues
Chapter 1: Spanner in the Works (Revision 4)

August 19, 2014: Revolution Day, one of the high holy days of the American Religion. Two years ago, the Conservative Revolution saved the American Empire from freedom and democracy in the name of God, the dominion of wealth, and Manifest Destiny. But the revolution is only for the chosen few. For the unchosen majority, there is only hell.

Among the ruling Conservative Revolutionary Party’s opponents, the more aware know the revolutionary élite cannot keep the masses down forever, and the more enterprising are already preparing for the post-revolutionary age to come. Two revolutionary élite themselves fear two people they believe can actually end the revolution: Shira Thomas, a interracial teenage tomboy slut whose eugenically incorrect ancestry makes her a outcast and whose temperament makes her a menace; and the mysterious rogue vigilante they call Spanner...

This is the much expanded version of the chapter first posted during NaNoWriMo 2010. The first versions of Parts 1 through 3 were added for Script Frenzy 2011; the introductions of Shira and Jennifer in Parts 1 and 2, and the kitchen scene in Part 3, were added to the final version in early September.

Third Revision Update: As strong an opening as the Second Revision was, I found I could make the final version stronger still. Chapter 1 now launches even more major story threads, and Parts 2, 3, and 5 now have extra action and drama! The opening is now complete. Update 10/5/11: Today, it turns out, Steve Jobs has died. Believe it or not, I half expected this when I started writing this chapter last year. Now consider the implications of the face on the giant screen in the context of Chapter 15.

Fourth Revision Update: The Final Revision has been expanded even more and greatly improved! Since it’s now the novelization of the hypothetical TV “pilot movie,” it now comes in eight parts instead of the original five, with a far more intricate plot and greater coherence. This, I feel deep in my heart, is publication-worthy at last.

Table of Contents:
  1. Intro: Press the Reset Button (November 1, 2010, final revision 10/13/11)
  2. The Beginning of the End (May 31, 2011 [as part of 1.1 "I Can See for Miles"; Final Revision 7/3/12)
  3. I Can See for Miles (May 31, 2011 [as 1.1], Final Revision 7/4/12)
  4. Escape to New York (June 1, 2011 [as 1.2 "Mathematics of Chaos"]; Final Revision 7/5/12)
  5. Secret Meetings (June 2, 2011 [as part of 1.3 "The Lost Cause"; Final Revision 7/6/11)
  6. The Lost Cause (June 2, 2011 [as 1.3]; Final Revision 7/7/12)
  7. Stalking the Rotten Apple (June 3, 2011 [as part of 1.4 "Enter the Monkeywrench"; Final Revision 7/8/12)
  8. Enter the Monkeywrench (June 3, 2011 [as 1.4]; Final Revision 7/9/12)
  9. The Virus Has Been Spread (June 4, 2011 [as 1.5]; Final Revision 7/10/12)
  10. Interlude 1: Rocket Ready (June 5, 2011)
The original introduction from the first draft is itself now revised:
This marks the official début of a character whose story I originally started writing back in 1992 using a different handle [for the main character] (which, interestingly enough, I’ve brought back for the same character). Back then, the storyline was completely different. I was a recently converted otaku and an aspiring cartoonist back then; I had no training in either art or storytelling. All I had was ideas. It took me nearly two decades to turn the ideas into an actual story. In the meantime, I amassed a library’s worth of books on how to write and trained myself how to write. Over the years, I wrote scripts for several scenes I intended to publish in manga form; I’m putting most of these scenes into the novel. The central scene of Chapter 1 [now Part 4 below] is one of them. [I also created a huge number of characters starting in 1992; I introduce several of them here, and you’ll be meeting the rest of them later. Certain characters, Shira foremost among them, are even older than that (I first came up with Shira in her original form back in 1986). The most important characters now come with their “taglines”, the oldest of them (those for Shira, Leila, and Dr. Becket) dating back to 1994.]

An early version of this chapter was originally posted on the JulNoWriMo forums earlier this year; the “Interlude” at the end of this chapter first appeared on the AugNoWriMo forums (now closed), without what is now its opening section, and appears here otherwise unchanged. [The original] is the official 1.0 version. [The new version linked below is Revision 3.0.]

And now, let’s meet Spanner as he makes his Spectacular Entrance!

Special Guest Star: Steve Jobs’ ego!
Not Appearing: President Sarah Palin Michelle Bachmann Rick Perry Stephen Harper Goldman Sachs & Company!
And here’s the original intro to the Intro, with the added disclaimer to the disclaimer: to the print publishers I’ll be marketing this as a political thriller, so that only fandom and the Internet (and of course sharp-eyed readers) will recognize in it the science fiction, you know, the kind of stuff, say, litfic author Margaret Atwood allegedly does not write.
Finally, after almost 20 years, Chaos Angel Spanner is ready to be unleashed onto an unsuspecting reading public. It may not be the manga I originally envisioned back in 1992, but I still intend to do that sometime in the future, depending on whether I actually succeed in learning how to draw.

Finally, after four years of participation in NaNoWriMo, one of my WriMo novels is ready to publish and is being posted. You’ll now be able to see what I’ve been doing since my first NaNo in 2006, and you can now find out just what has been obsessing me for the past two decades.

I’m actually starting in a different genre from the main story. Someday I may write a sequel as a Space Western. However, when I started planning the manga I would later name Chaos Angel Spanner back in 1992, 2014 was still far enough in the future that I could still write it as cyberpunk science fiction. Today...well, because of many long years of procrastination, it’s now 2010 [as of this writing], very close to the start of the Spanner timeline, too close to be science fiction anymore. It might as well be contemporary, so that’s exactly how I’m treating it. And so I’m saying my bittersweet farewell to science fiction — and paying homage to 20th-century retro-futurism in the main story. This is, after all, the 21st Century, the Century of Science Fiction. We’re living the future the science fiction authors and the futurists were writing about; all that’s missing is the spaceships. And that’s where we’re about to return in Chapter One. Back to our own world: the Cyberpunk Universe. I intend to stay out of the publisher-imposed Sci-Fi Ghetto. You see, I’m a genre bender, and Spanner is at its core a political thriller.

So what do you do when the future is cancelled? Start all over again in the present and make your future. This is not a spoiler: it’s the entire story.

Now it’s time at last for the main event...
The challenge: free America — therefore the world — from its self-proclaimed liberators.
The struggle begins here!

As of 10/12/11 this chapter is dedicated with some affection and much irony to Harlan Ellison, a living legend whose influence on my sector of science fiction cannot possibly be avoided no matter how unpleasant his personality gets, and who is carrying out his transmigration rather more successfully than the Corporate kingpin at the center of the action.

Chapter 2

Back to Chaos Angel Spanner table of contents...

Copyright © 2011, 2012 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
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