Sunday, June 3, 2012

Spanner R4 Update: Chapter 4 Ready to Edit, Interlude 3 Finished (Preview of Interlude 4 Included)

Sometimes simpler is easier. This time, I saved Spanner Chapter 4 in HTML directly from Word and used Notepad++'s HTML Tidy module to clean up the screwy Microsoft markup instead of 1) changing the styles in Word 2) going online to convert the RTF file into ebook form 3) unzipping the ePub file 4) then cleaning up the markup. With a few find-and-replace operations, I inserted my custom markup and replaced all the quotes, apostrophes, and screwed-up special characters with the HTML entities I use (’, —, and the like). Once I make the HTML file easily readable, Chapter 4 will be ready to edit.

Its companion story is now finished. The new Interlude 3, "One Nation Under Copyright, All Rights Reserved", turned out to be the origin story of a villain who makes his first appearance in Chapter 4, Intellectual Property Enforcement Bureau agent R. A. Leggett, out of the death of his more experienced and fanatical mentor, one Martin Martian, at the hands of a fourteen-year-old Rebel Styles who looks and dresses exactly like Shira but is not. It also reveals a little more background behind the Conservative Revolution, specifically the important role the Media Industry Association of America monopoly cartel played in it. The atmosphere of this misadventure of Corporates, however, is that of religion and even cultism rather than business, economics, or politics. And it gives Rebel her own tagline:

Fee Rebel Styles
angel of chaos

...a tagline she shares with her alter ego Aya Shibata, whom a scene in Chapter 2 describes as "the Technosphere's most scandalous Player" and hints that she needs in Gensoukyou, home of the Touhou "bullet hell" shmup series, where all the characters have taglines. Now that Interlude 3 is finished, it will go into the Episode 4 ebook right after Chapter 4.

The old Interlude 3 is now part of Interlude 4. IIRC it was the Interlude 4 of Revision 3. Now "The Law of Social Darwinism" is the first part of Interlude 4, "The Rules of Tournament", which follows Chapter 5. This opening section, a Corporate manifesto or five-part statement of apocalyptic faith, reads in its initial version:
the law of social darwinism:
Natural selection has failed. Man has grown weak. His genes are at war with themselves. He is on the verge of extinction.

Compassion, sentiment, and love are the poison that is destroying the Race. The poison has given rise to a conspiracy named Humanism that promotes a doctrine called Liberalism that it has enthroned as the dysgenic horror of Communism: the sacrifice of the blood of the Best so that the worst may live and feed at their expense.

The best must seize control of the machinery of evolution for themselves. They must purge the Race of the Race-destroying poison of sentiment from the human genome and enthrone once more Eugenics as queen of the sciences forever.

The only way to save Man from extinction is to establish the dictatorship that will reverse the damage the cult of Humanism has inflicted upon the Race. It shall purge the Race of the weak, promote Profit over people, and raise the best to Godhood.

Thus shall Man fulfill his eternal destiny: to wield absolute dominion over Earth and conquer the infinite kingdom of Space.
Those of you who have read Bram Dijkstra will recognize echoes of his exposés of the Overclass blood mysticism that overran Europe in the 19th and early 20th centuries until the eugenics-based Nazi empire was finally smashed. That mysticism claimed that semen, brains, blood, and money (and possibly even oil) were the identical substance. One of the themes of Spanner is that hierarchy retards human evolution, especially at the top. And of course this manifesto of Corporate faith foreshadows the Corporate Terror that will ravage the American and Chinese Empires in Books 3 and 4. The (eventually revealed) author? None other than Richard Becket, pope of the Corporates, superhero name Neron, who is to Spanner what Ozymandias is to Watchmen.

The rest of Interlude 4 (the original Interlude 3 from Revisions 2 and 3) follows in the sections "The Rules of Tournament" and "Bangor High School: Dictel Stadium: 19 August 2014". I'll get back to those when I'm editing Chapters 5 and 6, since those sections explain so much of the School Arc that references are made to it all the way into Chapter 22.

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