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Writer's Corner The pen is mightier than the sword. Post your writings or poetry. Also discuss your favorite authors or books.

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Old 01-19-2008   #1
EmperorChaos
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The Science Wizard (Prologue/Beginning?)

With a sigh, I look upon this blank piece of paper and wonder if my skills for writing will ever return. After all, I am an accomplished writer whose work has been published in dozens of different languages. I never much cared for genres or titles, but I've been called a writer not of science-fiction but of "science-prediction"; furthermore, my fans have christened me with the epithet of the "Great Evocator of Eternity". No, I am not sure what it means either. Perhaps they feel that I am some form of oracle or prophet. Maybe they see me as someone who predicts the future of things to come. I think that they are all loons myself. I feel insulted considering the amount of pedantic erudition to which I have dedicated my life. The only thing I know for certain is that my livelihood depends on my writing, and this blank page staring back at me poisons my thoughts, fills my head with anxiety, and torments me with 1440 minutes of endless anguish.

Yes, 1440 minutes. A full 24 hour day.

I couldn't sleep. This was quite the routine in my life. While all manners of friends and family drift into rejuvenating slumber for a good eight hours, I am often left feeling heedless and haggard. At some point, you would think that my body became used to such torture. And to some extent it did. The same is true for the mind. After many a sleepless night, my encephalon reconfigured itself to that of the perpetual insomniac. However, most of the time the stability of neither body nor mind coincided with one another. Consequently, I resembled more of an automaton than anything else, only doing the things I did to keep myself awake in hopes that the following night would be one of fruition in which both body and mind enjoyed such slumberous torpor. And some nights I did sleep well. More often than not I would get enough sleep to get through the next day.

Ever struggling it seems, I would make it through those odd days in which I did not generate enough rest for my body. As it was the very definition of languor, these days passed slowly and joyfully I reached the end of them. Despite all of these seemingly torturous travesties of sleep-deprivation, on some days I find what can only be described as a benevolent boon.

During these ephemerally rare times I exhibit a penchant for creativity unlike any I have ever experienced; more so, in fact, than the days of my youth tripping acid whereupon I believed to have understood the meaning to life and everything that is packaged with it. Years down the road, I realised that understanding comes not by mind-altering substances that offer a mere modicum of true insight, but by extensive study of a sagacious mind determined to hoard every ounce of knowledge it can obtain. Further, it is the application of such knowledge to the noble art of storytelling that has personally enthralled as well as infuriated me. I say enthralled because it is what I've truly wished to do with my life. That is to say, my desire was to write novels that depict not only a possible outcome of humanity's future, but a probable logical induction of things to come. I say infuriate because, well, do you have any fucking idea how difficult it is to get a large enough grasp on so many scientific studies so that you might as near to accurately as possible determine, a posteriori, how events will unfold? I had to teach myself astrophysics for Christ's sake!

Worthless prattle is all of the above. Here I am spending my time explaining my current situation but making no effort to improve it. The blank page waits. I will sign my pseudonym.

Democritus Diderot.

How many novels and short stories have I written under that name? You would think that I, the author, would know. I am pushing fifty-seven years of age. The last twenty years I have been published under the above pseudonym. I chose it because Democritus was the first person that we know of to look to the stars not as a collection of portents that foretell one's destiny but as objects similar to that of Sol, commonly known as the Sun. He also believed there to be other worlds like ours orbiting them. I was always amazed by the fact that a Greek philosopher who lived circa 400 BCE was so astute as to postulate such claims then to be considered atheistic blasphemy. I chose Denis Diderot because he was the editor of the first modern encyclopedia. At the time I decided on Diderot I had spent roughly 20 years of my life with my nose in such a book, not to mention reference books that I would read for more specific knowledge. I considered it an appropriate appellation all-around.

And so it was that due to my extensive knowledge and popular published works that a prestigious organization within the scientific community proffered me the opportunity of a lifetime. I humbly accepted. This group, who shall, as part of our contracted agreement, remain nameless, bestowed upon me a fury of magics and technologies that you would not believe were I not living proof that humans can be ameliorated to the level of the cyborg; I am the technological singularity, overclocked, impenetrable, seemingly immortal. Sure, I still look human; I can easily pass as a late middle-aged man at the supermarket though with my mind I could readily hack into the grocer's wireless network, change the prices of my frozen lobster tails almost instantaneously, and change them back while walking out the store. I am a man of convictions, however, and, though tempting, I refrain from using my abilities for personal gain.

What do I use them for then? Now therein lies a story! My pen name signed, my introduction a ramble of epic proportions, let me tell you my tale.
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Old 01-19-2008   #2
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Re: The Science Wizard (Prologue/Beginning?)

I love your vocabulary, but I'm afraid even I grew tired of guessing at definitions and/or digging up memories of reading words years ago. A little constructive criticism I would give you is to simplify a bit. I enjoyed it, I really did, but I doubt there are very many others who will. I really do want to read more, by the way. The premise is appealing to me. I'm awaiting your continuation...
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Old 01-19-2008   #3
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Re: The Science Wizard (Prologue/Beginning?)

Thanks. I don't know if there ever will be a continuation. This was just something I started furiously pecking at on the keyboard about a year ago. I just came across it again recently.

I might just finish it up, or at least write the next part of the story; I originally intended for there to be three sections. The beginning/prologue which you just read, the middle which is mainly supposed to be about what a science wizard is (essentially a superior, cybernetically-enhanced human with technological abilities one could only describe as "magic"*) and what this gentleman, Democritus Diderot did. The end/epilogue was meant to contain the "twist" ending.

* Think of the Arthur C. Clarke quote "Any technology sufficiently advanced would be indistinguishable from magic."

Eh, a lot of my writing gets stuck in "development hell" to use a showbiz term.
The thing about difficult words... when I write I try to expand on my vocabulary. Typically, the final revisions have been simplified.
I also get a little nuts with alliteration sometimes.

Here is an index of everything I've written and shared on Almost Smart if you want to read anything else.

The only things I really haven't shared on here is the work I've got so far on my actual novels.
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