Thirty Days In
Thirty days in, we're nearing the halfway point to our deadline but not quite nearing the halfway mark for the funding goal. Nervous? Oh, not me, oh no.
Could I have gotten this far on my Clockwork Book if I was nervous?*
And here it is - not done by a long ways, but finally far enough along that I'm willing to have other people see it. I have some work to do on its arms - kitbashed from one of my robot models - and I have to add a bunch more mechanical bits in the area behind the Book's face... and work on the material for the pages. They're meant to be stainless steel but with their broad, flattish shapes they're still not taking the light they way I want them to. Metal materials are very dependent on lighting, shape, and camera angle.
But enough of that.
The Clockwork Book is a mechanical being that can be found far below the streets of Retropolis. Nobody really knows how long it's been there and in fact, people don't refer to the Book at all, normally. Which might seem strange at first.
The Book contains stories. It contains information. And about all it seems to do is to add to that information by trading it with anyone who asks. Since it's been at this job for a very long time you can imagine that it's got quite a few stories and quite a lot of information.
The people who visit the Book are perplexed, or obsessed, or desperate, and sometimes they're all three. They Need To Know. And if you Need To Know, it's maddening that somewhere below your feet lies the Clockwork Book in the midst of its Bookmaking machinery, calmly annotating the very thing you're after. It preys on your mind. Until one day you slip down the quiet street where a hatch opens onto a shaft that leads far below the city to a tunnel, at the end of which lies the Book.
The Book, as I've said, accumulates stories. It does this by trading the stories it knows for new stories. This sounds harmless. In fact, it sounds beneficial. Until you think about it.
Because stories are not neutral. Stories always say something about the person who tells them. They often say more than the teller realizes, and it's easy to become so wrapped up in the telling that we tell too much.
Everything that the Book learns becomes part of the Book. And the Book grows by trading the stories it knows - to anyone who asks.
Also... a very long time ago the English language decided that the word "spell" could mean two things: the way to form a word, or the way to distort the universe. This decision was not made casually. If you take the point of view that the English language recommends, you begin to see the Book as a very large, ever-growing nexus of words that may someday rip the fabric of reality into tiny quivering shreds.
Of course, the English language is excitable, and it tends toward exaggeration. But still...
Over the decades since the first part of the Clockwork Book collected its first story, people have gradually learned to avoid the Book despite the fact that, in general, we really want to know things. And there must be a reason.
There's a way to find out for certain, of course: you just have to be willing to ask.
The Book exists to contain stories; it acquires stories by learning new stories; and it shares these stories with anyone who’s willing to trade. So in some ways you might point at the Book and say "Hey! A metaphor!" thinking of things like the Internet itself, or Facebook, or what have you. And although you’d have a point… I’m pretty sure you’d be wrong. The Book is what the Book is.
And for my purposes, at least, the Clockwork Book is the central character I was looking for to stand or, well, squat, anyway, at the center of the linear stories I plan to add to the Thrilling Tales web site. If you’re one of my Kickstarter backers you’ll know a bit more about how I invented the Book a long time ago, and how I found it again as I rummaged around in my Idea Closet much more recently.
The Plan is to produce about two to three months worth of the Clockwork Book stories before I get to work on Part Two of The Toaster With TWO BRAINS. Then I can update those non-interactive stories once or twice a week while I work on the new interactive story, till I start to run low on the Clockwork Book, and then... rinse and repeat.
That's the idea, anyhow. Now... back to the Book!
pledged of $3,200 goal
seconds to go
May 6, 2010 - Jul 16, 2010
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