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[Comments] (10) Constellation Games Author Commentary #29: He Sees The Map And He Throws The Dart: PLOT TWIST. Please tell me you didn't see that coming. Well, tell me the truth, but I hope you were just about to figure it out when it happened. It helps that most of Ariel's really odd behavior (the unpublished blog posts, "eyes on the prize") ended up in this chapter, so you didn't have a week to think about it.

The day I brought chapter 28 to writing group, just as we were leaving, Andrew stopped and said "Oooooooh." Ideally that realization will now happen right in the middle of chapter 29.

I've mentioned before that this plot twist was originally going to be the end of the book (along with a little bit extra which became the seed of the actual ending). I'm pretty sure y'all would have screamed bloody murder if that had happened, so it's a good thing that as I wrote part two I thought of more and more stuff to happen after the "end".

The PDF of part two should be released soon. Here's the Twitter archive. In news of "dammit", the Twitter feeds stopped working last Wednesday, possibly because of this UTF-8-licious tweet, and I didn't notice. Especially furiating since last week featured many classic bits, like Tetsuo discovering The Game and Ariel mocking thrift store T-shirts. So I do recommend you read the in-world timeline for chapter 28.

In news of "non-dammit", I'll be appearing this Sunday on the Cambridge (UK) radio show The Science of Fiction, talking about "Games in Fiction and Fiction in Games", and about Constellation Games in particular. Even if you don't live in Cambridge you can stream it "live" (we're actually recording on Wednesday) over the net, or download the program[me] afterwards.

This is a story all about how Ariel's life got flipped, turned upside down. And I'd like to take a minute—just sit right there—

then to the elements
Be free, and fare thou well!

Thus ends part two, "Software". The stage is set for "Artwork", the action-packed miniseries that will end the serialization. It all starts next week, when Ariel will say, "It's fucking romantic, okay?" Will it be okay? Is it actually romantic? AllMost will be revealed! Tune in next week.

Photo credits: Voyager 2, Wikimedia Commons user SeppVei, NASA, Dorothy Harris, Flickr user zdw.

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Posted by kirkjerk at Tue Jun 12 2012 12:14

Is there a tune for that song? I dig the lyrics

Posted by Zack at Tue Jun 12 2012 12:15

So, I can't ask you what the heck is up with "Nothing may fall faster than it falls" and the rest of what appear to be Gwailo attempts to punish (apparent) violations of physical law?

Googling "υ-sane" brings up a whole lot of weird shit, I must say. Is that new (post-contact) theory, or did the Constellation already have a class of games reasonably described as "chesslike"?

Posted by Zack at Tue Jun 12 2012 12:20

Oh, also I was wondering, when the Gwailo were contacted, clearly Her was around and so was at least one variety of Slow People, but how many other non-upload species were in the Constellation?

Posted by Leonard at Tue Jun 12 2012 14:30

The Gweilo law prohibits very general classes of technology. "Falling upwards" means "artificially accelerated". So guns, powered vehicles, etc. are all prohibited. "Falling faster than it falls" is the same kind of thing.

The Gweilo planet at the time was full of horrible medieval-type cultures, and a big motivation behind Plan C is people like Somn who can't distinguish between that and what they see on Earth. Ariel never really discovers this motivation, but he does have the right solution--make those people meet actual humans.

I made up υ-sane. I imagine that's a Constellation classification, and "υ-sane chesslike" is a human mathematician saying "you can't escape my theorem by just tweaking chess."

The Gwailo were the first or second non-Her species successfully integrated into the Constellation without uploading. At the start of the second draft I sketched this out and decided the Mzungu and the Gwailo were the first. A lot of that sketch was invalidated by things I wrote later, but I think this can stay.

Posted by Brendan at Tue Jun 12 2012 14:58

Hey, wait, that's the lizard-queen-he-services song! I have heard it many times but can't find it in my library or your music page now. Did you trigger the remote-detonation code?

Posted by Leonard at Tue Jun 12 2012 15:52

I think you heard it once, in the car, and you just played in in your head a lot. I'm pretty sure I never recorded it.

BTW, look at Somn at the beginning of chapter 33 for "lizard queen he services" type imagery.

Posted by Brendan at Tue Jun 12 2012 16:27

My notoriously reliable memory says I heard it at least twice. Now I want to dig around in my email archives. Did it have a title?

Posted by Zack at Tue Jun 12 2012 16:49

The Gwailo were the first or second non-Her species successfully integrated into the Constellation without uploading.

This raises the question of who invented uploading / who were the first Slow People. It seems like a technology Her would not require, and she's the founder, right? Or have I misunderstood?

Posted by Zack at Tue Jun 12 2012 16:51

Also, "people like Somn who can't distinguish between that and what they see on Earth" clarifies a good deal for me regarding things Somn does throughout. Appreciated.

Posted by Leonard at Tue Jun 12 2012 17:12

Brendan: It's "Shoshone Shoeshine". Email archive says I'd played it for you "a couple of times."

Zack: Uploading is invented all the time. Any Kardashev 2 civilization in this universe will invent uploading and change over to being Slow People.


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