Monday, March 23, 2009

I wish I could write

I occasionally binge on fiction. It's like green vegetables, really: I'll go for weeks without remembering that I need them to function. Then I'll sit down for dinner, have a small bite of something green, and then proceed to eat every vegetable in the house. I know it would be healthier to just eat more veggies at every meal, but somehow my mind hasn't gotten the memo yet.

Fiction is worse (and better) than vegetables. I'll go for months without ingesting stories, have a small nibble of one, and then suddenly realize that I've been starving to death. And every time I read, I wish I could write. It's the same feeling you get watching Steve make tables... it's the hunger to create.

Here's a great example of a really short story. Seems like it would be easy to write something this short, but it's not. I've tried. If brevity is the soul of wit, then this thing has some serious soul.

Dwar Ev ceremoniously soldered the final connection with gold. The eyes of a dozen television cameras watched him and the sub-ether bore through the universe a dozen pictures of what he was doing.

He straightened and nodded to Dwar Reyn, then moved to a position beside the switch that would complete the contact when he threw it. The switch that would connect, all at once, all of the monster computing machines of all the populated planets in the universe—ninety-six billion planets—into the supercircuit that would connect them all into one supercalculator, one cybernetics machine that would combine all the knowledge of all the galaxies.

Dwar Reyn spoke briefly to the watching and listening trillions. Then after a moment's silence he said, "Now, Dwar Ev."

Dwar Ev threw the switch. There was a mighty hum, the surge of power from ninety-six billion planets. Lights flashed and quieted along the miles-long panel.

Dwar Ev stepped back and drew a deep breath. "The honor of asking the first question is yours, Dwar Reyn."

"Thank you," said Dwar Reyn. "It shall be a question which no single cybernetics machine has been able to answer."

He turned to face the machine. "Is there a God?"

The mighty voice answered without hesitation, without the clicking of a single relay.

"Yes, now there is a God."

Sudden fear flashed on the face of Dwar Ev. He leaped to grab the switch.

A bolt of lightning from the cloudless sky struck him down and fused the switch shut.

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