Though pressed for time, I have made some progress! My brother, the esteemed Tristan, has finally finished reading The Loneliness of Stars, and at my request (our transaction smoothed over with a few dollars), has marked down all of the grammatical, spelling, and consistency mistakes he could find. I am currently going through his copy, fixing the marked mistakes and any others I notice on the way. I have currently gone through chapters one through four, and will try to edit a chapter a day until I am done – so expect a re-release in slightly more than a month!
In addition to editing my first novel, I had some more time to work on The Light of Civilization – I have now reached page 111. Following is an excerpt from my most recent writing session, in Chapter 13 – the alien fast-food scene:
It reminded me a lot of the nicer fast-food chains on earth that I had seen, and rarely eaten at, like McBurger’s and Wanda’s. Threkky’s, however, was much larger, containing what looked to be at least a hundred tables of varying sizes scattered around. The floor was a pleasing tan color, and the walls were a dull orange. As far as I could see, there was no counter or kitchen.
Thyrak quickly located a three-person table for us and we sat down. The chairs were amazingly comfortable, with armrests and lots of cushions. The tables looked to be finely finished marble. In the center of it was a bright silver cylinder. A few moments after we settled down, it spoke, prompting me to jump.
“And what will you have today?” A holographic image popped up above it, displaying a very sophisticated menu. I watched Thyrak and Jarken look at theirs (we all had separate images in front of us), and by touching various menu items you could get details.
I couldn’t recognize any of the items on the list. I clicked on some of them and got images, as well as the price, ingredients, nutrition information, and how exactly it was made.
After two or three minutes I decided to get the thing that looked the most like chicken – although it had what appeared to be five wings. It also was one of the cheaper items there, which made me feel better about having Thyrak pay for me.
Once we had all spoken our orders aloud, the menu image changed into an image of what appeared to a kitchen. I stared at it in amazement. Jarken caught my look and grinned.
“Live feed from the kitchens – you can watch your food being made. You don’t have this?”
I shook my head slowly.
“Neither do we, mostly – it’s a Threkky’s innovation.” Jarken leaned back and watched his meal being made in silence.
I did the same – I winced slightly as I saw the animal I had ordered slaughtered before my eyes. It did not look at all like a chicken – rather more like some kind of weird fish.
Once its blood was drained out, it was skinned – which revealed what looked to be a second layer of skin – and then thrown into an oven of some kind. The cook, a plump Shortel male – threw a bunch of powders and liquids down a tube in the top of it. Five or so minutes later, the cook took it out and placed it on a tray in what looked to be a dumbwaiter.
I jumped again as the center of the table detached from the rest of it and floated in the air. My meal shot up out of the opening in the tables and floated over to land in front of me. Jarken’s and Thyrak’s meals followed shortly thereafter.
On my tray was a drink of water and what looked to be a long, dull needle and a knife. I watched Thyrak and Jarken use theirs – the needle seemed to be some kind of fork-like thing – before I picked up my own utensils and dug in.
It was delicious. It tasted like a very fishy chicken – sort of like what I would imagine a chicken would taste like if it lived in salt water. It was about a third the size of a chicken, and I finished it quickly, then downed my drink. I was immensely satisfied.
And on an unrelated note, preparations for the Call of Cthulhu scenario I am running, “Dark Carnival,” is going well. I shall post regarding the results on Sunday. And speaking of Lovecraft, if you haven’t seen the trailer for the upcoming HPLHS movie “The Whisperer in Darkness,” check it out here. Also look at the “Whisperer” blog here.