Thursday, September 13, 2012

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro ... for good or ill

It was almost noon on the ship's chronometer, and we still had more than a hundred light years to go. They would be tough miles. Very soon, I knew, we would both be completely fried. But there was no going back, and no time to rest. We would have to ride it out.

Media registration for the "mega-intergalactic" Mint 400K was already underway, and we had to get there by 1600 (our time) to claim our soundproof suite. A fashionable Cyclops megazine in New New York had taken care of the reservations, along with this huge, transparent General Dynamics hull we'd just rented.... And I was, after all, a professional journo, so I had an obligation TO COVER THE STORY, for good or ill.

The idiot editors at the megazine had also foolishly fronted me 300,000 credits, most of which was already spent on extremely dangerous substances of various sorts. The inside of the ship looked like some kind of narcotics lab. We had all the usual smokes, pills, fluids & powders -- anything my puppeteer attorney could drink, smoke, sniff, snort, shoot, eat or rub into his belly -- plus a few things intended strictly for me: Mysterious, tantalizing multi-colored multiple-level beverages ordered straight from the Draco Tavern.

Plus, if all else failed, we had a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, sidewayers, screamers, laughers, mixmasters, scramblers ... just LOOKING at this shit was exhausting.

All this stuff had been picked up the night before in a frenzy of high-speed scrambling. We picked up everything we could get our hands on. Not that we NEEDED all that for the trip, not that it was all strictly NECESSARY ... but, well, ... once you lock into a serious multi-spectrum-drug connection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.

And we -- or at least I -- was notorious for pushing tendencies as far as was humanly possible....


  1. OK, cool. Now for an admission of my own. While I've read F & L several times, I lent the book to someone some years back and . . . don't . . . exactly . . . have a copy right now.

    But I'll pick one up tomorrow, and write my two paragraphs over the weekend.

    As far as what you wrote, good deal, you've got the idea. Of course, it's "General Products" and Known Space is about 30 ly in diameter, and what's in the Wunderland system? But I say we edit on the other end, and just worry about getting it down for right now, it's the method HST would have I'm sure preferred.

    Niven, maybe not so much. :-)

  2. OK, great! Should I score some cheap copies of F&L IN LAS VEGAS and TALES OF KNOWN SPACE or maybe N-SPACE from Amazon? (Actually, I'll use any Xcuse to go there, you know my addictions....) I can't actually remember F&L word-for-word, & like I said before, my Niven experience is 2 novels (RINGWORLD and A WORLD OUT OF TIME) and a handful of short stories (Neutron Star, Borderland of Sol, The Hole Man, Down in Flames, Inconstant Moon, Down and Out -- my favorite -- etc.), so I'm thinking I'd better brush-up. Looking forward to the next installment....

  3. ...Ummm, you're probly gonna havta help me a little with the drug & alcohol references.... I know enuf 2 B able 2 spout-off & SOUND informed, but probly not 2 convincing -- I'm sure no expert.... Not trying 2 imply that you ARE, of course.... Maybe we could make up our own weird drugz & drinks? Please advise if you think necessary....