COUNT TO INFINITY — Chapter One

Posted January 2, 2018 By John C Wright

Here follows an excerpt from COUNT TO INFINITY

— PART ELEVEN: The Edge of Orion  —

CHAPTER ONE: The Cataclysmic Variable in Canes Venatici

1. The Ghost

AD 92000 to 95500

He was dead, that was sure; but not entirely, and not permanently.

When awareness fled and all activity ceased, it could have been called sleep or hibernation. But he had been in those two states of being before, frequently, and for long periods, and this was something more still, more silent, less like life than that.

When awareness returned, Menelaus Illation Montrose was a pattern of leptons distributed throughout a featureless lump of gray metal falling through darkness and nothingness. He had neither hands, nor head, nor heart, intestines or eyes.

Nor did he have engines, fuel, reserve energy, or motive power, and the sails had been three fourths torn away. Had they been wholly torn away, as his assassin had planned, he would have been well and truly dead by now, dead beyond recovery or revival.

Instead, the sails absorbed enough ambient starlight to allow him, every three or four hundred years, for three or four minutes, to wake. Chemical energy reserves woven into the gray lump of the ship’s mass were sufficient to energize a cubic foot of his outer hull, stir it to motion, and form lenses and antennae to take measurements. It annoyed him that he had a perfect memory, since even the comforting routine of noting in the log the progress of his endless, weightless fall through unhorizoned, infinite space was denied him.

His velocity, relative to the tiny speck of Sol (lost somewhere in the stars of Piscus Austinus) was very near the speed of light. Read the remainder of this entry »

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Lost on the Last Continent, Episode 30, Attack of the Ascenders, is now posted on Patreon.

Episode 30 Attack of the Ascenders

In this exciting episode, the raiders from strange clouds descend upon the Brontosaur caravan. Colonel Lost opens fire. But will he side with his attackers, or with his oppressors? 

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No Atheism Tonight

Posted December 27, 2017 By John C Wright

For both my eager listeners, Max Kolbe and I have decided to take the Twelve Days of Christmas off. We will resume our normal Escaping Atheism podcasts on Wednesday, Jan 3rd of next year.

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Christmastide

Posted December 27, 2017 By John C Wright

Some say that ever ‘gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour’s birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long:
And then, they say, no spirit dare stir abroad;
The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, no witch has power to charm,
So hallow’d and gracious is the time. –Hamlet

In keeping with the tradition here at John C. Wright’s Journal, I reprint, as I do each year, this list the feasts of the Twelve Days of Christmas, and to urge my fellow traditionalists to continue the Christly and Christian work of Keeping the Feast and Partyin’ On! Let us pause for unsolemn reflection on these solemnities.

We all know the Twelve Days of Christmas from a famous nonsense song about a lady whose true love gives her 184 birds of various types, not to mention 12 fruit trees, 40 golden rings, 106 persons of the various professions either musical or milkmaidenly, and 32 members of the aristocracy variously cavorting.

No doubt you have ever wondered how the lady in the song feeds all the leaping lords and dancing ladies, pipers, drummers, and milkmaids now living in her parlor, the answer is that she feeds them the 22 turtledoves, 30 French hens, 36 colly birds, and 42 swans, not to mention the nice supply of eggs from the geese, milk from the cows and pears from the pear trees.

You may have heard that the lyrics contain a secret meaning, referring to Catholic doctrines or rites forbidden by Oliver Cromwell. This is true. The secret meaning is that the Walrus is St. Paul, and if you listen to a record of the carol backward, it says “Cromwell under his wig is bald.” All this is well known.

What is not as well known is that traditionally, these are twelve days of feasts which start on Christmas Day and run through to Epiphany on January 6th, which is the festival variously of the Adoration of the Magi and the Presentation in the Temple. (Really hard core Christmasteers extend Christmastide 40 days, ending on Candlemas February 2).

Before Christmas, during the season of Advent, while everyone else is shopping and partying, we who keep the traditions fast, pray, do penance, and make ourselves miserable. It makes the holiday much brighter by contrast.

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The Count to Infinity starts today!

Posted December 26, 2017 By John C Wright

Do you yearn for high-concept science fiction on the widest possible scale covering the deeps of time, and the deeper profundities of the human soul? Ready yourself for a prodigal overabundant feast of sheer imagination, each course grander than the last.

The triumphant finale of the Eschaton Sequence, COUNT TO INFINITY, is finally available. In terms of size, scope, and ambition, no book of mine has ever attempted so much nor reached so far.

In the opening scene, Menelaus Montrose knows exactly where he is: betrayed, blasted, beaten, disembodied and left for dead by the villainous Blackie del Azarchel in the ruined hulk of a dead starship racing at relativistic speeds toward intergalactic space, beyond any possible hope of rescue.

And then he discovers the empty ship is haunted …

Montrose loses his mind, finds it again, builds an interplanetary civilization of three artificial species of his own creation, travels across intergalactic distances, sees the singularity leading outside the universe built by the seraphim, smashes into an interstellar energy boundary at near-lightspeed, is kidnapped and enslaved, has his mind deconstructed, and uses his love of Rania to reconstruct himself by sheer willpower and by his own poxy bootstraps drags himself out of a disembodied, electronic hell, and outwits and outfights his oppressors to become the ruler of the star cluster, and of the Milky Way. And then the true battle on a larger scale begins.

Eager to know why the Andromeda Galaxy is on course to collide with Milky Way in two billion years? This is not some random event but a coldblooded war fought between deadly philosophical antagonists, a war where supernovae are weapons, and the nebulae but smoke from the discharges.

In this work, these are merely local and parochial events. In this, the final volume of the cosmos-spanning epic of near and far future, the curious reader will also learn why our universe, at the largest scale, consists of walls and filaments of galactic clusters and superclusters interspersed with enormous voids.

The fate of the one, true Rania is revealed, and the long-awaited final duel between Del Azarchel and Montrose is fought in this volume, and the mysteries of time and eternity are opened.

Buy it today!

https://www.amazon.com/Count-Infinity-Book-Eschaton-Sequence-ebook/dp/B072MFP3KT/?tag=lampwright-20

 

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Max Kolbe on Atheists and Indoctrinating Children

Posted December 24, 2017 By John C Wright

You can hear my dulcet tones ranting vociferously about something or other. You are invited to listen to it as part of the penance of Advent. My host makes some good points, though, so you can just fast-forward through my goobledegook to get to what he said.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXi0PwTuDx0 Read the remainder of this entry »

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A Christmas Gift to all my Readers

Posted December 22, 2017 By John C Wright

A ferocious Celt with a ruddy beard does a reading of my short story ‘Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus.’ This story was on the ballot, if only briefly, for a Hugo Award, for which I am grateful to my readers, even though, technically, it is a mainstream story and not science fiction at all.

Here is the link. Enjoy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOHPbtj8cUY&feature=youtu.be

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Keeping Christmas, Losing Self

Posted December 22, 2017 By John C Wright

My latest column at Dangerous is up.

At other times of the year, perhaps you have a daily routine. You look around the nation where you live, and hear the speech of men, tap your feet to their music, tend to your work and to the chores imposed on you, and after relax with a good book or a cold beer, a warm fire or a flickering screen.  And, at least from time to time, the nation seems strange, the music not as good as once it was. The book is dull or the beer is flat. The fire is sullen ashes in the grate you will have to clean up later, and you wonder why you did not tune the television to the fireplace channel.

Your home here on earth does not slake this peculiar homesickness. This is a homesickness for elsewhere.
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Thank you for a Merry Christmas!

Posted December 21, 2017 By John C Wright

Jagi, here.

Thank you to everyone who has helped make my recent Book Promo a success!

To date: over 1,775 free books downloaded, almost 100 of the later books sold, and the first book made it to #150 on the Kindle Free ranking.

Best any book of mine has ever done, ranking-wise!

Very uplifting in a week when our refrigerator failed, our daughter needed dental work, and our car needed several serious repairs.

A VERY MERRY Christmas to you all!

(If anyone still wants a FREE copy of The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin, it is still available.)

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Latin Help

Posted December 21, 2017 By John C Wright

My vaunted education fails me. I need to translate the phrase “Great Secret of the Worlds” (note the plural) into Latin. The sense is that the secret is that there is more than one world. It is not referring to a secret kept by the worlds, in case this different sense would be declined differently.

Would it be magnum mysterium mundorum ? Or do I have a pesky declension wrong?

I ask my wise and well educated readers for help.

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