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Thursday, May 15, 2008


Wow, where'd the week go? It was just the other day that I started to develop this novel I've had in my head since January or so.

Coulda, shoulda, woulda; I'll spare you the excuses. Stuff happened, and I did it, but I've also gotten some good direction on my storyline, and it's only fitting that I share it with you now.

The name of my story is Curse/Or. There are about three levels of meaning to that name: It's supposed to be a play on the word "cursor"; it's a reference to Boolean logic; and it suggests a kind of black magic as someone performs a curse on another. And that's kind of the nutshell synopsis of what's in my story -- magic, computer programming, and symbolism both literary and semantic.

It's a story about how the conceits of old magic can fit into today's technological culture. It's a story about the World Wide Web, and the identity of the Spider that sits at its center. It's a story that fuses the technical with the spiritual, and how that changes the paradigm of both.

It's the story of three people -- Yarrow, Camel, and Fulcrum -- who, like the magi of old, hide their true names behind pseudonyms, lest others attain power over them. But in today's world, true names are Social Security Numbers, power is identity theft and pseudonyms are internet handles.

It's a story that, at its heart, tries to address the growing mythology of the internet by finding parallels to older, darker folklore. If computer programmers are akin to wizards, regularly summoning and binding daemons to hex(code) their enemies' processes, then what nefarious purpose does spam serve?

Is LOLcat the Enochian of the internet?

And what happens when one of these adepts of the virtual realm achieves "realultimatepower"? Does he become a Merlin and try to usher in a golden age? Does he hoard mystic knowledge and power, like John Dee? Or does he fall prey to darker appetites, like Aleister Crowley or Anton La Vey?

It's sort of like what happens when you cross William Gibson, Tim Powers and Ken Hite. And hopefully, it will be more comprehensible than Hermann Hesse.

Welcome to Curse/Or. I hope you enjoy the ride.


  1. I'd love to see you work in "old magic" in, in the form of the legacy DOS and early keyboard commands - ancient longbeard stuff that remains part of todays modern applications, but hardly anyone knows.

    And I could easily see Charles Babbage as a Merlin figure of this mythos.

    But the last thing you need are ideas. The concept excites me!

  2. Sounds interesting. Bring it on.

  3. I am excited that this is finally something approaching real. I know you've been batting this around for months.

  4. If you just avoid the pitfalls common to the genre I'm sure it will turn out nicely.

    P.S: I see you have the same fascination I do with Technomages (and that I've had ever since I saw that episode of Babylon 5).

  5. the synopsis really sounds interesting. :)


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