VAGABOND MIND: A Chronicle of Invention

A Sample from the Introduction

This book traces the trajectory of its author through an adventure in writing, software programming, patent preparation, and attempted marketing of his adventure’s products. It begins at a point following the rejection of the author’s first science fiction novel, when he was working to reorganize the novel into a more-accessible and more-easily-readable form. At that point he had no idea what he was starting. That is the usual pattern of the best adventures.

The novel, titled “Descending Road”, is very large. The author wrote about it as he worked on it, stashing away his impressions and thoughts in various working papers and notes besides those in this book. In one of these papers, titled “The Rebuilding of a Novel: Restructuring Descending Road as a Multiplex Work”, he writes:

“With feckless enthusiasm I created the mad 180,000-word muddle that is Descending Road; now I intend with somewhat-less-feckless cunning to convert it into something actually readable by someone with an ordinary human memory.  Maybe by the time I'm done I'll understand better how George R. R. Martin managed to keep the reader of his monster swords epic from turning raving nutter.  Or not.  At least he limited himself to swords.

“Descending Road has multiple POVs, with one major agonized protagonist (Andrew) carrying the main thread, and a troop of diverse characters bringing in their own perspectives.  It is set on Tarnus, a human world displaced in time and space from Earth by an interstellar cold-sleep migration and millennia of cyclic history.  Unfortunately, there are simply too many ideas and people presented to the bewildered reader from the outset; even the most caring, able, and sympathetic of reviewers of the manuscript couldn't figure out what the hell to do with the thing.”

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