William A. Hainline: Reality Engineer

The Blog Of A Science Fiction Writer Living Just A Half-An-Hour Into The Future . . . Or Maybe, Y'Know, An Hour And Some Change. Sci-fi, politics, visual arts, music, writing, fantasy, and general weirdness. NSFW. Probably not safe for YOU, either, really. But don't let that stop you.

The go-to site for fans of science fiction writer William A. Hainline. Also the go-to site for non-fans, or anybody else who wants to follow what this curmudgeonly weirdo is doing with his free time.

Maybe Adding A Prologue? Yes, No, Maybe?

Hiyo Everybody. I'm thinking of adding a Prologue to my book. Yeah, yeah, I hear you groaning. But hear me out. Prologues can be good things. They can help "set the stage" for what comes after them. That's actually their whole purpose in life, isn't it? To set the stage, to set up the book itself? Right-O, it certainly is. So here it is, my rough draft of the Prologue to my book. As always, questions and comments are welcome. Please email me with suggestions, ideas, changes, things like that if you think of any!

    Worlds hung in the balance, and anxiety-ridden Angels—well, to Humans they would be Angels, and to them, Humans would be but apes—looked on in what a Human might’ve called “fear” . . . Fear that all their delicately laid threads of fate and time would, at any moment, all come unraveled, and go twirling apart into the void, torn and jagged threads all flying loose, and all due to their misplaced faith in what Humans simplistically called “Free Will.”

    The Girl. She knew how to fight; that much was obvious. She punched and kicked with all the force she could muster, but with the speed and precision of a sniper; she fought like a whirlwind unleashed from a storm, an animal enhanced with cybernetic skills set loose from some mad scientist’s cage. She fought not “as though” her life depended on it, but in fact because her life depended on it; hers and several others’ too. The monster she fought was an Evil unlike any other, and though she knew it not, upon the outcome of her fight, upon her living through it, there depended the fate of many parallel universes . . . If she lost, then so too would all of them be. The threads of the tapestry of fate were wound around her good and tight—the Angels had seen to that—and they branched off in literally a million different directions into the Ether of Time and Destiny, influencing and touching the lives of billions, but the Girl had no knowledge of this . . . All she knew was that she had to win, had to defeat the Evil. The Angels felt proud of her. They had done well when they had crafted her genetics while she still lay in her mother’s womb. Now if only she could live through this moment . . .

    The Boy, on the other hand, was in even deeper trouble at the moment. At least from a certain point of view, and it didn’t take an Angel to see it. A deep grimness had engulfed his heart, and a bleakness clouded his vision of the world; dysphoric clouds obscured his sight of the far horizon of the future—any future, and not just his own. His world was all black and grey, with no rainbows at the moment. Had they—the Angels asked themselves—made a mistake when they had touched his DNA in the womb and had given him the gifts of intellect and imagination that they had? Had they gone too far and created too many dangerous side-effects for him to realistically deal with in his day-to-day existence post-pubescence? Had they truly driven him mad?

    Around the Boy too, the threads of fate’s tapestry were wound as though he were a maypole, perhaps even tighter than they were around the Girl. They reached outward from him and became a dizzying network of spiraling, interconnected fractal patterns—fluxing, pulsating, and influencing a thousand worlds beyond him, alive with the energy of Time. And of this, the Boy had no idea, no clue whatsoever. All he knew at the moment was that he hurt, so deeply; he felt a gnawing pain deep inside of his heart that he was convinced he could no longer endure . . . and as he toyed with the gun he held gingerly in his hands, felt along its smooth surface and pondered what a bullet to his brain would actually feel like, his own private world grew dimmer, darker, engulfed in shadow and fear and sadness.

    The time had come at last. The Angels, Archons, and even Demons all watching the Girl and the Boy all sucked in a breath and held it for a moment. The clockwork of the universe paused in its ticking.

    The Boy was about to make his final decision.