S2 E8 - The King
S2 E8 The King – Outro
Hello my survivor friends. Welcome back. How’s the apocalypse going for you these days?
This was a long episode. 3500+ words. I thought about breaking it up into two episodes, but it seemed to hang together well enough, and it advances the story line in the right direction.
I just listened to Roberts read of the King’s backstory – OH MY GOD! It was terrifying!
Why does Janet care so much about what these bad guys are doing? Because she sees the bigger picture. She sees that this is one of those moments in the arc of time when direct action by a few individuals can determine or alter the broader outcome.
Now that I think about it, this has echoes of a classic science fiction device. How do you preserve the good parts of the old world for future generations? Think Foundation, or even ‘A Canticle for Leibovitz’, (which I just read), where the catholic monks preserve relics of the past after a nuclear war.
By the way, Canticle for Leibovitz, was a good read. Written by Walter M. Miller and first published in 1959. Walter M. Miller was part of the WWII generation. Miller took part in the bombing of the Benedictine Abbey of Monte Casino and it had an effect on him.
The book is the combination of 3 stories from the same universe that he had originally published in other SciFi magazines, but he didn’t just stick them together, he rewrote them into this novel. You can see the cyclical nature of history, i.e., history repeating itself. You can see the play of church versus state.
If you take it as a story, it’s a good story. But there is also complexity baked into it. He uses word play and alliteration and snippets of the Latin mass to make subtle points. It felt almost like a SciFi version of James Joyce. You can sense the very real struggle of a deeply catholic author trying to find some sympathy for the broken mess that is human-kind.
And with that, I know I said I’d keep it short, but now I have to tell my James Joyce story. I used to think this story made me sound smart and erudite, but now I realize it makes me sound like a man with no friends and rumpled clothes who smells like cheese.
With any story you have to start with the narrator’s exposition. Set the context. I have 3 degrees. I have a business degree an engineering degree and a minor degree in English. The minor degree in English comes from when I was an undergraduate I had the fleeting notion of becoming a journalism major, until I realized I’d have to starve, and then I switched to business.
But in the process I amassed enough credits for a minor degree in English. Because I loved reading and writing.
One semester I signed up for some literature course where the title and description of the course had no relations to what the professor actually taught. It turned out to be an entire summer semester course devoted to one book; James Joyce’s Ulysses.
Now James Joyce was a troubled and brilliant Irish writer who wrote some fine literature. He also wrote two wholly impenetrable magnus opuses. Ulysses and Finnegan’s Wake.
I never read Finnegan’s Wake. But, for this course I had to read Ulysses.
Ulysses was a story of a day in the life of Leopold Bloom, a man in Dublin. Each chapter was written as a parallel to the Homer’s story of Ulysses. Each chapter was written from a different point of view and in different style. There was lots of Latin and Gaelic. It was banned in Boston. If you meet someone who says they have read Ulysses, they are lying.
I had to procure the cliff notes and a separate book that explained the primary book to pass the course. I am that rare person. I have read James Joyce Ulysses. I still have that copy from college on a book shelf downstairs. It’s the reading equivalent of having scaled Mount Everest.
That’s my James Joyce story.
I suppose what I learned from it was the heights to which writing can be taken. The technical skill that a brilliant writer can engineer works of fiction with.
I hear echoes of that conflict between the church and the art in ‘Canticle for Leibovitz’.
Returning across the Rubicon to reality…
We’ve got 69 members in our Facebook group now and it’s an interesting demographic. Carlos the Jackal asked a question about what your list of items would be to bring with you in the Apocalypse. I said ripe avocados, because it’s really hard to find a good ripe avocado in the apocalypse.
We’ve passed 48,000 downloads and are clipping along nicely at 10,500+ downloads a month. A lot of the new folks are getting to us from Audible. I don’t have an audible membership, but I assume there’s a way to rate and review there so you Audible people go ahead and rate us and write a review.
I won’t keep you any longer. I’ll let you get back to hoarding ammo and gathering avocados for the apocalypse.
Until next time – Keep Surviving.