13 Nov 2015

On the Ark, and a Poem

Hail readers!

Hitherto, I have mentioned my progress regarding the Ark (my upcoming scifi novel come romance, for those of you who managed to miss my numerous posts so far). I promised that part I, entitled Love, is to be complete; and I can indeed confirm that my promise has been fulfilled. Part I is finished, and I have a few words that need be said.

Firstly, I have decided to precede the section with an epigraph; this shall be a poem entitled A Fool’s Hope. You may consider it appropriate once you have read it:

In the warm whispers
Of timeless summer zephyrs
A message; a word, is carried
By its caressing touch.
A word named love.

Through the bright summer sky
Across the golden light of that
Eternal cosmic giant; across willows and oaks
And pools of perfect blue-green water
The word makes its way.

Who can know where it may go?
Will it find me, alone in the forest
Whose name is a thorn
To all those foolish?
For it would be a foolish thing, indeed!

To believe in that warm promise;
To hope: of nights spent in your embrace
Alive with your awesome temptation.
A fool’s hope, a trinket for peddlers!
Or is it, in truth, what I have always desired?

The word—a whisper in the wind, a rustle in the leaves
A bird, bright red in that green world—settles on my shoulder.
It sings a beautiful song; the forest sighs
Released from its dark thoughts.
You have come.

(A PDF of this poem shall also soon be posted to the Poems page, if you are wondering.)

Aside from this, allow me to address certain ideas about this part in the book and the wider plot in general.

Part I, and its Place

Part I is, as you may be able to infer, about our darling protagonists’ love affair. It is chiefly concerned with bringing about that strange sequence of events; that which leaves two young men smitten one with another, and their lives hopelessly entangled.

In some ways, Conall and Casey’s connection is surprising. It is true: they share a thing or two in common. Both are really rather keen intellectuals—for Conall this generally means politics, and its brethren, economics; and for Casey this means computers and the universe. The two are not nearly so disparate, however; for they find that in discussing their interests, they begin to see both sciences as being absolutely fascinating.

Anyway: let’s leave their intellectual pursuits aside. They do have substantial differences. Conall is the son of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, and his mother is a multimillionaire. Casey is the son of deceased parents, and is taken care of by his academic Uncle. While both suffer from the pursuit of the intellect, there are substantial differences in their economic means that I take pains to explore.

Part I, however, is not only about their love affair. It also serves as an introduction. It details the situation of Cork, in 2120; it speaks of the Plague, and how it can turn night into day and summer into winter (quite literally!) It speaks of the technology, much of it already extant—as I explain here—but more developed, and more mainstream. It also addresses everything from how nature has adapted to such circumstances (phosphorescent grass being a particularly obvious example) to the style of the architecture.

And in the broader plot, part I sets the scene. It hints of the dark reason for the Plague’s inception. It hints also of the troubles that our protagonists will face; for, of course, no tale is complete without hardship. (Indeed, to misappropriate the great C.S Lewis: if God had made the world, he would be a cosmic sadist.)

‘Alex!’ you cry; ‘this is all fine and good, but why don’t you show us the damn book?’ That, alas, I cannot do. But if you have not already done so, you may take a look at the first two chapters.

Now, I must leave you. I shall write more on the Magical Realm, when time permits. But I am of course concerned with the Ark, for not only am I consorting with an English teacher with regards to what changes I may make to part I; but also, I must think of part II: Life. For that, dark omens lie in wait…

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