Yes, I know, it’s a book, it’s seemingly self evident how to work it.
But think about that for one minute. …Thousand 58, thousand 59, thousand 60. OK. What did you learn? You learned that you only know how to use a book because somebody showed you which side was up and which way the pages turned.
Then you had to have some amount of help to understand that the little pictures were “letters” and together they meant “words.”
Now here’s some schmuck playing with the rules. Or playing without the rules. And he’s a schmuck!
So, yeah. An Owner’s Manual.
Let’s start with the site itself.
The site is broken out into essentially three literary categories. The other parts have more to do with the mechanics of the site.
We’ll start with Authoritis and Detritus. It has various topics of widely varying importance to the back story.
Then there is Cast Of Characters. This is a list of “people” in the book. And it includes some definitions in the area labled Gloss.
The thing about this list is that there are links into and out of the list. The book can be read and understood without the links.
Third is the book. This is the first book of a series. The book attempts to do no less than answer the question of “Why Are We Here” by exploring “Who are we” that asks and tries to answer “What are We?” Which is answered by “Why Are We?” Because of the scope of this question the Book references other works that are in the “Explanation of Existence” folder which is a folder which is sort of a midway point between the mechanics and the literal (if I may be so immodest as to refer to it and myself as literate.)
The Process for reading the book is, First, sign up as a Premium Member, I’m trying to sell a book here. $20 one time you’re a premium Member, bang. No membership fees, nothing. 20 bucks get the book, plus the other stuff you’ll see when you decide to join.
Then, of course, go to chapter one…No…Yeah… well This Is Prologue then Chapter 1. (The hesitation is that you CAN go to Genesis Page and that will outline each chapter of the book and the concepts for the future books and the project of the website. But then you will have spoilered the book for yourself, so maybe you don’t want to do that.)
The thing about this site and this book that makes it different from a printed book is the availability of the hyperlink. In Chapter 1 the hyperlink gets a workout. The opening of this story is unique onto itself (if ANYTHING can be such. I don’t know that it hasn’t been done or tried a million times before) in that there is no introduction to the characters. There is no setting for the characters described. You are left to determine the situation by the clues given in the dialog.
The second thing about the first chapter is that the dialog is multicolored when those characters are speaking. Each color represents a different aspect of the human personality. Each color is the indicator of a hyperlink to the description of the character speaking.
I can spell them all out here, I can hyperlink the answer right here. But the process of discovery, I think, adds a dimension to the story telling which is unique to the medium. I will tell you that it adds a dimension to the story writing which I find exhilarating. I can have a character say something, and then let you go find what his motivation is, which will give you clues. I don’t promise that the clues should be taken at face value. I ask for your suspension of disbelief and at the same time expect you to trust only as much as you would if you met this character at a cocktail party or a church picnic. These characters have their own agendas, and we’re not 100% sure what they are.
You don’t absolutely need the hyperlinks. You may well want to burn through beginning to end first and see where the story takes itself. Then come back and look through the links, see if there is a different understanding that you gain from the “behind the scenes” view.
Chapter Two has the first attempts to build the explaining of the mechanics of the book adjacent to the book.
The opening quotes are between Robert J Stone and Dave. Following those links will explain not only who they are but also explain the concepts behind the links.
The characters each have their own color (mine is based on my birthday.) Some have more than the one. The colors and the characters will be grouped in the way the Als are. Depending on which Al Traits they exhibit.