Lost Transmissions: Fiction

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Lost Transmissions

Entry: Fiction.

The problem with fiction is actually quite simple.

Once the critical theorists had finished arguing and everything on the subject was finally understood, the unified churches and other theological hangers on raised the question of the "God narrator" mode of address and asked one simple question: "Which God are we talking about here?"

Once the initial nervous laughter had died out scholars of every discipline – including some wholly unsuited to the task – bent to the challenge.

Fiction had relied on the ability of the writer (a curious and reclusive bunch who for the most part had been replaced by ScriptBots who didn't need paying and were deliberately unable to understand percentages) to inform the reader with snippets of information that their characters could not possibly have known.

This is, of course, blasphemy; as only the divine (the theologists argued) could know the unknowable.

Suddenly the works of the Great Circling Poets of Arium and Lallafa, author of the "Songs of the long land" were hailed as subversive, atheist tracts while, in a final twist of irony, Grunthos the Flatulent was hailed as a realist genius due to his painstaking observation of his, very real and very smelly, armpits.

The fiction industry, having been up to that point relegated to a non-profit, cut-price marketing opportunity, suddenly became the new hot thing. Thrusting art executives with thick black glasses dusted off their old polo-neck jumpers and went to work with a vengeance as, if there is one thing guaranteed to sell a product (even one as outdated as a book) it’s a good smattering of controversy.

ScriptBots whirred through the night to produce unsubstantiated speculation on just about everything, wrapping their anti-theistic meanderings with thin storylines full of disaffected priests and put upon poets. Even some of the remaining writers emerged blinking from their hovels and joined the fray. It was a renaissance.

One writer, a bitter recluse and scribbler of angry pamphlets named Grellar, inevitably went too far. His book "The stuff God saw while we were looking the other way" was an instant smash.

The theologists and other worthies called for his head on a plate but, after a surge in attendance at churches scattered across the galaxy and their collection plates suddenly filling up for the first time in years, the objections quietened to be replaced with the kind of smug scoffing that can only come from rich, moral hypocrites.

The book sold in billions, was insanely popular and caused more deaths than some of the bloodier recent wars as people fell over very real curbs, dogs, benches etc. as they read Grellar's imagined ramblings.

Eventually the book was banned under some hasty health and safety legislation and, despite the determination of a few literary sadomasochists, faded from view.

There were some winners in all this, mostly in the fashion industry, which is why Ursa Minor Beta is now covered in mountains of discarded thick black-rimmed glasses and moldy polo-neck jumpers.

Entry Ends.

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Tim Stevenson

16.04.12 Front Page

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