Sunday, November 5, 2017

Special Prices!


99-CENT SPECIAL
ON FIVE TERMITEWRITER BOOKS!

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 5
THROUGH 
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12

The Termite Queen (a 2-vol. novel)
 v.1: The Speaking of the Dead  http://amzn.to/Imh3kd
v.2: The Wound That Has No Healing  http://amzn.to/LnvhbL

Excerpt from an Amazon review  by Jack A. Urquhart

Though the author modestly characterizes TQ as literary Sci-Fi, the description doesn't begin to capture the full flavor of Taylor's accomplishment. Rather, in TQ V 1 and 2 the author serves up a tome that crosses genres as easily as her intergalactic cast of characters crosses from real time space travel to temporal quantum space travel and back again. In fact, the complete TQ saga is part traditional love story, part epic adventure tale richly seasoned with mythic and religious overtones, as well as copious references to literary classics (each chapter is introduced by a literary epigraph). That said, it is not incidental that Taylor's epic is set in the thirtieth century (2969--2971). Hardcore Sci-fi aficionados will appreciate that Taylor's literary recipe includes science so convincingly researched and/or fabricated as to concoct a perfectly plausible and believable future.
It helps that Taylor's `future' is inhabited by a cast of engaging and believable characters--human and alien.


The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars: A Biographical Fiction
Part One: Eagle Ascendant http://amzn.to/2iTNuUd
Part Two: Wounded Eagle http://amzn.to/2rfAaP4
Part Three: Bird of Prey http://amzn.to/2ytDmt8

Excerpts from an Amazon review of Part One by Colleen Chesebro

The date is October 31, 2729, and Robbie Nikalishin comes roaring into a not so perfect world. As a young boy, his father instills a love of space into his young psyche. Robbie’s most prized possession is a tiny metal airplane  that accompanies him through his life journey. That aircraft stands for his aspiration to become the captain of his own starship. Gifted with the ability to solve elaborate string theory mathematics, Robbie pursues his dream with a determination that propels him to the head of his college classes.
With expert detail and descriptions, the author immerses the reader into Nikalishin’s futuristic world. This first book covers his childhood and his teen years, eventually bringing you to the peak of his flying career.
What I loved most about Robbie’s character was how utterly human he was. From Robbie’s youth onward, I followed his experiences and saw first hand who Robbie the man became. It was a rare opportunity to witness the events that shaped a character’s personality.
Robbie’s personality is multifaceted, and at times, he comes across as self-sabotaging and selfish. Yet, I couldn’t help but like the guy. For all of his brilliance, he possessed an innocence that tugged at my heart. Sometimes he made his life choices so difficult that I couldn’t help remembering myself at a younger age and how I didn’t make all the best decisions either. However, all of that drama only adds to the allure of Captain Robbie Nikalishin.
I won’t kid you… this book ended with a cliffhanger of phenomenal proportions! Robbie’s story left me hungering for more and turning pages at an abnormally fast pace. I stayed up into the wee hours reading to find out happened next. My only hope is that the author, Lorinda Taylor, writes as quickly as I read. I can’t wait to see how it all comes together in the next book in the series.

Remember - each volume is only 99 cents, one week only!





Monday, September 18, 2017

New 5-Star Review of The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars, Part Two: Wounded Eagle


http://amzn.to/2iTNuUd
http://amzn.to/2rfAaP4
Colleen Chesebro's Review 
of Part Two of
The Man Who Found Birds
among the Stars

Thanks, Colleen!

At the beginning of the second book in the series, we find our hero, Captain Robbin Nikalishin regaining consciousness aboard the rescue ship Reliable. The untold horrors of the space disaster have left the captain suffering from PTSD, along with an all-encompassing guilt for the death of his best friend, Kolm MaGilligoody.
Psychologically, Robbie is in a bad place. Kolm’s death haunts him day andnight. At times, the pain is so great he doesn’t feel he can go on. The physical damage of the crash has also taken its toll. The captain’s appearance has suffered from the effects of radiation poisoning, along with various bumps and bruises. These physical signs of trauma eventually abate, leaving behind the deep scars of emotional pain that Robbie must learn to embrace.
Captain Nikalishin discovers he has a long road ahead of him when it comes to healing from these psychological wounds. With the help of Dr. Souray, who becomes a surrogate mother to him, there is gradual improvement. The primary issue is that certain things set the captain off and he reverts back to relive the horror in a series of flashbacks. With the upcoming investigation into the crash, Robbie must be able to testify at a hearing and a trial.
While Robbie is undergoing extensive treatment, the issue of Prf. Karlis Eiginsh’s actions come to the forefront of the investigation. Why did he falsify equations to make the jump look safe when in reality it wasn’t? There is an interesting twist to this part of the story when the truth finally comes out that gives the reader a sneak peek into the man the captain is to become. I have to say, I thought it was great storytelling.
The book is long, but such is Robbie’s journey to reconcile who he is and who he has become. The mental trauma he suffered even caused him to question his desire to fly amongst the stars, and whether he could ever cope with the stressors of being a space captain again. Then, there are the unresolved issues Robbie has with his mother. The signs of that first mental damage from long ago always seem to resurface when he tries to have a relationship with a woman. Robbie’s wounds run deep, and to actually heal, he must come to grips with his demons.
I love this series. The writing is clear and concise and draws you into the character-driven plot. Yet, just like in the first book, I still find something poignant and raw about Robbie Nikalishin that makes me want to know more of his story. His character is imperfect, to say the least. I don’t know if he appeals to the mother in me or if I just want him to find peace and love.
Either way, the author has spun a tale filled with high drama and intrigue, healing and pain. I can’t wait to discover what happens next in book three coming soon! Make sure to take a look at the book’s cover art. Lorinda draws and creates her own cover art. 

See the review on Colleen's blog!
And check out her book
The Heart Stone Chronicles:



Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Advice to Neophyte Writers: Don't Try This at Home!

       
Cover of Part One
       I'm getting good results after publishing The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars, Part One: Eagle Ascendant.  I've already had six reviews, all of them 5 star.  It seems my friend Neil Aplin was right in maintaining it would be a success.  I had my doubts about publishing any of the book, because the entire piece is way longer than any book should ever be.  Neil didn't think so -- he read it in manuscript and he wanted it to be even longer, and it was his enthusiastic support that convinced me to publish the beginning of it.
       Part Two: Wounded Eagle is in the works; I'm revising like mad, trying to shorten it.   Part One is a long book, but at least it covers the first 31.5 years of Capt. Nikalishin's life.  Part Two only covers 2.5 years and it's even longer than Part One.  There will be at least six more parts after that so you see my problem.  The ultimate conclusion isn't even written yet.
       You might be saying, how in the world could you let this happen?  I've written a bit about my writing history before, but now I have new readers and Facebook friends who may not know how my writing came about, so I need to construct an apology, in the sense of a justification.

Sneak peak: cover for
Part Two (tentative)
        I've always been inclined to write long.  In college when the professor would assign a 20-page paper, the other students would be groaning -- how would they ever be able to make it that long?  And I would be wondering how I could keep the paper under 40 pages.
        I started to write fiction after I read Tolkien in 1969, and I had no real thought of publishing at that time. I simply found the act of writing to be tremendous fun.  So I wrote my first endless story. It was somewhat Tolkienesque imaginary-world fantasy and it was my million-word learning process.  It will never be finished and I will never publish it, but in case anyone is interested, my novel Children of the Music was written as a prequel to that long piece.
       From 1983 through 1999 I took a hiatus from writing because of family responsibilities.  Then in January of 2000 I bought my first computer, which made the act of writing infinitely easier.  And I had a sudden surge of literary inspiration, beginning with "Monster Is in the Eye of the Beholder" (a novella! Amazing!) and then The Termite Queen and the rest of the termite stories (I've discussed them plenty elsewhere, mostly on my other blog The Labors of Ki'shto'ba Huge-Head).  I completed the sixth volume of Labors in July of 2003, so you can see that I wrote furiously for those 3.5 years.  By that time I was a little tired of termites and even though I needed one more tale to complete the Quest, I wanted to do something else for a while.  (I did manage to compose the sequel volume for the Ki'shto'ba tales in 2015 while I was on chemo.)
       I should say that during this time I also never contemplated publishing -- I was simply enjoying myself too much.

       And then I got the idea for The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars.  I had invented the Bird People of the planet Krisí’i’aid, along with their language, for The Termite Queen, and I decided it would be interesting to write about the first contact with the Krisí’i’aida, which had occurred a couple of centuries earlier.  How about writing a biography of the spaceship Captain who made the first contact?  This would also give me a chance to develop my future history to an extent greater than I had been able to do in TQ.  I never intended for the piece to be so long or so detailed, but it was one of those stories that just grew like a clump of mushrooms.  And again, with no intent to publish, I paid absolutely no attention to the length. (A really serious mistake -- again I say to beginning writers: DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!)   I started writing in November of 2003 and worked on that thing until January of 2011, when it suddenly hit me that I was 70 years old.  If I ever wanted anyone else to read my books, I'd better suspend writing and focus on publishing.  So I began to work up "Monster Is in the Eye of the Beholder," self-publishing it in November of 2011, and that was followed by The Termite Queen and the Ki'shto'ba series -- and the rest is history, as they say.

       So what was I going to do with all that manuscript for The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars? (By the way, that was not the original title, but I don't seem to have recorded the original title anywhere and unfortunately I can't remember what it was.  Once I thought of MWFB, it seemed perfect and I never looked back.) I decided to publish excerpts from the book on my blog -- those excerpts are still here, on this very blog, but they've been radically altered in the final form of the book.  My friend Neil Aplin was mesmerized by those excerpts and so I agreed to email him longer pieces of the book.  He continued to be crazy about it and finally he convinced me to begin to working over the piece for publication.

      At one point I considered getting a professional editor to shorten it.  I'm sure a professional could do that -- just take shears and whack away.  But then it wouldn't be my book and I think I would have an apoplexy trying to deal with that person no matter how tactful and truly interested they were. Nope, that doesn't work for me.  I'm not concerned with becoming a bestseller, and it costs me nothing but time to self-publish, especially since I do my own covers.  However, I do like for people to read what I write and enjoy and comment on it.  I'll take my chances that the lengthiness may exhaust my readers' patience.

       So I think the world is stuck with something no writer is supposed to do -- an interminable novel cut into many segments, each one too long in itself.  That's why I call them Part One, Part Two, etc.  It suggests a single story rather than a series.  I made that mistake with The Termite Queen.  It was too long for one volume, but it is really all one story, and by designating the halves v.1 and v.2 rather that Pt.1 and Pt.2, I made people think it was a series and too many people have stopped reading after v.1 and so don't get the full effect.  The Ki'shto'ba books really constitute a serial rather than a series, but the volume designations seem to fit OK in their case.

So here are the upcoming volumes in the endless progression of MWFB:
Part One: Eagle Ascendant (already published)
Part Two: Wounded Eagle (being edited)
Part Three: High Feather
Part Four: Survivor
Part Five: Phenix (this is the one that requires drastic cutting -- Fathers and Demons was extracted [and will be cut] from that section)
Part Six: Rare Birds (still experimental)
Part Seven + : ??? not written yet!

       Do you think any reader can survive all that?  Do you think I can live long enough to actually accomplish the required editing?  I had some other books I wanted to write, too. Sounds hopeless! Anyway, I just wanted everyone to know how this all came about and warn them about what might be coming.  I beg your indulgence!  At least you've seemed to enjoy Part One.  Who knows?  Maybe you'll enjoy the other parts just as much!


Monday, February 6, 2017

Two New 5-Star Reviews on The Man Who Found Birds, Part One

http://amzn.to/2iTNuUd

Here are the texts of two great reviews on Amazon:

Science fiction epic!

       An epic of true Taylor proportions! In the 28th century world of the future created as home to our hero Robbie Nikalishin we share all his trials and tribulations as he seeks to fulfil his ambition to fly to the stars. As with all Taylor's characters we are faced with our own shortcomings and weaknesses despite the distances of time and space that separate us from Robbie and his compañeros. A page-turner of a book - impossible to relinquish until the pages run out ... leaving us hungry for more.

What a ride!!! More, please!

       This may be the best book I have read in the last ten years. Certainly it is the best science fiction book I have read since Mary Dorian Russell's "The Sparrow" and "Children of God" books. Please, PLEASE, Ms. Taylor, write the sequel soon!
      This is a story of flawed heroes and perfect plot, of hard science and tender hearts. It is intelligently written, fantastic entertainment for the imagination, fascinating, and the characters are very three-dimensional. There is excitement, humor, adventure, and exploration not only of quantum physics but of the human spirit, all against a backdrop of an all too plausible future.
       The only complaint anyone could possibly have with this gem of a story is that the sequel isn't here yet. Eagerly awaiting the next part of the saga.



This isn't the first time my books have been compared to Mary Doria Russell's.  Here is a paragraph from a review of Monster Is in the Eye of the Beholder, written way back in January, 2012:

Lorinda J. Taylor's imaginative and entertaining science-fiction novella, Monster Is in the Eye of the Beholder, reminded this reader of Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow (1996). Both works are first-contact stories that turn on what happens when human beings, acting with best intentions, behave in ways that cause catastrophic damage. Doria Russell and Taylor both explore the nature of good and evil, cultural difference, and prejudice, and both choose to tell their stories, for the most part, in framed flashbacks.

Buy all my books here:


Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars - Now Published!



THE MAN WHO
FOUND BIRDS
AMONG THE STARS

PART ONE
EAGLE ASCENDANT

Special price:
  only 99 cents
until the Launch
Party 

Launch Party to be held on Saturday,
January 14, 2017, on Facebook
You may win a FREE Copy!

You'll love this book
if you like biography and you like space heroes who have flaws, and
if you're interested in my version of the future history of Earth.

Buy at
Amazon (US) (note pbk and Kindle haven't been linked yet)

       Like all my other books, I began this one years ago; I found older versions of the MS that were created in 2005, and I continued writing no matter how long it became.  After I began to self-publish my books, this one remained on the back burner because its length had gotten out of hand and it still wasn't finished.  I put up some samples on this blog and one person who read them was ecstatic about the piece.  I proceeded to send him the MS and he read the whole darn thing and urged me to publish it.  So -- I'm making a beginning on that, even though the entire opus still isn't finished.
       A lot of you have been reading lines from Part One on the Twitter hashtag author games lately, and others have seen excerpts on certain Facebook events like Tidbit Tuesday.  I hope this has whetted your desire to read the entire book.
       Also, some of you have read an extract from a later part of Man Who Found Birds, which I published as Fathers and Demons.  The current offering gives you the earliest history of the Captain who appears in that book.
       Here is the description that you'll find on Amazon and Smashwords (an expansion of the blurb on the back cover above):

Robbin Haysus Nikalishin was born on 31 October of the year 2729 and ultimately became the first starship Captain to make contact with extraterrestrials.  This fictionalized biography, composed 50 years after Nikalishin’s death, recounts the first 31 years of the life of a man who is hailed as one of Earth’s greatest heroes. During this portion of his life he enjoyed many triumphs, joys, and loves, but he was not immune to failure and tragedy.  In 2761 a major space disaster completely changes the course of his life.  Whether it will be for better or worse is left for the reader to decide.
All heroes are human beings and all human beings are flawed, and the man the Earth came to know as “Capt. Robbie” was a very human man.  


Monday, January 2, 2017

The Precepts: No. 6 in my New Series of Mythmaker Posts





     So how did I come up with these Precepts?  I’m really not quite sure.  I only know that somewhere back when I was composing The Termite Queen, or maybe even earlier (when I was writing “Monster Is in the Eye of the Beholder”), I started writing them down.  It’s almost like they just emerged from the void.  I knew I was creating a humanistic civilization and I felt guidelines were needed.  The only revision I’ve done recently involves the final four or five, which I reordered and renumbered.  This has caused some of the numbering to be off in my previously published books, I’m afraid, and if I ever update those books, I’ll fix that, but I figure nobody will pay much attention, since the whole list of Precepts doesn’t appear in those publications.  Everything should be correct in The Man Who Found Birds among the Stars.
       The list begins by dealing with religions and gradually progresses to what it means to be human.  Most of the ethical material is in the middle along with the nature and value of science and art.  The order is pretty arbitrary, however. 
       All I'm doing in this post is presenting the list so you can get acquainted with the Precepts.  Remember, they are not meant to be laws or rigid rules – they are meant to be guidelines, capable of interpretation.  They are intended to make you think.   In subsequent posts, I intend to discuss the individual precepts, some in groups and some as stand-alones.  In the meantime, I welcome any comments or questions.

The Mythmaker Precepts

Precept No. 1: No one can know deity; neither can it be proven that it does not exist.
Precept No. 2: Humans have within themselves the ability to see beyond themselves and hence to act rightly without supernatural stimulus.
Precept No. 3: Since the purpose of deity for humans, or even whether it had a purpose for humans, is unknowable, it is incumbent upon humans to look within themselves and find the way to right action.
Precept No. 4: Humans must take responsibility for their own behavior, not seeking to put blame on imposed rules (of deity or human) or on fate, chance, or the intervention or willfulness of deity.
Precept No. 5: Humans will never succeed absolutely in achieving these goals; nevertheless striving for right action is its own purpose.
Precept No. 6: The closest humans can attain to deity is the symbolism of myth and art.
Precept No. 7: If a human have nothing else, it has its own soul, which must remain inviolate.
Precept No. 8: Science has a soul; technology is soulless.
Precept No. 9: Conduct your wars with words, not weapons.
Precept No. 10: The Right Way is universal; the Truth is parochial and divisive.
Precept No. 11: Institutions that grip souls merely for the purpose of gripping souls will always become destructive.
Precept No. 12: To achieve understanding of the unlike is a divine goal.
Precept No. 13: Love is as unknowable as deity, but every soul attests that it exists.
Precept No. 14: Let men and women make the vows of love in the music of the bedchamber, not with empty words.
Precept No. 15: Evolution has failed to structure the human organism for moderation; nevertheless the ability to recognize and strive for this virtue distinguishes human beings from other animals.  [Corollary:  The human organism is not innately a peaceful animal, but its ability to recognize and strive for peace sets it apart from other animals.] [Corollary:  Moderation promotes peace.]
Precept No. 16: Animals neither punish, seek revenge, forgive, nor blaspheme, nor recognize a need for any of these things.
Precept No. 17: Study history and learn from it, but look to the future and do not let yourself be trapped by nostalgia or revenge. 
Precept No. 18: There are creatures on this planet [amended later to in the universe] who speak, form symbols, and share emotions; these may be called human.
Precept No. 19: The humans of our planet are all the same species; therefore they should care for one another and avoid the destruction of their own kind.
Precept No. 20: Since humans share their genetic heritage with all the bio-organisms of this planet [and of the universe – amendment added later], they should always seek to preserve life.

Previous posts in this series:

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Valley of the White Bear: No. 5 in my New Series of Mythmaker Posts

Starving Polar Bear 
Kerstin Langenberger Photography
from https://www.thedodo.com/emaciated-polar-bear-1330557679.htm

     The best introduction to this universally acclaimed Mythmaker drama is contained in the following extract from The Termite Queen, v.1.  Griffen Gwidian is an entomologist and chief of the expedition to the termite planet; Kaitrin Oliva is the linguistic anthropologist charged with learning how to communicate with the termite extraterrestrials.  The two of them are falling in love, and during this time they attend several stage productions, including one of The White Bear.

       The Valley of the White Bear was an intense allegorical fantasy of the responsibilities that human beings bear toward one another and toward the world that gives them life.  It was the most beloved of all the literature in the Mythmaker canon, and the most widely studied.  The present rendition was a holotheater production; the settings and fantastic characters were holoimages while the human parts were performed by live actors. 
Kaitrin and Gwidian emerged from the performance discussing the technical merits of the show, including the effectiveness of the hologram of the god/goddess Hasta.  Gwidian found it to be static and lacking in warmth, while Kaitrin felt that the size and austerity ensured the correct overpowering effect.
“I’m never comfortable when gods intrude into Mythmaker lit,” Gwidian said.  “The agenda of those writers was to persuade humanity to take ethical responsibility for its own actions rather than to blame its transgressions on infractions of arbitrary rules laid down by some religious or political entity.  A principle of behavior that our kind tended to ignore in ages past, to Earth’s detriment.”
 “I don’t know that one ought to apply the word ‘agenda’ to the Mythmakers,” said Kaitrin.  “There were so many of them, living over such a long period in so many different parts of the Earth, that it’s doubtful many of them even knew of the others’ existence, let alone exchanged ideas.  They didn’t compose the Precepts, after all – those were a later formulation extracted from a study of the whole Mythmaker canon by a bunch of social philosophers.  The writers with the loftiest imaginations, like No. 96, produced works that stand beautifully on their own without a lot of sententious reinterpretation.  And the god-figures are all symbolic.  As I recall, when Hasta first appears, the stage directions say only something like ‘Ingreaf sees on the top of the mountain a shape with a light in it, which speaks to him.’  That’s why so many different interpretations of it are possible – why producing it on the stage never gets old.  But basically it embodies the overarching Principle of Life.
“And then the White Bear itself is the form the soul of nature takes so that human beings can interact with it.  It’s generally acknowledged that The White Bear was the foundation for Precept No. 20 – Everything in the universe shares in the principle of life, hence we have a moral obligation not to destroy life in our infinitesimal portion of the universe.  I’ve always found the end of the play to be so moving – that juxtaposition of destruction and regeneration!”
“You explicate the play very well!  But if it’s all symbolic, why call Hasta something as concrete as god/goddess?”
“Well, isn’t the Principle of Life sort of what a deity is supposed to be?  Something larger than ourselves – larger and more powerful than anything we can know even with the most advanced science.  The Mythmakers weren’t hidebound atheists, you know.  None of them ever rejected deity categorically; they simply averred that neither its existence nor its non-existence can be proved.  That’s why this trend toward deifying the Mythmakers seems misguided to me.  I’m quite sure they didn’t see themselves as beings whose existence could be neither proved nor disproved!  Although they did succeed spectacularly well in remaining anonymous!”

There is more to this extract, but I’ll save it for a later post.  As an aside, let me just quote the following from MWFB:
Robbin Nikalishin’s Professor of moral philosophy Alise Doone (whose hobby is acting) says in MWFB, Part One: “I’ve done the voice of Hasta in The White Bear three times for the Consortium.  Apparently our director prefers to interpret the esteemed god/goddess as a sexless hag with a quirky Scotts burr, although once I played it as a moon figure with a quirky Scotts burr.” 

It’s my plan to actually write The White Bear someday, although I’m not sure I’m up to writing something that’s considered equivalent to Shakespeare!  But I also intend to write the story of the author of The White Bear, which will be my only dystopian tale.  I’m not sure I’ll ever get that written either, but I’m still not going to tell you anything about that sad story because I don’t want to spoil it in case I do write it.  I’ll only say that The White Bear’s author became fascinated by the story of how Earth’s polar bear was destroyed when climate change eliminated its habitat and he turns this into a whole set of symbolic circumstances. 
The play exists in only two slightly variant manuscripts, discovered within five years of each other in Archivists’ caches. The first was found in what is called in the 21st century New Mexico, and the other came to light much further south in Mexico.  Given that the setting is the far northern reaches of the North American continent, it’s assumed that the author lived somewhere in the middle of that continent and that Archivists carried his/her works south during a migration.
While I won't tell you any more about the author, I am going to summarize the plot of the drama itself.  I have quite a few notes on that subject.

This plot line came to me on 11/24/04, with some additions at 2/7/06. 
Ingreaf (the names of the characters all have symbolic significance) is a technical scientist working in the domain of the Great Northern Techno-Warlord; his name is Stranja (pronounced “strange-uh” because his kind should be considered alien to the Earth) and he rules all of Noonavik and parts of Midammerik.  He holds a competition to develop an invincible robotic warrior, so Ingreaf concocts a mechanical bear that he covers with fake white fur because he has always been fascinated with the tales of a time before the Sun-Scorch when magnificent white bears roamed the now-vanished ice sheets of the North.  He names it Luco, from the ancient root meaning “light,” a name people ridicule – a robotic warrior should be dark and menacing.
He doesn’t give this robot the power of speech (note Precept No. 18, specifying what it means to be human:  Humans speak, form symbols, share emotions), but he does give it the power to understand and obey voice commands.  But as he lives with this monstrosity, he begins to get fascinated with it and it begins to become more human to him.  They form a sort of reluctant bond.  Ingreaf is a lonely man and he keeps Luco in his bedroom and talks to it, coming to wonder why it doesn’t respond. 
Finally the day comes for the robotic-warrior competition, where the Warlord requires that the robots kill a man.  Luco does this so easily that it wins the competition, but as Ingreaf watches, he realizes he’s made a terrible mistake – he should never have created a killer. 
He takes Luco and flees into the wilderness, ending up in a valley at the foot of a peak called Hasta’s Mountain, named for a mythical god/goddess.  (Hasta in Spanish means “until,” emphasizing the fact that Life is a process, not a static given.)  The valley is inhabited by the ghost of a real extinct white bear, a cadaverous apparition which obviously met its death by starvation.
As Ingreaf and Luco wander, they keep catching glimpses of something in the forest, haunting them, shadowing them.  They catch glimpses of something glimmering pale among the trees, and they hear noises, growls, whimpers.  One night it’s particularly bad and there is a scrambling in the bushes and Luco runs off in protective mode and leaves his master alone.  At that point, Luco is representing the survival instinct, the desire of Life to survive at whatever cost.  While he’s gone, Ingreaf sits by their fire terrified, and then there is this long silence (Ingreaf may speak part of his on-going soliloquy at that point).  When Luco returns, he no longer has just red lights for eyes, he has acquired actual bear eyes. 
This is the beginning of the metamorphosis – the merging of humanity with the natural.  And it’s after this that they first hear Hasta speaking to them.  Gradually Luco acquires more and more characteristics of the ghost as the metamorphosis continues.  And then finally Ingreaf develops to where he can actually see the Bear – the emaciated, dying bear as it was before it became only a spirit.  Luco has merged with the actual Bear, staring at its Creator and pleading for understanding.  Finally, Luco attacks Ingreaf, who by now had come to accept his role as sacrificial victim. He saves the humanity of the world by allowing Luco as White Bear (nature incarnate) to eat him and become strong again, affirming the renewal process of nature.
When Ingreaf decides to save the Bear by feeding him with his own body, he stretches out his hand and cuts the wrist with his knife and the Luco/Bear laps the blood, then approaches and seizes the hand in his mouth.  The stage goes black, except for a glow where Hasta lives, and there is absolutely silence.  Finally the lights are gradually brought up again and the Bear stands there triumphantly at full living strength on its hind legs while a naked, emaciated, and semi-transparent Ingreaf sits on a rock, a ghost himself now.  Between them is a collection of bones and bits of clothing.  They stare at each other and then the White Bear swells larger and vanishes into the forest, symbolizing the impossibility of destruction of the natural.  Ingreaf cries out, “Luco, come back to me!  I have given you my all – will you abandon me?”  But a compassionate Hasta says, Ingreaf, come to the top of the mountain and let the Bear pass on its way.  The cock is about to crow.  The sound of a crowing cock is heard, symbolizing a return to reality, and Ingreaf rises slowly and commences to trudge up toward the light.  Final curtain.

Another parenthetical note to close:  I use the crowing cock symbolism in MWFB, in a later section that isn’t even remotely ready to be published.

In the next post, I'll present the Precepts and begin an analysis.

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