During Draft Two edits I’ve been struck by how nobody wants to pin a solid name on the central anomaly of the universe as posited in the final Jack Commer book, Balloon Ship Armageddon:
The n-dimensional sphere represents contradictory and annihilating forces left over from the beginning of creation: forces the Kjur’s physics postulated, and which they called the Uninhabitable. They wanted to map the sphere’s countless nodes so they could be avoided by sentient beings, but they found only one of them, close by in the Large Magellanic Cloud.
There’s no way the new book can ignore the last Commer novel’s final mission, especially since Laurie is one of the crew on Jack’s possibly suicidal enterprise. So did the end of Jack Commer paint any further story development into an incomprehensible corner?
Somehow Supreme Commander Laurie must unpaint that. Ignoring the ins and outs of the Commer series as much as feasible, I kept the focus on the anomaly’s indefinable nature. Nobody really knows what it is, what it means, or what should be done with it. The endless, often silly names they give it speak to the unease it engenders:
- Universal Sphere of Weird Indefinability
- Uninhabitable Anomaly
- Raw Universal Evil Bullshit
- Center of the Cosmos
- Big Universal Evil Mindfuck
- N-Dimensional Anomaly
- N-Dimensional Sphere
- Interdimensional Mindfuck at the Center of the Universe
- Sphere of the Uninhabitable
- Fucked Anomaly
- The Kjur’s Uninhabitable Sphere of N-Dimensional Annihilation
- A Bunch of Infinite Anti-Dark Energy Spheres We’re Supposed to Clean Up
- The Master ADE Node
- Unhabitable Nodeville
- Central Anomaly of the Universe
- The Anomaly at the Center
- N-Dimensional Uninhabitable Zone at the Center of the Universe
- Some Interdimensional Mindfuck at the Center of the Universe
- The Ultimate Fucked Anti-Zone of Dimension Z at the Center of the Universe
- The Universal Center
- The Devil
- The Fire
- The Doomboat Stars
- The Point at Which Existence Breaks Down
- The Leftover Absurdities from the Creation of the Universe
- That Mindblowing Anomaly Thing Out There in Dimension Z
The Fools of the Fire, in charge of this multidimensional outrage, describe their mission:
The Ring is complete. The Fifty-One Fools of the Fire have assembled. You are now at the N-Dimensional Uninhabitable Zone at the Center of the Universe.
We find that in your culture this space is often referred to as the Devil.
It is here that each Fool is tested before joining the Ring.
We have difficulty translating into your concept system. We call ourselves many different things. Word concepts you may understand are Watcher, Caretaker, Guardian, Keeper, Sentinel. But these concepts fail to convey the essential absurdity inherent in curating the impossible fires at the Center of the Universe. We choose Fools of the Fire. However, another option some prefer is Janitors of the Doomboat Stars. We can use that term if it offers comfort.
Copyright 2023 by Michael D. Smith