Novel Sale: Psychobabel, the book


Old Man Farrago is pleased to announce his first foray into print. In 2009, Farrago Press will release Psychobabel, a novel by Mark Teppo—the sequel to The Oneiromantic Mosaic of Harry Potemkin, which ran serially in 2007 at Farrago’s Wainscot.

From the Old Man’s wormeaten rolltop:

“Tell me your dreams.”

Harry Potemkin thought he was a simple back-alley dream surgeon, an unlicensed psychologist with a very unorthodox technique, but he has gotten lost in a dream, and he must figure out if it is his dream or the dream of his Adversary because in one of those two, he doesn’t really exist. And so begins the final conflict between a man who has never dreamed, and the man who is just a dream. Are they schizophrenic facets of each other, oneiric combatants locked in a perpetual struggle, or are they each a reflection of the other?

And the only anchor in either dream is the blackleaf, a rare entheogen that Trinity Pharmacopoeia will stop at nothing to procure, including flooding the dream realm with their poisons. The only bastion still standing in this toxic landscape is a shifting labyrinth of the “Potemkin Mosaic,” a four-dimensional dream journal that Harry doesn’t recall writing.

But he must have written it, as it is the collapsed summary of his life. Does he exist, or is he one sentient personality in a damaged psyche desperately trying to heal itself?

“The only thing you can’t do in a dream is dream, Harry.”

Some of you may have noticed a little pre-announcement that went round over the weekend through some blogs, pointing readers to what we’re calling the “expanded” edition of The Potemkin Mosaic. It is, essentially, the same content that ran at Farrago’s Wainscot, and we’ve simply added some more infrastructure to it–more choices to help you get lost, or to find your way. Hopefully, it’ll help those of you who haven’t had a chance to find a path you like, and for those of you who think you figured it all out, this may cement your theory in your mind. Because, trust me, we’re really only getting started.

The first twist is hinted at in the press release above. The second twist isn’t even in the Mosaic. Well, it is, but it’s only hinted at. If you want a real clue, you’ll have to read Barth Anderson’s The Magician and the Fool, which comes out tomorrow.

The Mystery of the Daytime Tech Job


For example, say you have a household with two boys (OBOY and YBOY) and two girls (OGIRL and YGIRL). Now each child has a specific job that they do around the house, and each is able to answer the front door and process incoming requests for data and services. (Yes, this is a metaphor for a technical system). OBOY runs the household system, which is an interface into each child’s sub-projects and status. DAD (the genial, yet firm monitoring system) roams the halls between their rooms, ensuring that all of his children are awake, doing their jobs and playing well each other. DAD is not allowed in their rooms, but he is the only interface to their rooms.

At least, that’s what the documentation suggests.

I’m trying to explain the conundrum I’m facing this morning to a buddy, and I get this far and the picture seems to be pretty straight foward. “But,” I say, “here’s the situation. DAD has thrown an alert telling me that OGIRL isn’t in her room. She’s sleeping off a bender or something. I query the house and ask for a full status report. Who answers the front door? OGIRL. Who does she query? OBOY. Who reports back that, yes, DAD is correct: OGIRL is not responding, and he doesn’t know where she is. She, however, is the one who is reporting this data to me.”

Now, do I tell DAD his interface to OGIRL’s room is broken and ask him to fix it? Everything would return to normal. But, OGIRL appears to be processing work, so is everything normal anyway? Even though no one will admit to knowing where OGIRL is in the house or if she is doing work.

Norwescon Happened. I Saw Parts.


I dragged myself home from Norwescon this afternoon. What had been planned as a very quiet, off-the-radar weekend of catching up with old friends turned into quite the little turn of business. Nightshade was in the house, and so there was the undirected (yet not unexpected) level of chaos and merriment that comes with having us all in the same hotel. I crashed a few panels, including one late this afternoon on what to do after selling that first novel, and for a Sunday afternoon panel, I think we (myself, Lisa Mantchev, and Michael Ehart) managed to actually have more bodies in the room at the end of the panel than when we started. Bonus!

More on the business-type things as they develop. More on other things too, a bit later in the week I think. I have to finish a paragraph or two for someone, and something else has to run its course. And Barth’s new book, The Magician and the Fool, comes out and I have to figure out if I’m playing him or he’s playing me.

Recent Sales


“Blackmail Boxes” to Electric Velocipede. Publication date to be determined. [novelette]

“Faith, Hidden in the Hands of the Blind,” AKA the poker story, to Farrago’s Wainscot. Publication is later this year, I believe. [novella]

I’m working on some Lightbreaker material this week, as well as wrestling an article into some semblance of coherence, and then I’ll have run out of ways to procrastinate on RABBITS FOOT. Ah, life in the salt mines. 🙂