The Book Report
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Zebo the Mag 6/9/2020 9:54pm
It was like a dream.
Starving, dizzy as the spiral path grew smaller and smaller. Text on the screen of the ebook version of A Suggestive Inquiry into the Songs, Behaviors, and Idiosyncratic Characteristics of the Dreaming King of the Northern Presence, Sector B Subcluster, Being an Attempt Towards the Recovery of the Ancient Experiment of Nature getting smaller and smaller and harder to read in my mind. No! Not that version! What did the illegal reader's edition say? It was printed. On paper.
Weak. Food and water ran out long ago. How long? The bottom of the Valley of the Dreaming King of the Northern Presence is in perpetual twilight. Morning? Noon? Dusk? Or lit by the cool blue glow of whatever's at the valley floor?
Parched. A stream, bubbling up from the valley floor. One sip. One gulp.
I have entered the dream.
Wait. Wasn't I supposed to do something? I brought all this equipment. What did the book say? Ah,
Yeah ok wut?
Ok, got that in my pocket.
I can see myself doing it, again and again, but each time when it almost seems real, it fades away, just like in a dream.
Instead, I'm still there. Looking.
Looking at the Dreaming King of the Northern Presence, on his bed-throne.
I walk closer. It's just a kid, not some old man. My age.
With my hair.
And my pajamas. And face.
Is that really what I sound like?
Wake up! dontwakehimup Wake up!
I want to shake him but I can't move.
I can't wake up.
I can't scream.
The Dreaming King of the Northern Presence, Sector B Subcluster, in his bed-throne, sleeps on.
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Zebo the Mag 4/26/2020 7:35pm
"You need help? We can carry! Where are you going?"
"The Triplet Sisters. Do you know them?"
The kids look at me in disgust.
"You don't want to go there. It's a very bad place."
Word gets around fast in this little mountain village. They won't even serve me in the little food shack on the dusty main street.
"You are not welcome here. Go away."
I knew from the book--A Suggestive Inquiry into the Songs, Behaviors, and Idiosyncratic Characteristics of the Dreaming King of the Northern Presence, Sector B Subcluster, Being an Attempt Towards the Recovery of the Ancient Experiment of Nature (illegal reader print edition)--that the local mountain folk wouldn't be any help. But I didn't expect them to be aggressive. If I had taken the time to learn their language, I might understand more.
However, I planned for this, and made sure that all the various devices and equipment I'll need can be carried on my back. Still, it's 40 lbs--a bit heavier than I'd like it to be. Some of that is food and water though, so it will get lighter as I go.
According to my maps, it's only a two day hike.
"You go home! You go to the Triple Sisters and you won't come back!" an old lady spits at me.
Zebo the Mag 4/17/2020 7:11pm
I've booked myself time at the teleportation gates for a trip to the Triplet Sisters of Sector B Subcluster. I need to complete my work on the devices from the blueprints, but luckily I had Psychic Shop Class just last term, and I have a knack for it, so Doc Spanner lets me use any of the tools I want, including the cryogenic cold saw, mental complex deburring grinder, the vibratory tuners, and the obelisk.
And let me tell you--doing that shopwork while following all the strictures listed in the Prayer of the Never-sleeping Ones does NOT make it easy. Between the bouts of dizziness, hysteric laughing, and general lack of sleep, I nearly lopped off an etheric protuberance! Good thing Doc Spanner didn't catch that or he'd kick me out for sure.
Zebo the Mag 4/9/2020 10:42pm
Notes on the differences between the print and the electronic versions of A Suggestive Inquiry into the Songs, Behaviors, and Idiosyncratic Characteristics of the Dreaming King of the Northern Presence, Sector B Subcluster, Being an Attempt Towards the Recovery of the Ancient Experiment of Nature.
As the pagination between the versions varies a great deal, I've only noted the page and paragraph of the text of the electronic version, then listed what appears in the print version in the same relative portion of the book. The electronic version is more of a middle-reader children's book consisting of relatively few pages, whereas the print version is near 200 pages, including diagrams and multiple appendices.
These are only a very small selection of the differences, with the print version text heavily edited for brevity.
Electronic version, page 13, paragraph 4:
The Dreaming King is a nice fluffy old man.
The Dreaming King of the Northern Presence is an endomorphic consciousness inhabiting a particular geographic coordinate array within the Sector B Subcluster, prone to lash out with defensive etheric discharge when surprised, confused, or intimidated.
Electronic version, page 17, paragraph 2:
You might see the Dreaming King when you are on a walk in your local park!
The Dreaming King rests within a recognizable landmark in the mountains of Sector B Subcluster, specifically the Triplet Sisters as they are known by the common mountain folk. The valley between these three scraggy mountain tops is actually an ancient caldera, and passage into the valley is treacherous. Local mountain guides refuse to accompany the traveller into the region, and will often mislead or trick visitors away from the area, fearing to awaken the wrath of the Dreaming King.
Electronic version, page 21, paragraph 3:
If you'd like to talk to the Dreaming King, it's as easy as taking a nap!
Under no circumstances attempt to speak to the Dreaming King, as direct contact is a sure road to madness and a drooling, gibbering much shortened life. Only through carefully following the procedures described in Appendix F, and building the requisite equipment described in the Blueprints section, as well as following all the strictures listed in the Prayer of the Never-sleeping Ones (see enclosed laminated sheet), should the adept consider contact. Even then, such contact is not advised.
Zebo the Mag 4/1/2020 10:21pm
The publisher spent some time outside, berating me, calling for the police, tearing up the tulips and daffodils in great big handfuls before finally wandering off.
Somehow I don't feel safe here. But come on, it's just a book, right? You can't go to jail for just owning books anymore. And I do own it, I paid for it. It's not like its stolen. What can the publisher do to me? Bring some of his publisher goons and muscle to rough me up?
What did he call it? An Illegal Reader Edition?
It must be worth a fortune.
But why? Is it merely a collectible? Or is there some kind of information in it that makes it so valuable. Frankly it's still hard to make heads or tails of: A Suggestive Inquiry into the Songs, Behaviors, and Idiosyncratic Characteristics of the Dreaming King of the Northern Presence, Sector B Subcluster, Being an Attempt Towards the Recovery of the Ancient Experiment of Nature. The weird old fashioned nature of the writing makes it tough going. I guess I could start by actually listing what's different between this text and the online edition.
Which means... I guess I've got a lot of reading ahead of me.
Duncan 3/31/2020 9:57am
I finally finished my book report! It took me a while but I did it. Now all I need to do is turn it in and.... where did it go? You got to be kidding me, another dimensional portal sucked it up. AGAIN.
Zebo the Mag 3/27/2020 7:39pm
The publisher arrived today. He was wearing an old fashioned suit with a watch chain and demanded to come inside and see my book -- A Suggestive Inquiry into the Songs, Behaviors, and Idiosyncratic Characteristics of the Dreaming King of the Northern Presence, Sector B Subcluster, Being an Attempt Towards the Recovery of the Ancient Experiment of Nature.
This was, of course, the textbook that differed so much from the online version. It was barely the same book at all.
He took out his tiny glasses and wiped them with a dirty handkerchief and put them on and began to study the book. It looks like most text books. He looked at the binding (textbook binding). He looked at the cover and the frontback cover (full color stock photography). He opened it up and looked carefully at the copyright page. He looked at the appendix.
"Ah, I'm afraid you've been shipped an illegal reader's edition. I'll need to take this with me."
But what about my money? What about my book report? Something in me said this "illegal reader's edition" was the book I should be writing about, not the trumped up fake-o online version.
"You will be shipped a replacement in due time, in such time as the appropriate replacement can be found."
He started to march out the door. I grabbed the book from his hand and hugged it in my arms.
"ILLEGAL READER! ILLEGAL READER!" he cried, pointing his finger at me.
I closed the door on him.
It was finally time to start on my book report.
Tulove 3/20/2020 2:43pm
For punishment for not being a psychic, my teacher, Henrick Ghast, sent me to read "Mindfester" by Gevin Hiller. AND report it, all the killings included in it.
Zebo the Mag 3/14/2020 4:59pm
My book finally arrived in the mail today. It spent a long time in psychic quarantine, which could have cost me precious days in preparation for my report. Fortunately I had access to the online version.
But now I open the book I got in the mail and it's not the same at all! Well I mean it's got the same title (A Suggestive Inquiry into the Songs, Behaviors, and Idiosyncratic Characteristics of the Dreaming King of the Northern Presence, Sector B Subcluster, Being an Attempt Towards the Recovery of the Ancient Experiment of Nature), and the same cover art, (a bunch of happy kids listening to old fashioned head phones), and the chapter titles, and even the ISBN, but the content is totally different. You kind of have to dig into it because it's all written in this old fashioned, weird word, run-on sentence kind of way, but other than that they're not saying the same story at all.
Which one am I supposed to believe? I wrote the publisher.
Jeremy Brown 3/5/2020 11:25am
I’m glad I could help!
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