Saturday, June 11, 2016

A short narrative excerpt from my WIP

I'm currently editing/revising/adding to last November's rough draft of a novel. (So far, I always do my rough drafts during National Novel Writing Month, put the rough draft aside for a few weeks, and then edit like hell for months thereafter.) There's a narrative passage I may or may not get to keep, but I like it enough to air it here.

The passage follows the interruption of a nasty bit of hacking. That's all I'll say for now :-).


In the ancient world, scientific and mathematical epiphanies often faded from public awareness. The Chinese (for example, and one of many) accurately described the structure of snowflakes around 135 B.C.E., a feat not replicated in the West until the 12th century C.E. By that time, the Chinese were extracting hormones from urine for medical purposes, an achievement at which Western medicine did not arrive until some hundreds of years later. In ancient Greece, Aristarchus of Samos posited the heliocentric solar system (placing the sun, not the Earth, at the center) in the 3rd century B.C.E., a discovery forgotten and then rediscovered — amid life-threatening controversy — many centuries later.

But in our modern world, knowledge rarely lies fallow for so long. Inventions, once they exist, refuse to remain secret. They are discovered, despite any efforts to the contrary; and they are used.