Category Archives: dragoncon

author’s note

jim and i were discussing the characters this morning.  he’s got his own ideas as to their backgrounds. he knows where they live.  let me see what i can remember.

the boy is a military nut, and is in the sca because he likes medieval brawlers, but dragoncon doesn’t have an sca track, so he is into space opera military things.  he lives in midtown.

fairy works as a massage therapist and is into bdsm and altered states.  very middle class background, or hippies.  lives in little 5 points, of course.

snake is from real money; his parents live in country club of the south or better, and he’s got an apartment in buckhead and drives a bmw because he’s slumming.  ga tech and he works at emory in their computer department, but he’s more of a manager than a programmer.

and the girl?  he says her name is mary elizabeth, or beth.  i laughed, i’m afraid.  still, it’s better than eve…she comes from a church background, with her mom as a musical director and the dad as the holy preacher. she lives by herself in an apartment inman park, motorcycles or marta in motorcycle leathers, works in computer graphics in a corporation.

kurt: doesn’t matter where he lives.  maybe farm people for his parents.  was a dotcom millionaire and invested it.  works on side projects he’s interested in, but mainly works on his quantum computer, in his van, parked in a public lot on a monthly pass.

jim had a lot to say, but i interrupted him a bunch, so i forget most of these details.  but they’re not the point, and i can fill them in later. (which i did)

i’m going to have to redo the first chapter – the vision – because what happens in their vision is not a miniature of what they develop into a game, but what they’re supposed to do with the game, how they’re supposed to change the world with it.

when they go to translate their vision into a videogame they get sidetracked into making the midway and carneytown levels – they think they need to give remedial physics lessons to the players, and so they delay getting around to teaching quantum skills – and mainly this is because they don’t know anything about teaching quantum skills when they design the game.  they only get put back on track when the boy and girl land on antarctica and find all the other players arriving at the same time.

the game they design never gets built or played.  it’s all there on paper, but shit happens while they’re waiting to make the game.

how are they sidetracked?  could it be that they are already in their midst, sabotaging their every move?  in the case of abandoning classical mechanics for quantum mechanics, the saboteurs are already there inside even the most gung-ho revolutionary – even the people it’s happening to will deny and reject it once they’re back to their ordinary minds.  every one of them will edge away from the implications of a quantum daily life.  what happens in an altered state can’t, and shouldn’t, cross over into waking reality.  that’s what dreams and fantasies are for.  they’re not real.  if they became real, there’d be hell to pay.  so nobody really wants the things that happen in dreams to start happening in real life.  and so there’s no sabotage needed, no agents provocateur, no them.

the way it happens, the midway turns into a gambling parlor where lots of people make lots of realworld money and people learn all the rules of physics that can help them cheat, and all the skills get put to the wrong uses.  carneytown becomes a place of violence, a dark shootemup with stolen car races and group shootouts where players learn cooperation but also mob mentality and wartime morals.

this is how the real players see it once it goes live.  the beta testers only reported gameplay bugs, and started using the lessons to win games, the alpha testers didn’t really get the point of the lessons, and the bug reports were shallow, the boy and girl just ran thru making sure the lessons were in place.

but once they’re in the quantum kernel’s realm, which a real and persistent altered state, they can do anything they desire, literally.  the strength, force, and discipline of your desire is what causes things to happen in the game.  in quantum reality.  and when players get used to that, they naturally start using it in the realworld, and they pick up on it immediately.  but it has to be something small.

they’re doing open testing at the second dragoncon.  testers start popping up in two places at once.  on security cameras.  because…the hub of the midway is modeled on the atrium lobby level of the marriott hotel, yeah, one of the hubs of dragoncon.  right.  and when people are in the hub on the midway, they appear in the atrium of the marriott, in their avatars.  maybe as ghostly shapes, maybe as solid objects.  maybe practicing wacky things with gravity or acceleration.  when the boy and girl go to test the cloud level that night at dragoncon, they find open testers all over, building shit in the clouds.  okay, that’s good.  just popped out, just like spitting out another baby.

that’s not small, however.

jim said something when i asked this question earlier.  when the boy and girl are telling people about their experience and their quantum powers the next day, and they’re asked to demonstrate, they can’t.  no, that’s not it.  when they’re asked to demonstrate, they immediately do something spectacular, but very fast.  a lot of people miss it.  and they try again, and nothing.  it seems the more they try, the harder it is to do.  it’s not something that can be ordered, or that the left brain can make happen.  it’s spontaneous, linked to genuine emotions, flow.  you can’t cause flow with your rational mind, you can only relax into it and allow it.

so they realize they have to teach how to allow it, so they mash up magic and yoga and the force and the bene gesserit teachings and lots of newage stuff, and start teaching it as philosophy and martial arts and healthcare, as well as selling it as a comic book and a game.

so what really happens in the vision?  the garden of eden sequence is fine.  but once they go out into antarctica to make their game, that’s all different.  all my current version is doing is prefiguring the action to come, so i can just split it up and redistribute it.  but what they see in their vision is how the game is supposed to make people accept the reality of the quantum universe and take their places in it.

they go thru the lessons themselves, the 7 levels of physics/philosophy/reality from animism to god consciousness, the 7 quantum skills from mind-reading to manifestation, the 7 levels of civilization from the isles to the gamburtsevs.  then they can answer the question (what is the meaning of the game).

but how to tell this as a fairy tale?  in the first level they learn the first skill and the first mindset?  a long complicated fairy tale?

maybe their bodies don’t work, or go right thru things. they have to learn to make the grass grow and talk to animals so they can eat (consciousness, energy building ring 1 isles animism) then build shelter and make fire (levitation, concentrating energy ring 2 mountains goddess).  they become more real (manifestation ring 3 lowlands xian) with every lesson learned.  they look outward for something else to interact with (entanglement ring 4 wilderness classical).  they master their environment (action at a distance ring 5 hinterlands relativity).  they learn their limitations (self consciousness ring 6 hell quantum).  they accept themselves (god consciousness ring 7 gamburtsevs god consciousness).

this can be worked into a coherent little story.  but it was awful to present to jim just now.

so how does it go as a story? at each ring they ask themselves if they have the answer, and it’s a different answer each time.  they don’t split up in their vision.  they don’t fight.  there’s no violence, no cheating, no resistance to the message.  if they get distracted the flow fails and things get sick.  the colors gray out as the story goes on, with stark black and white in hell and wireframe in the gamburtsevs.

neolithic: among barren rocks they are like babies and have to coax the environment to help them.  they interact with winds and water and seeds and finally with great effort establish contact with animals who help them and feed them until they can form weak bodies.

viking: in harsh mountain forests and on cold deep seas they compensate for their childish weakness with psychokinetic muscles, concentrating energy to build ships and buildings and make fires.

medieval: in pastoral villages and small port towns they attain their full strength and opacity, and develop the ability to manifest, as other players appear to fill out the other roles.  they find themselves entraining other players, hampering their gameplay with interactions.

golden horde: over vast areas of uninhabited piedmont and estuary they avoid the growing crowds for a time, developing a sense of where all the players are.  they become aware of everything in the game world.  their powers enhance their appearance and confidence, exaggerating their strength.

hinterland: in rich and productive lands being steadily encroached upon by the big city, they organize the following crows and teach them how to harness their wills as best they can.  but the crowds are mesmerized by them and can only be controlled weakly.  their appearance hardens and lumps up, shrinking slightly as they tire from the effort.

hell city: in dark, dirty and crowded city of extremes they and all the droids they command are no match for the powers that be, and they resist as best they can, within the system and against it.  they continue to spread techniques for self-mastery / quantum powers, even tho tptb are winning.  their appearance ages and weakens as their powers are exhausted by fighting tptb and watching their people suffer.

gamburtsevs:  in an electronic mountain range they stand alone to fight the boss enemy.  they face themselves as they were in the garden of eden – young, spoiled, innocent, stupid.  then they are those younger selves, facing caricatures of their old selves in ridiculous ill-fitting fantasy getup. ready to fight to the death.  they decide this is a silly idea, and put the weapons down, and embrace.

the embrace makes them all explode, and they see that they are all one, and there is no time or space, and they create the entire universe in their own minds.  the angel appears to ask the meaning of what they’ve just been thru and they answer.

how’s that?

***

i’m working it all out on the blog today.  and then i’ll transfer the main chunks to my document where i usually do it the other way around.  i just started here today and never made it back to the outline, because i need to split it up again and amn’t really ready to tackle that.  plus these ideas came up this morning.

and then i’ll do some work on it, and come back here with it all chopped up into panels and pages for illustrating.

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graphics

it’s going to end up being part graphic novel.  jim is in the middle of deciding to illustrate the story.  i have to do all the preliminary drawings, because i can see what it needs to look at, and he’ll do all the real drawings, because he can draw shit right of his head, and i can’t.

what needs illustrating?  a lot of the game concepts, a lot of the quantum concepts, a lot of the idea of being inside a computer game, the landforms of antarctica, maps (because you wouldn’t believe how popular maps, especially pirate maps are.  the majority of the hits on this site are for pirate maps).

a cover painting.  a handdrawn map.  chapter heading illustrations, a series of climax and turningpoint illustrations, and the physics concepts all need illustrations.

it might be interesting to illustrate the gameworld as a graphic novel.  we can cut in and out of graphic novel and prose.  there’s no way a story of this complexity could be an entire graphic novel, because you couldn’t reduce the endless prose to simple captions.

but action and a bit of dialog is easy in graphic form.  so the game could be illustrated.  and at first, when the boy and girl go thru levels 1 and 2 it could just be empty halls and placeholder textures, and then when the alpha and beta testers go thru the same levels it could be more and more developed.  and this way i don’t have to explain so much, i can show it instead, which will make things so much easier.

what would be the point of illustrating the realworld action?  showing the quantum effects (the shit that happens) would be useful. illustrating the crowds at dragoncon would be a trip.  how about showing battles between classical realists and quantum relativists?  i think there’s no point trying to illustrate reality, because the reality i’m writing is a fictional reality, and i want the reader to provide the images for that.  but i think quantum effects should be illustrated (except how would you illustrate a quantum weapon?).  this is going to take some thinking.

but i just ordered several books on creating graphic novels from the local library, and will be posting notes from them as well.  so we’ll see.

so we’ve got a romantic comedy and a revolutionary saga and a fairy tale and an everything-to-all-people videogame, a mystery / spy thriller, a popular physics course, and now a graphic novel.  is there anything else i can throw in here?

the thing is that all these things seem to be appropriate to what i’m doing.  they all ended up in this blog because of my interest in all these different things anyway, and it’s inside my mind that i’m creating a work out of all these ingredients, so it makes sense that it would make sense to do this, in a roundabout way.

the only thing i haven’t really been able to fit in yet is the idea that the corporations are really a bunch of evil vampire space aliens and that we’re their slaves / energy sources.  it seems a little extraneous.  on the other hand, i didn’t think i’d be able to fit the pirate idea in, and it turns out to be made for the boy to wear as his persona.

so we’ll see.

i only know that the bar for science fiction and fantasy illustration is high.  when you have the likes of boris and julie doing work that outshines the work of fine artists, how can we hope to compete?  i’ll find a sample to post.

boris and julie rule the fantasy artworld – i’m a fan

we can’t do this level of illustration, but isn’t it beautiful?  what i need to do is to find a visual style that isn’t too far from the current standard for fantasy illustration, and is more classical than trendy (anime, steampunk), but that is quantum in its essence.  but let me figure out what a quantum costume would be, and what a quantum character would look like.  will pixelation or meshes be a part of the look?  will there be visible circuitry?  will there be a cartoonish look or a fairytale look?  never mind will we use woodcut or etching or pen and pencil or full color or watercolor or egg tempera or encaustic?

so now i’m art director for the game as well as the graphic novel.  whoopee.

so when we go back to dragoncon this year, we’ll be spending a lot of time in the game room, and a lot of time in comic book alley talking to artists, never mind all the time attending panels in the various tracks i’m going to be researching, and taking loads of pictures of the environment for my own art that i hope to exhibit in dragoncon one day.  a lot to do, and well worth the money.

the story in 7 dragoncons

this is the plot of a quantum fiction novel partly set in the dragoncon community.  if you’re here searching for dragoncon stuff, maybe you’ll stay and comment on my work.

i separated the story into a series of 7s, and one of them is the cycle of years attending dragoncon in atlanta, the finest gathering of minds in the universe and the golden kernel of the new quantum age.

chapter 2, dragoncon 1

the first dragoncon.  they’ve been going for years.  neither of them could go for the last couple of years, as the job, etc has gotten more onerous.  but now the boy is unemployed and living in his parents’ basement, and the girl just decided she didn’t want to be retail manager and stopped giving 110%.  so they’re at dragoncon, and it’s been awhile, and they’re excited to see so many different things, like how big steampunk has gotten, and so many familiar things, like the artshow stars.  their friends kurt and fairy are there, they know snake vaguely.  the girl attends the costuming and artshow tracks, the boy does armory and gaming, they get a tshirt each and lust after the big ticket items.  the weekend will break their budget for the rest of the year, so the t-shirts will be saved for xmas.  [they try them on once, take pictures.  then later she gives them away, and gives the pictures for xmas, thinking since they were on their bodies once, that is good enough in quantum thinking because you can always go back to that time.  he is pissed because he wanted the tshirt now and until it was stained and torn.  and she’d promised a quilt of old tshirts one of these days.  but she’s a serious quantum-moment head four months after their vision, and doesn’t want to know about heirlooms anymore.]

chapter 8, dragoncon 2

things are going along great, the game’s almost finished, just needs beta testing. interest has grown remarkably, and they have a table in dc-mmo. at dragoncon they’re swamped with requests from would-be beta testers, among which are spies. the alpha testers let everybody know, and hordes line up to be beta testers. the buzz about the game is enormous, and gamers pressure them to go live.  the boy talks to corporate sponsors, the girl gives workshops on the new quantum age, quantum panels appear in several tracks – costuming, silk road (dance), armory (martial art), artshow and market (dc3), science, paranormal, skeptic, eff, game programming, sff lit (dc3 ). kurt does a lot of drugs to clear his head of nonquantum space, and is found at the bottom of the covered hotel pool.

chapter 15, dragoncon 3

so many tracks, so much interest. famous physics speakers, consciousness speakers, new music, new slang, new clothing styles (nano), healing, all coming together in quantum-culture [quantum aesthetics, quantum art, quantum literature, quantum politics, quantum anthropology.] there is a qAnt track now. merchandising begins. the boy and girl get offers; he wants to be rich, she is against it. there is real pressure to go corporate, with tax and accounting and postproduction and licensing, localization, advertising. snake and fairy are for it, he wants to get rich, she wants to make everybody happy.

chapter 23, dragoncon 4

the boy is important and arrogant. he’s moved out of his parents’ house (and out of the girl’s apartment) into a trendy loft and hangs with strippers and singers and drug dealers and hiphop artists and gaming industry legends. he pretends to be running the game, but only sticks around to lead the battles, and leaves all the maintenance work to the girl, who is struggling to keep everything together in her personal life, and is beginning to have health problems. she spends too much time as admin, trying to keep up the testing, trying to fix things that are going wrong because of snake’s sabotage and the boy’s negligence, trying to organize people in the game, as well as being a cheerleader for the mystical and spiritual side of the game. the game is fast becoming an online live strategy game, with alien-hunts in the mountains of ring 2, and the boy’s infernal piracy along the western coasts.

they start to dictate policy, the boy changes things in the game, altering rules and missions, twisting the lessons, identifying and capturing certain types of players.

the boy and girl have a big public fight over the original intentions for the game, all the way back to the text message. she argues for spreading quantum consciousness inside and outside the game, he argues for getting rich so they can do it in the sequels. there is a split in the game.

chapter 30, dragoncon 5

dragoncon is subdued this year because the game has been banned. there are spies everywhere, cameras everywhere; there’s a new security rule that says no face masks, and a lot of grumbling and outright refusal (these are stopped and harassed). track participants are suspicious and quick to throw people out of panels. groups get together secretly to practice quantum exercises and to play the game. people wear symbols and develop signs and codes based on game principles. the boy and girl make an appearance together. they are mobbed, they call for action, the atmosphere becomes defiant, players march on legislative buildings, people openly play the game despite beating and detention. the boy compares himself to robin hood and issues an open challenge. the girl is terrified and goes into hiding.

chapter 34, dragoncon 6

dragoncon comes on the heels of the boy and girl’s spectacular level ending in antarctica, and people flock to dragoncon instinctively, compulsively, gathering with quiet expectation; the power of the gathered multitude dampening the repressions that so ruined the mood at last year’s con. the crowd grows elated as they begin for the first time to think in quantum tandem.

the moment passes and they begin to break up and go home, and the police and army move in to arrest them all. the boy is openly captured and beaten, the girl is unnoticed, in disguise, but is swept up with the others.

chapter 40, dragoncon 7

this year there is no dragoncon. the organizers have been detained, and anybody googling or writing about it on any electronic media is also detained. the game has been destroyed, quantum everything has been made punishable by death, fundamentalist classicists are viciously celebrating.

this year there are a lot of people quietly remembering dragoncon from their cells and their parents’ basements and their minimum wage slavery. because of their quantum game training, they all make small entangled thoughtform minions (that are the essence of ‘i want my game back’) and send them scurrying about their business. billions of minions congregate together and visualize the game. it is a weak thoughtform, born of thoughtforms. but it crackles through to the real world and sends a shock thru the game community before fading out again. and then people begin to actively play the game in their imaginations and in their sleep, hooking in thru their own thoughtform minions. quickly level ! begins to fill up. they still each meet the girl, who has made an infinite run of signed authentic prints of herself.

future dragoncons are held in quantum space, where the hotels don’t fill up.

the dragoncon cycle

i’m now figuring out the dragoncon cycle of the years here.  as i’m quickly finding, it has to be a seven year cycle.  there are seven levels, and seven rings, and seven islands on level 1 and seven lessons / quantum skills.  and there are loads of reasons for having seven as such a magic number.  in fact, its binary equivalent is 111, which is three levels fulfilled – so that the next thing after that is a brand new level a whole magnitude greater.

the first dragoncon is where they have their quantum game experience.

in the spring/summer before the second dragoncon, they built and test the kernel and start building the levels.  the first beta testers start.  realworld quantum events begin happening.  they  notice.

at the second dragoncon, the kernel programmer is found dead.  the replacement programmer joins.  the buzz about the game is enormous, and gamers pressure them to go live.  they realize the kernel is helping them create the game, and speed things up.

as pressure from them increases, they decide to go live in the months before the third dragoncon.

by the third dragoncon, there is a track devoted to the game, which is a runaway hit all over the world, spawning its own culture overnight.  the authorities ban the game and begin suppression of quantum activities.

i haven’t thought ahead of that.  how many years can the suppression go on?  just look at how long it went on / is going on / will go on in egypt and tunisia, syria, and russia, ireland, and here.

what would the fourth dragoncon look like?  the game would be banned, there would be informers everywhere, and secret gamers would meet to pass on the game.

by the fifth dragoncon they would be playing the game openly at dragoncon, defiantly, with brutal repression of players.

by the sixth one, all hope would be lost, and there would be practically be nobody playing at all.  the kernal would have been destroyed, and everybody would be locked up.

but during the sixth dragoncon, a miracle would happen, critical mass would be reached, and the power of the mighty would crumble to the dust as the power of consciousness stepped in to create a new and better world.

the end.