Starting with a Predicting The Present story, Emus all the way down, and taking it a bit further, exploring some nooks and crannies.

Very slow progress. Is there a full-length novel in here somewhere? Not at the rate I’m going. But it appears I can write in bursts of about 1000 words if the immediate topic appeals. This marathon is a series of sprints. Trying to work it into shape.

Pieces so far:

the main protagonist

who’s there at the start (or one of the starts) and works out what happens at the end

  • Under the table (2415 words)

    It’s a big table, but is not that comfortable underneath.

  • The Idiot Orc (1169 words)

    And just like that, Eli was in trouble, skewered by his colleague’s entirely reasonable question.

  • Moaning Minnie (789 words)

    The Women in IT therapy group was in session.

  • The Ambush was Successful (813 words)

    He had won. He’d destroyed her. He’d shamed her in front of all her friends and colleagues, in the company she’d founded. He’d made his points clearly and unavoidably. He’d won. Revenge was … not sweet.

  • The fear in his eyes (1217 words)

    In the one meeting room, door quietly closed, coffee mugs in hand.

  • The Perils of Teaching, Part I (2863 words)

    It’s unlikely they will dip their algorithmic snouts into the metaphorical trough of mostly unprocessed swill we call the training data and emerge chewing on some nuggets of goodness.

  • The Scenery Tiger by the Tail (1864 words)

    It’s basic, small potatoes. Scratching the tip of a very much bigger and more complicated decision-berg. We need to move the smarts into the NPCs.

  • The Perils of Teaching, Part II (2581 words)

    Chel was once again behind and to the left of Eli, talking to the back of his head

  • Beer for religion (1216 words)

    Although the original, as brewed and served in Dublin is unbeatable, apparently, there is sufficient of note in the pale shadow that is the exported version to keep at it.

  • Carnivorous Trees (689 words)

    The cotton-wool, dipped in hint of stomach acid, thickens in his head.

  • Research in a foreign land (1064 words)

    under construction

  • A change to the schedule (576 words)

    “Er, hi, my name is Eli Thorne, that’s Thorne with a silent e. I used to do the trees.”

Total Word Count: 17256 …

contemporaneous, or possibly precursors

  • Valproate School (644 words)

    These kids are incredibly vulnerable to any stray influence. They are picking up on every cue from everyone around them, be it body language, choice of words, weather, praise, criticism, bullying, cynicism, the lot. Everything is an input, and it goes straight in.

  • Leak Analysis Central (1078 words)

    A query, passed through the chain of connections back to the leaker-in-hiding, yielded a belated response, laden with expletives, mainly along the lines of “I put my life on the line to get this stuff out and you are complaining I didn’t make it easy enough for you? Stick it in a search engine.”

Total Word Count (including extras): 18978


  • NPC : non playing character in a computer game, similar to an ‘extra’ in a film. Usually a very simple automaton, considered cannon (or sword) fodder, but sometimes there to help move the (paying) human-driven characters along with hints about what they should do next..