David Louis Edelman
'MultiReal' trade paperback cover

Draft 17: June 19, 2005

My next concept about how to begin “MultiReal” was to begin with an odd bit of bureaucratic infighting between the Shenandoah and Harper governments over the weather. The idea was to puzzle the reader, make him look at the cover again wondering if he’s got the right book — and then before you know it, wham! Magan Kai Lee’s raid on Natch’s apartment begins in chapter 2. This was the first draft of chapter 1 that I sent to my first readers. The meta properties on this file say it was written on June 19, 2005 — same as the last draft — so obviously something got screwed up in my record keeping at some point.


The Shenandoah L-PRACGs held an interminable series of meetings that fall in an attempt to reach an agreement with the neighboring governments to the north. Speeches were made, oaths sworn, backroom bargains struck and restruck. But in the end the bureaucratic quicksand overwhelmed them all, and October rolled to a close with no decision on a regional weather blueprint for the winter.

Warnings trickled in from the Environmental Control Board, moving gradually in tone from the perfunctory to the pleading. Concerned citizens’ groups called on the Prime Committee to intervene, but the central government declined. The ECB hired a political consultant, who immediately firebombed the public viewscreens with images of a shivering waif standing thigh-deep in snow. Don’t leave Shenandoah to the mercy of the elements! wailed the headline. Tell your L-PRACG representatives to file a weather blueprint today.

Meanwhile in the wider world, the machinations of business and politics ground on as usual. Unrest among the Islanders and the Pharisees had reached a fever pitch. The libertarian Khann Frejohr had been coronated the Speaker of the Congress of L-PRACGs, and the markets were reacting with cautious optimism. The last of the unsettling aftershocks surrounding last month’s mysterious infoquake seemed to have finally died away. Margaret Surina remained sequestered at the top of her own tower, her intentions unknown. [1]

But still the bureaucrats dug in. The deadline for action was drawing dangerously close, and even the most truculent of L-PRACG bosses realized that very soon even the ECB would be powerless to change the course of meteorological destiny.

And then, a mere four hours before the deadline, a deal was made.

Representatives from the Shenandoah and Harper L-PRACGs stood before a small crowd of drudges on the banks of the Potomac River that evening and made their announcement. Shenandoah would accept the blustery December snowstorms; Harper would enjoy a mild winter, but take on the lion’s share of the March rains. [2]

Thus it was that on the morning of December 22, a storm front eased over the Allegheny Mountains and began depositing a generous accumulation of snow on Shenandoah for the next six days.


  1. I should have realized sooner that this was a entirely inadequate way to remind the reader about the events of Infoquake. Even readers who have just recently finished reading the first book are unlikely to remember anything about Khann Frejohr. [Back]
  2. I liked this little bit of backroom dealmaking, and did in fact keep it in the final draft of the book. You’ll find reference to it in chapter 9, when Natch and company go to Harper to test out MultiReal on the soccer field. [Back]