David Louis Edelman
'MultiReal' trade paperback cover

Draft 18: September 27, 2005

One of the suggestions from a first reader was that if I was going to focus so much on a new character like Magan Kai Lee in the beginning of “MultiReal,” I should bring in some of the other characters early on to remind them of “Infoquake.” I ended up ignoring this advice to some extent (though this did cause me to move the scene of Natch in the tube train up from section 2 to section 1). This incomplete draft was one of the attempts I made to interject Horvil and Jara into the opening chapter, while still maintaining the debate about the weather. According to the meta properties, this file was begun September 25, 2005, and last saved on September 27, 2005.


A shivering waif stood thigh-high in snow, her eyes plaintive, her mood despondent. She wore a threadbare shawl that clearly belonged in warmer climes. [1] Behind her, the buildings of downtown Shenandoah watched dispassionately as the wind’s sinister fingers toyed with her hair.

Horvil watched the billboard with open-mouthed awe. He loved advertising. [2]

This particular display had sprouted up all over Shenandoah like a tenacious weed. It dogged his footsteps from the tube station to the suburban tenements and peeked out at him from the viewscreens in the shops he passed along the way. When he returned to London later that night, it even fertilized his dreams. The helpless waif, crying out in terror.

It wasn’t until Horvil returned to Shenandoah for an important meeting two days later that he thought to read the weepy cursive unrolling beneath the image:

Tell Your Representatives to File a Weather Blueprint Today!

Jara was unimpressed. “This is the ad you wanted me to see?” she said. “That’s just unbelievably crass.”

“But effective,” retorted Horvil.

“Horv, governments love to squabble about the weather. That’s what they do in the fall. It’ll take more than melodrama to get them to agree to anything.”

The engineer shrugged. “Never underestimate the power of crassness.”

And then the two fiefcorp apprentices were on their way.

Horvil was right. The Environmental Control Board’s adver [3]


  1. Please trust, dear reader, that even if I had stuck with this concept for the opening chapter of MultiReal, I would have edited out the word “climes.” [Back]
  2. I tried this concept about Horvil loving advertising elsewhere in the book at one point. Just before the climactic scene during the hearing at the Tul Jabbor Complex, Horvil was going to be wandering the hallways, distracted by serial billboard advertising, and bump into something he shouldn’t. That scene too was later abandoned. [Back]
  3. Sorry, folks, no error in the programming. I stopped working on this draft in midsentence and then abandoned it. [Back]