Wednesday July 25, 2018
Book 19: A Function of Firepower — Prologue

Note: Literary critics have, throughout the ages, argued both for and against the inclusion of prologues in large works. On the one hand, anything that is truly part of the story might just as well be considered its first chapter. On the other, some sequences of narrative exist solely to provide context, and may in that light be considered to not be part of the story. 

The argument becomes more nuanced when the prologues are placed before a story which is itself a "middle book" in a larger story. Those nuances vanish, middle-book-status notwithstanding, with regard to the inclusion of multiple prologues. For centuries the critics have shaken their heads, asking if there mightn't have been a better way to tell the story. 

Addendum: Literary critics defer to paleontologists with regard to whether or not Earth's dinosaurs had feathers, or telescopes. Paleontologists, with their tiny, clouded sliver of a window into that ancient world, get a lot of things wrong—notably, they fail to blame the disappearance of dinosaurs on passing aliens.


NARRATOR: Prologue: Approaching Sol system, seventy-three million years ago...

(unknown voice 1 from inside spheroid): Unless we alter course we will soon pass through a cometary halo.

(unknown voice 2 from inside spheroid): Collision probability?

(unknown voice 1): Our path is clear, but we are definitely going to perturb some orbits.

(unknown voice 2): No course changes.  We need to stay dark.  Besides, it'll be millions of years before anything we nudge makes trouble for those inner planets.

NARRATOR:  Eight million years later....

(unknown dinasouroid with feathers carrying telescope):  How soon can your flying machine be ready to go?