Tuesday 15 January 2008

The Secret Mathematic - Chapter Four

The Secret Mathematic is a science-fiction novelette told in an indefinite number of chapters, posted serially by me, your war-torn host, Cheeseburger Brown.

Chapters: 1|2|3|4|...

Related reading: Three Face Flip, Stubborn Town, The Long Man, The Extra Cars

Multimedia: Also, as promised, here is The Secret Mathematic Overture in MP3 format created by my brother's experimental music concern, Syntax Error. Many thanks for his efforts on this!

And now, our tale continues:


They live in a shrine.

It is a tattered, streak-stained, dust-clogged, drafty and dank temple -- surrounded by the cattle mews of indigent thousands, inundated from all quarters by their rank animal reek: black and yellow bile, yeast, halitosis, jealousy, fear.

This is a displaced persons camp. None of its denizens are prisoners in any technical sense, yet the barbed-wire boundaries are patrolled by heavy tanks. They have blue and white NATO star logos peeking out from beneath the splatters and scratches. Crudely marked in the grime itself are the names the soldiers give their shells: one tank is inscribed MY SO-CALLED LIFE, and another, ENTERPRISE.

(It's 1994. You can tell by the geopolitical situation.)

There are endless rows of tents with narrow trenches of dried muck between them. There are barren flagpoles, fixtures clanging in the breeze. They used to have flags on them, but the flags upset too many people so they came down.

What would be the point of flying the banner of a defunct nation? There's no such place as Yugoslavia anymore. The dirt beneath the people's heels is nameless now, adrift in cartographic limbo.

(The dirt doesn't know the difference, but the displaced persons do.)

Here, the Zoranovics live in a shrine, dedicated to memory and loss, not of countrymen or country but for a daughter. The Zoranovic tent stands as a material homage to Dragana, her lush eyes and full lips shining out in glossy colour from photographs pinned to every available surface.

If one were a very pretty girl it might seem like a convoluted hall of mirrors: to anyone else it is a haunted place marked by a dead teenager's paper stare; inside we are hemmed in by a phantasmagoric array of Dragana's beauty marks, pink nipples, curving back and supple shoulders; her virginally unblemished navel and her coquettishly trimmed mons pubis; her expressions of earnestly simulated desire, her brow crinkled ambiguously between agony and ecstasy.

"She had so much talent," whispers Danica, her long fingers clenched in prayer. "She had such a future." Her gaunt face twitches. "I am robbed."

A rumble sounds.

Danica leaps to her feet. "Get down, Drago!" she screams. "Put your head between your knees!"

Drago doesn't move. "It's just the train, Mama," he says.

She slaps him.

The boy reels but does not lose his seat. On the stool before him is a scrap of cardboard coloured crudely with a checker pattern, the squares occupied by bottlecaps and shell casings, pebbles and bolts. Calmly he reaches out and slides a rusty wing-nut diagonally across the board, then looks up expectantly at the empty bed opposite him.

Danica starts to cry. She touches his cheek and smooths down his bramble of black hair, then tugs on his rumpled sleeves and flicks a flake of dirt from the collar. "I'm so sorry, Drago," she whimpers, looking nowhere.

"It's okay, Mama."

She takes out a cigarette with shaking hands and pushes out of the tent, pulling her shawl more tightly around her shoulders. Drago watches her go, then turns back to face Dragana. "It's your move," he says.

She bites her lip, searching the board. She touches a bottlecap, lingers over it, then changes her mind and withdraws her hand. It's the hand on her ruined side so she instinctively tucks it into the folds of her skirt, the twisted scars modestly hidden from sight. "Anything I do will open me up to your check," she tells her brother.

"There are two ways out," prompts Drago helpfully. "Do you want a hint?"

"No." She studies the board. "I'll find them."

And she will. Drago knows her solution algorithms like the back of his hand, and he can see from the way her eyes flick from the bolt to the thimble that she's near the precipice of a move that will unlock the virtual stalemate they can both see two turns ahead. As she considers the situation she keeps the burned side of her face turned to the wall, so that Drago can only see the fringes of the filigree of scar tissue that crisscrosses her skin in snaking lines like a dried river bed.

Drago is almost nine. Dragana would be seventeen if she weren't dead.

She makes her move. It is not optimal. Drago pushes a shell casing forward. "Check."

Dragana's ghost cannot speak, but Drago understands her words anyway. In the ten months since the landmine exploded beside her he has learned to read the mute workings of her throat, the bat of her doe-like eyes, the information implied in the way she caresses a particular piece she feels holds a potent move in its future history.

They have between them a language of chess, expressed in a vocabulary of moves actual, virtual, possible and unrealized, suggested by micro-motions, fleeting looks and swallowed sighs, a library of innuendo and speculation built within the framework of their games.

It has been six months since the Canadian doctor told Danica her mine-mangled daughter had acute lymphocytic leukaemia, to which just three months later Dragana succumbed. In the end she was deaf, exhausted and tortured. Bruises bloomed wherever she leaned, even for a moment. Her head ached constantly. She could not hold down food.

There are few medicines to be had while shells fly.

The Canadian computer is broken, and it refuses to accept that Dragana is gone. The soldiers still distribute three meal ticket books to the family, one with each of their names: Zoranovic comma Danica, Drago, Dragana. They get water for three, and an extra dose of vitamins. To avoid interrupting this material boon, Danica and Drago are used to playing along, used to pretending Dragana is just out of sight, or has stepped out on her way elsewhere.

(Dragana's not dead -- she's just peeing.)

This is what gets Drago wondering how the universe knows about Dragana. There is the paperwork -- somewhere an official death certificate, perhaps lost in the post -- and the ashes, of course, but aside from these artifacts Dragana's death is only an idea entertained inside the minds of the Zoranovic family and their closest friends in the camp. According to the world at large Dragana drinks and eats, takes showers and uses soap, signs her name and stays out of trouble. She is a good, if shy, girl.

The games of chess between Drago and Dragana continue unabated. Drago is intimately acquainted with Dragana's problem solving sieves, and he applies them in a sequence he finds credible against memory. This is how he generates her moves, which are statistically indistinguishable from moves she might have made were she still actively making decisions.

The ongoing reconfiguration of the board is a dedicated simulcrum of how this little corner of the world would continue to change states in the presence of the actual Dragana. It is a shrine within a shrine, and this is where Drago lives: powering the Dragana chess engine with his mind.

He wonders how much of the universe must be touched for an idea to become a fact. If he and his mother can convince themselves that they really do see her, would her death have left any mark at all on the world?

Does God know she is dead?

Drago is nearly nine, but he is brave. He decides to hide his sister's death from reality. He will lend his shade to whatever shadow of an existence she's connected to. He can eat her food and his mother can sell the vitamins. He can rumple her bed, and wash her clothes, and do her chores. He can play out her chess games, and thereby converse with her virtual self.

"Mama seems especially anxious today," Dragana tells him.

Drago looks over at her. "I wouldn't have noticed that."

"I think she's heard from our father. This is how she gets."

"I want to meet him."

"She'll never allow it."

"I might like him."

"That's what she's afraid of, Drago."

Dragana's ghost is wrong. Her mother is not in communication with Ratko Zoranovic. Instead Danica has left to retrieve the results from the tests Drago took at the NATO base. She is sure they will say that her poor boy is retarded, and cautiously optimistic that this will qualify her for additional assistance. She is worried, however, about any scrutiny of her family situation lest she lose her daughter's share. She despises herself for the priorities she is forced to keep.

The military psychologist is young and handsome: auburn hair, steely eyes, a hard jaw. His hands look soft. Danica surreptiously prises her old wedding ring from her finger and drops it into a pocket. The psychologist looks up. "Mrs. Zoranovic --"

"I go by Zoran, actually. I'm not the son of anyone. It is my dead husband's name. I'd drop it but my father's is worse."

He smiles politely if fleetingly as she takes a seat. He toys with the boy's file, flipping pages randomly. "I'd like to discuss your son's WISC scores with you."

"He's been kept out of school, you know. It isn't his fault. It's been so hard for us."

"There's no need to be defensive, Mrs. Zoran."

"I know he's slow. I'm protective."

The psychologist looks up sharply. "Slow?"

"I'm sorry I don't know the correct word for this. An idiot?"

"Your son is no idiot, Mrs. Zoran."

"A moron?"

"No, no. What I'm trying to say is that he's exceptional."


He puts the file aside and smiles reassuringly. "A genius, as it were," he says. "Gifted, you might say. Highly intelligent, if somewhat less than well-rounded."

The skin between Danica's eyes crinkles, briefly an echo of her daughter's desire as plastered around the family tent. She is not aroused but confused. She is sure this is a mistake. She is sure this will mean nothing for her. She is aghast.

"Would you like a glass of water, Mrs. Zoran?"

She smiles bleakly. "Yes, thank you."


Anonymous said...

Short, but oh so good. Though I couldn't help but notice a typo in the throwback line ("put your head between yours knees").

This detailed insight into events of which we already (sort of) know is just fascinating. To see the seeds of the Math (not to mention High Allat)... Such good born of such suffering... you, sir, are a master craftsman.

Cheeseburger Brown said...

Dear Sheik,

Did you get a chance to download the overture?

Cheeseburger Brown

Anonymous said...


Unfortunately, not yet. I'm working for Simon Legree (just a client, not my real employer), and sharing an open office space with him. My cohorts and I are not in a position to tempt fate.

Tonight I shall partake.

Mark said...

Wonderful Zoran family backstory here. Drago shall rise from these humble beginnings, to be sure, but will mama cause problems in the meantime?

I can't help thinking you shouldn't be giving this stuff away. There are published authors, whose hardcover editions sit in the $4.99 bin at Barnes and Noble, who only dream of writing such engaging material.

I'm sure you have a great master plan for being a successful published author ("published" in the old-fashioned sense of actually seeing your work on bookstore shelves). Simon of Space is a giant leap toward that, no doubt.

I enjoy reading your work for free, and I know this site generates publicity. Still. Just. I don't know. Although the publication of SOS will send readers here in droves and no doubt will sell some of your short story collections, I hope your posting of this story here won't preclude its inclusion in later money-making efforts. I know that causes some publishing houses to balk, and I worry that this work will live here in cyberspace alone, destined never to reach the masses (because, let's face it, we're a long way from everyone reading books online).

When will critics get their first crack at the final edition of SOS?

Simon said...

It's the little throw-backs to old stories that are sometimes so appealing, and add an edge to an already good story line.

Drago's mama telling him to put his head between his knees immediately put me in mind of Three Face Flip. And then right after that I thought of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, because young Indy isn't afraid of snakes the same way young Drago doesn't react instinctively the way he does when he's older. Cool!

I too will wait until home from work before sampling the MP3. I'll re-read the chapter then too to taste it as it was intended.

And now, because of the tanks, I'm picturing Dragana as Claire Danes. Were there any men in 1994 who didn't think she was teh hawt??

Dan said...

Holy crap. I just now figured out why she told Drago to put his head between his knees. I'm such a slow, idiotic, moron! Very nice chapter now that I've read it a third time. The first time, I got lost in the overture. the second time, I was mentally placing different snippets of the overture in the story. The third time I forced myself to focus on what I was reading. I'm sure your brother reads the comments so let me be the first to say Well Done! The music portrays (to me anyway) an undervibe or pulse to the story. You can almost feel a "heartbeat" of the human executive.

Of course now this story will have to be credited to Cheeseburger Brown...and Fries

THE Danimal

SaintPeter said...

I listened to the music as I read this part and it really complemented the story. The music is very much the "movie music" or like that of some of my favorite Sci-fi/horror TV shows. It gives the story a "X-files" type feel.

Now that I think of it, I could imagine the case of Drago being investigated by Skully and Mulder. Of course, unlike the X-Files, there is a good chance that we'll actually get to find out what it's all about.

It is a bit odd (and, I guess, explanatory) that the Zorans have nude pictures of their dead teen sister/daughter all over their tent. It makes me wonder what Dragana was into before she had an unfortunate encounter with a land mine.

As always: Bravo sir. Bravo.

Mark said...

I didn't even see the overture link before reading the chapter. Sorry. Will listen at home.

Teddy said...

OOOOOOOOH! Good song...what else have you got? The American Consumer in me demands "Burgerverse: The Soundtrack". Maybe a couple of audio readings of some of these stories would be cool too. Blind people shouldn't be missing out on!

Intriguing. This explains the erotic nature to the chess dreams...



teehee...but I won't tell...


Anonymous said...

Sounds great. Less filling.

Wait a minute.

Seriously, tell Fries/Cat this is good. A real orchestra would make it sound even better. This reminds me of some of the 2's Complement work that echoed Simon's journey... very contemplative, with some dark complexity (pardon me; I've just been reading up on wines so my ratings may be mixed up).

Anonymous said...

Teddy: got what? Drago loved her inappropriately, after all.

CBB, if you ever need someone for voice work, I'd love to volunteer.

Simon said...

That's infuriating Teddy, you know that don't you??

I quite liked the soundtrack accompaniment to my second reading of the chapter. Seems like it captured the tone perfectly. I'll have to have it playing in the background for future chapters. Nice job, Cheeseburger's brother!

Mark said...

teddy, that's genious. Of course, this is the chess connection. Whoa.

Great music, by the way. Makes it more cinematic, if that's possible.

I recall listening to some other works by your brother way back in... was it SOS? Can't recall.

John said...

For the overture, I enjoyed everything, except a short sequence from 3:43 - 3:50. That short transition there felt forced and shallow. But then I particularly liked the theme that came just after it. All in all, interesting sound, with minor tones that matched the story, not just melancholy, but exploratory as well.

Mark said...

Teddy, upon a re-read, I see that my effusive praise of your chess conclusion might have made my comment seem disingenuous. It was late and I was tired, so I might have emoted a little more than usual. That was all. No poke-funnery (or fun-pokery?) intended. I liked your conjecture.

Mark said...

CBB - Sheik's voice would be great as a narrator. And, no, he didn't ask me to say that.

Dan said...

I'd lend my voice as well.

I can see it now....

[begin dream sequence [CBB in a conf room with a major publisher (MP) - cigar smoke everywhere]]

CBB - Thank you, Sir. The offer is very generous. However, you have to use my Burgerbloggerverse cronies for the voicework on the audiobook/drama

MP -You drive a hard bargain CBB ..SOLD!!!!

THE Danimal

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the comments, guys! Composing the music was a lot of fun, and I'm really glad it was enjoyed. :)

- Isosceles_CAT

Cheeseburger Brown said...

Dear Mark,

I can't help thinking you shouldn't be giving this stuff away...

Dude, if you've got a plan of action I'm all ears.

To me it's always seemed best to focus one's efforts, to it seems to me that trying to get published is practically a full-time job. So I figure I can either focus on (a) writing stories or I can focus on (b) trying to get stories published. It seems nonsensical to concentrate on (b) when you don't have all your (a) ducks in a row. After all, what are you trying to get published if you haven't any time to write stories?

Given the constraints of my life, my finances, and my maximum possible energy expenditure, I've come to the conclusion that (b) is somebody else's job. I hope they're good at it. I hope they work cheap. I hope they apply soon.

I've enlisted a half-dozen such potential helpers over the past few years, including an American literary agent and a Hollywood producer, all of whom put their earnest all into scoring meetings with publishers so they could convince them to put yours truly into print. In each case this sort of thing was exactly their bag -- it was their day job, they had contacts in the industry, they knew the talk and spent the time to press the flesh. And yet, the results have been universally disappointing.

I figure that if American professionals can't get a burger in edgewise, what possible hope do I -- a chronically busy amateur dorkish Canadian -- have? The conservative answer: nearly none.

Sometimes it even feels like my dear old familiar Web is against me: I can't get a mention on Boing Boing to save my life, I haven't been Slashdotted since 2005, and self-promotion is deeply frowned upon in other popular venues like MetaFilter. I had a few Internet folks step forward to volunteer to do interviews and help me with promotions in exchange for a free copy of a book or two...only to have them reneg, disappear or just plain fail to mail me back (kiss my sharries, Biz Stone!).

American media aren't interested in me because I'm Canadian. Canadian media aren't interested in me because my publisher is American.

How the devil is a hardworking idiot like me supposed to get noticed?

Take this blog for example. The Web is full of advice about how to get your name out there and bring in fresh visitors, and while I won't claim I've run the gamut of self-promotion I've certainly been consistently chipping away at trying to establish a brand and a reputation. And yet traffic to my blog is barely double what it was a year ago -- that's something, I guess, but it's nothing to write home about, and certainly not the sort of breakthrough I need to broaden the audience.

It can be discouraging sometimes. I read all the time about people bitching and moaning about how they'd love scifi that doesn't insult their intelligence, that they mourn the decline of reading, that they love finding websites with original and fresh content that isn't trying to bilk them out of their money or personal data. And yet...they don't seem to be following the links. They don't ever get here. They complain, then move on to the next snappy headline on Fark.

But, like I said, I don't put 110% (as the sports expression goes) into promotions. I simply can't. I already put everything I've got into writing the damn stories, and what's left over is barely sufficient to fuel a marriage, a family, a demanding full-time job and any kind of social life. There's simply no conceivable way I could devote more energy to this mission.

...Unless I wrote fewer stories, of course.

The problem with that is that writing stories is the part I love. I'm shitty at any other part, because I lack zeal for it. I hate schmoozing. I have a poor record at it, too. I hate looking at the submission guidelines for magazines and recognizing that there isn't a damn story I've ever told that would fit the bill, unless I craft something custom for them to reject, which seems to me a worse waste of time than the lottery.

It's not only that I love it. It's also that I still suck, and I figure the best way to suck less is to write more. I can't ever find a good time to sit back and just whore what I already got because what I already got isn't good enough for that.

Don't imagine I don't give time to mulling over the possibilities. Don't imagine it doesn't cross my mind to just throw in the towel and take up a more rewarding hobby, like watching hockey on TV or being a charismatic alcoholic (or both!). Don't think I don't ask myself several times a week, "Am I wasting my best energies beating a dead horse only a handful of dedicated readers even remotely give a shit about?"

So...any bright ideas?

In reply to your second question, the review copies have already gone out. The final edition is being layed out as I type.

Dear Simon,

I'm glad you're enjoying the crack I'm so addicted to: interleaved stories. I love that delicious mix of familiarity and anticipation you get when you get to follow a story that you already have backstory on -- when the bits of pieces of the storytelling are just touches on top of an established bed of shared knowledge.

I just re-watched The Last Crusade on the weekend. I simply adore that bit where they find the painting of the ark on the wall in the cavern under Venice and John Williams brings in a hint of the Ark Theme from the first movie. Else: "What's this?" Indy: "Ark uh tha Covenant." Else: "Are you sure?" Indy: "Pretty sure."

And yes, I did pine for Claire Danes when I was teenaged, watching My So-Called Life and wishing I was better looking than Jordan Catalano (does memory serve?) so she'd notice me right through the television glass.

Oh crap -- I have more comments to respond to but suddenly boss is getting all uppity about me doing shit for him. Better get on that. I'll be back to the thread in a few hours.

Cheeseburger Brown

Mark said...

Jesus H. Pop on a Christ-sicle stick!

I certainly didn't mean you weren't doing everything you could to promote yourself.

I guess because I first started writing and dreaming of one day being published many years ago, when folks didn't have a cheap way to publish their own work (Internet), I'm still in the mindset of writing, revising, revising, revising, and revising some more, and then submit it to someone and see what happens.

I just worry that if SOS does bring you interest from major publishers/film companies, etc. that they'll say, "We can't use anything you've already put on the web," and you'll turn around and realize you have no more ideas. Or, at the very least, that a major chunk of the Burgerverse will never appear anywhere but here.

That's all. You're kicking butt. I know how hard it is to write a story in serial format, and I don't do it as well as you. Perhaps I'm just thinking of myself, because my story ideas are so few and far between.

In closing, in my best beer-slurred speech... I love you, man.

Cheeseburger Brown said...

Dear Mark,

I certainly didn't mean you weren't doing everything you could to promote yourself.

Oh, I know, eh? Did I sound like I was pouncing? I didn't mean to. I guess I just have pent-up anxiety on the subject.

...they'll say, "We can't use anything you've already put on the web,"...

You know, I've got to figure that anyone in a position to really do something big with my stuff would have to get what I'm doing here, and appreciate it. In other words, if what I do here is seen as an obstacle, I don't think that's somebody I'm going to get into bed with in the first place. I've made those sorts of compromises before (q.v. the failed TV series, independent film production, et al), and it doesn't seem to turn out.

You make a great point about the perspective shift that comes about with the Internet.

Historically, what a publisher offered a writer was a pittance and the ability to finance a run of books and advertise their availability to get the writer's words in front of thousands of eyeballs. In the unlikely event that they struck gold, this might turn into millions of eyeballs and a more reasonable quantity of money.

Today, I can get my words in front of thousands eyeballs without much help, and I can even wring a pittance out of it.

Any publisher who wants to make their case would have to demonstrate to me that they can do what I can't, which would be to turn thousands of eyeballs into millions and a pittance into some actual cash. Since striking that kind of gold is pretty hit or miss no matter what size your market, what they've have to sell me on is their ability to stack the deck in that game. And if someone's going to play you in a game, they're probably going to have to believe that what you offer somehow helps stack that deck. To make a convoluted point: if somebody wants to bet on me, that means they already think what I've got is going to fly. And what kind of chump would toss out a stacked deck over a trifle?

If a publisher believes in me, and believes in the value of my storytelling, I can't imagine they'd toss the baby out with the bathwater just because drafts have been posted on the Web. Somebody that shortsighted isn't somebody I want to be defending my work to.

Naturally, I can compromise.

If a publisher looked at my stuff and said, "Hey, this guy can tell some stories! Why don't we contract him for an exclusive work?" that's a deal I'd consider.

But sending away my crafted dreams with SASE and everything formatted according to spec in order to wait for prolonged judgement from on high, keeping it all secret in the meantime...nope. It's not for me. I like telling stories too much. I can't sit on all this. I'd just up and do something else, instead.

Cheeseburger Brown

Anonymous said...

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Cheeseburger Manifesto.


Anonymous said...

Also, I can vouch for Mark that I didn't tell him to say that. Given that he's the only Burgerphile who's ever met me, I guess that's the best endorsement I can hope for here!

John said...

As a hopeful comment, there are other published authors who do what you do, and still get published. An example is Brandon Sanderson, who posted 1st draft chapters of Warbreaker as they were completed. Interestingly, his agent's major worry was not that a book already posted on the internet would not be published, but that the roughness of his drafts would be mistaken for his final work. So I do think you can find publishers who "get" what you're doing here, and will publish these stories along with all the new imaginative material your brain has yet to bring to your attention.

Moksha Gren said...

Wonderful chapter..and excellent musical accompaniment. Bringing others into a multi-media collaborative like this is very appealing. My cousin was supposed to produce charcoal sketches of my gren story...but he's yet to do anything with it. I thought his unemployeed status would help me out in this respect....but I guess I forgot to factor in the fact that he's unemployeed because he's uber-lazy. So...here's to family members like Mr. Cat who actually produce beautiful art ;)

As I mentioned to you before (in an email that simultaneously insulted and praised) your writing is improving at a noticable rate. I have to beleive that you will be "noticed" in the near future. And though the previous internet publication will probably be a hurdle to overcome, I see your major issue being the very thing that makes them so appealing to geeks like us...namely the interconnectedness of the story. As a publisher, I'd have a hard time knowing where to begin. Optimally, SOS (as a stand alone story) gets published and folks turn to the shorts for more info. But outside of that, publishers may have a hard time pushing the entire Burgerverse rather than one packaged story. You mentioned a while ago that you were working on another novel that could stand by itself. I think that's wise.

One way or the other, though, I'm certainly enjoying the ride

Tolomea said...

listening to the music it occurred to me that it'd sit very well as the backing to an opening montage in a movie

Dan said...


If I remember correctly. We are indeed reading the stand alone novel now.

THE Danimal

Cheeseburger Brown said...

Dear Dan,

The novel project I've been mentioning is The Flying Dollar, which was supposed to start rolling in February after The Secret Mathematic wrapped.

The Secret Mathematic, however, has turned into a larger project with an uncertain timeline so the debut of The Flying Dollar has been pushed back accordingly.

Also, for those of you who enjoyed my brother's contribution, here are some links to a couple of other projects on which he and I collaborated:

Space Attack! (3 minute animated short)

Windows Media

Pan 4.3v2 (3.5 minute ambient electronica music video)

Windows Media

Cheeseburger Brown

Teddy said...

So, if this is going to turn out to be a novella then, I assume a dead-tree version will be available? It seems to me there are enough books under the name CBB that there ought to be a boxed set by now.


Simon said...

I betcha there will be, Teddy.

And for those interested, the current collection of Mr. Brown's works can be had for purchase all in one convenient location!

(Simon doesn't mind shilling for the Burger.)

And the Darth Side PDF is a free download. How can you beat that?!

I'm pleased to say I own all four of what I will call the Burgerverse Books: Simon of Space, Hot Buttered Something, The Bikes of New York, Sensible Flying Shoes. And all well worth the purchase price. If you go to the page linked above and check out the specific book link for Simon of Space, it has an attractive front page with reader reviews and the iconic Jeremiah.

Tolomea said...

I own them all, unfortunately half my collection hasn't arrived yet, it left lulu in early november...