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The Big Dumb Object

The Big Dumb Object is a science-fictional plot device, as described in the linked wiki entry. Examples would be the Ringworld, Rama, Gaea, or Jack Kirby's Ego, the Living Planet.
Ego.jpg

I got to thinking, while driving cross-country and sucking caffeine to stay awake, about big dumb objects. More specifically, I started thinking about the planet Carcosa as a big dumb object. Carcosa is an Ambrose Bierce creation that has been subsumed into the realm of the Lovecraftian, and serves as the sometime home of Cthulhu's half-brother Hastur.
Carcosa_Night_by_harakeke.jpg

Long ago, I conceived of this as a home for a series of stories, the only surviving one being I of the Storm, which is really more of a vignette than anything else, but points the way to what I thought of then (and sometimes still do) as a newish wrinkle in horror writing-no matter how weird or how intense the events described in the narrative, the protagonist enjoys them. He likes it in the same way one likes a rollercoaster ride.
In a roundabout way, this comes back to the Big Dumb Object...the antihero of our tale(s) comes to Carcosa via mind transfer, becomes what is more or less a Grog, and discovers that the planet itself is talking to him. What it says and how he reacts to that were the beginnings of my nanowrimo novel this past year.
I had to get a new copy of the King in Yellow as the old one disappeared somewhere...though I'm not in fact working very much from that angle, or any other previous angle. Still, if I need a quote or image that's the place to go.
The Lake of Hali I see as liquid methane-Carcosa is very old, and very cold. Its star is small, red, and distant. The predominant color is a deep purple, shading toward blue violet and indigo on the farside and red violet and magenta on the nearside.
yskcap_small.gif


So it's pretty much a case of some Cthulhuvian namedropping and a lotta whole cloth. I made the thing up as I went along. It flows ok but not much happens. As the mc is sessile, I need to watch that.
Carcosa developed into a hivemind...borrowing a little bit from Anthony's Orn and Lafferty's Nine Hundred Grandmothers and having some individual creatures serving as living software and/or memory sticks.
I had some of that idea in the original Blue Easter...the Deep Ones have a racial memory activated by the change, and a sense of proportion, in that they don't breed any more than they can feed. Carcosa is a similarly-inclined ecosystem, though more static as not much matter is added to or subtracted from it.
We're talking about glacial time...a very interesting exercise in narration for me. I don't know how interesting for readers...here's a bliurb I made up:
The skies are full of night-gaunts, those faceless rubbery ticklers, and of other creatures even less savory, and the landscape is pockmarked with copses of carnivorous sessiles advertising for a meal. Occasionally, a ghoul is seen, scavenging the remains of a feast.
The wind whispers suggestively, promising forever, and howls to deliver you unto the forbidden Lake where your flashfrozen corpse will remain until the end of time.
Even less often, the King may be seen, or his acolyte, or the gods glimpsed, giant among the shadows...

The novel has now expanded to almost 500k words. A good deal of it is going to have to be scrapped, but the lion's share of it will remain to be edited and redrafted. It's finished, and the faceless rubbery ticklers will no longer invade my dreams and plans for other novels, at least until later this year when the edit is planned.
I didn't mean for the novel itself to become the big dumb object, but it happened.




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