tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE's Reviews > Chronocules

Chronocules by D.G. Compton
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D. G. Compton's Chronocules
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - December 12, 2014

I don't know anything about D.G. Compton. This is, as far as I can remember, the 1st work I've read by him. I find that SF writers are often jacks-of-all-trades so I like reading the capsule bios about them that often appear in their bks:

"DAVID G. COMPTON was born in London in 1930; both his parents were in the theater, and he was brought up by his grandmother. After eighteen months' National Service, he tried a variety of jobs—as a stage manager, salesman, dock worker, shop display manager, jobbing builder—before turning to writing." - p 2

Otherwise, I decided to read this b/c it uses the term "chrononauts" & I was (still am?) a member of what started out as the Chrononautic Society & eventually became the Krononautic Organism - a group founded by Richard Ellsberry to throw parties for People-From-The-Future who might find out about our party at a time when time-travel might exist in a form that wd enable them to attend our party. You can sortof find out something about us here: http://www.thing.de/projekte/7:9%23/k... . Compton's bk came out in 1970 so he & others had probably coined "chrononauts" before Richard did since I think Richard might've coined it in 1977 or thereabouts. I think Richard probably realized this at some point & partially chose the newer name to make it more distinct.

"The founder," [Richard Ellsberry,] "had a sense of style. He chose security men with cheerful red faces and fringes of beard, dressing them in blue fishermen's jerseys, shabby fishermen's caps and patched blue fishermen's jeans. But they were security men all the same, and had been known to behave accordingly.

"First of all there was a fat harbor master who hailed offenders in a throughly friendly manner. (The operation was number 3a in the handbook.)

""Private mooring old boy. Wouldn't mind pushing off down the creek a bit, would you?" - p 19

If that didn't work the people in paddle boats inexpertly playing alto sax usually wd. ""You waste my time. We build a village, so we need a village idiot. Put him on the payroll."" (p 22) That actually explains alot: someone must've misunderstood him to say: "a village of idiots" - these things happen. "In David Silberstein whatever euphoria had lingered from his talk with Roses immediately departed. Professor Kravchensky scuttled, he himself scuttled, the whole Village (except for Roses) scuttled. That was what they were there for. For purposes of scuttling. Following the inspiration of that archscuttler, Emmanuel Littlejohn, they applied their own considerable intellects and his own considerable fortune to the problem, with the sad wisdom of rats, of how best to scuttle." (p 36) Then I came along, the man from the future, & they immediately tried to kill me. I let them believe they had:

""If I'd reported him to Mr. Silberstein," he said, "the poor man would have been confined to the Village for at least six months as Bessie's assistant."

"(Bessie was the rapacious" [Visual Music] "Village" [ http://visualmusic.ning.com/profile/t... ] "nurse, whose divorced husband had departed to live in Nicaragua. A passionate, impulsive woman, it was said that she had divorced him for chronic incapacity following the biting off of his penis. It was an uneasy joke, filled with fear.)" - p 80

"The final gesture, the suitable termination, was provided by an inspired young man, naked," [ http://youtu.be/kgyIDedE7uU ] "with thick reddish hair—Manny Littlejohn could clearly see it glinting in the sunlight—who leaped onto the bonnet of the truck and stood, legs apart in archetypal little boy's defiance, to pee a golden rainbow at the windscreen and the men inside." (p 85) "(As for the truck men, it was a wasted gesture: behind the filthied glass one of them was already dead, his companions too ill from dehydration and heatstroke for a spray of urine here or there to make much difference.)" (pp 85-66)

&, yeah, it is true: I'm a blatant pervert.. but not in the way you 'think':

""Penheniot Experimental Research Village. . . ." She leaned against the glass of the window. "Presumably the initials are meant as a joke."

""Admittedly our Founder has a troublesome sense of humor."" - p 102

"Finally he switched in the Village House-to-house communications system, and played his ridiculous call sign—he hated Schubert, and the Trout Quintet in particular, but the Founder (a man of shallow culture) had been adamant. Into every workroom, every office, every shop, every home (except Roses Varco's: the amenity had been thought wasted on him), tinkled the trivial refrain.*"

"*At this point the original book , in its pursuit of actuality, plays the theme three times through. I've no idea how it does it: the page looks very like all the others." - p 151

After the paddle boat players finished off the Trout Quintet at the harbor: "It was on that morning's tide that the first of the corpses, monitored all the way up the Pill, arrived off Penheniot quay. The first of the many, as the sea became sewer, mortuary, burying ground, David Silberstein—he was everywhere these days—had the area already cordoned off and the doctor waiting. The body, that of an elderly woman, only mildly bloated, was sealed and taken to the path. lab., where the doctor made his examination under totally sterile conditions and was able to isolate a mutant strain of enteric fever." (p 174) "He hooked a worm and cast it out across the pale water. He didn't mind, perhaps hadn't noticed, that there were no fish, had been none for weeks." (p 201) Not even a quintet of trout.
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Started Reading
December 12, 2014 – Finished Reading
December 13, 2014 – Shelved
December 13, 2014 – Shelved as: sf

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