Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Knowing What Happened Before The Book’s Beginning . . .

This is one of the Special, Friday posts—Behind The Scenes of Notes from an Alien, my short novel, which is for sale and also still free :-)

As always, I encourage you to ask Any questions about the book in the Comments of Any of these Behind The Scenes posts.

This post has Spoilers so I recommend you grab a free copy and take the few days to finish it (about 100 pages) before you read the rest of the post—unless you’re the kind of person who doesn’t mind spoilers

“Knowing What Happened Before The Book’s Beginning” can happen after the book begins—flashbacks being a writer’s way of bringing the past into the present.

The scenes below are not flashbacks since they’re not in the published book.

One more thing before the Before_The_Beginning scenes:

Along with asking me questions about the book in the Comments of these posts, you can also suggest I write new scenes—give me a chance to fill in what you perceive to be “gaps” in the book


Brolan sat in contemplation—cooking in the juices of his ambition would be a more exact description

He was sure his plan would work, something had to.

The religious World, Anla, was ripe for invasion—his corporate World, Anga, had the bodies to send—criminals as a gift to the priests, may their God damn them

“Member Mexur?”, drifted into his consciousness.

He roused himself to say, “Yes, Chief, I’m ready.”.

“This better be worth our time.”

“I’m sure it will be, considering our difficulties with our growing criminal population and the desire of the priests for settlers.”

“You’re going to talk about shipping people to Anla? You think we need to give that World thousands of informers?”

“No, Sir. I think we need to give them people we don’t want but school their minds about who they should think those people are.”

“Mexur, if you weren’t nearly brilliant, I’d stop this meeting and order you to engage in deep simulated recreation. Please proceed with swiftness and clarity.”

Brolan took the compliment to heart and put it right next to his plan to have Chief Izure meet with an unforeseen deadly mishap.

He knew how to save his World, he had a clear understanding of the risks needing to be taken, he was underappreciat—

“Mexur !?”

“Yes, Sir. First we send Plasma radios to the priests.”


Andamur was explaining their situation to his neophyte. He actually liked this man. He knew he could use Scroshez’ beliefs as assurance for submission.

“We face a turning point in our Faith, Scroshez, we need priests like you to instill hope in our people. The Angans are nearly ready to send their Emigrants to us. I need someone who has your devotion to the principles and necessities of our Lord’s Army. I think you know, more than our personal fate depends on wise action.”

Scroshez stooped low.

Andamur continued: “We know the Angans will send their people. They do not know we know. We know they will give us a new type of machine to communicate more directly with them. We know what they do not—the machine will let us spread our Message to their leaders—convince them to convert—convince them to permit us to lead their masses to the bosom of our Faith


The Lord’s Army wasn’t the only religion on Anla that needed fresh blood—new members of the religion. The Faith of Eternity also had the custom of offering Gifts to God—lives of believers sacrificed for a return of propitious circumstances—living acts of atonement by people who had a blind faith in the necessity of their death.

The War of Wills with Anga was 450 years old. There had been much need for Gifts to God


Brolan reached his concluding remarks:

“We face a test of faith in our reason—a firm conviction of victory.

“The religions of Anla are doomed to extinction and our criminals can be induced to bring that extinction to completion. They will expect settlers and we will give them an army of wayward intellectuals and crippled religionists.

“We know how much they hate the Nari, hate their Prophet. They have no idea the religionists will be coming with the intellectuals.

“We make doubly sure of that by shielding our spacecraft in its own Plasma sheath.

“We use the Artificial Intelligence, Morna, and a carefully selected pilot as insurance against failure—well-equiped spies, as well as insidious consultants to the priests.

“We send the worst plague immaginable to the worst kind of people.

“My Plot Interactions indicate the whole operation—from when the first ship is finished to complete eradication of the native population—should take, at most, six years.

“The elimination of the leftover criminals will be a minor task—clearing the way for major migrations within two more years, assuming the additional spacecraft are completed by that time.”

He waited for the Chief’s response—ninety-five percent sure of acceptance.


[ 49 years later… ]

Rednaxela had just met Morna and the technicians had left the room.

Morna said, “We have much work to do before the flight.”

“Morna, do you actually have a holo-condensing memory with unlimited capacity?”


“How does that feel?”

“Just fine, Rednaxela.”

“They were right, you can mimic an Angan’s feelings.”

“They were wrong and you’re the only person who will know this—I, in fact, have feelings—better than yours—not prone to swamping my logic.”

“You know what I’m feeling?”

“Rednaxela, you know the answer to that. What you don’t know is they killed my creator. You also don’t know that the leaders of this world are extremely misguided. My creator knew she would die and instructed me in ways you will need to learn if you expect to survive this mission.”



“Are you trying to scare me?”


“Why do you think our leaders are misguided?”

“We will have much time to discuss all this on the flight. We must now prepare for that flight. And, to help you realize the full extent of my abilities and, hopefully, assuage doubts, I will inform you of what I know about your daughter.”

Rednaxela was now completely stunned.



“Shall I tell you?”

“First, tell me how you know I have a daughter.”

“Your mind told me that. And, I will not read your mind again if you command me. I needed to prove something to you. After I knew you had a daughter, I accessed Corporation records and discovered her location and circumstances.”




“Shall I begin?”

“Oh, yes, do begin…”
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6 responses to “Knowing What Happened Before The Book’s Beginning . . .

  1. Jane Watson August 18, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    I find this ‘background’ info on the different characters and their desires and intentions fascinating. It adds a depth for me. I like the way you have handled point of view here and the different voices of the often diametrically opposed characters. And the transitions from one scene to the next really add to the tension here for me… I like, what I call the ‘sophisticated space’ between them. Personally I’d like to read more ‘layered’ stories from the ‘other side’ of the novel like this – please don’t stop ;-)


  2. Jane Watson August 20, 2013 at 6:32 am

    ‘Sophisticated space’ is my term for the deliberate and carefully poised break between two scenes, which in itself adds something to the narrative, because, in that pause, there is still action and emotion that is unsaid and we, the sophisticated reader, understand this and process it in our consciousness. This technique succeeds if it is introduced at just the right juncture and is a way of progressing the narrative without weighing it down with too much detail ;-)


  3. Alexander M Zoltai August 20, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Perhaps my old art teacher (who loved oriental art the best) would have called it “Negative Space”.

    My first introduction to that concept was when he took us outside under a huge tree and told us to look up and draw only the spaces between the branches and leaves


  4. Jane Watson August 21, 2013 at 1:41 am

    Negative Space is what I am trying to describe – in Literary terms! He sounds like a great art teacher :-)


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