Alright, we’re talking about Kurt Vonnegut, one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century and one I’m thrilled and honored to write with.
Whoa there…I’m not writing with him, I’m just writing in his world. Yep, I’m talking about Room 223, my Amazon Kindle Worlds fan fiction book that follows the events from the book The Sirens of Titan.
Room 223 follows Sirens side-character Noel Constant as he figures out his winning stock market formula that will make him rich, and the action of the original novel possible. We follow him as he leaves the East Coast in the early years of the Great Depression and makes his way west toward California.
Along the way he has a series of mindless jobs, but each one somehow related to what he’ll do once he gets to Room 223. Of course he has no idea he’s heading there, but someone does. And that someone just happens to be travelling through time in the chrono-synclastic infundibulum.
Yeah, you may have guessed it already if you’ve read the original novel, but that person is Winston Niles Roomford. And that means that Noel Constant is Malachi Constant’s father.
Confused yet? Well, it’s a book I expect to sell very few copies of, and have in fact only sold 5 copies of since publishing it in December of last year.
I won’t make much money from it either. The book is priced at $1.99, meaning royalties on each book are just $0.70. I never expected it to sell well, and it is a bit of an odd-ball, much like many of Vonnegut’s own works. I mean, look at the table of contents:
Room 223 is a chance to get my work out in front of a new audience, and another title up on the shelf. And why not? I write all kinds of crazy shit, might as well just put it out there.
So if you’re interested in Kurt Vonnegut check out Room 223 before the next chrono-synclastic infundibulum comes around...and hopefully sooner...or later...or, well, you get the idea!
It was more of a braying sound than a howl really, but it still caused the hackles on the back of his neck to rise. Fear filled him, and he was just about to drop the few pieces of wood from his hands and rush back up to the road.
“Don’t mind Kazak,” a voice suddenly said behind him, and Noel spun around.
“What the…” he trailed-off, looking at the strange man in front of him. He’d never seen anyone dressed in such a fashion and something just didn’t seem right about the man for some reason. Noel couldn’t put his finger on it, but he just knew that something wasn’t as it should be. The huge grin on the man’s face wasn’t helping matters any.
That’s it! Noel thought as he started to dash away. I’m out of here!
“I wouldn’t do that,” the man said, and Noel stopped quickly.
Noel cocked his head at the man without saying a thing, and the man nodded at the wood in his arms.
“It’ll be cold tonight, that fire will come in mighty handy!”
“Who are you?” Noel asked, still holding the wood in his arms.
“My name’s Winston Niles Roomford,” the man said, offering his hand to Noel, “and your son and I are going to get along marvelously.”
Noel narrowed his eyes at the man and took a step back. “My son?”
Winston smiled. “I know it seems a little far-fetched, but why don’t you take a seat here and let me explain.”
Noel shrugged. There really was nothing else to do so he sat down on the forest floor, the wood still in his hands.
“You see,” Winston started, “in the future you’ll have a son, just one mind you, and that man will become critical to my own future.”
“I’m not sure I understand,” Noel said slowly, looking up into the man’s eyes. “How could you know all this? Have you been drinking, mister?”
“Let’s just say that I have some interesting and unusual circumstances,” Winston said.
“I’d love to hear about them if you want to help me get this fire started.”
“I know, but I haven’t the time,” Winston said, throwing his arms up. “In seventeen minutes I’ll be whisked out of here and you won’t see me again for 472 days.”
“How do you figure that?” Noel asked skeptically.
“It’s the nature of the chrono-synclastic infundibulum,” Winston casually answered, “although it wasn’t and won’t always be that way.”
Noel narrowed his eyes at him.
“I’m a time-traveler, Noel, have been since the dawn of time and will be to the very end. It all started several decades from now when I bought a space craft and flew into the chrono-synclastic infundibulum. The phenomenon is like a giant funnel in space, one that disrupts the course of ordinary space and time. It’s within these strange entities that something truly remarkable happens – all of Earth’s opposing truths suddenly fit together quite nicely, like a puzzle that’s finally been put together! You see, Noel, everything that ever has been always will be, and everything that ever will be always has been! Of course, heading into a chrono-synclastic infundibulum is quite dangerous for humans, not to mention dogs, and my choice to fly straight into one, in hindsight of course, may not have been the best.”
“And as a result,” Winston sighed, “Kazak and I are now scattered far and wide, not just through space, but through time as well.”
“You see,” Winston continued, “I used to show up on Earth every fifty-nine days, and will begin to do so again after you reach Room 223 and discover the secret there. At that point my alternate-self, my past-self if you will, will once again be put onto the course of buying the fifty-eight million dollar spacecraft I need to leave Earth, chart a course for Mars, and fly right into the middle of the chrono-synclastic infundibulum, justifying humanity’s whole reason and excuse for existence!”
He took a deep breath as he finished.
“Why is it 472 days now and not fifty-nine?” Noel asked. Of all the crazy things that Winston had just told him that was the one he couldn’t quite put his finger on.
“I’m not sure, but it surely had something to do with the sun spots striking me in the future, once your son and I are finally on Titan and with Solon. As far as I can tell it seems that those fifty-nine days have been multiplied by eight, something my wife will surely wish would happen to her and not you.” He scratched at the stubble forming on his chin for a moment, a faraway look in his eyes. “Of course it could be that the acoustic-resonances of the Caves of Mercury and Boaz’s taming of the harmoniums has something to do with it. And it is possible that the wavelength spiral I’m travelling on simultaneously right now is fading, perhaps because the star Betelgeuse is also having some energy fluctuations at the moment.”
“I think you should leave, Mister,” Noel said.
Winston smiled. “That’s exactly what your son said.”
“Hey, what the…”
Noel trailed-off as the man before him, the man he’d just been talking to, suddenly began to fade away before his very eyes.
“Head west, m’boy,” Winston called out as his form began to fade, “and look for two letters!”
Noel jumped back, that strange tingling sensation covering his body once again. The last thing he saw was the man’s face break out in that large grin again before he faded into nothingness entirely.