A Hundred Words from a Civil War was the twelfth story of A Romance in Twelve Parts. It was a "drabbleplex", a story told in 100 100-word vignettes. While it was mostly written by Philip Purser-Hallard, it also had eleven vignettes written by the other contributors to A Romance in Twelve Parts.
A Hundred Words from a Civil War united elements not just from previous City of the Saved stories, but also from The Faction Paradox Protocols, Short Trips, Bernice Summerfield, Iris Wildthyme, and all eleven previous short stories in A Romance in Twelve Parts. The story also introduced elements which were greatly expanded upon in future Faction Paradox and The City of the Saved stories, including Weapons Grade Snake Oil and Unification Theory.
Summary[edit | edit source]
Mesh Cos teaches one of her children about the universe outside the City. She explains that before the Civil War, people could enter and leave the City whenever they wanted. Many went back to the original universe and founded a colony. They live there now, unaware of the Civil War.
- Temulen Khatun orders her horde to destroy Bostromville District. Zou Yunying is the four-trillionth person to die in the Civil War.
Philip K. Dick is interviewed by Krish on his latest novel, The Next Time I'm God, You Can Be the Devil. Phil brings up the pre-death predictions of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: "[Teilhard] predicted the end of human evolution as a convergence into a diety." He continues, "Could the Civil War be a stage in the process? What if before unifying, we polarise?"
- Cyrus, Geoff, and Niccolo prepare to fend off Attila the Hun. A Brutality Bomb forces Chant Chandra Weng to kill his family or die.
Pope Beatrix II allies with the Sons of Tepes to take down Lord Mayor Lucius Cassius Ignotus. Two agents of the Sons break into the Ignotus villa and bite his neck. Being a vampire, Ignotus is now technically dead, but he can still continue ruling the City. The alliance a failure, Beatrix II is sanctioned by the Conclave of All Popes for "necromancy".
- Buildings everywhere are in ruin. Manfold is now a combat zone known as "ArenaVille". Blank and the Eldritch Kid spend twelve days in the Library of Quintessential Lies, eating up its contents. Lady President Ceol rides through battle on her robotic mammoth L-Event.
Melicia Clutterbuck and Sergeant Laser-I are fighting their way through the Civil War. They encounter rebels at the shores of Kernindeep District. They ride dinosaurs into Amazon territory. Clutterbuck makes her last stand on the east nipple of Bribori Zadig.
- Cullen slaughters a woman in Pharan District. Clerical commandos pledge their lives to protecting Yeshua bar-Abbas. Cousin Edward reenacts Pirates of the Caribbean in Mappamundi Great Park's mock-up of the real Caribbean Seas.
Rex Halidom is ordered by the Lord Mayor Ignotus to journey into RealSpace in the starship Paramount. After flying past a swarm of Yesodites, Halidom is teleported to Erath by the Universal Machine. UniMac requires Halidom's military expertise to help her make orientation material to transmit back into the universe to prepare the living for the Civil War. UniMac includes within the material the schematics to build another Downtime Gate.
- Iris Wildthyme attempts to get into the City to save her companions from the Civil War. Kephas finds a potent weapon. In Paynesdown District, Laura Tobin informs Doomsday Cesario that unless he gives vital information to peace activists, he'll die in 28 hours.
As a vampire, Lord Mayor Ignotus is scared of faith. All the divine Roman emperors of old have been rounded up and quietly disposed. Ignotus has tasked former pharaoh Akhenaten to arrest all Remakes of the Osirian pantheon and transport them to a "relocation camp". Said camp is home to all manner of gods, almost every one doomed to death. On a visit to the camp, Ignotus discovers that Akhenaten has been disobeying orders and treating the sun-god Aten with reverence; emanating both faith and sunlight, Aten utterly destroys Ignotus in an instant.
- Dysgenia acts as the shepherdess of a herd of animistic humans. Sir Geoffroi attacks a serpent-like posthuman. The shadowy Umbra District remains completely untouched by the Civil War.
The Rump Parliament of Faction Paradox, based in Mappamundi Great Park, prepare a plan to use Celestis technology left over from Lord Foaming Sky to enable time travel within the City. As a test, they send a tattooed androgyne back in time to Resurrection Day.
- Tanh encounters a merry band of Robin Hood Remakes. Cousin Story haunts the Compromised Regions. Henry VIII is trapped in a grotesque, old body.
- Masuko Okada wanders the deserted Yokai District. Tonton Macoute prepares to feast on the entire City.
Keth Marrane journeys far from the Civil War into Bonehall District, home to a neolithic civilisation and the mysterious Metalith. Also of note is the seemingly impossible "corpse of the Unknown Ancestor", a body which has apparently existed since Resurrection Day. The Bonehall community welcomes Marrane because - like the Unknown Ancestor - he is androgynous. However, before Marrane can a chance to truly examine the preserved "painted" hide of the Ancestor, the Metalith undergoes an alarming transformation.
The Metalith is one end of another Downtime Gate. The orientation material that the UniMac sent into the universe was found by a being descended from colonists from the City: the final evolution of humanity, just as Teilhard predicted, a cruel god-like entity. The final outcome of mankind used UniMac's schematics to create a Downtime Gate to access the City. The ultimate Descendant is not yet whole, but by absorbing everyone in the City, it can become all-powerful.
Characters[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
Individuals[edit | edit source]
- There is a POW camp filled with 500 Remakes of John Rambo.
- Raphael created the Rothschild Palazzo.
- Frank Lloyd Wright designed the House of Incantations.
- Giordano Bruno made the Memory Theatre.
Locations[edit | edit source]
- Clovis District, Bostromville District, the Unified Temple to Ourselves, Jodagna's Sessile Labyrinth, the GigaElectronVaults, the Apollodorian Panopticon, the Rothschild Palazzo, the House of Incantations, the Memory Theatre, and Nimrod's Mighty Edifice are seen.
- Qingming District, Xephax District, and Orlack District are mentioned.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- The full title of the story, as given in A Romance in Twelve Parts, is "A Hundred Words from a Civil War, being an Account of the War between the Citizens of the City of the Saved, fought with Potent Weaponry in the aftermath of the Manfold Incursion; including the Suppression of the Gods, the Mission of the Starship Paramount, the Military Campaigns of Melicia Clutterbuck, Ph.D., and Certain Actions on the part of the Rump Parliament of Faction Paradox, with a full history of the Events at the Bonehall Metalith; featuring Romans, Clones, Hermaphrodites, Assassins, Pirates, Posthumans, Vampires, Werewolves, Ghosts, Zombies, Detectives, Giants, Popes, Admirals, Cavemen, Dinosaurs, Baron Frankenstein and a cast of Undecillions."
- Only getting a brief mention here, Giordano Bruno features heavily in Philip Purser-Hallard's later short story De Umbris Idearum.
- A Hundred Words from a Civil War contains several tributes to Iris Wildthyme and the City of the Saved, a novel Purser-Hallard pitched to Big Finish Productions for a potential Iris Wildthyme novel series. Iris Wildthyme's cameo is the most obvious. Rex Halidom was to have been a main character in the novel and he plays a large part in this short story. The outline for Iris Wildthyme and the City of the Saved describes Halidom as a "keen Austen fan"; in A Hundred Words from a Civil War he is married to Jane Austen.
- Purser-Hallard published eleven hundred-word drabbles on his blog as teasers in the lead-up to the release of A Romance in Twelve Parts.
Continuity[edit | edit source]
- The City of the Saved Civil War began in PROSE: Of the City of the Saved....
- Laura Tobin originates from PROSE: Interference - Book One.
- Godfather Pinocchio and the Sons of Tepes originate from PROSE: The Book of the War.
- Lucius Cassius Ignotus, Urbanus Ignotus, Mesh Cos, Lief, Krish, Catriona, Keth Marrane, Rahman, Avatar, Edward, Una, Krisztina-Judit Németh, Melicia Clutterbuck, Lo, and Jezebel all originate from PROSE: Of the City of the Saved....
- Godfather Sabbath originates from AUDIO: Movers.
- Pope Beatrix II originates from PROSE: Predating the Predators.
- Rex Halidom previously appeared in PROSE: Battleship Anathema.
- Halidom encounters a group of Yesodites. One, Leremu Seed-of-Tiphereth, is named after Tiphereth. (PROSE: The Long Midwinter)
- Curialis is a Quire. (PROSE: Collected Works)
- The Osirians are an active faction in the War. (AUDIO: Coming to Dust et al)
- Parallaxia div Procyon mentions the Timebeast Assault. (PROSE: The Book of the War)
- It's mentioned that Philip K. Dick has been "out of the public eye recently". He explains that he was researching for his latest book. The main character of said book is named "Mick Kinship", a name similar to the alias "Rick Kithred", which Dick used while in hiding. (PROSE: Of the City of the Saved...)
- A Hundred Words from a Civil War has continuity with all previous stories in the anthology:
- Drostan and the Blood Witch appear. (PROSE: Storyteller)
- Godfather Zeitgeist cares for packs of feral cats in the Umbra District. (PROSE: Gramps)
- Douglas Canning is briefly seen looking for Jim Sheldrake. (PROSE: Mightier Than the Sword)
- Ceol and Dominic appear. (PROSE: Now or Thereabouts)
- Henry VIII appears. (PROSE: Nothing Lasts Forever)
- Iris Wildthyme appears. (PROSE: Library Pictures)
- Morgus Cullen appears. (PROSE: Holding Pattern)
- Cousin Dysgenia appears. (PROSE: A Story of the Peace)
- The Eldritch Kid and Whitey Blank appear. (PROSE: Print the Legend)
- Tonton Macoute appears. (PROSE: Tonton Macoute)
- Kephas appears. (PROSE: Alchemy)
- The alliance between the Sons of Tepes and the Conclave of All Popes is further explored in PROSE: Unification Theory.
- PROSE: The Queen of Clubs explains how Henry VIII became as he is in this story.
- The Anonymity's invasion of the City is continued in PROSE: Apocalypse Day and concluded in PROSE: God Encompasses.
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Footnotes[edit | edit source]
- Purser-Hallard, Philip (2005). "Iris Wildthyme in the City of the Saved - rejected novel proposal". Infinitarian.
- Purser-Hallard, Philip (2012). "Bonus Drabbles". Infinitarian.