9 Nov 2017

The Devil You Know - Commentary 16

On the road to Monte Carlo, in The Devil You Know Chapter 16.

Modern technology really helps writers working on contemporary novels.  There is so much available a search engine inquiry away.  Need a hotel?  Ta-daa!  Need to know what bistros are around?  Ta-daa!  Need to know the flight speed of an unladen swallow?  Ta-daa!  Directions, flight schedules, maps, photos, anything that may be needed but difficult to get out to obtain is easy to find.  When I needed to figure out how long it would take for Mara to get from Paris to Monte Carlo, I chose two landmarks in both locations, then checked Google Maps for directions.  Much easier than the method I was taught in high school geography, which was to measure the length of a road with a sheet of paper, turning it and marking the sheet when the road curved, then figuring out the total distance on the paper and multiplying that by the map's scale.  Google Maps even helpfully calculates driving time and points out where traffic is backed up.  All I had to do was apply the Mara factor, where she would ignore speed limits and possibly physics and add in time spent at pit stops.

The full quote Ione refers to is, "The avalanche has already started.  It is too late for the pebbles to vote."  Ambassador Kosh was well known for such adages.  In essence, events are in motion, it's too late to bail now.  Ione is finding herself swept up in what's happening, whether she wants to be there or not.  She did have a chance to say no, back in Chapter 7; she just didn't.

Ione's explanation of crypto-currency came from a brief but intense bit of research.  I knew of BitCoins prior to starting the story; they were the reason why Ione got involved.  However, details were needed to make it look like Ione knew what she was talking about.  BitCoins are the best known crypto-currency, but they're useless for the purpose of being money.  Few places take them as currency; there's no going into a store to purchase groceries with BitCoins.  They've been treated more as a stock investment, but even there, there is no stability.  The main use has been in two fields, for criminal endeavors and as Dunning-Krugerrands.  Not all crypto-currency shares the same fate; DogeCoins became a way for an online forum to reward members when they did something positive.

If you think Chapter 16 is shorter than Chapter 15, you'd be right.  I've mentioned it before, but it doesn't hurt to repeat it now - The Devil You Know was written as a novel, not a serial.  Chapters will take up the size they need instead of being planned to be similar sizes.  Chapter 16 is about a third the length of the previous chapter.  Ione's travelling to Monte Carlo and Jack is starting to get his ducks lined up for what he has planned there.  Other than that, not much happens, but key information is given.

Friday, hello Monte Carlo, in the The Devil You Know Chapter 17.
Also Friday, over at Psycho Drive-In, beginning a short series of remaking movies featured on MST3K, starting with Danger!!  Death Ray.
Saturday, over at The Seventh Sanctum, continuing remaking MST3K featured movies, with Robot Holocaust.

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