Synopsis Symphony


Supposedly there are only a few stories, and we ring endless changes on them. I don’t think that’s true, or maybe it’s true to a crude extent only.

Mary Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN, OR, THE MODERN PROMETHEUS is a cautionary tale, just as the original story of Prometheus was. Much more recently, “Blood Music” by Greg Bear takes the premise to a wonderfully horrifying extreme. An Internet search will lead the curious reader to a synopsis, and a more curious reader to the “gray goo” concept.

We are an increasingly synoptic culture. So many things demand our attention! Why, I myself am demanding your attention at this very moment! I better keep it brief!


SING, O MUSE, of summ’d-up stories
Yawners, t h r i l l e r s, allegory
Nasty fall or heartmelt gem
OMG-er: booze/buff/hemp
Parabol that’s fulla Pooh
Sappy RomCom: thrice-pitch’d woo
If/then/else in Kind or Mean
Sapience: Aye, THERE’s the key

I used “parabol” instead of “parable” to give a flavor of arc to the story.

“Pooh” does and does not refer to a certain Bear of Little Brain that I’ll always have fondness for, even though my hero Dorothy Parker scorned him and his chronicler.

“If/then/else” will be familiar to those who indulge, even to the slightest degree, in computer programming. “If/then/else,” I submit, is the distillation of Story to the barest of bones.

“Sapience” means Wisdom. Our species has the taxonomy “Homo sapiens.” Riiiiggggghhhht.

  1. You know, we’re even Homo Sapiens Sapiens; i’ll agree that sometimes that seems like two sapiens too many. However, these days I’m feeling rather indulgent so i’ll give us the benefit of the doubt, and hope that a few millenia hence will see us still active on this orb.

    I like your definition of story. If I was religious, I guess i would expect to leave the routine of life with an ‘Exit sub’. And I hope my program includes a strong error handler.

    Ones upon a thyme :-), delightful.

  2. Great comment. ‘Exit sub’ sits with me a lot better than ‘Exit.’ Are you saying you believe in reincarnation? 🙂

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