The Casebook of Reese Macaque, P.I. is now represented on Kindle by two finished stories: a tidied-up new version of “President Nero’s Golden Palace” and the all-new “Two Terrible Weeks in Tedboro,” a sideshow so dryly funny that readers will wish they could be there now. But no hurry. We will all get to Texas soon enough, in God’s good time.
“Two Terrible Weeks in Tedboro” incorporates a good deal of backstory for the world of P.I. Macaque in the Adventures and Casebook, and it’s a little eerie to watch parallels forming in real life. I would have supposed only nonfiction writers get this much reality. Fortunately, the world of P.I. Macaque is in some ways not as disconcerting as the world of the present.
The Adventures of Reese Macaque, P.I. needed historical underpinnings to clear up how the post-Federal world got the way Reese finds it. I would never have realized this myself. My coauthor Ted worked more on this point than I did.
Composition is a ghostly business. The composer is in many ways not unlike a phantom, and the composed world is entirely made of shadows. Rather than trying to describe how that works, I’d just recommend watching or rewatching Carl Laemmle’s 1925 film, The Phantom of the Opera. The patent for creation is almost all in there. The parts that aren’t covered, and much else, can just as easily be found in Carl Theodor Dreyer’s 1932 film, Vampyr.
So, like a gamer sorting playing cards, Ted put some options aside and collected others into a really great losing hand. In the world of Reese Macaque, it was no one thing that slew the Empire; it was all the things. And very stupid things they were. I suppose few of our Macaquian conversations were very memorable, but this is my chance to say to Ted, I was listening carefully.
The polities and dukedoms of the American Exarchate that Macaque knows—Cascadia, Tenn-O-Tucky, the Grain Republic, the Wisconsin Economic Zone, Carolina, Dixie, New Virginia, Texas, California, the rump Federal Territories and so many others, large and small—are the fruit of Byzantium in a way. Politically and culturally this is the sort of thing history’s ‘Byzantiums’ tend to produce. No sense panicking about it—but we might all be a trifle better off if, like Reese, we still had our tails!