A is for About This Book

NOTE: You might want to look at my Theme Reveal before reading this… then again, you could also just plunge in.

About This Book

Dept: Lighthouse Admin

(via iDictaBrain dictation)


If you have the clearance to read this text, you are a Lighthouse Agent. You may have gone on many missions through time on Lighthouse business; you may be a raw, quivering recruit. The authors of this text do not know. Of course, you are, on the whole, more likely to be a new recruit than a hardened veteran, as time travel is extremely dangerous, and most of our raw recruits perish horribly before they become hardened veterans. They are then replaced by newer, rawer recruits. Really, we at Lighthouse Admin sometimes feel that we are just shoving all of you guys into a big meat grinder.

FUN FACT: A meat grinder was a device for pre-masticating animal tissue, used in the days before the advent of Synth-Flesh Vats — and of the protein-rich, perfectly textured, totally humane patties, composed of nothing in particular, that we all know and love today.

We feel that we have, perhaps, gotten a little off-course here. It is so difficult, focusing on this trifling little manual, when we ought to be toying with the destinies of men and nations, or monitoring the stream of data flickering eternally across the soothing blue screen of the Core Computer that thrums at the heart of the Admin complex, or catching up on our erotic correspondence, or something. Oh yes. You are statistically likely to be a raw recruit. Therefore, let us at Lighthouse Admin be the first to welcome you to your new, exciting career! 

If you read your waiver before you signed it (which you didn’t; it is actually designed to ensure that no-one will read it all the way through, with its unattractive font, its strange frequency, its brain-shattering scrolling function, and its dense verbiage), you know that you are likely to be dead within a month or so of active service, and that quitting isn’t a legally-available option for you anymore. Sounds scary, doesn’t it? In fact, it is scary. But fear not! This handy A-To-Z Guide is here to help. It is an Interdepartmental effort, as we felt that every department in The Lighthouse, even the really creepy ones, had something to teach.  The resulting text is a survey of the work of a Lighthouse Agent, and of the many surprising pitfalls that Agents may encounter in the line of duty. The A-To-Z format is supposed to lull you into a false sense of normalcy and safety.

FUN FACT: I am leaving that last sentence in, even though it kind of defeats the purpose of the A-To-Z format. The A-To-Z format was Jenkins’ idea, and he’s a total hater. One of those sneering, superior types, oddly sexually compelling, but bad for my morale and sense of self-worth. You know the kind of guy I mean? Of course you do. So anyway I’m leaving it in.

One further note, and then I am going to read some Swinburne and try to forget about your problems. Already, my iDictaBrain selector is hovering lovingly over the volume. But to delay a pleasure is to heighten it, and anyway I wanted to tell you about the language used in this book. It is written, wherever possible, in Early Digital/Late Pre-Digital English. This is not done merely to bedevil you; we also feel it will be good for you. People talked and wrote in approximately this manner for a good chunk of The Past. You must get used to it.

That, I think, is all I have to say. Goodbye, and good luck!

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  1. Well, that sounds incouraging, doesn’t it?

  2. Wait, how did I sign up for this? There must be some mistake. I demand to talk to your supervisor…

    • Oh, I don’t think you really want to talk to that guy. The last Agent who talked to him was eaten. Anyway, he was never seen again, and the supervisor was noticeably fatter the next time he was spotted stumbling along the echoing Lighthouse halls…

    • Oh, by the way, I visited your blog, and looked at the amazing hat you knitted like it was no big deal. Impressive stuff. Um, I am not sure, however, that my comment actually worked… anyway, huzzah for hats!

  3. Nice corner of the world you have here. I love it 🙂
    But…I wasn’t expecting to be roped in as an agent! You tricked me!

    • We at The Lighthouse find that tricking people into working for us is the best way to replace Agents as they die or vanish. I mean, for some reason, people don’t apply for jobs with us. Something about the rumour that “No-one ever comes back from that place, and those that do are… changed” sort of puts people off.
      I am glad you like my corner of the world. 🙂 I do think of my site in that way, and I am pleased that you see it that way, too. Welcome!

  4. I really didn’t need to know the first fun fact, it sort of grossed me out.

    I’m not a fan of time travel but this sounds interesting enough that I will see where it leads but I have no expections at all, none but I’m sure you’ll do a good job.

    have a lovely day.

    my current a-z post is:
    A Crimson and Gold Morning

    • Hey lissa! Yeah, time travel is hit or miss for me, too, actually. I mean, some time travel stories are excellent (Connie Willis’ To Say Nothing of the Dog springs to mind), and some are not so good. So I totally get where you are coming from on this one, and I am really pleased that you think that mine could potentially be interesting. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Fear not! I’m afraid, and intrigued. So glad I’m a week behind. It means I can go right to the next chapter!

    Jayden R. Vincente
    Erotic Fiction Writer

  6. Okay, I need to read this in one sitting! I will be back when I’m not checking the other hundreds of A-Z blogs.

  7. That sounds like fun. Like TS Valmond, I like to read these things i longer chunks, so I’ll be back later!

  8. The Lighthouse loves me. And you. It told me so.

    Tale Spinning

  9. On February 26, 2018, I tripped over a time threshold and fell into a vortex whose exit revealed itself to be January 23, 3178. (Circumstantial evidence is evident through a careful perusal of the most recent post at Space, Time, and Raspberries.) There I chanced to meet someone who claimed to be a Lighthouse Agent. Even though I had never heard of the Lighthouse Agency, considering my predicament, I was inclined to believe her. Besides, I don’t believe in mere coincidence.

    When it comes to targeting a specific date of arrival, it turns out I am only marginally less inept than my companion, whom your Agency has aptly ranked as a “raw recruit”. Consequently, after what seems generations of attempts routing us through every conceivable direction of time, we have finally arrived in April of 2018. We were aiming for April 1, but after our harrowingly narrow escape from what would have been a mortifyingly awkward meeting with my January 13th self (our only pre-April stop in 2018), I am too relieved to regret the loss of the 33 intervening days of contiguous life in this year.

    I am, however, puzzled as to why the sky is no longer green. If this is the result of something we did that nerve-wracking winter we were stuck on Madagascar among the dinosaurs, I trust your A to Z Guide will provide some insight as to how I can remedy that error. For now, at least through April 30, 2018, I plan to remain in this time and learn all I can. I hope it is acceptable to Lighthouse Admin that I take advantage of its wisdom without committing to serve as a Lighthouse Agent when the instruction is complete. My plan is to be a fully functioning free Agent.

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