Machine Shop Scene
The machine shop scene illustration is not any particular scene in the book, but depicts a snapshot of Cesar Sanchez and Taylor Ewell developing her device, the NMG. Immediately following Taylor’s revelation at Burgerville, Gerald thought of his friend Cesar, the perfect candidate to help them, a former Mexican governor who owned a machine shop in Seattle Washington. Gerald quickly facilitated their social connection and felt overjoyed to see his two friends combine their engineering talents. Cesar learned to appreciate the danger in society as governor and especially when the CIA forced him to flee his home country and live in the United States in obscurity. Upon meeting Taylor, the Mexican refugee became extremely excited to help the brilliant young lady with her dangerous project.
When Kiel and I first discussed the illustration, he proposed the idea of placing movie posters on the walls. We both thought the idea provided a good opportunity to present movies that might appeal to Taylor and Cesar, and perhaps something hinting at aliens and conspiracy theory. Since Cesar owned the shop and is quite older than Taylor, he needed a classic poster like one from old Mexican cinema. Kiel insisted on including the “They Live” movie poster on the wall, despite my feelings about the extremely poor film quality. The theme of that movie, however, is appropriate for the book and I think its ridiculously-humorous aspect can justify its presence. The image of the ugly alien in the glasses also helps to create an eerie and slightly paranoid mood.
Kiel used his artistic license to alter the machine shop’s appearance compared to the book’s description. In the book, the professional machine shop is large and open. For the illustration, Kiel preferred to show a more confined space intending to create a secret lair, like in the Batman comic books where the rogue scientists are working in secret. For what they are doing in the book, there is really no need to work in such secrecy. They are not building a bomb or weapons, but they are building something unrecognizable and more dangerous, a new idea.
As a side note, movies involving inventions usually include someone welding and showers of sparks, or even just a simple soldering job. Movie producers love this extremely visual action which gives the impression of invention. Although I prefer to be more original, the image perfectly coincides with Taylor’s personality. She likes to take control and everyone around her can see her intelligence. Kiel did an excellent job showing the explosion of light using only black ink and blank space. And finally, who can deny the erotic appeal of a beautiful woman wielding such a dangerous device of light and energy!
The idea behind the NMG device is not an entirely fictitious creation of mine, but was actually inspired from some interesting theories I discovered in cyberspace a few years ago. The owner of a particular site has created an excellent summary of many theories which outshine the socially acceptable ones, or the ones found in many outdated textbooks. I have had correspondence with this man for a few years and put his name in my acknowledgment section. He’s just a regular guy, like me, with a passion for scientific knowledge, just much smarter.
His most excellent site is called alternativephysics.org. Although the site is well written and concise, I think the name fails to give it justice. I don’t like the word ‘alternative’. The word seems to imply that his competing explanations of physical phenomena, are inferior to the more well-known explanations. Many of his theories make more sense than the ones supported by the government controlled education system.
I saved more details about the physics of the device for Silent Subversion II. I wanted book I to be as free from controversial content as possible. For some, I have accomplished this goal, but many, I’m afraid, will find something contradicting their view of the world which may cause offense.
If my Silent Subversion series ever becomes more popular, I expect a full-frontal assault on the theory behind the NMG. It challenges the establishment and would undermine their power structure. The establishment and its worshipers always fight interlopers. Any opposition must be ridiculed and marginalized. A few years ago, I would have worried about that possibility, but now I have little regard for close-minded people. If they are not willing to give my ideas any consideration, I have no choice but to reciprocate the gesture.