World of Mutes excerpt ch. 1 (1,435 words)

worldofmutes

A big metal fan
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
401
Hey, last post was deleted. I shortened it and still is a little long, so I hope it’s okay. Tell me what you think. More specifically, being a book about Metal, do you think it is stretching it in a copyright sense, to alter a music group’s name and lyrics for purpose of this book? I don’t know anything about intellectual property laws.


Chapter One. Noise Complaint.

He wanted to turn this one up as high as it could go.

The matron of the library buzzed her thumb button. With the click of a little thermo-plastic thumb button she could alert all bouncers in the city limits, sending urgent distress Sam calls. Grump the library chancellor approached the young man sitting in the surround module and executed the procedure of escorting him out of the building. They would have to do paperwork for the next hour, detailing the disturbance. Grump taps his fist against the surround module, then unpins an 8-digit code to access the 5x5 unit.

“What’s your problem, buddy?” Tyler is rolled out of the surround module. He unclasps his pocket ratchet and strikes it against the chancellor’s noggin, rolls out his crossboard and shoots off down the transit railer. He is in hot pursuit and a quick getaway is executed. I live for this soap. His crossboard glides elegantly along the steel berms while he flips between loop channels. Fog trails him. The bouncers are late to the action. They are often gruff and slow and will generally arrive at the disorderly after the distress is already passed.

Aim has a 90-Watt Steth-O-Ringe in her shoe and she’s about to muss up some thrash punk. He’s going to the Docx Bistro & Pizzeria on Durkley and Spruce. She knows that because that’s where the thrash punks congregate. She needs to follow him because he broke the law. She’s going to an underworld of noise violators at the risk of her life, because it is her duty as a civilian.

Tyler reaches Gammut Blvd. and stops. On the way to Papa Docx, Tyler bumped into a railerblock. There's a fray in the railer that almost threw him off his crossboard. Frays in the railer are usually caused by kids who set off dime-bombs which activate when a coaster glides over it. They use a motion sensor. Usually pedestrian railers have to use a track lift to avoid detonation. This railer was blown up.

Gershwin’s “They Can’t Take That Away from Me” is playing on his palm cube. He digs the classics once in a while, and he’s not feeling especially aggressive right now. He just wants to get back to Papa Docx Bistro and Pizza, local home of noise violators. Have some boring unpepperoni and maybe a sprinkling of lemon weed. Tyler wants to know who that girl was. Her grayplexion was unremarkable. She looked like a girl who would be useful. for the cause. He takes a break from running to organize himself. His crossboard hit a fray and did minor scratching to the spote. Situates himself on a snooze stone to lubricate his spote. He lightly applies a globule of Rand-III Snot-Ur-Self to his oil stick. He rubs in the Rand-III Snot-Ur-Self with his hanky.

Suddenly, Tyler gets a sam call from Trix. In the early 2000's Microsoft developed a sam bot for users to communicate; the telephone became obsolete in the upheaval of the sense war. The only way to hear someone's voice is through placing a sam call on someone's palm cube. The palm cube can also be used for the contraband of music. You can access a depth webth where music that has been unearthed is thereby archived on the palm cube.

Hey, found a stockpile of cassette tapes. Get over

here right away. Papa Flux wants it on palm cube

ASAP.

Soap. He’s being trailed. He dispassionately fires a SOR with his elastic at an approaching assailant. He bumpjumps his crossboard and hightails it to Docx Bistro & Pizzeria. Is this the haul we're looking for? He toys with the idea of tying her up with a delta hoop and take her to Docxe-vita to file a class-action acquittal form.

Aim crouches behind a bit-dump. The SOR misses her, but it still caught her off guard. Her remote tracer is stalled, since she plunged the hardcircuit into diaper-drive. She tries to activate, won't start. She'll catch up. She won't give up. She is a civilian, her duty is a privilege. Taking thrash punks off the streets is a duty, and duty is a privilege.

Noise violators transmit messages across the railers by pulling a sham feed across a non-proximity railer. The proximity railer is used for the Exclusives who have a regularly paid vacation. The railer is closed for pedestrian traffic, but the Exclusives come and go between vacations all the time, so the messages are only sent one-way, not to be traced. Generally noise violators don't set off dime bombs unless they need to corrupt a tuning fork. The railer frays interrupt transmissions. A bouncer can use a proximity railer. Bouncers are on paid vacation in libraries and may vacate to catch a noise violator. Aim couldn't use a proximity railer.

Crossboards are illegal because, though they are organic noise, their excessive grinding is cause for a noise complaint.

The greydusk composes a mute gradient over the West Pacific. Little Brushell Shoots are basking in the dip of greydusk. People in Prescott city have huge acres of land in which to grow artificial vegetables, miles of farmland separate the factories and divided sublets that are aligned along the railer coasters. There are thirty or thirty two lanes of railer in which manufacturers transport products.

Tyler stands outside of Docx Pizza. He wants to get a firm grasp of his territory. Did Grump follow him? A chancellor has considerable leverage in chasing down noise violators. He might be here now.

"You got the pass?" "Cut it out, Wilmer. You know I'm sound."
"We have to be sure."
Tyler holds up the horns, the forbidden symbol of noise violators. Wilmer had the mark of the pest transplanted into his vocal chords, and so his voice has gone down 666 octaves. He's doorman for Docx Pizza and he's very precise. He’s pretty intimidating too, although he’s shrunken, vagabonds who find their humble establishment are nonplussed by his baritone, as to be totally subtracted from a good meal. Nobody comes here for the pizza and bistro.

"Were you followed?" A pause. "No."
Tyler enters, scans himself for contaminants. There are none.
"Let's get down to business, Wilmer."
"Right."
Wilmer escorts Tyler through a series of sound code-pin doors that send temporary sound bytes to his palm cube. They pass through six pizza kitchens until they finally reach Papa's cubicle, where he and Trix are detailing the audio-visual logarithms of the cassette tapes. "Hey Trix, Hey Pop."

"We've got a noisedump. It's not the one."
"No?" "Nope." Tyler is disappointed. But he knew it wouldn't be easy. He didn't sign up for an easy assignment.

Papa Docx eyes another box. "That box is done. Upload it to palm cube." Tyler flips through the cassettes. More Junk.
Daughters of Regret - Greatest Hits Vol. 7 3/4 Upload (5%)
The Niflheim Valleys - From Asphodel Beyond Upload (3%)

It's going to take a while to upload six boxes of this stuff. It helps to look at the track listings to pass the time, but the palm cube doesn't serve more than one function at any time. Black paper isn’t used on any kind of bootleg, So while an upload completes an old datawave retrieves information about them.

Trix is gorging herself on anchovy pizza. She likes the salty taste of Tonafu. She hands Tyler a box of unpepperoni, but actually it's sham. He eats it anyway, he loves sham. Papa Flux clears his throat, "We're missing one."

No way. That can't be right. Uh-uh.
A pause. "Which one?" Pop doesn't answer.
Spookytime Baboon Exhibit.
That's one for the dissonant records. Flick!
"We're missing the whole set?" "Zip." That means someone's been here before us. "Who?"

The Majesty of Taurus - The Owls Have Eyes Upload (100%)
Apoplectic Age - Fitting Out Upload (100%)

"Before we go any further," Pop Docx says, "Turn on that new soap. Let's hear it."
Tyler switches to the palm cube's music module, tunegoon, and selects The Samps. This is a highly anticipated cargo of a horror punk group using film samps in their music. This one is called Mosquito in my Sangria, and it samps the vacation scene where Bill Mewton is in a dive-inn gay-sex motel in Casablanca. He’s sleeping on the floor of a tubroom in a stained tank top while tiny fruit bats are nibbling at cinnamon straws he was snorting cocaine with. The movie attained cult status but in the Gray Era few have seen it. The Exclusives gush all over it. The samp goes like this:
 
Last edited:

AnRoinnUltra

Go on the humans!
Supporter
Joined
Aug 15, 2021
Messages
472
Fair play @worldofmutes , I don't think the music references are anything more than cultural pointers but if you haven't already then it would be worth taking a listen to Episode 1 of Chroncast, which has a detailed section on legal shenanigans. I found the plot hard to follow but will have to have a think about why -just didn't seem to be enough to hang my focus on as it barrelled along. Great idea -would be interesting to have each Chapter refer to tracks/ albums so the whole story is a sort of Metal encyclopedia that has ya checking out soap tunes as you go along (would love to do the same thing with cookery, with a meal per chapter).
Anyway, good luck (will post back if I figure why I found the plot hard to follow)
 

worldofmutes

A big metal fan
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
401
Fair play @worldofmutes , I don't think the music references are anything more than cultural pointers but if you haven't already then it would be worth taking a listen to Episode 1 of Chroncast, which has a detailed section on legal shenanigans. I found the plot hard to follow but will have to have a think about why -just didn't seem to be enough to hang my focus on as it barrelled along. Great idea -would be interesting to have each Chapter refer to tracks/ albums so the whole story is a sort of Metal encyclopedia that has ya checking out soap tunes as you go along (would love to do the same thing with cookery, with a meal per chapter).
Anyway, good luck (will post back if I figure why I found the plot hard to follow)
I listened to some of it, with podcasts I find I can’t do much of anything else while I’m listening. Maybe I will resume ep. 1 where I left off.

Admittedly, the plot has some errors (I wrote this years ago). Cookery would be awesome. I read a spy novel (Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews) that did that.

I’ve read a few books where people will use old songs, like 50 years ago. That’s legal. Spoofing something, I’m not sure about.

Thank you so much for reading.
 

worldofmutes

A big metal fan
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
401
Additionally, I wonder if it’s not so much grounded in setting/structure. I’m not very good at that. This all seems to be happening around a „railer” and not really spacially.

Anyway, I’m not trying to be vain, folks, so don’t worry about straining your time and energy on another average-mid par story! Haha. :lol:

I mostly just wanted my good buddy @BAYLOR to read it if he wanted too… but criticism is acknowledged, and stuff.
 
Last edited:

AnRoinnUltra

Go on the humans!
Supporter
Joined
Aug 15, 2021
Messages
472
I wonder if it’s not so much grounded in setting/structure.
Tyler wants to know who that girl was. Her grayplexion was unremarkable. She looked like a girl who would be useful. for the cause. He takes a break from running to organize himself. His crossboard hit a fray and did minor scratching to the spote. Situates himself on a snooze stone to lubricate his spote. He lightly applies a globule of Rand-III Snot-Ur-Self to his oil stick. He rubs in the Rand-III Snot-Ur-Self with his hanky
Might be that, there's a huge amount of world and general geography to take in, coupled with action and slang. In the section above I couldn't figure what the cause was, or what he was at. There's a nice pace to it though -bear in mind I'm no expert but a map could be good (literally a diagram following the action).
That's probably as much use to you as a handbrake in a canoe, but in any case more on the setting and the general background might be worth trying.
 

WSDuffy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2021
Messages
70
Thank you for sharing this. My notes below

1) I think the concept as I understand it (various types of sensory outputs are banned, and rebels fight back to claim their favored sense) Has a lot of promise, and it reads to me as having a 70s/80s style cyberpunk vibe that is beloved by those who love it.

2) That said, like AnRoinn I was lost throughout the story. The slang, the shifting between spaces, and what I think as an attempt to explain multiple world elements at once overwhelmed me. Admittedly, I am probably not the sort of audience for this sort of thing.

3) If you are going to emphasize metal, I would stay there. The Gershwin note is interesting, but right now Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin are the classics, if not the oldies, so you could get the same impact from them. However, if you wanted to go a Farenheight 451/ Mr. Burns Post-Electric show conceit where the banning of music has meant that the possession of any music is revolutionary and punk, that could be really interesting. Having and listening to the only Gershwin in existence is pretty darn metal.

4) The "Noise is outlawed" idea is so big that I think we need to sit with it for a little while before the other subplots and cyberpunk tech get added. I rarely recommend this, but this is the sort of story where a prologue could help. Man walks down the street whistling and gets placed in shackles, that sort of thing. Since your protagonist is going to get away with making noise, seeing someone get caught may set expectation and stakes.
 

worldofmutes

A big metal fan
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
401
Who is this story about? You keep head-hopping between characters at the start so I don't know who I should be following. I'd suggest you read up on POV use to help with that. :)
Actually it’s about a character that I haven’t introduced yet. A little girl on a farm with an antique music box, and the destined child who will bring the rainbows back to their graydient, and, at the end of her journey, make colorful fish fly through the sky.
 

The Judge

Truth. Order. Moderation.
Staff member
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
Messages
13,446
Location
nearly the New Forest
More specifically, being a book about Metal, do you think it is stretching it in a copyright sense, to alter a music group’s name and lyrics for purpose of this book? I don’t know anything about intellectual property laws.

I’ve read a few books where people will use old songs, like 50 years ago. That’s legal. Spoofing something, I’m not sure about.
Regarding copyright generally, as ARU mentioned, I talked about this in the first Chronscast last month, so it might help you to listen to that. In the meantime, I've put up some of the main points here The Toolbox -- The Important Bits

As I mention there, it's not adviseable to quote music lyrics, as music publishers/copyright owners tend to be very protective of their work, and quoting anything more than a single line is likely to cost a lot of money. Songs which are now in the public domain can be quoted without repercussion or payment -- for something like a poem it would be 70 years from the poet's death, and so I imagine (but I've not checked) that for lyrics it would be 70 years from the lyricist's death.

There are exceptions made, ie allowing for more to be quoted, where it's done for the purposes of parody. So someone writing a spoof novel would have more room to quote the original, and I imagine that would also be the case for someone spoofing music lyrics.

Quoting a song title is OK as far as I'm aware -- certainly I've not come across any case law that suggests otherwise.

Changing the lyrics of a song should be OK, since it wouldn't then be a breach of copyright but the creation of a new lyric, as long as the changes aren't tiny ones eg changing a lyric of "Sitting working on my novel on my laptop in my bedroom" to "Sitting working on my poem on my laptop in my bedroom" likely wouldn't be enough, unless done as a parody.

Using the name of a real group, or using a slightly changed name, wouldn't be a breach of copyright, though it's possible that (1) there might be an issue if the name were trademarked (though even then just referring to the group would be OK) and (2) there is the possibility of defamation if the group and/or its members are libelled eg such as insinuating, even by way of parody, that the lead singer is a child molester. (For more on that last point, I'll be doing a talk on defamation in the March Chronscast.)

Does that cover all your concerns?
 
Last edited:

Top