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This area is for discussion of Kaas Baichtal's short story Circus.
By Kaas Baichtal on Sunday, June 22, 2003 - 7:35 pm: Edit Post

In an improbable turn of events, the title of the new Harry Potter book has indirectly inspired me to write a short Pre-Unity story about an indentured renSime and a (perhaps purely allegorical) Householding. I might even finish it before my copy of Book 5 arrives and gets me totally distracted. Heh. Those of you who hated my last few short stories probably won't like this one either. Mwahahaha.

By Jocelyn on Thursday, June 26, 2003 - 11:14 am: Edit Post

Well I presume to speak for those of us who did like ‘em…



By Kaas Baichtal on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - 7:06 am: Edit Post

Good news, "Circus" is finally done. I will post it when I get back to the United States, which should be in a few days. Or I should say, I'll post it if nothing has happened to the floppy disk it currently resides on. The world is a dangerous place for recordable media these days, what with X-rays and magnetic fields and what not in all the security systems.

By Kaires on Wednesday, September 17, 2003 - 8:04 pm: Edit Post

You could SMail it to me. I'll be glad to protect it for you. ;-}

By Anonymous on Friday, September 19, 2003 - 11:36 am: Edit Post

Or maybe email it to yourself, Kaas.

By Kaires on Friday, September 19, 2003 - 4:41 pm: Edit Post

I think she's in an 'internet cafe' where it isn't possible to input from a floppy...or put attachments on EMails.

Is that it?

By Kaas Baichtal on Saturday, September 27, 2003 - 1:39 pm: Edit Post

OK, I'm back and it's posted. It's not exactly new ground for me stylistically, but I hope the content will get people to thinking. Circus

By Jocelyn on Saturday, September 27, 2003 - 5:18 pm: Edit Post

Ooooo!! Where to start?! I like this story a lot!! It’s a great look into the taboo, a life that “shouldn’t have been”. Poor Lolo. Okay, I don’t want to give too much away. This story is a great read! The style is clean, concise and poetic. Thank you, Kaas! As always Brava!!!


By Eileen on Tuesday, September 30, 2003 - 10:55 pm: Edit Post

Kaas, I felt your language use in this story was very elegant and atmospheric. It flowed from beginning to end with a kind of inevitability. The one thing that took me out of the story a bit was when Lol looks over his shoulder to see it the foreman is watching--I found myself thinking that as a Sime, he wouldn't have to do that. But that's just a minor quibble.

In terms of the plot, it has that wonderful quality where you don't see the end coming, but when you read it you think you should have been able to. And such beautiful, poetic imagery without a single wasted word that I could detect. I keep remembering particular images and going back to read just a few lines. It's a very visual story (I like the mysterious image at the top of the page, too).

By Kaas Baichtal on Wednesday, October 1, 2003 - 9:15 am: Edit Post

Thanks, both of you. I appreciate your comments :)

I figure since Simes have eyes, paranoid ones who don't want to get in trouble will look to verify what their Sime senses tell them. Especially as, in this case, the foreman may be more sensitive and/or better placed for a good zlin of the area than Lol is.

Ancients have much better eyes than ears, but after four bears tore apart my henhouse last month, you can bet I was straining my ears to the utmost to verify my eyes' evidence that the bears were gone before I crept up there to see if there were any survivors. Hahaha! (This is a true story, really. I have photos. LOL)

By wiebke on Wednesday, October 1, 2003 - 8:43 pm: Edit Post

I always appreciate a mood piece with style. Well done. I like the sparse language. Thanks for posting.

By Eileen on Thursday, October 2, 2003 - 3:41 am: Edit Post

Ok Kaas, you have convinced me ;-D

By Tiasanna on Saturday, October 11, 2003 - 8:17 pm: Edit Post

Lovely, Kaas! Why are you never on AWIM anymore?

By Kaas Baichtal on Sunday, October 12, 2003 - 5:01 am: Edit Post

When I'm on AIM I'm usually on under my Harry Potter fan name, quitewhippy, these days. And for YM! it's quite_whippy. Long time no chat! :)

By Mary Lou on Friday, November 7, 2003 - 3:58 pm: Edit Post

The background on this story didn't trip me up the way
"Sugar" did, for some reason. I've long suspected that few
or no Simes came out of the Pen system. The "accidents"
described here would certainly be a necessity, if the drugs
didn't do the trick. After all, one can only feed the pre-Gen
kids strawberries for part of the year.

I really enjoyed the description of the circus acts. It's
exactly the sort of show that early Householdings might put
on, if they weren't too obsessed with their own dignity. I
don't think it would work so well later on, when most Simes
seem to be familiar with the idea of Householdings,
however ignorent they were about the details. A relatively
early date would also be consistent with a Pen Sime being
allowed to live at all, mistress's pet or not.

By tsbrueni on Wednesday, January 7, 2004 - 2:44 am: Edit Post

I saw an interesting sentence: "Nobody cares if their Pen kill has holes in his brain." Does this mean that Pen Gens sometimes have Mad Cow disease (which makes holes in the cows' brains)?

By tsbrueni on Wednesday, January 7, 2004 - 2:51 am: Edit Post

The early part of this story advertised a wereGen who turns into a Sime, but I didn't see any such creature in the later description of the circus acts. The other advertised acts did appear (Phoenix Gen, Simese Sime/Gen twins, Gen with no nager, Giant Killer Gen).

The barker claims that the Giant Killer Gen has killed every Sime who has tried to touch him. If so, how was he secured for the circus?

By tsbrueni on Wednesday, January 7, 2004 - 2:57 am: Edit Post

The circus acts advertised by the criers include the Phoenix Gen (killed every month, then comes back to life), the Gen With Two Nagers, the Weregen that turns into a Sime, Siamese Twins, Sime and Gen sisters joined with one body and nager, and the Giant Killer Gen! In the later description of the acts, I saw everyting but the Gen with Two Nagers and the Weregen that turns into a Sime. Why didn't those two creature appear?

By Kaas Baichtal on Wednesday, January 7, 2004 - 10:37 am: Edit Post

Heh... let's see here....

First of all, thanks for your comments. I can tell you were using your noggin while reading this... that's always good.

Regarding "holes in the brain" I meant that in the most general sense of brain damage. There are lots of ways to get literal holes in the brain besides mad cow disease, including drugs, but I actually intended that to be taken fairly figuratively. He was brain damaged and developmentally held back in various ways by being kept on drugs for 11 years. The other workers don't know the exact details, but they know he's not right.

Regarding the acts that were mentioned but not shown, there wasn't intended to be any correlation between the mentioning and the showing. Actually if I could have thought of more acts I would have had the ones mentioned be entirely different from the ones shown. Mostly I wanted to give the sense that there were lots of different acts, many more than could be covered in the story. There were probably dozens of acts, each with only a short time during the show, and also sideshow people with their own little booths/wagons.

As for the Giant Killer Gen, etc. etc. How should I put this.

All of the "freak" acts are things that are technically possible by ordinary channels and Companions canonically, but from the POV of ignorant renSimes they would seem freakish, unique, and unbelieveable.

The "circus" is intended to represent a Householding. Whether it is literally a Householding, an ordinary freakshow made up of people who could have been Householders, or whether it's pure allegory is up to the reader.

The Giant Killer Gen was, in any case, a perfectly nice Gen acting like a monster just for the show. Most sideshow freaks are really extremly nice people, nicer than average. But show business is show business. Even if you take the freak show as a literal freak show, and the Householding suggestion as pure subtext, the Gen is mostly likely a tame Gen that has been trained to act wild on cue, like a bucking horse at a rodeo.

The barker was simply lying about how many Simes the "Killer Gen" had killed. It's like an old time carnival show that advertised a "dog boy" but knew perfectly well he wasn't really genetically half canine. It's just part of the hype.

Hope this answered your questions. I feel like I shouldn't be talking about this stuff "out loud", but if it wasn't obvious from the story itself, I guess I had to.

By tsbrueni on Wednesday, January 7, 2004 - 9:17 pm: Edit Post

How would a Household pull off the following acts:
A Gen turning into a Sime.

A Gen with two Nagers.

The Sime/Gen Simese Twins.

By Kaas Baichtal on Thursday, January 8, 2004 - 10:20 am: Edit Post

In the books, channels are able to use their secondary field to simulate a Gen or renSime field realistically enough that renSimes are fooled. The Gen turning into a Sime and the Gen with two nagers would be simple variations of those tricks, with the latter being the channel allowing the primary field to come to the audience's attention as well. In the case of it not actually being a householding, the "freak" would probably be an unidentified channel who had learned the trick by accident.

The siamese twins bit is Trautholo.

By on on Tuesday, August 12, 2008 - 1:46 pm: Edit Post

I like the hype. How many times has Killer Gen actually killed? Is this number availble to us?

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