Wednesday, December 17, 2008

ESCHATON!!! pages 321 - 342

Page 321-342: Eschaton!!!

Page 321, bottom: Begins an explanation of Eschaton. Subtitled “Gaudeamus Igitur” (Let us then be merry).

Page 322 line 23: vademecumish, like a useful book, guidebook, handbook, or manual, especially one carried around or designed to be carried around constantly and referred to often.

Page 327 line 6: thanatoptic, perhaps thanatotic, the death instinct, esp. as expressed in violent aggression.

Page 329 line 21: first mention of Hal’s tooth starting to ache.

Page 330 line 18: MVL = Most Valuable Lobber (from p. 1025 note 128)

Page 333, 6 lines from bottom: refer to note 129 (p. 1025), reveals Pemulis’s vengeful side.

Page 334: The map/territory confusion could be legitimate. If the map represents the real world, and it is snowing on the map, does that represent snow in the real world? This would mean that snow was falling everywhere in the world at that moment (extremely unlikely). Page 334, 11 lines from bottom, clarifies this.

Page 340 line 24: Hal is watching a representation of the End of the World As We Know It.

Page 322 line 3: Calls Eschaton a “homemade Academy game”, but on p. 284 line 16, Eschaton originated at Palmer Academy in Tampa.

Some useful notes about Eschaton:


AMNAT: 3 players

SOVWAR: 3 players

REDCHI: 1 or two players

LIBSYR (later IRLIBSYR): 1 or 2 players

SOUTHAF: any remaining player

INDPAK: any remaining player

Or any other, like, terrorist cell: any remaining player


MAMA: major Metropolitan Area

CONFORCON: Conventional Force Concentration

SSTRAC: Site of Strategic Command


SPASEX: spasm exchange

SACPOP: Strike Against Civilian Population

INDDIR: Infliction of Death Destruction Incapacitation of Response (points used for the final score)

SUFDDIR: Suffering of Death Destruction Incapacitation of Response (opposite points used for the final score)

TRIGSIT: Triggering Situation

Target representations:

folded gray-on-red E.T.A. T-shirt = MAMA

red tennis shirt w/gray trim = CONFORCON

red shorts (not tennis)w/gray trim = SSTRAC

Stolen motel towel = airfield, bridge, satellite-linked monitoring facility, carrier group, conventional power plant, important rail convergence

Black E.T.A. armband = atomic power plant, uranium-/plutonium-enrichment facility, gaseous diffusion plants, breeder reactors, initiator factories, neutron-scattering-reflector labs, tritium-production reactor vessel s, heavy water plants, semi-private shaped-charge concerns, Annular Fusion research labs (especially point-heavy)

Sock = missile installation

Boy’s tennis sock = antimissile installation

Boy’s street sock = isolated silo-cluster

Girl’s tennis sock (w/bunny tail) = cruise-capable B2 or SS5 squadron

Girl’s tennis sock(w/o bunny tail) = (MILABREV)

Worn-out sneaker = submarine

White Beanie: signals temporary cessation of SPASEX between two combatants (p.332 line 17)

Black Beanie: ?

Red Beanie: signals utter global crisis (p. 336, bottom). Flicking the red beanie propeller signals a worst-case and utterly decontrolled Armageddon type situation (p.340, 6 lines from bottom).

Page 323 line 2: synoptic, constituting a general view of the whole subject, pertaining to synopsis.

Page 323 line 11: There really was a computer called the DEC 2100. It was based on Digital Equipment Corporation’s Alpha chip.

Page 1025 note 129: It states here that Pemulis is a real revenge-as-a-dish-best-served-cold gourmet.

Page 334, 14 lines from bottom: The wind spinning the propeller on the white beanie. On p. 336, bottom, Lord flicks the propeller on the red beanie (he puts on before p. 336, bottom), signaling a worst-case and utterly decontrolled Armageddon type situation.

Page 336: Instead of calling the worn-out tennis balls used in the game “balls”, DFW calls them warheads, keeping within the mapping of the game. It gives the reader a mental picture of 11- and 12-year-olds playing with nuclear armament.

Page 323 line 10: EndStat, such an appropriate name for the math software used in this game.

Page 336, 3 lines from bottom: solander box, a book-form case used for storing manuscripts, maps, prints, documents, etc. It is commonly used in archives and libraries. The case is usually constructed of hardcover or wood, and has a hinged lid connected to its base. The front-edge of the case often contains a clasp for closure. The exterior is covered with heavy paper, fabric or leather, and its interior is lined with padded paper or felt.

Page 338 line 12: J. J. Penn, now that the players have been mapped into the territory in the previous four paragraphs, proceeds to map the articles of clothing that Ann Kittenplan is wearing as targets (refer to the table of clothing/target correspondence on pp. 323-324).


D Rudd said...

May I just quickly say that the acronymn SPASEX is absolutely hilarious

white lotus said...

My guess is that MILABREV stands for "military abbreviations".