Unpublished novel by Rakesh Biswas for all interested in the science and fantasy of medicine. Not about religion, but a postmodern multi genre combining elements of Science, Fantasy and Romance

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The night of the bed of flowers

 

November 16th

The last one-week has been hectic with the marriage and everything. Maya and me are one now sharing each other’s existence and others too swimming nearby, exchange greetings. Maya doesn’t talk much; she talks with her eyes that sometimes have a faraway look. I wonder what she keeps in those hidden recesses reflecting only the number of her hidden files.

 

 

November-? Undated

 

A white shroud over the groom…waiting…in anticipation…after the initial mantra chanting. Suddenly a blood curdling yell of ulu-lu-luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu…! Generating images of African rituals in dense unexplored jungles… Through the shroud one sees a bright red bride being hauled in front of the pulpit. Her face covered in betel leaf, which she holds herself with an anxious diligence. She approaches seated on her magic carpet moving with remarkable speed. Her brothers holding the carpet (a pidhi in reality) were sweating under her weight. She was covered in a flowing red river with yellow sequins lighting lamps in diwali darkness. She was still desperately trying to cover her face; holding on to the pair of betel leafs in front of her, all the while trembling on her unstable perch. It was a game of hide and seeks and we were the chief players. I felt sorry for her brothers who had by now started trembling under her weight. The game continued and fortunately they didn’t drop her. It was a magic carpet after all. We were not supposed to see each other till that auspicious moment, when the pall bearers had wheeled her carpet around me for as much times as dictated.  The rituals ended and I brought her home to my family. Till now we had only talked never loved. The first night after the marriage rituals is the night of darkness also labeled the night of time, which probably means where time stands still. It’s a time when the boy and girl are not supposed to see each other and so there she was with the other members of my family, one end of the sari around her face, oblivious that I could see through if I looked hard enough. The next day was the night of the bed of flowers. A bed decorated with roses of all shades, she sat pensive at one end of it…a bright red water lily blooming in a green pond. It felt strange to be in bed with a woman for the first time, a woman who’s not my mother but may mother my child. I didn’t know where to start and slowly started removing the red petals on the lily, watched them sail in frenzy through a raging mountain river finally set free from a stagnant pond.         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter

 

 

 

Pecking at those thought keys

 

Like God himself was telling you…he just love’s communicating, his ideas, his creativity etc. He wants to fill up our material world with his stuff, his doings…he wants to be called the creator of this universe. There are 33 crores of them littered around the place as old and dated Eastern mythology would have us believe. I have a feeling there’s more of them than that and their number are growing everyday with their tendency to replicate assiduously producing swarms of thinking creatures who in turn love driving human machines.

If only Gods didn’t have this peculiar habit of trying to communicate without seeing each other. Somehow seeing each other makes them repel. So they want to own human machines with a capability to transmit loads of information into a dynamic network of other Gods sitting with their machines. Initially Gods used the typing interface to input their information into the network. It was fairly acceptable getting a few mails each day from different parts of the world. However as human communication improved the typing keys were replaced with thought keys and a much faster new interface was born. Human machines started practically being driven by God’s thoughts.

 

 

 

 

 

13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chap

 

Why teach an old God new…

 

 

 

 

 

Humans have become so very indispensable to God’s thought processes in his virtual world that lately He has developed a nagging fear of what if…his priceless machine starts malfunctioning. Some of the thought keys haven’t been working properly, thankfully not one of those alphabets he uses in his mail password.

Well, God has realized the importance of his machine and at the same time feels insecure that nobody really knows how it functions. Given the limited life span of these machines He is increasingly aware that his communication prowess may be short lived. This is why he has decided to search out its maker but the other day he was quite shocked to find that it actually comes out of an assembly line where innumerable creators, nameless daily wage laborers sit together and assemble this marvel but nobody knows the whole. God decides to find at least somebody who can repair it, somebody who has some idea as to how it functions as a whole.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Sutra’s readers

 

Dear Sutra, 

I read your manuscript towards the end of my holiday, and found myself bamboozled! I'm sure it wasn't the wine. The phrases seemed to come at me from every direction. I re-read the Introduction, and realized that you had successfully created a picture of the chaos into which Creation had degenerated and into which God had to come to make sense of it and put it right.  The message is great, but I think most readers would get lost and anxious in the chaos before finding their way out of it. Is there some way of writing the message about chaos without drawing the reader into it? Is there some way of using the theme to write about the chaos and anxiety felt by God on engaging with the world, which would give a message of the humanity of God to a reader, who could then identify with God to whichever depth of emotion (and grief) they felt able?

Leo Alpha

 

Dear All,

I have one radical solution for the religious overtones. I have a feeling it’s the use of the label God for our protagonist which is most off putting. Most readers would have an image of God in their minds and it’s this inbuilt image that is clashing with the image I am trying to project (that of human consciousness-something which most scientists and philosophers are trying hard to understand). So my solution is to call my protagonist by a different name. I feel substituting 'Con' for God would work well. I am sorry I couldn't recognize the religious overtones earlier possibly because I am so very irreligious. Sutra

Dear Sutra

I look forward to reading this. Just so you know I'm actually very interested in reading your original manuscript in its entirety. Although I have not taken on the task of writing more than a few pages at any given time on any given subject ;) I've found that in verbal debate or 'spiritual' slanted discussion, I'm at times misunderstood as taking a religious stance, or I'm simply considered to be a religious person for bringing the word 'God' or the teachings of Buddha, or Theosophy (insert your favorite spiritual teaching/teacher here) to the table. Heavens knows (pun slightly intended) how many eyebrows I've seen raised when it's mentioned that I spent a month in Nepal at a Tibetan Buddhist monastery. The ironic part is that I've always considered religion of any sort to be somewhat of a hindrance to absolute spiritual growth. I've never considered myself to be religious (ok - I actually had a very strong belief in a white bearded Christian God until my early teens). I do however, have a strong interest and pursuit of spiritual knowledge, and religion of course is a rich, vast resource to tap into. So - - I guess all of that is to say, the word God doesn't 'scare' me, whether the word is capitalized or not. And I wonder if your target audience would feel the same way. Also, I'm just plain curious to read your manuscript as you intended it to be from your heart, pre-feedback. ;) Cheers, Rigel

 

 

16

 

Pollinating for their collective bud

 

Samsara presumed he had done well the first night, the one with the bed of flowers. He disappeared immediately the next morning, which was a Sunday and roamed round with his Baul friends who visited various houses for impromptu sessions of chatting interspersed with songs, which he recorded in his walk-man. The first week was great for both Samsara and Maya who kept asking how long this would last. Samsara knew there was no point hurrying into her but then when Maya asked him suddenly one night, ”Why don’t you enter me?” he responded with an embarrassed silence and a hurried apology. ”You see, I haven’t ever done it before and was taking time to get the hang of it”. That seemed to satisfy Maya but Samsara brought it on himself to enter her immediately with his organ already limp after an external outpouring following the foreplay (this was becoming the routine in the last one week following their marriage). Samsara charged with his love making instrument and a determined look concealed by the darkness. It could only be halted by Maya’s voice, “You are going too posterior, ouch!” It was far from the feeling, which had been lauded in books and Samsara thought of bettering himself the next night. He didn’t retract his foreskin back to normal under the assumption that the receptors his glans needed a bit of desensitizing for better charging and moved round the whole day with a definite uncomfortable sensation in his underwear.

The next night was a disaster. His glans far from being desensitized felt sore and entering became a painful ordeal but Samsara persevered with other discomfiting memories of the past in the background…his first smoke…uggh! The horrible taste and yet perseverance had allowed him to become a chimney, lauded and not looked down by his peers. This time his diligence didn’t pay off and by morning he found his retracted prepuce swollen and paining like hell. He shuddered to think of the young cheeky surgeon eyeing both his penis and his wife while he listened to their story along with a host of medical students peering down at him and his battered ram. Fortunately Maya had a brain wave, got some ice from the freezer and stroked his preputial swelling into a manageably retractable size. “What a relief!” after the pre puce finally covered his glans and his organ shrunk. After that he was wary of getting into the act for some days, entertaining the idea of an elective circumcision first but then one day it happened…the much-hyped feeling he was thirsting for. After a particularly intense night of vigorous foreplay when Maya became all limp his arms, he thought he’d give it another try and entered Maya with a little trepidation and a flaccid organ. It was a pleasant surprise to note that the more his glans stayed on her moist vagina the more it felt exciting with his organ going in a bit and coming out again. His glans became an independent toddler playing in a temple courtyard, a temple that housed Shiva with his cobra and its hood licking the Linga, (glans) at each and every gentle stroke. Samsara felt he was embracing the serpent, Shakti inside his Maya standing at the entrance to the temple, the door that was her hood, her mouth the clitoris.

 

Aaste aaste dhire dhire je kare gaman

O taar hoi na re maran

                                   

 

 

   Chap

 

 

An idiot God’s guide to humans

 

 

 

This is where I come in. I am the professor teaching this class of “Troubleshooting humans” in the University of Made-easy and I am not sure what Sutra’s been telling you but it’s been great going with the students since we began. Sutra’s been collecting a lot of data along with the students for our story where God’s the protagonist with a lot of other animals and molecules that would appear to relate the narrative from time to time.

I have decided, I shall teach God the works, all that he wanted to know about humans. I was debating whether to write a manual for them and call it an idiot God’s guide to humans, but decided against it. All said and done with all our knowledge of the macro and microcosm we still can’t claim to know everything about humans. However we do troubleshoot them and perfect the art daily, tinkering with human machines in the hardware lab we call a teaching hospital. Our rounds start from the ICU at 8:00 AM and from today God’s invited.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The failed editor in cheap

 

Dear Sutra,

In your response you wrote "The concept of God that I was trying to present in my book is quite different from the one that you have".

 Would you please tell me about your concept of God and what you believe spiritually? 

 You also wrote "My book which I had named, 'Caring for God's laptop', tries to project God as an ordinary human who has two parts…One - his consciousness that is God and the other - his body that is his laptop."  I have to admit...I didn't pick up on that in my reading and I'm quite confused on its meaning.  Would you please share with me, how you decided on the title and explain, more in detail, what the above quote means...I'm lost on that. 

 As mentioned earlier, I'm a non-fiction reader. I enjoy reading medical reports on the most recent research, true life stories of hope and encouragement, and things on that order.  My most prized possession and the thing I read most is my bible.  Do you have a bible?  

 What is it like in your country? I'd really like to know more about your country and what you believe. It's a pleasure writing...isn't it interesting...we are on exact opposites of the world (I looked at the globe).  We are directly opposite in the Northern Hemisphere, yet we are able to communicate this way. Grace and peace to you, Arcturus

Dear Arcturus,

Our concept about God is likely to be very different but our goal is the same, this is to know God and maybe become one with our creator. I follow an Eastern philosophy (but not very rigidly) that is very different from the Bible and is based on what are known as Upanishads, which are ancient texts that are as old as the bible if not older. These texts tell us that we humans are God and it is our consciousness that is God but it doesn't know it. Our one goal is to become one with God. Once one becomes so one is dissolved in an ocean of universal consciousness, where there are no boundaries and no concepts, no Bible or Upanishads only pure bliss and peace. We may be on different hemispheres but still live on the same Earth that is one tiny planet amongst the countless many in our universe with its innumerable galaxies. When you think of the cosmos in this manner you may get a little inkling of the enormity of being one with God and losing all concepts of space time altogether. In the end, both of us realize God can't be explained but may be felt and my story uses this God=human consciousness model to satisfy the needs of the novel. I shall be always there to help you with explaining whatever medical literature you have problems in explaining and I hope you shall tell me more about real life, like you have been telling. Most of our life styles are there in my story.

Sutra

Jeez Suts 

I have so much fractionated reading to do of my own + learning Somali. I have failed you as editor-in-cheap. Ugh. Will do my best to read this; again, my inattention is just a product of life's overdose and fraying of neurocortices.......the Grouch (Capella)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Non pharmacological Baul technique

 

This was an idea Samsara got from Bhombol Khepa, a baul with an angta (hook) in his glans, someone who specialized in lifting heavy objects with it utilizing it to earn his living in fairs and festivals. “Don’t worry about whether your organ becomes erect or not, just be calm. It’s like crossing a bamboo pole across a raging torrent in a remote unexplored corner of the Himalayas. You’ve just got to steady your nerves…the prize lies in being allowed to continue your journey once you’ve been able to cross the first river. A journey which takes you through deeper gorges, pristine valleys and higher snow bound passes until you reach the river again that needs to be crossed with you now wading deep into its spine chilling ice cold waters that feel like sharks biting into your shin bones (you almost pass out glad to be held back by the belay ropes).”

Bhombol continued, “After a time the pain subsides as your nerves become numb and you stumble into the opposite shore glad to have made it in one piece. The river is Saraswati, which flows through our spinal canal, a river that is no longer visible on the surface of the Earth, having long gone deep down the flower pot into its spinal tunnel sometime during Earth’s embryo genesis. All you can now experience of it on the surface is the breeze blowing through your nostrils, Ira Pingala, two sisters flowing through two of your external nares presumably coming and going from the spinal canal flowing as a river deep within your Earthy flower pot. It’s the same river with multiple crossings, vital points in the journey from Muladhar to Sahasradhar. The penis need not be erect at the beginning of the journey. Just throw away the thought of consuming the pep up pill if it has entered your mind. Relax and meditate on the river and the moon glimmering along it. It will awaken automatically once it’s inside the vagina and you shall sway gently with the moon and the river making love in your boat. Samsara tried it on the very next day and made a mental note of his next paper, which would have the title, tentatively “Managing erectile dysfunction through non pharmacological ancient Baul techniques”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chap

 

From the Class to Hardware lab…Changing domains

 

We are professionals and most of our waking lives inside the hospital will be spent on hands on teaching rather than lecture classes. Can’t keep a busy outpatient waiting… Have to take a quick round through the intensive care unit and wards. Meanwhile you’ll have to learn whatever you can by using your observational skills. There they are…my team of medical students, interns, house officers and consultants waiting to trail behind me. No point introducing you to them, they can’t see you anyway.

God started taking in the sight of various machines strewn around the ICU floor in reasonably comfortable beds, a chest pain, now drugged, A machine all puffed up and breathless, the case sheet diagnosis read--myocardial infarction day one, k four. A young lady producing a sound from her throat of the wind passing through bamboo reeds was appearing breathless due to the effort, a young man lying limp with a breathing machine attached to his throat seemingly pumping life. God peered at the case sheet written by the night intern and got a shock. He had written a poem rather than anything substantial. It went, “Breathing machine pumping love, Eyes of dying hens, Pierce to depths of turbulence, Needles, blood gas and movement, Brisk sharp and painful, A cascade of alarms, ventilator settings, Causes and remedies, Eventually dropping off to an unusual silence, Mountain valleys, placid waters, Light of dawn and a distant bird song, Waking up to a humidifier alarm.

 The professor continued, “I know to the uninitiated the ICU can be a ghastly sight with machines in a state of utter disrepair connected to funny tubings and monitors making awful sounds from time to time. Personally I feel you need to start at the bottom of the ladder here if you really want to know how to fix this stuff. You know, like becoming a medical student for instance. For that you will need a human body to interact with other fellow humans. You will need to acquire a fetus to start off with as a human baby, be part of a nice family while you grow up and then join this bunch of medical students (who might be your consultants by that time). Unless you acquire a human form you can’t really hope to be a good system troubleshooter. You’ll just have to remain a silent invisible spectator from an indifferent Godly domain. Personally I am very much influenced by this saying,” Life is something which everyone should try once.”

Think over it while June tells you about the machines lying here.  June is her Nepali name, which means the moon that can also suggest loony, and most of her descriptions will seem peculiar at first as you aren’t used to the post modern medical jargon. She’s the only other person in this group who can make out your presence here.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chap

 

Hardware intensive care

 

God risked another peek at the case sheet written by the night duty intern for the patient on the ventilator. He had already gone through his postmodern medical progress notes and now examined his history sheet marked with a provisional diagnosis of AIDP. The history read, “One night a black raven swooped down, carried off all the power in his legs. Next day there were hordes of them, Screeching and perching at his hands and arms, a rude jab and he lost his voice, Another made him choke to swallow, He was brought to the ICU, Breathing slowly turning blue, A large ostrich perched near his head, Delivering mouth to mouth till he turned red, And in a discharge sheet he had made beforehand…he wrote, Gradually his power returned and he was out of the pumping station …power coming one by one in all his limbs. All birds one by one returned to their nests.

June was a lecturer and a good one at that no doubt, looking at the amount of awe and respect she commanded from the students and house officers alike although she looked like a medical student herself. She had thick glasses with dreamy eyes and wore her hair in lengthy plaited braids. She kept quiet while the professor discussed management strategies for the comatose patient in front of them. A few students raised their doubts based on the current clinical evidence to which the professor replied categorically, “The evidence always doesn’t hold good while dealing with individual patients. In my experience I have seen this and my gut feeling tells me this and I have to apply this rule of thumb here. Unless the evidence base coincides with my gut feeling it’s all rubbish.”

While the herd trailed the professor as he moved on to the next patient, a wheezing lady, June stayed rooted to her place, bent down slowly over the comatose patient. She put her hand on her forehead and with her fingers flicked the patient’s eyelids, which on opening, resembled a blank LCD screen).

The patient was a 32-year-old lady who had had a splitting headache followed by rapid loss of consciousness. June started rotating the patient’s head from side to side all the while closely observing the patient’s eyeballs move in the opposite direction (almost like that of a doll).

“The problem’s in her cerebral cortices she whispered almost as if to God. Her next few sentences reminded God of the professor’s warning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Down to earth human laptops

 

 

 

June began, “All human machines in and outside this hardware lab are made of the Earth and all its elements (imagine your laptop 20 years from now as its silicon chips bite the dust…return to their elements that is). Most of their human lives are spent becoming mountains and rivers, which carry their life signals (“clearly beyond my domain,’ thought God). Look at this lady, as she lies oblivious of her surroundings, the river inside her is drying up fast. You can see it flowing very slowly and the monitor reflecting those slow waves. What was it that caused this problem?”

God suddenly found June addressing him as if she was talking to a big class of students. “The driving force in solving hardware problems is asking the question why. Where is the problem? Once we know it’s in the brain, we ask ourselves what’s causing it? Could it be due to a disrupted interaction of all the chemicals in her brain, which utilize the rivers within to deliver goods to its various destinations? The river is what keeps her brain markets thriving, alive. Or could it have been a major Earthquake, a terrible landslide upsetting the course of her rivers, disrupting traffic, creating temporary lakes where they don’t serve much purpose. We call them hematomas inside the brain and to us they are beautiful, at least they were so in the beginning when one was still unused to repeating patterns. I still remember the first time I saw them as an undergrad student in my old hardware medical school back home in Cal. Off course one could only see them in pictures taken when the patient is wheeled into a giant camera which shoots pictures of the brain from all possible angles and then uses a computer to reconstruct them. We had a similar picture taken of this patient in our hardware-imaging lab downstairs and you can see all this blood, which looks so very white in between the grayish gyral regions of the brain and also in the ventricles that are natural reservoirs of cerebral fluid containing the same chemicals minus the blood cells which are restricted only to flowing inside the brain pipes. Now that the blood cells had burst into these reservoirs the pressure inside the brain had increased and this was causing her LCD screen to go blank as much as her neck and thigh muscles to go stiff.

Her CT head report looked like a newspaper clipping, “www.timesofindia.com, Thursday, June 12, 2003, Fazilpur, Murshidabad, Badan Miya was a rich farmer with a large 2 story house. However nothing was left of it today after the raging river Padma had engulfed it. Over 1 million people affected by the river are waiting to be rehabilitated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Drowning differentials

 

God let out a slow whistle. Wow! This trouble shooting business was cool. So this is how the brain goes wrong…hmmm! Wonder how it works normally…that would be interesting to know. “So every time the LCD goes blank does it mean blood in the cerebral fluid reservoirs?” Oh no! There are so many other causes…even this bleeding can be due to various types and sites of vessel rupture. There are rivers that have embankments, which may give away suddenly and unleash floods as a regular feature after the machine has lasted a good many years (sometimes I have seen young people die of it though). There’s this terrible affliction of the river banks possibly the scourge of modern civilization. All those toxic wastes, which litter the walls of the river pipes along with the high pressure at which the river flows at present are good enough to burst any of them one of these days and then…bing goes the LCD screen.

Not only that, the litter and garbage we keep dumping into those rivers often cause these pipes to get clogged and you have the same effect depending on whether a major pipe is blocked. The pipes are a life line for the brain cells and with their food supplies cut off due to the river block they die and start rotting away, which makes the river toxic.

Then there are times when the meninges covering the brain cells catch fire. These are usually due to bugs, which create havoc with our machines from time to time. However very often it’s the fight between the bugs and the immune cells which causes all the fire. A person with meningitis has a burning body and a needle jab on his back to tap the cerebrospinal rivers would bring out a lot of inflammatory cells, a whole array of attacking soldiers. These immune cells are big guns but lousy shots…so much for their nuclear weapons. I sometimes feel they use too much firepower considering the size of their microbial targets but then it can’t be helped. Whoever designed these machines was obviously not in his right mind. Going by their chaotic nature, there’s an interesting talk about these having evolved spontaneously, like you know…people evolve into communities, villages and cities, expanding across the globe. Then there are occasions when the brain cells start dividing too often and produce too many more cells, all monsters at that, looking awful with their gaudy nuclear hyperchromatism and in general grotesque appearance. They lie accumulated together in one big tumorous community and can be easily spotted as an oddity on the CT head. Like fast growing cities eating into green Earth. Then there are the tape worms that lay eggs which make their way into the brain for spending their larval infancy amongst the brain cells little realizing it’s a dead end. They die and cause electrical short circuits in the brain cells and wham! The whole machine goes vibrating and shaking as if hit by a thunderbolt. It’s strange that these worms should choose to survive only by seeking shelter in either pigs or humans (who are dead ends for them really) but then even humans couldn’t have survived without having infected the body of Earth.               

       

 

 

Creation: Assembling from junk

 

 

The professor stepped into the pulpit and without a word to the 150 students started sketching on the board with a bunch of colored chalks. Their chirping had fallen silent at the suddenly noticed stealthy entry of this tramp, a silence punctuated by scratchy sounds of colored chalks on the black board. The professor of anatomy was thin built of average height and wore chappals apart from a large mass of flowing beard that clung like creeping orchids on his chin. God thought they resembled a large stream of water falling from a high mountaintop, its droplets being swept away by strong winds in a bid to not let them touch the ground below (which was anyhow invisible).

His sketch looked somewhat like the moon with a crater dotted surface growing dense forests. The professor spoke for the first time addressing the air above his head (which was busy trying to transport his flowing beard), “What I’ve drawn is the uterus inside our body of Earth and what we are going to discuss is creation. At the moment we have a busy schedule of contracts pouring in to build laptops by the dozen and so I shall have to keep my presentation brief. Right now we are busy preparing one for Mr. G (our latest client) who wants to become a medical student like you all.

In this wide expanse of the uterus within our Earth is a tubular place that opens into the uterus at the mouth of a narrow dark tunnel without lights except for a certain day of the month when its full moon. You can witness a busy market place being set up as it gradually moves from the tunnel into the lush green of the uterine valley with rivers and lakes (sinusoids) interspersed within.

Gharer madhye ghar banayia

Khelche sain ajab khela

Gharer madhye milaiche

Chander mela

 

Its moon market all the time with God or so he wishes it would be. He just can’t live without inputs. Look all round him and you will find him surrounded by dreams. He doesn’t discriminate them with reality. To him anything which gleams like moon market is fit to be in his itinerary. There from his vantage point of the moon he can see the dark space being invaded by a beautiful comet with a tail like that of a sperm and then before he can say “what the…” the comets landed into his vantage point which is at present all rubble and chaos. Peering through the dust one sees things going as usual at moon market. If at all the transactions seem a bit more vigorous.

 

Takhan bayu kone jhar uthile

Dil dariyai uthbe dheu.   

 


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Unpublished novel for all interested in the science and fantasy of medicine. Not about religion, but a postmodern multi genre combining elements of Science, Fantasy and Romance