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Common factors in cmsix's John and Argent and similar stories.

docholladay

There are a few common factors in his stories that also relate to other stories that utilize multidimensional/time travel stories. I will try and list the major ones for first:
John and Argent.

Main character John at the start is dying of Cancer.

Definitely a man with nothing to lose since that is a hard way to die.
Someone with nothing to lose can and will push the limits on what they can get from the aliens. He does that from the very beginning to some extents.

The aliens are also using him to add new genes to the people of that dimension. A male can spread the genetic materials faster than a female will. There are technical terms for that kind of a breeding program but why bother with those terms. Of course the main character is not told that is the reason for having so many mates.

Other writers and stories have used some of the same points with their Main Characters. It explains why at times they can and will push the limits way past what was originally offered and in many cases get what they ask for.

Replies:   REP  ian181  awnlee jawking  4041
REP

@docholladay

Someone with nothing to lose can and will push the limits on what they can get from the aliens.


I disagree.

In J&A, John had nothing to lose up until the aliens offered a new life. At that point, he had something to lose and going into the scenario the aliens described would be almost suicidal if he were not prepared to survive. Therefore, he pushed to ensure he got what he needed to survive and live that new life.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@REP

In chapter 1 they returned his health while he began planning the initial supplies. It was up to him to board a particular flight if he agreed to accept the assignment otherwise he would be returned to the original status health wise.
An implied threat but still a threat. That implied threat was the same as a form of force on the aliens part. Under those conditions the pushing of the limits is natural. It was a combination of mental and emotional factors. Sure as time went on the factors changed but by then the pushing of the limits had become a habit.

Replies:   REP
REP

@docholladay

The details of that scene are vague. As I recall, John had made up his mind to go and the threat was stated as a time limit in which he had to complete his planning and be ready to go. He pushed during the planning stage to get additional capabilities built into his equipment. However, I don't recall him pushing things very far. The aliens fabricated those supplies during the flight while he was in stasis. They added a number of features to what they built on their own that John hadn't thought of. Self replenishing gas tanks and ammo cans where two of the mods if I recall.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay
Updated:

@REP

Mentally it means he was Drafted not a volunteer. Its that do it or else factor that is unspoken and unmentioned.

edited to add: Gas tanks and other replicator items were introduced in his "A Log Truck Driver in Outer Space" story.

Replies:   REP
ian181

@docholladay

I disagree,John was never mentioned about adding to the gene pool.John never pushed the limits until he had a fix on the alien.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Not_a_ID

@ian181

I disagree,John was never mentioned about adding to the gene pool.John never pushed the limits until he had a fix on the alien.


But what was mentioned was his activities being used as entertainment back in Argent's home world. ;)

REP

@docholladay

edited to add:


Yeah, as I said I don't recall the specifics. I read a lot of his stories when I first joined SOL as solely a reader. The details of those stories have merged into one recollection.

I also recall a story, one of his or a similar story, where the aliens project was filming the MC's activities and showing them as an entertainment program to boost ratings.

ustourist

@REP

The filming was in the original John and Argent, but I don't know if the revised version reached that point.

Replies:   REP
NC-Retired

I exchanged some email with Chessley Grogan (AKA CMSix) back when he was an active author at about the time John and Argent was being written for the first time - i.e., not re-written.

I've changed computers a couple of times since then so I have no record of the email exchanges except for what's in my memory, so forgive me please for any faulty recollections.

My remembrances are that Chessley had not had an easy life for various reasons, some of his own making and some from external situations. IIRC, his family shit on him a time or three and those interactions negatively colored his world view.

It is my belief that all of his stories that have something to do with alien intervention/time/inter-dimensional travel were written as a response to real life situations he found himself living. In essence these various stories were a call out to the universe to 'come get me' and take me away from this living hell. Again, this is my impression based on my memories of our email correspondence from 10-ish years ago.

Last I knew he'd had open heart by-pass surgery and had recovered from that and then had lost his lower leg to gangrene and was no longer able to live independently and was in an institutional 'care' facility in Atlanta Texas. Based on his blog entries I suspect that he was his normal belligerent self and those actions were deemed 'disruptive' to the staff and he was 'calmed down' via drugs. I have no definitive info, just supposition based on my reading of his postings and Google search results.

I have no info on whether he is still alive or has passed on. Last I looked there were no obituaries suggesting he's no longer among the living.

As for common themes - I'd posit that the only true commonality is the desire to get away from this reality regardless of the exact mechanism. That carries across multiple stories by a myriad of authors.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  Not_a_ID
REP

@ustourist

revised version


I had a couple of problems with CMSIX's stories. I recall starting to read a "new" story he posted. As I read, I kept thinking, "What is going on with this story? The title is different from J&A, but it contains many of the same scenes sequenced differently with minor changes." Perhaps, he was revising J&A under a different title.

I liked all of the stories he completed. I don't know if his "new" story was his revision of J&A for I bailed on the story. However, not meaning to bad mouth him or his stories, that story is what caused me to reevaluate him as an author. I didn't like my conclusions, so I quit reading anything he posted.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@REP

That and the fact that in at least one story. It refused to go where he wanted it to go. He wanted "I feel Lucky" to merge into his "Nanovirus" story, but it kept refusing to do that for him. I remember having a few disagreements with him over the reasons for that, but like I always told him. Regardless of my opinion it was his story not mine. I always told him that one looked more like a dimensional split than a merge to me.

Ernest Bywater

@NC-Retired

I have no info on whether he is still alive or has passed on.


As of 12 months back TenDerLoin called in on cmsix at the nursing home and he was alive, well, and angry - he didn't have an Internet connection worthy of the name and was angry with the world, and mega pissed with all the readers send emails asking him to finish stories. No notice of death since then, but the house he owned now has another resident, which is likely since he said he'd likely never leave the nursing home again. Can't live independently now.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@Ernest Bywater

Makes me glad that I only wanted him to get as well as possible. The stories were second since I considered him a friend, even if we had never met. Dumb maybe.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  REP
Crumbly Writer

@REP

Yeah, as I said I don't recall the specifics. I read a lot of his stories when I first joined SOL as solely a reader. The details of those stories have merged into one recollection.

That's a mark of the entire time-travel genre, rather than of the two authors. It almost a required prerequsite (pushy aliens picking the least likely candidates and then bending over backwards to give them everything they might ever desire). After awhile, all the stories begin to blend into the others, as there isn't a lot separating the different premises. (That's why I never tried one myself, because I wasn't sure I could escape the same traps.)

Ernest Bywater

@docholladay

Dumb maybe.


No.

Not_a_ID

@NC-Retired


I have no info on whether he is still alive or has passed on. Last I looked there were no obituaries suggesting he's no longer among the living.


A quick Google Search finds one hit on Ancestry.com for a Chessley M. Grogan Jr. who was born around 1949(which seems a bit young for Cmsix) and "had been residing in Cass County, Texas." Which incidentally, seems to be the same country that Atlanta, TX is in. There are two birth records, 1 marriage record, and 1 death record tied to him by Ancestry.

I don't have an ancestry.com account so can't pursue it further, and don't know about his(cmsix's) personal details to verify even if I could.

Further Google research indicates Senior lived from 1912 to 1990 in that same community. Chessley Grogan Jr had a brother that died(age 62) in Atlanta, TX in December 2013, and he's listed as a surviving family member that resides in Atlanta, TX at that time @ the start of January 2014.

So, ancestry.com seems to think he's dead(probably in the last 3 years going by the brother's obit, but I can't see what ancestry thinks they have), however I'm not finding an obit. Of course, I'm not looking too hard, and based on his circumstances, he may not have had one posted anywhere with high visibility to Google.

Ernest Bywater

@Not_a_ID

So, ancestry.com seems to think he's dead


cmsix is his nick because he's Chessley M Grogan the 6 th - and has a few cousins the of roughly the same age (68) who all live in that part of Texas all with the same first name. It isn't easy tracking him down with any certainty. In 2013 he said he was in Rose Haven retreat in Atlanta Texas, and he was still living there about 12 months ago. A check of relevant databases doesn't show his death since then. But anyone can ring the nursing home and ask about him if they want to. Too expensive for me to call from Australia.

NC-Retired
Updated:

@Not_a_ID

Yeah, IIRC, Chess and I are nearly the same age - he's a year older so the 1949 birth year is correct. And no, I seem to recall that it was his PITA brother that caused a lot of his family issues and that he's the one that passed in 2013, not Chessley.

docholladay

@NC-Retired

I remember he made a blog statement about his brother's death. Something about a train hitting him. Although his description was more along his personality as usual.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@docholladay

I remember he made a blog statement about his brother's death. Something about a train hitting him. Although his description was more along his personality as usual.

Nice knowing he likely didn't die, even if he's unable to write (I hate to think all writer croak when they quit writing!).

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

(I hate to think all writer croak when they quit writing!).


Most quit writing when they croak, but a few still have stuff published after their funeral.

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin

@Ernest Bywater

a few still have stuff published after their funeral.

Heinlein (grumbles from the grave) and with a co-author a book from his notes. Rache left instructions to her brother-in-law to post new or re-edited stories. He may still have something left up his or her sleeve.

Ernest Bywater

@richardshagrin

Heinlein (grumbles from the grave) and with a co-author a book from his notes.


E E Doc Smith had several published from his notes by one of his protégées under the guidance of his widow.

Ernest Bywater

@richardshagrin

(grumbles from the grave) and with a co-author a book from his notes.


When I go, my family will probably have about 20 to 30 stories for someone to finish and publish afterwards.

docholladay

@Ernest Bywater

Sometimes that works nicely, other times what was a good to great story gets ruined. I am not sure how to describe what makes the difference, but I have seen it when someone else continues an ongoing series or an unfinished story in order to publish it.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@docholladay

Sometimes that works nicely, other times what was a good to great story gets ruined.


A lot depends on the reason for the second person to work on it, and how it's done. It's rare that two people have the exacts same style of writing, although many often come close.

The best personal example I can think of is when I finished Shiloh I did a first draft in the best approximation of The Scot's style, and we both agreed it was awful - so we then agreed for me to rewrite what was already done in my style. The 2nd draft was very much my style but not still that good, however on the third draft I did it in the same style of my other DiD stories and it came out much better. Now, one change that upset a lot of people was the switch from 3rd person to 1st person, and I got some complaints about that, but I got a lot more kudos from people saying it read a lot better in the 1st person. I think it read better simply because my style for action then was 1st person and I was more comfortable writing it that way.

Now, in that case I was given approval to rewrite the story in my style and to take the story line where I wanted to after the point he stopped, as long as it was consistent with what was done up to then with the plot. If the sole purpose was to just publish then I would expect the story to not be as vibrant in the second half because the push for creative content isn't there. In Shiloh the creative push was there because the push was for a creative story and not just to publish.

Replies:   docholladay
gruntsgt

I have followed this thread in particular as I really like cmsix's stories and I can only wish,from a readers perspective,that more Authors would think about what would transpire with their creations should something happen to them. I know this sounds morbid and greedy on my behalf, but its also a way to finish sharing their gifts. Just my thoughts on the situation.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
docholladay

@Ernest Bywater

In Shiloh the creative push was there because the push was for a creative story and not just to publish.


That was a big plus. Of course there are just as many reasons for failure as there are for success when finishing the stories of another writer.

REP

@docholladay

Dumb maybe.

Nope not dumb at all. The two of you just met in a different medium and got to know each other.

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

When I go, my family will probably have about 20 to 30 stories for someone to finish and publish afterwards.


If you ever get them back from the cops. Sorry. :)

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Crumbly Writer

@gruntsgt

I have followed this thread in particular as I really like cmsix's stories and I can only wish,from a readers perspective,that more Authors would think about what would transpire with their creations should something happen to them. I know this sounds morbid and greedy on my behalf, but its also a way to finish sharing their gifts. Just my thoughts on the situation.

Not at all. Several of us authors have discussed options, if something were to happen to us, though few actually implemented any plans. Although my family knows I write, no one knows where or how to post and/or publish to my various sources, so they'd be useless. Ernest and I discussed it, but no real plans were made. My editors have access to all my 'almost done' works (i.e. waiting for final revisions/editing/publishing), but again, they'd have to transfer it to someone who knows how I go about publishing it, which gets fairly complicated.

I format all my books, but there's multiple sites to go through, multiple passwords, and various hoops to jump through. So I've got no idea how to assign it to anyone. I guess I'll need to write out detailed instructions, but at this point, it's almost easier writing another entire book than to outline all the details they'd have to know.

Still, the best bet is to form a collective, where we each list the instructions a survivor would have to go through, and list who has access to the documents and who they need to contact (whoever is a surviving member of said collective).

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son


If you ever get them back from the cops. Sorry. :)


that's another bunch - I've 13 I've started since then and am working on, of the 20 something the cops have I've got old copies of 14 of them from a year before the attack, but know 4 of the old copies are only a shadow of what the cops took, and there were at least 2 Rivers Region stories almost finished which i have no old copies off.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

I format all my books, but there's multiple sites to go through, multiple passwords, and various hoops to jump through.


Since the attack by the Gestapo I've a recent copy of everything on DropBox which my brother has access to because he's also one of my editors. My son knows all my passwords, and they're also stored on my computer. One of my guides steps through the publishing process I use, and a few members of my family are all tech savy - thus they can publish them, the issue for them will be who finishes them. Knowing my brother, he'll probably ask a couple of other authors he edits for, and my son would probably ask my other editors for suggestions on who to finish them.

awnlee jawking

@docholladay

Tropes and cliches ;)

AJ

docholladay

If the writer is a good enough storyteller. I think we can all use our imaginations to fill in the unfinished portions. Just I don't think the way I do it will actually match the storyteller's ideas as I have found out with cmsix in our old discussions of a couple of his stories. I will keep those ideas to myself since like I told him they are his stories, just shared with me and others to enjoy.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Vlad_Inhaler
Updated:

@NC-Retired

He was born 2 November 1948, I can't remember how I know but I am quite sure on that one.
Edit: here is my source.

Replies:   NC-Retired
Crumbly Writer

@docholladay

If the writer is a good enough storyteller. I think we can all use our imaginations to fill in the unfinished portions. Just I don't think the way I do it will actually match the storyteller's ideas as I have found out with cmsix in our old discussions of a couple of his stories. I will keep those ideas to myself since like I told him they are his stories, just shared with me and others to enjoy.

As we've mentioned before, CMsix was interesting because he was almost a cautionary tale for most authors, showing what can happen when you're unable to resolve story issues (i.e. he kept rewriting the same story, over and over, never quite successfully resolving the central issues satisfactorily). Often, he'd get mid-story and simply abandon it since he couldn't figure out how to resolve it.

As a result, he was often the most quoted author in discussions about 'incomplete stories'.

Although, in gave readers a perspective on writing issues, revealing what most readers never seen in unpublished/unposted stories. It was fascinating watching him continually wrestling with the same issues, always taking the same approach but expecting a different result.

NC-Retired

@Vlad_Inhaler

OK... nearly 2 years older then. Sigh... it's getting so that I can't remember stuff and that sucks.

docholladay

Another thing I noticed that might have caused the writer's block for his Nanovirus stories is the fact that most of his stories are time/multidimensional in plot lines.

The problem is the Nanovirus story for all intents and purposes destroys an entire time line.

In order to preserve a base time line there would have to be a dimensional split before the release of the virus.

His "I feel Lucky" story is where I think his storytelling gift was trying to create that split saving a base time line for all the other stories. Especially considering the way it refused to link up like he wanted it to with the Nanovirus story.

Each of his time/multidimensional stories started from basically the same time/dimension line. That time line is critical to his gift so the gift would fight to save it.

So Jimmy and his group in "I feel Lucky" had to occur to save the time line from the organization which was going to release another virus that Jack took over the resources of in the Nanovirus. Jimmy's group was beginning to actively attack it from the inside.

Making Jimmy's timeline the new foundation timeline for all the rest of cmsix's stories.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@docholladay


So Jimmy and his group in "I feel Lucky" had to occur to save the time line from the organization which was going to release another virus that Jack took over the resources of in the Nanovirus. Jimmy's group was beginning to actively attack it from the inside.


Sadly, the 'I Feel Lucky' disaster (when he drastically altered the entire premise of the story, midstory), was when I decided enough was enough and quit reading cmsix altogether. His insistence that EVERY story had to coexist with a single story which circumvented any other story from continuing was both short-sighted and misguided.

I read a couple of his stories after that, but I had trouble accepting them, because of the flagrant inconsistencies. I NEVER finished the newer version of "I Feel Lucky"!

4041

@docholladay

Chessley died on February 2, 1990 at 77 years of age.

Capt. Zapp
Updated:

@4041


Chessley died on February 2, 1990 at 77 years of age.


So you are saying that all the stories posted by cmsix since then came from the beyond? or did he have a ghost-writer? :)

Seriously though. I read somewhere that he was one of six (or more?) with that name in his family (thus cmsix)

His last Blog entry begins as follows:

March 31, 2014 Posted at 11:45 am

Rumors of My Death Are Bullshit

Oh where, oh where has my little cmsix gone?

Contrary to recent rumors I AIN'T DEAD YET. I'll admit my output has been sparse lately but still, I ain't dead.


Of course this is almost three years old so he may no longer be with us. I hope that is NOT the case but I also hope he is not suffering due to his maladies. It would be selfish for me to hope he is still alive under those circumstances no matter how badly I would like to see new posts to his stories.

CZ

Ernest Bywater

@4041

Chessley died on February 2, 1990 at 77 years of age.


That was a relative with the same name. At the time he was writing there were 6 close relatives with the exact same name. He was alive in a nursing home in Texas about a year ago when Jim visited him while going to Arizona from Florida.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@Ernest Bywater

Sounds like he had what I call a family "Traditional Name". One that is given to the first born son. That can get hard to keep track of unless its limited somehow to the first born in each generation. Even then it can get repeated as the family groups spread out over the generations. I know of at least one other person with the exact same name as mine. My name was a traditional name. It included the middle name as well. Funny part is the middle name could also pass as a last name.

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