Up looms that ghostly bank of controls against the sky ahead through his study window, with its dials, switches, buttons, faders and small red or green lights set into black metal, hanging over the lower third of the cityscape, while an intimation of the Jaymi Beast flickers in the grain of the upper two-thirds.
First, Jaymi establishes the Jaymi Beast’s gleaming detail in The Imagination Thief as being his childhood violin, whose visual strings will play throughout the game: “‘or have you taken up your childhood violin again?’ […] the violin I used to own. […] I used to play it under a favourite tree in the woods near where I lived […] I’d go to that tree many evenings, alone, to play my violin at dusk; a secret place. […] they just came up and listened […] some were even dancing in the clearing, to my music! […] every few days they would follow me again, and hear, and dance in the clearing at dusk […] a couple of the parents grabbed my violin and bow, smashed them against my tree […] Only one woman turned back towards me with a hint of compassion, to say she had heard there were many violins in New York City. […] I decided that at last I was leaving there forever.”
He then establishes the Jaymi Beast’s talisman in The Imagination Thief as being Dotty, whose visuals will spend almost the entire game-play hidden in his pocket: “I hold up a small, grey, plastic elephant […] I head back towards the ocean and look at the elephant. ‘Hallo Dotty,’ I whisper, give her a kiss and put her in my pocket […] I feel some unidentified object in my left pocket, reach in and pull out a small grey plastic elephant, the one I named Dotty after the woman in the bric-a-brac store, her trunk raised high as if greeting me.”
He concludes by establishing the Jaymi Beast’s additional motif in The Imagination Thief as being three powerful camera lenses, whose visuals will be conduits for much of the game itself: “‘Jaymi, let’s have you right there in front of the three cameras, on the mark’ […] My outer gaze descends from the minuscule stars, to alight upon the central of the three camera lenses ahead of me […] Ahead are three cameras; over there, a bank of faders […] This time the three lenses are angled in relation to one another—one straight ahead of me and one on each side at forty-five degrees to that, like the mirrored panels of a vanity mirror on a dressing-table […] the lights around the three angled cameras are already shining straight at my face […] I can thus see little of what is in front of me, beyond the light that fills the air itself and picks up tiny dust motes. On a level with my eyes I can just about make out those three all-important black circles […] The aperture in each of the three lenses shrinks to a pinpoint, then disappears.”
And now the incarnation in this study, for the last time: the Jaymi Beast slithers into meat-space and squeezes through the monitor in front of his creator, whose fingers clutch the chair in a horror of delight to feel his own beat rush away around the world in silence like a mirror-crack fissuring the upper atmosphere.
For more about "The Beasts of Electra Drive" by Rohan Quine, see
For some great reviews of it, see
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and for the paperback format and the ebook format are at