Extracted from the Introduction
Myt-Sentril of Vos.
23rd Printing, 3496
Little is known about the life of the famed Myt-Sentril of Vos as his popularity did not come until several decades after his death. Aside from the official citizen demographic information the only reputed source material about the man is the famous but still only alleged interview at Thon Publishing, the house where the first edition of Prophecies was printed. If this is, indeed, authentic we have an editor named O-Tourn to thank for this, although she obviously didn’t publish this herself. The document was found attached to the manuscript within boxes of documents sold to the Museum of Vos at auction in 3406.
The interview was dated 2243, matching the year we know Prophecies was first printed and did include O-Tourn’s signature but there is no secondary source verification. There is no reason to presume that it is a fake although some scholars have argued this. The paper is certainly old and the ink is beginning to fade; although no expert has dated it precisely. It certainly seems to match the age of the manuscript which most scholars agree is the genuine final draft by Myt-Sentril.
A handwriting analyst believed the body of the interview to have been hand-written by someone other than the editor who wrote a note at the end in her own hand.
The practice for a staff recorder to be brought in to preserve business interviews was common at that time. Unfortunately there are no outside records of the interview or the editor being assigned to Myt-Sentril although historical documents from Thon Publishing do corroborate Cilla O’Tourn as an employee in 2248.
I encourage you to take the opportunity to judge for yourself.
Dr. Stephen Given
Chair, Lirdan Literature
University of Vos
October 32, 3495
A conversation with Myt-Sentril of Vos
Ed.–Myt-Sentril. It is a pleasure to finally meet you. Part of your fee for publishing here includes my input as editor during this interview. We provide this service, even for the self-published works, and usually make suggestions for improvement. This is our policy and helps to further our reputation as a publisher of quality work. I, however, must admit that I do not have any suggestions for your text. In fact, we have already begun to print it and it should be ready in two weeks. I invited you to this interview to satisfy our obligation but I was also intensely curious about you after reading your manuscript. Would you mind if I asked you a few questions and that it was recorded?
MS–It would be my pleasure. I am happy to talk about Prophecies.
Ed.–Wonderful. And can I be blunt?
Ed.–Thank you. Have you published anywhere before? Perhaps under a different name?
Ed.–Remarkable. I was struck, after only a few pages, by your writing. I’ve read the book twice and found it is–although the strangest collection of poetry I have ever read–a fascinating work. It was easy to get caught up in the prophetic format, even for someone as jaded as I am after thirty years in the business. This is no utopian future here–there are terrible disasters like the end of our own Hilburn Dynasty and the horrific rise and fall of the bloody empire that replaces it. Yet told in so plausible a voice.
But I would like to know why you decided to publish this book with the title ‘Prophecies’? Isn’t that title dangerous? Some may believe you wish to set yourself up as a Prophet.
MS–Oh I know that no one will think me a prophet at all until long after I’m dead. Not until the prophecies start revealing themselves. You see, between you and I, this isn’t a work of fiction. This book is called ‘Prophecies’ because that’s exactly what it contains.
Ed.–You believe that.
Ed.–Okay–Let’s assume for the moment that these ‘prophecies’ are real. What could motivate you to reveal them in a book? Are you trying to assure your immortality? Or perhaps you want someone to read these and prevent certain events from–um, happening?
MS–I’m really not concerned with my immortality in the way you mean it. I know exactly how I will die and, frankly, I look forward to it–the weight of the known future, you see, is incredibly depressing. Nothing major is new for me. Just try to imagine what it would be like if all the ‘news’ was stale to you. You can’t know how lucky they are not to know the future. But I can’t help knowing it.
I will not achieve any kind of fame before I die. But many will read these prophecies after. I have seen that this book will become famous. They will even study this very interview. But very few will recognize the truth in any of the passages that may concern them or their time. The handful who may realize it will not be able to alter these events. I’ve seen the future and nothing changes from the course I have plotted in this book.
But your initial question interests me: my motivation. I know what will happen to my family and I clearly see that I will leave no descendants. I didn’t write for them. No one will profit by the book since I have published it myself and the rights will vanish into the public domain before they mean anything.
So why publish?
It’s part of my particular eccentricity, I suppose. I don’t do it willingly. Not really. I was compelled to write just as any artist must create. I chose to write this history in verse because I enjoy the form: the conservation of words, the level of discipline. And the brevity was very much the nature of the revelations themselves. It took over two years and, although it was a struggle at first, once I had several pages done and edited I had as enjoyable a time as I’ve ever had. It was hard work but very satisfying.
Ed.–But if you have already seen everything didn’t you already know the words you would come up with for your book? Why would it take so long?
MS–No, you don’t understand. While I knew I would write a book of verse and that it would be called ‘Prophecies’ I did not know any of the exact words. Just as while I know what the future holds for countries, certain people and large scale events, I am blessed with not having to know all the details. I don’t know, for example, how or when you, personally, will die. I’m sure you’re thankful for that.
MS–In any case, I don’t think my head could hold all the details for every future event. I know the ones that matter and of these it was the stories that interested me that I’ve tried to capture in ‘Prophecies’. I felt I owed it to all those who will read this book and to myself to do as good a job as I could.
Ed.–But what if you’re wrong about the future? Like the passage about how people forget that this is a colony planet with settlers from Earth. Some would consider that preposterous.
MS–I can’t explain why things are going to happen in the way that they will. If it makes you feel better to think that I am suffering from some kind of delusion and that I’ve spent my savings on some second or third-rate poetry about a phony future, feel free.
Ed.–I didn’t say anything derogatory about the quality of your poetry.
MS–No matter. Just because I like poetry doesn’t mean I’m good at it. But let’s put aside the fact that this is a future that I’ve convinced myself will come to be. Well then. The writing was a challenging experience and I enjoyed the process.
I think it was worth my time. You may not believe that in the future most people will have forgotten where we come from. But that particular stanza doesn’t say that everyone would forget. The truth is that we haven’t heard from Earth or any other planet in over a thousand years: that we’re all on a colony world is certainly a fact for us. But we’re also stuck with the reality that we don’t have the metal and likely lack the skill to leave Emily’s World. For most of us, if not all, this is our home. If the silence from other worlds continues, don’t you think it’s possible that many will cease to care where we came from? In any case, I’m stuck with what I see as the future. It was important for me to write down. Call it my version of the future if you like. Whether it’s real or not cannot be verified now, but only well after we’re dead.
Ed.–What are you doing with these two hundred copies?
MS–I am giving a few to family and friends but most of them will be going to libraries throughout Hilburn and on the other continents. I’ve even arranged to have a few stored away in time capsules.
Ed.–Well, prophetic or not, I will say that I did enjoy a good deal of your poetry. Whether it is all the work of your fertile imagination or really the future does not really matter to me. I have taken the liberty of asking for a two hundred and first copy which I have already paid for. I hope you don’t mind and I would be glad to give you extra money for the privilege. I am not usually one for poetry and am certainly not interested in science fiction but I do like and admire this.
And I will add that I have edited more self-published books than I could wish of ‘second or third-rate poetry’ as you call it. ‘Prophecies’ is neither. It was certainly much better than I expected from a completely unknown author. If poetry was not so unpopular these days, we might have published this book and paid you.
MS–Thank you! That really means a great deal to me. And I certainly don’t mind you arranging your own copy. You don’t need to give me anything extra for it. I don’t need the money.
Ed.–Thanks very much and you’re welcome. It was a pleasure meeting you. Please return to see me in one week and your books should be ready.
I saw in the local news, last week, that Myt-Sentril took his own life. I don’t know what I will do with the above interview. The man seemed sane enough to me. Strange but certainly not suicidal. And the interview strikes me as odd now as it was when I had it recorded over a year ago. I re-read Prophecies over the past few nights and it gave me goosebumps. It’s crazy, I know, but there was something about the man. I think I’ll keep all this in my private files.
Cilla O-Tourn, March 32, 2244