The idea for the original strip, Volume 1, hit me about six months before I started regular publication. I have no idea where it came from.
The title popped into my head along with the original strip. Yes, it's a reference to Cordwainer Smith's science fiction classic Norstrilia. ...But only to the word itself. I hadn't read the book at the time; I just thought the title sounded neat.
I still haven't read the book, come to think of it. I've read most of Smith's short fiction, much of which is in the same "Instrumentality" series as Norstrilia. So at least I've read fiction set on the planet Norstrilia.
My favorite story of Smith's is his first, "Scanners Live in Vain".
I kept trying to come up with something to follow that first strip. It took months, as I said, and (unfortunately) I can't remember what went through my mind at the time. I have a page of notes that I kept, but it's just a list of punchlines, most of which I used.
But I did write some more strips, and submitted them, and they were published to the teeming readership of The Tartan.
People thought they were pretty funny.
Not really. It's just what it looks like; a stream of black comedy, in short takes. Sure, it's got a tinge of conformist college cynicism when viewed from this vantage, seven years later. But I still think they're pretty funny.
The strips weren't that hard to come up with. I just tried to think of lines that would make my less cynical friends scream.
Even further addendum: So, my Diane Duane infatuation shows through in the final couple of strips. What can I say?
No surprise here; I wrote the artwork in PostScript. A simple template of "for" loops to draw the basic stream of lemmings, and then some code added each week for variations.
Last updated December 14, 1999.
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