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The Prince and the Singularity – A Circular Tale



The 50 Lines Challenge:



“The Prince and the Singularity – A Circular Tale”

is a book with one big advantage,

you only need to read the first 50 lines to know whether you’re going to like the story or not.

If you’re not hooked after 50 lines then my book is not for you.



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Chapter 1

In the Beginning Was the Word


In the beginning, there was nothing.
Neither Space nor Time existed.
Merely the thoughts of the Gods – incomprehensible to us – and their emotions.
In their hearts, a single sentiment:
Utter boredom.
One of them had an idea:
I’m sick of this! Let’s play.
Thoughts criss-crossed in confusion.
(Play what? / What’s he saying? / Play? Play? There’s nothing to play!)
Shut up, everybody!
The rules are simple.
Each of us stakes his own Divinity.
With every bet lost, the loser creates something, using up a part of himself.
When he loses everything, he vanishes for ever.
In the end, all that will be left is one God
And whatever has been created.

Packs of cards were produced seemingly out of nowhere, and groups gathered around tables that weren’t there just a moment before. There was shouting, pushing and shoving. Finally the unruly mob organised itself and all the Gods settled down as the cards were dealt for the first time.

They started to play, enthusiastically and as the bets piled up and the stakes increased, emotions were riding high. The Gods gambled on their own existence, hoping to find relief from a tedium of cosmic dimensions, something well beyond our grasp or understanding.

One of the players looked down at his cards. Intoxicated with excitement, he shouted:

‘I bet everything! My whole Divinity!’

A wave of admiration swept across the company.

‘If you lose, what will you turn into?’ somebody asked.

‘Into a whole universe,’ shouted the God, ecstatically. ‘That’s how powerful I am!’

‘But if you lose, you’ll disappear.’

‘I’m not going to lose!’

He stared at his adversary.

‘Do you accept the stakes?’

‘Yes,’ came the calm response.

They both revealed their hands simultaneously. One of them disappeared. Suddenly the rest of the Gods were playing cards in a new universe surrounded by galaxies, space and stars.

And by Time as we humans call it, though the Gods remained impervious.

And so they carried on playing, riding the currents of the rolling river of Time.

The more cautious of them bet with small things; a forest here, a mountain there; maybe even a whole civilization, when the outcome looked promising. Others risked their entire Divinity on a single turn of the cards.

The universe was slowly being filled up. Inhabitants, animals, forests, plants and crops. . . Everything was created out of units of Divinity bet in the game.

The Gods’ numbers were dwindling gradually. After innumerable millennia, only five remained.

One of them was just about to lose for the final time.

He only had six units of Divinity left. A tiny fragment of Divine existence.

He looked down at his hand. The cards weren’t bad. He decided to risk it.

‘I bet the lot,’ he said, so weakly that his voice was only just audible.

The others laughed.

‘The lot? You mean six?’ enquired a tall, thin God sardonically.

‘And what exactly are you going to create with six units of Divinity if you lose? A light breeze. . . a handful of seeds. . . a puddle?’ asked another, his crooked nose twisted even more by the mocking expression he wore.

The question was rhetorical, meant only to humiliate. It was met with thunderous roars of laughter from two of the other players. The third one looked to the side, pretending not to be following the conversation.

‘A leaf from a tree, on Earth,’ was the phlegmatic reply, pronounced with unnatural calm for someone who risked immediate extinction.

‘A leaf? That’s nothing. . .’ argued the tall thin God.


———–  ————

Thank you for reading the first 50 lines of

“The Prince and the Singularity – A Circular Tale”.

The book is available on several sites, both as an ebook and as a paper book.

If you’re interested in buying it, please follow any of these links:



USA / UK / Canada / Germany

France / Spain / Italy / Japan / Brasil


AMAZON LINKS (paperbook)

USA / UK / Germany

France / Spain / Italy














© P. Barrento 2012


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