Recently Max Brooks, author of The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z, published a novelization of the game Minecraft.
While I haven’t read the novel, I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like if great American author Cormac McCarthy, author of No Country for Old Men, were to narrate the world of Minecraft.
Say no more. We’ve just found an early draft of his novelization:
See the miner. His pickaxe outstretched, a pilgrim gesturing, his dousing tool marking like some dancing arrow the manifest plot of patches. Acres limited, his now. He scanned his environ. Above him milk bars of clouds shifted slow like authoritarian vessels indifferent to the workings of the valley. Under the pitiless blue sky the earth rose as a granulated fist, a heraldic crag the shaping of earth had itself beheld as quadratic basalt, a magnanimous fallen ogre of steep bevels.
At its foot the miner picked the myselium cube like some automaton reminiscent of lego. He toiled in silence, hastening days and nights with only the sound of crumbs masticated in penitent wafers. Boxes of the opaque earth removed, reappearing with purpose. Pixels harvested in sequential fractures like web lightning. Vanish and pocketed. Steadily he chipped like a woodpecker muffled. Conscious in the doing of it.
He would collect the trunk sections of trees and the trees would hover with profound inconsequence, stubborn as a dream, fixations in a painting. The world at a distance serrated, the shapes pertaining to his immediate vision made blockish. At sea level the idiot beeves bobbed in the shallows, no ring or ripple.
He entered the dwelling. A makeshift shack untrembling and fixed in the crevice of the rock and the beach, made custom by uniform bricks of stone hewn from the rock itself, earth displaced for a torch-bearing dweller, some primordial child of antiquity secreted with the gifts of sandbox atomics. The sun going for its round under the earth where the deep things are given to gnawing on its columns. All dimming but the house. The veils of treevines and the glory pillars of basalt and granite stubborn in nightfall. The spawning paths of migrant warlocks abounding.
The sun crept down like a lover’s tongue into the monochrome ocean. Trees in congress like inviting mushrooms weeped vines like still tears for the evening darkness of the layered horizon. The moon was a luminescent frame around a tinted blue dark, indifferent. A foreign eclipse. The dog followed the miner, legs like pendulums. Its face was dumb and loyal. It moved in linear fashion, fixed along an unseen rail. The miner stood for a minute, remembered he left his ore in the cave, opened his door, and headed out.
Creepers appeared, deadly to man, ticking and redolent of sinister lichen and gunpowder moss. Their feet perambulated as if apart from their tragic facade. A face almost mocking or apologetic. Set loose beside wither skeletons and rumors of ghast and once ended men from the nether.
In the cave, torches stuck like splinter cigarettes offer the eternal lumin of a hollow. The cavity was purloined in quiet, the work of festered rot under enamel. Huddled isolate in the dampened bellow the miner disintegrated piecemeal the mountain particles, stocking in his bosom a world that could be, encased upon the edge of his pick. Dissolve the bedrock and he would find the infantile bones of his forbears. And suffocation. And the gradual extinction of light. And the coming avalanche.
He had lingered past his hour under the canopy. The creeper stepped down in front of the miner. Both were singleminded, a drama in silent crossings. The miner hacked at the flashing thing, and the thing pitched backward. The miner advanced to pick at its mortality, but the moving obelisk bristled with light. He flinched. The creeper erupted in a radial blossom of gray and crescent mallow, excavating like a swift maw the soil beneath. The miner’s body was blown askew of the demolition, his axe separated from him like a limb. Incarnadine the world stenciled in right angles and distant blurs. Then darkness.
The hound came upon its master, laid itself over him like a Vitruvian healer or a prophet, and mourned. Ignorant of the spawning of his god and master. He is mining, mining. They say he will never die.