Grand Schemes on Qinsatorix
by  Thomas Hoskyns Leonard
To Nikolai Romanski

© Thomas Hoskyns Leonard, February 2012





This is a futuristic fantasy, satire and adventure story set on another planet. It could also be regarded as humorously written science fiction with touches of the Chaucerian, though very few technological advances are described. The plot challenges the reader by repeatedly twisting and turning, perhaps most dramatically so during the academic conference described in Chapters 19 and 20.

         With the exception of Adam and Svein, all of my fictional characters, most specifically Susan Lindsay and Dirk Charleston, are original conceptions and no other similarities with other real people, apart from myself, are intended or should be inferred. Adam’s religious foibles are partly inspired by a Scottish acquaintance, and Svein is based, with his permission, on my Swedish friend Mattheus. None of the academic departments in the novel are intended to reflect on any real scenario, past or present.

         A limerick about a Warden of Wadham was reported in Wikipedia, and I also utilise two quotes from Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach. In three of my bracketed notes in the text, I reference a verse about Procrustes and explain the sources of my information about frogs and toads, and the purported behaviour of some night nurses in Palliative Wards. The cow pies to which I refer are much favoured by Desperate Dan (see the Dandy comic). My phrase ‘Summertime on Qinsatorix’ refers to Summertime on Icarus by Arthur C. Clarke. The Millennium Edition of Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable provides a useful secondary source for some of my verses and literary quotes.

         The songs ‘Our Theorem is Bayes’ Theorem’ and ‘Bayesian Wonderland’ were composed by George E.P. Box, and by H. Ashih and R.A. Reutter. See The Bayesian Songbook (edited by Bradley Carlin) on Google for the complete versions. The Snipper people’s minstrel song is adapted from a song performed by Thomas Dartmouth Rice during the 1820’s. The poet Ezra Pound composed ‘Fleas’. A brief quote from Bridal of Trierman by Sir Walter Scott (1813) and relating to the sword Caliburn (Excalibur) is incorporated. The quote ‘a screaming comes from across the sky’ was employed by Thomas Pynchon in Gravity’s Rainbow. The ‘order of the metal comb’ derives from passages in Midshipman Hornblower by C.S. Forester. I also refer to a statistical article by Zoë Hoare (September 2010) in Significance.

         The scalping of Native Americans in 1832 on their sacred ground between Lakes Mendota and Monona is fictionalised; the true version was reported in the contemporary New York press. A young Abraham Lincoln was present, but he was not the civilian responsible for the celebrated joke about the blunt knife.

         The 'Mayflower Rose', Professor Winnie Li of Penn State University, Morris De Groot, and a senior colleague at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who wishes to remain anonymous, are the sources of invaluable information relating to the 1981 brutal murder in Taipei of the Han Chinese martyr Chen Wen Chen. I am however unable to reveal the identities of the Sino-Americans purportedly involved in the plot, and these should not be inferred from any information that I have provided in my writings.

         Eystein Thanisch, Allan Turkington, Liz Williams, Anna Thornton, Hilary Johnson and Cindy Scott have made many constructive suggestions, and Eystein and Allan contributed to the narrative. I am also indebted to Bill for his mathematical and religious expertise. Thanks also to Anna, Marjorie, Alan and a number of fellow writers including David Hutchison, Steve Rapaport and Colin Reid for their comments and advice.




Chapter 1: Sweet Dreams p2
Chapter 2: The Eve of Departure p15
Chapter 3: The City of Lanterns p29
Chapter 4: The University of the Sunrise p50
Chapter 5: Who Rules the Planet? p78
Chapter 6: Kevin’s Military Research p94
Chapter 7: A Trip down the Tiber p111
Chapter 8: Drumkok and Beyond p133
Chapter 9: The Convent of St. Drusilla p148
Chapter 10: The Shrine of Aleph p162
Chapter 11: Return to Trivoli p189
Chapter 12: An Eventful Day p212
Chapter 13: Susan’s Academic Endeavours p234
Chapter 14: Further Colourful Experiences p248
Chapter 15: Drama and More Drama p268
Chapter 16: Rumblings from the Proles p287
Chapter 17: A Momentous Occasion p298
Chapter 18: Back to the Convent p307
Chapter 19: An Interplanetary Conference p319
Chapter 20: History Awaits p330
Chapter 21: The Double Eclipse p346
Chapter 22: Finale p363
  © Thomas Hoskyns Leonard, 2012 - 2013