Parents in the first pages 

Child/parent relations is one of the most obvious themes within the first 100 pgs of One Rainy Day In May – book 1 of The Familiar.

In what may be meant as a mock ratings page (consider that MZD has made reference that this epic is fashioned after TV episodes), along with R(rain) S(signiconic) V(violence) P(planetarity) there is a C which stands for (custody).  Though there is no divorce, it is possible that Anwar has legal Custody over Xanther because of her real father’s death (Dov).  If this is what C(custody) is referring to, it makes following observations all the more important.

Twin Rivers Ochre Artifact – here are two pre-modern children that have lost their parents (and others? (everyone) to a large predator (two immense eyes).  

The first real chapter of the book (is everything okay) is an interaction between Xanther (daughter) and Anwar (father).  It ends with a very daughter father ish interaction, but ultimately the chapter is punctuated by a very. obvious.  in your face. Solitaire…

Dov is Xanther’s biological father; he has recently died.  This obviously weighs on Xanther’s mind (“tell me your daydreams…””Dov”).  

Dov is talked about again while at the Square One diner.  Xanther and Anwar’s relationship is very strong, but the thoughts and conversations  on Dov are also full of emotion.  

In the second chapter (lupita’s) we first meet one of our main characters, Luther, but maybe more importantly we meet his mother (mother figure?).  The fact the we first meet Luther at his mother’s, and that they have such a prominent and interesting interaction is very telling that she is important to who Luther is and that their relationship will likely carry weight later.  

Their dynamics are fun.  His Mother is a drug dealer? Gang boss? And he seems to be a leader of a gang as well.  He finds comfort in being able to stay at his mothers house, and she seems to take a motherly liking to it as well.  They have a cute but tense back and forth about him having a key to her house.

We still haven’t met Xanther’s mother (my favorite character).  

The first 100 pgs. of the Familiar is full of child/parent relationships.


The Previews

To Follow are comments or questions that I have on Mark Z. Danielewski’s epic book series The Familiar.  Speculations may or may not take into account all existing books in  The Familiar that are currently released.


\\We have the start of the universe and the start of the modern human in the preview sections of the book//

 I keep trying to think through the fact that the Encryption 1/5 is labeled as being, ah, encrypted at the beginning of the universe (Planck Epoch), but the being that is narrating also mentions extinguishing stars that seems to imply the end of the universe. Obviously there is some sort of end and some sort of beginning going on. Did these beings exist before the universe, and the beggining of ours is the end of theirs, if so, what stars are being extinguished? You would think the being would be commenting on the creation of our universe. Or do the being(s) exist in a present sense, and seeing the universe ending, with stars being extinguished as they in fact are today? Of course, this leaves the encryption date out of the theory.

Are we all assuming the communicating beings are the Narcons (or maybe the Narcons were created by them to be communicaters or scribes)? Later TF-Narcon mentions Cas getting glimpses of VEM in the sphere, and VEM is also mentioned in the signature of Our Common Horrors, so some relation.

So, if that is true, it would further support the theory that the beings are dying off on our current timeline, this point in history. Again, still wondering what the Planck Epoch has to do with it. I guess my initial question should be, did I miss something that would clear this up…

The word “encryption” that Our Common Horrors is signed with is also important in 2 ways:  1) Someone decyphered it.  2) It was written as a message intended to be read at some point.

Who deciphered the message?  Will we get to see that happen?  Is it one of our characters?  Anwar?  Does the sphere reveal the code?

Everything points to the fact that the characters in the narrative are at a pivotal point along the timeline (very Familiar to ours) of the universe in which it is important to know the message of “Our Common Horrors”.   The primary take away that seems to be driven at in the message is Death and War are inevitable and cannot be worked around.  What is gong to happen that warrants such a heavy statement, specifically tailored for this moment in time, from beings that were seemingly omniscient?


From what I read this artifact was used as proof that humans started acting like modern-day humans long before was previously thought.  I think its okay to assume that the following story about the children takes place during the time this particular artifact was being used (for dyes? Maybe even what is put on the girl’s face).

So we have the start of the universe and the start of the modern human in the preview sections of the book.

\\Will we eventually have the end of one or both?//