We have located a scroll that contains the minutes of an audience held by Ramesses II when he received an envoy from the Far Lands of Amazon and was given the gift of a Kindle. Based on my read of the man, the account is accurate…
“A gift from the Lords of Amazon, sire,” the man said.
“He speaks of the far lands of the Western Tribes, Sire,” said the Vizier.
“I…see,” said Ramesses. He eyed the flat, rectangular item in his hands. “And they have given me this? What is it?”
“It is called a ‘Kindle’, sire. We can fit the archives of all the palaces and temples of Egypt and of Nubia within it.”
“All of them?”
Ramesses raised the device again and tapped the shiny side with a fingertip. “I assume there is some way to read the documents contained within this thing aside from frowning at my reflection in it?”
“It’s easy, Sire. You see those tabs on the side?”
“No, I do not.”
“They are there – If I may, Majesty – your finger is on it. Now push it.”
Ramesses complied and the device went flying from his hands and skidded to the feet of the Vizier, his son, who bent and retrieved it.
“Thank you, Khay.” Ramesses looked at the envoy. “What is your country, my good fellow?”
“The lords of Amazon should be advised that their – their implement – is somewhat lacking-“
“Oh no, Sire-!” the man ignored Pharaoh’s sudden frown at the interruption. “It only takes a little time to learn how to use it. Any idiot can cope with it-“
“‘Idiot‘?” said the Crown Prince.
“It can hold all the documents of your realm -!”
“Hm…” Ramesses sat back and turned the straight-sided oblong over in his hands. He finally handed it back to the man. “Take it away, my good fellow. Thank your masters for me.”
“But sire-! The sheer size of what it can hold–!”
Ramesses nodded to his fan-bearers, who began their motion again. “The size is certainly impressive,” he said. “And based on what I have seen, if the Lords of Amazon can somehow figure out how to use the thing, I am certain that the lowest moron in Egypt could. But I can’t help wondering what will happen if I decide to read while bathing in my garden pond and a clumsy servant drops this – this Kindle – into the water. Aside, of course, from getting electrocuted-” He turned to the Crown Prince with a thoughtful frown. “I forgot to ask The Author: Do we know about electrocution now?”
Hori shrugged. “I can ask her, Sire,” he said. “She’s working on that story that features me as a child.”
Ramesses flicked his fingers. “No matter,” he said. “She’s busy and, most likely, preoccupied. Authors get testy at such times. The main problem would be that the libraries of all Egypt would be destroyed in my bath. I can’t take responsibility for that. I will leave those honors to that fool Justinian. Take it away and bring me Sun Tzu’s volume…”