Fabrication

Cold coffee was not what I needed right now, on top of everything else that had happened. Damn machine. Someone had probably made sure it wouldn’t work properly, too. The foul, black liquid spiralled down the drain as I rinsed out the synth cup and placed it back on the holder. Auto-pilot fingers jabbed mechanically at the small, dull-grey dispenser to make another, this time setting the temperature to scalding to reflect my mood.

Jarks probably all felt it dawn on them like this at some point, that weird feeling like the world’s conspiring against you, but then the consistent bad vibrations that led to paranoid suspicions. They would’ve only ever known rumours, quiet whispers on the dark nets if they knew where to look, but I should’ve known it was a fabber. Some sanctimonious bastard would probably have called it poetic justice to have seen me pacing the small, white-walled holding cell contemplating a world that was no longer my own. The eyes that were no doubt watching were probably saying just that. Someone, somewhere, was laughing as they watched my brain squirm.

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Comments

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  1. Comment by Flashie @ 7:02 am

    Good stuff…

  2. Comment by Matt @ 11:06 am

    An impressive piece of writing, Dystopian to the max, a future where Philip K Dick has a love child with Neal Stephenson (and frankly, in the sort of future this author seems to be envisioning, that would be possible (never mind the fact that both are male and one is dead, we are talking THAT dystopian)).

  3. […] future fragments » Blog Archive » Fabrication Part 1 of a scifi story (tags: science fiction sf future technology singularity transhumanism) […]

  4. Comment by Reg @ 1:28 pm

    Very very good old buddy.

    I’ve certainly read a whole bunch of published-on-paper stuff that’s come off a lot worse. (anything by Dan Brown being the obvious candidate :p)

    But you wanted ‘The Destructor’ (sounds like a Schwartzenegger movie to me, but whatever) and for that reason and only that reason I’m gonna pick a bit.

    Two things come to mind… well maybe three.

    I found it a bit purple in places – but then I went off and actually wikied purple prose and got this back:

    ‘It also refers to writing that employs certain rhetorical effects such as exaggerated sentiment or pathos in an attempt to manipulate a reader’s response.’

    which I really thought was cute in terms of the subject matter. Nice one! :p

    Secondly – for the most part you’ve got future slang happening. Cool. But, then in others you have phrases that don’t really gel with that – ‘black synthetic nano-jacket’. Cool. But it begs the question – are there non-synthetic nano-jackets? Maybe from nano-cows? :p

    It seems to be trying a little too hard to add to the story’s general plastic feeling.

    I don’t know if you’ve read any Ken MacLeod. I’m referring particularly to ‘The Cassini Division’. The great thing about his writing is that he makes the familiar (communism / capitalism / stuff ending in ism) seem extraordinary, whilst making the extraordinary (nanotech) familiar. Blatantly that’s not your purpose, I just mention it because his first person voice when referring to technology is nicely blithe – which you might expect the character here to be since tech appears to be his bag, baby.

    My last semi-quibble is – yes the playback does pretty much make your protagonist out to be a bit of a muppet. He’s paranoid to the eyeballs, but doesn’t notice the discrepancies… Are they coming across as too ‘loud’? Or maybe I’m missing something….

    £0.02 please.

  5. Comment by Craig Sefton @ 3:05 pm

    “Very very good old buddy.”

    Thanks.

    “Iâ??ve certainly read a whole bunch of published-on-paper stuff thatâ??s come off a lot worse. (anything by Dan Brown being the obvious candidate :p)”

    I don’t know whether I should be flattered or offended by a comparison to Dan Brown, even if I come off better LOL

    “I found it a bit purple in places – but then I went off and actually wikied purple prose and got this back: â??It also refers to writing that employs certain rhetorical effects such as exaggerated sentiment or pathos in an attempt to manipulate a readerâ??s response.â?? which I really thought was cute in terms of the subject matter. Nice one! :p”

    Right, I think I get what you’re saying, in that it’s too flowery in some places. Hmm. Maybe some editing won’t go amiss in that respect. I suspect that’s what editors are for 🙂

    Secondly – for the most part youâ??ve got future slang happening. Cool. But, then in others you have phrases that donâ??t really gel with that – â??black synthetic nano-jacketâ??. Cool. But it begs the question – are there non-synthetic nano-jackets? Maybe from nano-cows? :p

    Right, so I guess your main suggestion here is that there should be some sort of slang term for an item like that, or at least refer to it in a more offhand manner. Makes sense. I actually remember sitting down and thinking, hmmm, what should I call it, and I couldn’t think of anything so I just wrote nano-jacket heh. Lazy, I know, but I didn’t want to force the slang thing too much.

    It seems to be trying a little too hard to add to the storyâ??s general plastic feeling.

    Sure, that may well be the case. I suspect I should be a bit more off-handed about certain things instead of trying to elaborate them.

    I donâ??t know if youâ??ve read any Ken MacLeod. Iâ??m referring particularly to â??The Cassini Divisionâ??. The great thing about his writing is that he makes the familiar (communism / capitalism / stuff ending in ism) seem extraordinary, whilst making the extraordinary (nanotech) familiar. Blatantly thatâ??s not your purpose, I just mention it because his first person voice when referring to technology is nicely blithe – which you might expect the character here to be since tech appears to be his bag, baby.

    Never read it, but it sounds pretty interesting. I wouldn’t say my purpose is not to make the extra-ordinary ordinary; I think any sci-fi should be like that (extra-ordinary by today’s standards = ordinary by tomorrow’s), and if I haven’t come across like that, that’s a problem that’ll need reworking. I’ll try get a copy of the book

    My last semi-quibble is – yes the playback does pretty much make your protagonist out to be a bit of a muppet. Heâ??s paranoid to the eyeballs, but doesnâ??t notice the discrepanciesâ?¦ Are they coming across as too â??loudâ??? Or maybe Iâ??m missing somethingâ?¦.

    This is the one bit I didn’t get … what discrepancies are you referring to? What’s too loud? Hmm, and if the protagonist comes across as a muppet, that’s not so good :-/

    Thanks for taking the time dude, I really appreciate it.

  6. Comment by Reg @ 3:22 pm

    Ok – I’ve re-read the bit where he comes out of the station and I’m the muppet… went off on a complete tangent… ne’er you mind, matey : p It’s just always a danger when you write something like this that the reader might have to backtrack a bit.

    I think the trick that MacLeod manages is simply this: if it’s a jacket – call it a jacket – just have it do stuff that’s unusual and be casual about it.
    ‘My jacket clung annoyingly as it attempted to seal in a little heat’ – badly worded but you get the idea… Then again – you are trying to cyber it up… what the hell do i know anyway ; p

    No probs anyway ; )

  7. Comment by Reg @ 4:52 pm

    Also – as insulting as being compared to Dan Brown is (sorry) – my point was that he has made quite a bit of dosh from worse work…

    His only real skill afaics is that he finishes what he starts.

  8. Comment by Craig Sefton @ 9:04 am

    Hehe, thanks for all the input, bud, much appreciated.

    “finish what you start” is going to be my new mantra!

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February 11, 2007