Sunday, December 14, 2014

I've Got a Problem ...


... but it's a good problem. Or, rather, a better problem than the problem I had.

A few days ago, I posted a "story snippet" for my Patreon supporters. It's from what I'm working on -- and from what I expect to eventually be a novella or perhaps even a full-length novel. I briefly outline the future history in which it takes place in a post right here at KN@PPSTER from 2006, "The rapture for nerds."

I've been thinking about this future history since long before that blog post, by the way. In fact, I've been thinking about since, if Google isn't leading me down the primrose path of results that look correct but aren't, 1989 ... when a now-defunct magazine called Omni interviewed a guy by the name of Hans Moravec and the idea of "uploading" a human consciousness into a computer or a robotic body first came to my attention (for some reason this synced, in my mind, with the plot of William Hjortsberg's Gray Matters to lead my little story-making up mind in the direction it went).

Here's my big problem with the story as I kept working it in my head: It's a state socialist utopia. The state finds a way to "save" Social Security by offering the elderly, dying, etc. immortality in virtual reality. The story I had in mind to write in that world was a simple murder mystery (victim's uploaded consciousness is erased, as are all backups, in what's supposed to be such a secure and redundant environment that that just shouldn't be possible) that doesn't really affect the disposition of the future history as such.

Of course, I don't want to write a state socialist utopia. I'm not a state socialist. I'm not saying I want to write a libertarian tract, but I certainly want a libertarian plot and theme.

I think I've found a workable way out of the state socialist utopia trap. Also a working title that's rather a bit too clueful: To Dust We Shall Return.

So anyway, I'm working in that direction. My new problem, of course, is how to get from where I'm at to where I want to go. In other words, I have to write the damn thing. But that's better than trying to make myself write something I knew I wouldn't be happy with.

As a bonus for bothering to read this post, I'm going to give you part of the "story snippet" I shared with my Patreon supporters. Not all of it, just a chapter intro, written by someone you may have heard of:

Of course my interest was piqued when Denis [McDonough, White House Chief of Staff] told me that John Paul Holdren [Director of Science and Technology Policy] had requested a meeting and specified that it be held in the White House Situation Room. That room is reserved for matters of the utmost secrecy and, of course, usually for matters directly relating to national security. Even more tantalizing was the fact that John refused to give Denis even a clue as to what the meeting might be about and insisted that it be just the two of us: "For the President's ears only." You know all about it now, but it started off as, well, beyond "top secret." He wanted to talk to me about immortality. -- Let Me Be Perfectly Clear: Remembering a Presidency, by Barack Obama, 2029





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