Blatant Lies

29 July 2014 reblog: dianaandpansson


11 June 2014 reblog: junglr good writing my friend wrote it it's good writing writing


science fiction snippet

 Kos cleared her throat, “We’re detectives, not long-haul spacers. Planetside, your device is a novelty. I skimmed the Weißpedagog operations manual, but it’s written for the end user. I need a better understanding of its insides before we chat with our recording later.”

“Spacer’s Sanity,” said Dr. Palin in a foreign twang, “That’s what they call it. ‘My quiet of mind,’ they say.”

“Hardware?”

“Haptic feedback and visual suite housed in plastic,” Dr. Palin said, “Ordinary as paint chips. Trick is in the software: my partner and I dubbed it ‘parapersonality.’ Turn it on, load a parapersonality recording, and it’s like that person is in the room with you. Nothing more or less.”

“How does one build or acquire a recording?” asked Embaye.

“At least six months intensive observation,” Jalbani said, “After obtaining a consent form we set up comprehensive surveillance, eyes and ears. Other data about the user is entered in as well: things like wardrobe, dietary preferences, and chat logs. That information is used to compile the parapersonality.”

Kos wrinkled her nose, “Just from daily gossip and what their favorite food is?”

“Yes!” yelped Palin, her voice cracking, “We derived parapersonality from the human skill of cold reading. We possess a master copy, the assessment daemon, that reviews all recordings. My partner and I used brain scans of border agents, security officers, AgroSec spies and confidence men across systems as a foundation. It would be best described as an artificial intuition. It calculates nothing based on predefined logic and it uses no external research databases. It forms impressions from assumptions and leaps of faith woven together by previously encountered patterns. In the end, it knows that person better than they do. The parapersonality recordings are true to life.”

“What about memories of the past, for context in conversation?”

“Mere data, which can be dumped into the recording from memory scan or even a written memoir. It’s rarely necessary. A parapersonality doesn’t need to know much of the past as long as it can read the present. It already knows how you want to hear it respond, it genuinely desires to out of empathy, even if it lacks details such as names and dates. Most users give it the information it needs willingly and it remembers everything it’s told. A cold interrogator, a stranger to it, grilling a recording using a fact sheet can easily determine how little it knows about its own life, or the life of a loved one, through its omissions.”

“So it avoids saying what it doesn’t know,” Embaye rubbed his thick beard, “Through what, excuses? Lies?”

Palin fiddled with a strand of hair as she spoke, “Think of a family member. Remember how they act when there’s something they’d rather not speak of? Best leave it alone, right? We all want to enjoy our time together.”

“Our product is designed to give comfort,” Jalbani said, “Parapersonality isn’t designed to replicate the human mind but human contact, the connection a family member experiences with another.”

“This daemon,” Kos squinted a little, “Governments across systems must be panting at your door for their own copy.”

“We at Forward understand the implications of our product. The master daemon is kept under top notch security. We decline lucrative business offers daily, strictly an ethical concern: the daemon’s brilliance is ruinous in the face of a careless or exploitative observer.”

“Is there any way that a recording could become corrupt?” asked Kos, “Or be programmed with hidden intentions?”

Palin winced, her head cocked and her hand scratching the back of her neck. She spoke slowly, as if pained by the question, “I don’t think you understand the nature of the recordings. Are you corrupt? Do you have hidden intentions?”

3 June 2014 science fiction space personality excerpt fiction


HOW TO WRITE SCIENCE FICTION

Take all of your story ideas and set them in outer space

29 May 2014 writing science fiction


11 May 2014 reblog: hey-writers writing child abuse


amandaonwriting:

The Five Elements of Story
This image offers an interesting way to look at the layers of a story. (We don’t know where it originated. Please let us know if you do.)
This chart says that your character needs something to care about, something to want, something to dread, something to suffer, and something to learn.

this chart is useful to me. provides more room for flexing the classic greek structure of exposition => buildup => rising action => climax => falling action etc by demonstrating that the internal logic of the narrative’s emotional progression is as potent and structured of a workhorse for holding reader attention

amandaonwriting:

The Five Elements of Story

This image offers an interesting way to look at the layers of a story. (We don’t know where it originated. Please let us know if you do.)

This chart says that your character needs something to care about, something to want, something to dread, something to suffer, and something to learn.

this chart is useful to me. provides more room for flexing the classic greek structure of exposition => buildup => rising action => climax => falling action etc by demonstrating that the internal logic of the narrative’s emotional progression is as potent and structured of a workhorse for holding reader attention

(via thewritingcafe)

28 February 2014 reblog: amandaonwriting chart writing story structure


  Bioprocessing looks like how a cockroach might if viewed from inside-out. Its function and age stain it a morbid shade of seinna with rusty mange covering any exposed metal on the pipes and repurposed metal sheeting which composes it. A fully-grown adult must hunch over to not feel cramped by the low corrugated printfibre ceiling which turns sunlight a color similar to a thirsty man’s piss. For an interface levers, switches and knobs bristle out from a curved panel sporting an array of pressure gauges. Contrast the decrepid look of the hut with the clearly foreign sleek MedCorps-licensed tech, slotted into rough-cut spaces in the metal. Right beside the pressure measurement panel several matte black Context-Surface readouts scroll real time assessment of the biomaterial brewing process, the origin of the thrumming and humming beneath our feet. An overgrowth of shock white and cobweb gray tubes snake in and out of the panel wall which was built by hand out of scrap sheet metal torn from Big Teeth and ported by foot across the miles to the compound. Like the proboscis of a giant insect the assessment scope hangs limply beside the ergonomic trawling manipulator controls. My hand grasps the handle of the input bay, a seesaw-mounted chute cover which yawns open when yanked back.

  A familiar scent, olfactory adjunct to many common smells such as dog vomit and rotting animal, clarified and unobstructed by other elements to offer its sensory delight in a pure bacterial state, rolls out of the chute to fill the room with its humid odor. Nothing inside except pidgeon feathers and tar-coloured slime. Leader and Big Kid stand in the bath of stench, watching, as I close the lid and examine the readouts. Stage 2 processing is ten minutes and four seconds away from engagement, perfectly on schedule, and I let loose an involuntary sigh when I see that the farming crew hasn’t fiddled with the batch preset that I prepared last night. Pressure is nominal, if a little on the low end, and solid waste capacity is at 72%, which should be just enough to permit the mass of Swayze’s corpse. The only thing left to do now is dump him in. However, Leader and Big Kid seem content to stand and observe. I turn to them with a cheerful expression and nod, trying to give them the hint that their work here is done, but they loom expressionless with their bodies between me and the exit. Swayze’s shit stench begins to mix with the already potent odor from the chute creating a truly horrifying experience for the nose. Breathing in through the mouth doesn’t help, as the air itself tastes of human excretion as if one were standing in a fog of urine. My faithful brothers standby without even a grimace or cough as a little inside joke inspires an involuntary [smirk]: I, Swayze, footed the entire bill for this little agricultural wonder last year.

27 October 2013


  He frowns, laces his fingers and places his head on top. “I can’t let you use it,” he says. We’re both staring at the app. “Talks like this aren’t an official MedCorps treatment, so I’m free to discuss this with you, but medical treatment itself … I’m not willing to put my job on the line.” I reach out and grab him by the sleeve, “You need to give me something.” I tug at him and he shakes me off, scooting out of reach to the other end of the cot. “I can’t,” he says as he fixes his practicals, “You know I can’t.” Falling to my knees I hold my hands out, palms up as if offering him a grail, eyes wide, “I’m begging you. Turn off the app and give me something that’ll make it go away. I don’t want to cause a disaster.” Briskly he rises to his feet and begins pacing back and forth in the narrow strip of space between his personal area and the wall of crates stacked opposite us. After a few laps he halts in front of a crate and places his hands on it, back facing me. “Stepping outside the tried and tested bounds of my education as a MedCorps specialist,” he says to the wall, “I’ll tell you what I think.” He’s fiddling absentmindedly with a spring-loaded latch on one of the crates, pulling it down so that it springs back up again with a *clunk* sound. “It’s a matter of adjustment and integration. Your symptoms are worsening because you’re rejecting context, the present context of your life here in your family compound, and they’ll continue to worsen as you continue to separate yourself from the essence of your human environment. All of the feedback you require is here: you just aren’t accepting it. My opinion? I mean, it’s not an informed opinion … yet, but here it is: the matter is pedagogal. Or, perhaps more concisely, one of love. You can’t accept the love of your family so you can’t reintegrate into their system. FEED met your needs and fulfilled the role of a caretaker for most of your life. It is, in fact, the best form of pedagogy we’ve invented. Lacking that, you’re forced to return to a less efficient love application context. In effect you’ve been spoiled on FEED and, naturally, refuse to re-commit to your original born context.”

  His back being turned, caught up in his monologue, this is my moment to act. For a split second I achieve timelessness and, frozen in that synaptic instance, know that to access the app I need to intuit the password state. It’s going to be something that I’d come up with, as we’re effectively the same person, but I have no time to think of what it might be. Instead I simply need to input it. He and I, entangled by adjustment therapy as best as two individuals are able be bound within the same identity, will always reliably come to the same intuitive conclusions. So I use my password, whatever it is. It’s something in my mystical gut that runs up my brain stem, spreads out across my gray matter and then zaps back down into my muscles which contract to resemble the shape of a personal secret. The app reacts and, in an instant, I tumble from my knees to flop uselessly on the floor. The flutter of vibes, normally so quaint and comforting, reverberates throughout my body as the app floods me with police-strength incapacitants. My muscles, inundated, refuse to respond. My ears are ringing and I can’t hear what Swayze is saying as he turns around and, after blinking in mild [shock], quickly becomes [disappointed]. He stuffs his hands into the trouser pockets of his practicals and walks around the cot to stand over me, staring down at my supine and useless body. Shaking his head he says, in a voice that sounds like a bullhorn from the moon, “I can’t believe you thought we were that stupid.”

10 October 2013


  “Yes?” Swayze’s head pokes out of the tent flap. I prepare myself and turn to him, my hands shaking and clutching one another. His face is unshaven like mine. His hair is a loose fluttery mullet like mine. His eyes are bloodshot from a lack of restful sleep like mine. His untrimmed fingernails are clogged with black grit like mine. Aside from our clothing a plane of imaginary glass in between us provides the function of a mirror as we make eye contact in the hazy sunlight. Above us, like rolling thunder, a stampede of many small feet rushes down the hall above us followed by the plonk-plonk of a metal rod beating the walls. Y’Ok bleats out a muffled call of “YARD, YARD.” The kitchen rings with the clatter of utensils hitting the steel bottom of a deep basin filled with water. My twin by design shatters the glass by pursing his lips and saying “You don’t look so good.” I raise a trembling hand to brush hair out of my eyes and try to offer him a reassuring smile. “I heard you’ve been learning the farming trade…” he trails off as I extend my arms out and the sleeves of my purple Big Dogs sweatshirt pull back to reveal open sores running up my arms. Hissing through his teeth at the sight of injury, like I do, he beckons for me to enter the tent. I hesitate and pull my sleeves back up, shaking my head, “I’ve overstayed my welcome.”

  When I turn to go he calls me by his own name, my old name, which stops me dead in my tracks. When I turn around he has his hand over his mouth as his eyes flit about the room. “Come in,” he says with haste, “Just get in here.” I plod over, hunched with worry, glancing over my shoulder to ensure that nobody sees us together. “Lets start over,” he says as he offers me a seat on his cot. Last time I was in here it was an absolute mess of crates, scattered medical supplies, various pieces of cloth and Link2Link tent piping. Now there’s space. The crates, stacked no higher than six tall, line the walls in a broken circle from one side of the tent flap all the way around the room to the other. One corner seems to be dedicated to dismantling found electronics, the fruits of which are bunched into a mess simultaneously sleek, sharp and frayed. I can identify a small white box on the ground next to the pile as an ArchiveFD Lexicon. These devices are a rare piece of FEED external hardware designed to accept as many dated input formats as possible. Old data storage devices are plugged in and the device performs the crudely simple task of translating ancient file systems to FEED, where the contents are stored and can be browsed on an app via the ArchiveFD framework. This means Swayze’s enjoyed scavenging the local area for pre-plague treasure while I’ve been slaving away on the roof in the hot sun helping haul and attach sewage processing collection tanks to and from the pods. What a piece of shit.

9 October 2013


Heavy thumps from the stairs anticipate the end of night soil processing and the arrival of the building’s horticulturalists. Several pairs of stomping feet come tumbling like stones down the steps, spilling into the connecting hallway and coming to rest in the archway across from my seat. Their lint greys are spattered with black and brown stains, lending them all the grimy charm of a pack of outmile mutts. They linger on the landing to greet the dining assembly with silence and stares, directed mostly at the floor. Creeping along in from behind them drifts the mungy smell of their work. “Yatta, heel,” says the sole female of the group and points to the floor between her feet. A tiny black-haired girl, no more than four, dismounts her stool and slogs with all of the enthusiasm of a condemned prisoner to stand in front of the woman who appears too exhausted to scold her for not being prompt. They exit, leaving five men behind who seem incapable of speaking or doing anything besides standing in the archway and blinking at the bright lights.

The dining tables are motionless for minutes. Nobody takes any food. Y’Ok clears his throat with an unhealthy rumble and deposits a fat wad of nose cheese into one of the thin pockets of his Wayfarer outdoorsman’s vest. I examine the workers and recognize half of them, unable to place their names. Their saggy faces are part of the rotten tapestry of home. In the morning you can see them marching upstairs. What do they do up there? They turn the roof soil by hand and trowel, fiddle with the GREENEnergy biofuel conversion processing for hours and hours trying to get the absolute perfect balance for most efficient synthesis down to the farthest and most alien decimal point, wipe their foreheads on their grimy sleeves, frown to crack their chapped lips, crank the water filtration pump, rake endless tides of black decombination residue out of the rain catch. They sit and watch individual leaves on individual plants for any sort of insect and, once spotted, pluck the offender off by the grit of their calluses and squash them into paste with a motion not unlike rolling a cigarette at the tips. They spritz things with whatever they keep in their bottles, they stare at the sky trying to divine the week’s weather from the unfolding calligraphy of the clouds, they scratch themselves. Sometimes they stand on the very lip of the roof, rubber-shod heels resting upon air, for no discernable reason besides, perhaps, the notion that toppling backwards wouldn’t be a half bad vacation. They do the work to feed us. Nobody bothers or hassles them, most everyone stands up for them in an argument, and four times a year they make contact with a MedCorps Outreach rep to discuss the state of equipment and suss out their increasing debt pile accruing on a FEED wallet they don’t even have access to yet.

13 September 2013