Author: Tobias Buckell
Published: 2013 by Audible Frontiers
Collection: METAtropolis: Green Space
Genre: Science fiction, near future
Listing time: 110 min (just under 2 hours)
I read this as part of my reading challenge: 25 short stories in 25 days.
I have been listening to this over the last few hours and I have decided that this will be my story for the 28th because it is too good, not to give a separate post and I did finish it after midnight so I guess that is fair. That of course means that I will have to read a novel today, or at least not include any new stories I read in the challenge.
First of all, WTF is tensegrity, ok looking it up on wiki. I hate it when I don’t know what words mean, must know all the words… all the words. Ok it is something that “made strong by the unison of tensioned and compressed parts”. That does sound interesting.
Concepts: Augmented appearance, artificial limbs, cybernetic body upgrades, floating cities, artificial intelligence city, gender politics, identity, gamified work tasks, cooperate marxists, karma as valuta, negative population growth, transhumanism, turing test, extremism, contracting friendships
It is a story about grieving and how to get media to help you remember, and is that a good thing? Remembering, not forgetting and letting go.
Skyholm a floating artificial intelligent city. Sub-zero-gravity city floating over the world. People augmenting non-believers out of their reality. Gamified factories, negotiations, interrogations etc
In this story the world building exposition is done via dialog and it is quite effective. It puts the reader in the asking person’s mind and let them understand the answers and the world as that person understand it. Lets the reader wonders along with the asker and adds an extra layer of the reader’s own questions.
This story makes me question: What is reality, what is cultural overlays, bias overlaying the way we see the world, preserve our fellow-man, how we interpret events?
For the first time I have heard humanist used as a derogatory term. And in the context of this world building I guess that makes sense. Why are human life worth more than other life form’s life? We are just dumb apes, to use The Doctor’s turn of phrase.
The benefits of travel stated in a scientific way that I have never run into before.
Some great quotes:
“Humans are fucked up”
“Sure, we also used to be serfs. It is a valid economic system, doesn’t mean I want to live under it.”
“By letting a machine run our lifes?” […] “What should I let a human being, with all our greed, jealousies and bias do it? To be honest, I would rather a machine, than someone like do it.”
What a freaking great story! It really made me think – I am loving it! 5 stars from me. I gotta find an award to nominate this for.