Posted this in various guises over the last year or so, it seems finally to be taking shape after merging with another idea I had - a la advice posted on OSC's splendid workshop. Looking for any comments you might have on this frag, also looking for readers of the first chapter (approx 1200 words) if any of you feel compelled enough to read on...
The drugs may have been virtual, but the comedown was sure enough real. As if I needed reminding of that grim fact, a pop-up box invaded my field of vision and warned me: RETOX DUE IN 15 MINUTES! And counting… Between the three of us sharing our student digs - a rented Victorian townhouse on the outskirts of Peckham - we probably had the largest collection of drug-simulators in the country. Our collective PDA drive was stuffed full of untold narcoware programmes, in theory enough canned emotions and plastic personalities to keep a group of hairy-arsed, tax-dodgers out of their heads for the next millennia or so. Unfortunately it’s no good owning some of the finest neurocode
[This message has been edited by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (edited February 18, 2007).]
I'm a little mixed on this opening, probably because I'm not sure the narrator is consistent... or I'm not understanding it. The narrator is on a virtual drug and has lots of drug-simulators at hand. And drug programs. But in the next gasp the narrator says that there's no hardware available. So how is he on the virtual drug? This is why I am confused.
Also, I'm not sure "narcoware" equates to canned emotion and personalities?? where's the drug element?
Like the idea, but it could be presented in a clearer manner.
I'd presume that "hardware" in this case meant a neurological interface capable of transmitting the simulated experience to the user's brain with sufficient resolution and bandwidth.
The clarity is a problem, and probably not a minor one. For myself, I just don't like the voice, and a bunch of guys with buttloads of narcoware they can't even run sound like total lamers to me. But I don't think it's all that bad technically, just off-market.
Cheers Will, I've just mailed you the first chapter.
Thanks to you all for commenting though, I've rearranged the opening and brought some of the later stuff forward to hopefully clear up the confusion, does it work any better? Are there any other problems?
The drugs may have been virtual, but the comedown was sure enough real. As if I needed reminding of that grim fact, a pop-up box invaded my field of vision and warned me: RETOX DUE IN 15 MINUTES! And counting… Thanks to a recent government crackdown on the abuse of controlled technologies, we had been snorting amateur biocircuitry developed out of materials we’d lifted from the University lab; the kind of crude self-assembling networks that had the nasty habit of firing across the wrong synapse from time to time. How was I supposed to forget the world and plug into my Nirvana State whilst twitching like a
I think we may be getting that a drug addict is an unsympathetic character.
If that's generally true, you can fix it by making him sympathetic in some way *before* the "why do I care about this guy?" kicks in. Or you can make him an interesting unsympathetic character. For me, what worked was his cleverness with language.