mandag 14. mars 2011
Growing Dread: Biopunk Visions - Necrosis
Growing Dread: Biopunk Visions is an anthology of short stories set in a future where biotechnology and genetic engineering is the ultimate technology and solution. But what premises and horrors does this technology entail?
My story in the anthology is a biopunk / horror story titled Necrosis.
The anthology is available from Timid Pirate Publishing and can be preordered now at a 20 percent discount!
I saw the call for submissions to the anthology on twitter by cyberpunk enthusiast and fellow writer @NateCrowder .
Since I love William Gibson's cyberpunk The Sprawl trilogy and cyberpunk short story collection Burning Chrome, and am a classically trained neurobiologist with some biotech experience, I had to write a story for the biopunk anthology.
I'm very honored and happy that my story was included in the anthology.
At first I found it difficult to think up something that didn't include the most commonly used cyberpunk tropes.
But then I started thinking about a part of biomedical research and even digital research that has been used as a theme in cyberpunk and science fiction in general, but whose conclusion I have often disagreed with:
The hunt for regeneration, healing and immortality by digital or biotechnological means, and the "control" our own evolution, as some futurists have claimed we will be able to do.
On the other side of the biomedical uncanny valley
What if this were possible? What form would it take, and what, if any, unpleasant surprises would lie in wait for us at the other end of the biomedical uncanny valley?
That became the basis for my contribution to the anthology.
To break further with the standard cyberpunk tropes, I tried to make the story more esthetic and florid than is common in cyberpunk, and to use more elaborate language in the dialogue.
I envisioned that in this future, language had grown more formal and complex among certain parts of the population because they had the means of boosting their IQ and wanted to show it in their interactions with other people.
So instead of language becoming more informal, as it is today compared with for example the 1800s, it had gone back to a more formal style.
I also played a lot with biological and biotechnological terms, of course. :)
I hope you will enjoy Necrosis!
Here's a short excerpt from early in the story:
But before the agent could step into the breach, there was something he had to do. He took a high-pressure injector from his coat pocket and pressed it against the side of his neck. The liquid hissed across his skin, into the bloodstream, with a minimum of pain and tissue damage. The precious sensation took effect: the anti-inhibitor enzymes neutralized the many hormone inhibitors in the water and air, and some said, even in the fabric of clothing, supplied by the public health authorities to keep the population healthy and happy. To Peterson, unbridled biology was a high in itself. Colors were sharper, smells more intense, sounds more vivid. He felt alive and excited, but also tense and fearful due to the potentially life threatening situation he was in. However, it was much better than the dull haze of not caring, of not even being bored, that the hormone inhibitors induced. The injections were a taste of freedom—of dangerous, natural, unmodified life.