Friday, August 03, 2007

Man plus tech equals what?

Posted by Dr Ian Hocking at 2:26 AM
Frederick Pohl's Man Plus introduced us to the squishy geekment of computer-enhanced human sensory abilities and bionic prosthetics - but that, of course, was the future, back in 1976. If you really need to tool-up, cyborgically-speaking, with today's technology, how might you go about it? Over at Free Geekery, there's a guide for enthusiasts that includes implanting RFID chips in your hand (give your house a wave and it will open up), wearing contact lenses to improve the acuity of your vision beyond 20/20, and connecting a computer to your actual brains.

All of this is technically mundane, and if you're up for submitting a story to Interzone's Mundane issue, maybe something in that post will provide inspiration. From the article:
If you continue to carry out your transformation research with earnest, you eventually will encounter Kevin Warwick, a professor at the University of Reading and the first human cyborg. Warwick carried out a series of experiments that involved the neuro-surgical implantation of a device into the median nerves of his left arm. This device linked his nervous system directly to a computer so that he could assess the latest technology for use with the disabled. He also has been successful with the first extra-sensory (ultrasonic) input for a human and with the first purely electronic communication experiment between the nervous systems of two humans — actually, between Warwick and his wife, Irene.


Blogger Jetse de Vries said...

Hi Ian--

(I'm assuming you're the same person I met at EasterCon in Chester. Otherwise, my apologies.)

I didn't know -- or realise -- you were part of the mundanistas. At EasterCon Geoff came to me discussing a possible 'mundane SF' issue of Interzone, and we worked things out pretty much as they are happening (with the mutual understanding of both our teams, of course).

My personal impression is that there are a lot of writers -- although most of them not big names, but some of them definitely talented -- are trying very hard to write a mundane SF story, and I hope Trent, Julian and Geoff -- not sure who is reading all these stories -- are getting a *lot* of submissions.

Actually, several writers of the IZ May email reading period asked me if they could submit to the mundane issue as well, and I said: "of course you can!"

I'd say that 3 or 4 of the 18 stories I lifted from the May slush are basically 'mundane SF', but I have the (relative) luxury to select what I think is best, not what strictly adheres to certain rules.

In any case, I think you guys will be getting quite a few good stories. Actually, I hope that you will deliver us a selection of stories that will make us at IZ go 'wow'!

If I wasn't an Interzone editor myself, I would try you with a story. As it is, we consider it highly unethical for an editor to publish her/his own stories in her/his own magazine, so I'll try some other market with it (and it's not quite finished yet).

Looking forward to what you come up with!

8/03/2007 03:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jetse

Yep, this is the very same Ian you met at Eastercon! I'm interested in the mundane movement as something that looks at SF that is a little closer to home...though I haven't yet written any mundane SF (my novels make use of time travel, which is a no-no).

I'm excited too about the IZ issue and was going to submit something, but your comment has made me wonder whether being a 'mundanista' (great word) puts me out of the game somewhat...but the issue should be great for giving the wider community a feel for what the mundane is, or can be.


8/03/2007 04:31:00 PM  
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