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text 2016-04-09 15:40
A Writing Competition about England's Future History

(reblogged from Bridget Whelan)


The website England’s Future History is looking for short stories between 500 and 3000 words set in England at any point in the future.


The organisers are clear what they don’t want:”… sci-fi, flying cars and jet packs…”


And they have ideas about the kind of stories they would like:
It could be the assassination of the Prime Minister, the future of housing in the country, or the day cancer is finally cured. We’re looking for personal accounts of similar events – were you there when the PM was killed, are you buying your first home in 2030 or was your dad the last person to die from cancer?


Is food a bit of a problem in the England of the future?



As new stories are published the events of these tales will be added to to the website’s timeline. They become the future history and your story has to fit in with the world they have created. Three stories have been selected so far. By the 2030s rats are farmed because they are a good source of protein and twenty years later we can engineer dreams and pay to have memories wiped. Towards the end of the century we’ve pretty much mastered the problem of recycling. Read the timeline in full HERE.


Read the rest of the article here.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-04-18 15:53
The Man in the High Castle

PKD writes about my favorite topic which is how we perceive reality. What is real? Can we actually tell? I may need to read more of his books.

Sensation and Perception was my favorite class doing my Psychology major. Well, some days I say it was Tests and Measurements. (Probably the ones where I do something involving tests.) Let's call it a tie. S&P covers the mechanics and functionality of the senses, how the brain works with them, and best of all: how to exploit the failings of them.

The concept of an alternate reality where perhaps the Axis Powers won World War II found me intrigued. While what if realities are done quite a bit in science fiction, I enjoyed PKD's take. I especially liked the hinting at our reality in The Grasshopper Lies Heavy and slow unveiling of what it says.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2014-08-14 01:35
Review: Perfection [Kindle Edition]
Perfection - J.L. Spelbring

In an alternate timeline where Hitler won WWII, Ellyssa is a genetically bioengineered model of perfection. With platinum blonde hair, azure blue eyes, and a perfect body, she is the dream of what Hitler was imagining. However, certain "improvements" have been added and The Center's "Children" also have super-powers that continue to grow and improve as they are treated like lab rats and told that emotion is an imperfection.


But to Dr. Hirch, the father of The Children, perfection hasn't been completed yet. In The Center's laboratories, he is looking to merge the genomes of the current Children to create a perfect being, with all of the powers in one person. Once that perfect child has been born, anyone who is less than perfect will no longer be needed.


When Ellyssa learns of the plan for complete genocide of the human race, to be replaced by perfect clones, she runs away from the Center, located in Chicago, and heads for Kansas City based on the mental cry of a prisoner. She soon finds herself in the middle of a group of Renegades.


This book has several problems:


First of all, the whole "removing of emotions." It can't happen. These aren't Cybermen, these are human beings who theoretically have hearts, and will therefore feel pride, accomplishment, or even despair if they fail to please their "Father."


Second of all, regarding "instant love": Ellyssa falls in love with the first man her age who is kind to her, and then he discovers loves her too, even though they spend more time apart then they do together. That is not realistic. Woody's gradual friendship and love for Ellyssa feels more normal, but of course she doesn't "understand" that he loves her. I'm not sure that she actually knows what love is, since it's an emotion that she had never experienced before and what she's describing could easily be lust instead of love... and how would she know the difference?


Last of all... and biggest spoiler - giant plot hole:

And last of all... the whole cloning aspect itself. The main plot is that the guy in charge of the Center wants to wipe out all humanity and replace them with clones, and he even wants to replace the prototypes (the current "children") that the clones will be based off of. And he thinks this is going to work without the prototypes finding out and getting angry? Anger is one of the few emotions allowed, and the children have also been programmed with a strong sense of self-preservation, so finding out that their father plans to kill them after he takes DNA samples from them and creates a more perfect being.... I can't imagine that that would go over well.

(spoiler show)


The second book, Flawed, has been released, and it will be interesting to see how if the book lives up to it's name, or if it surprises me by instead pulling the pieces together to answer the questions/issues listed in the first novel. These books have a lot of potential, but there are some obvious plot holes and other issues that need to be resolved in order for this series to succeed.


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