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Monthly Archives: August 2007

“I remember those nights, planning technologies that didn’t exist yet, outsider science, futurist dreaming, half-magical. The things I could do outside the unversity setting, now that I didn’t have to wait for the pompous fools at the college! I was building another science, my science, wild science, robots and lasers and disembodied brains. A science that buzzed and glowed; it wanted to do things. It could get up and walk, fly, fight, sprout garish glowing creations in the remotest parts of the world, domes and towers and architectural fever dreams. And it was angry. It was mad science.”

The words of Doctor Impossible, from Austin Grossman’s excellent “Soon, I will be invincible”

Warren Ellis, on his creation of another mad scientist: Doktor Sleepless:

“I was ready to do another big piece of political sf, and I knew what I wanted to talk about. I wanted to talk about the subsumation of authenticity into fiction. I wanted to talk about liars, on a grand scale. I wanted to talk about the end of the world, in the major and the minor. And I wanted to talk about where I think we are today, and where we could end up in ten or fifteen years. The motor of innovation and novelty is really kind of cranked up right now, but, in contrast, the general culture is still in a sort of post-millennial shock, just laying there and drooling over its nipples.”

The just-announced Call-For-Papers for Etech 2008:

At the 2008 version of ETech, the O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, we’ll take a wide-eyed look at the tech that’s just arriving and cast a cynical one at some that have been emerging for too long. From robotics, health care, and space travel to gaming, finance, and art, we’ll explore promising technologies that are just that–still promises–and renew our sense of wonder at the way technology is influencing and altering our everyday lives.

A theme (ahem) emerging?

Ellis’ Tony Stark took a pop at Etech (and I joined in, embolded by the lead taken by a fictional alcoholic billionaire superhero) and the somewhat introverted web-centricity of it in his run on Iron Man a few years back.

Perhaps with Shellhead poised for mainstream glory, it’s time for science heroes again?

Perhaps, at last, some genuine outbreaks of the future…

PAGE ONE:

[scene] A kitchen, close-up on a clock on the wall. it's about twenty to eight in the morning. "Black Mirror" by Arcade Fire is playing.

PIC1: dolly back from clock to slightly wider shot of a room – a kitchen that's been turned into a mess of notes, lines drawn in string, marker pen on old 70s wallpaper, a Human League poster, equations, question marks, memorabilia from the 50s, a poster for international geophysical year.

DD: TODAY I CHANGE MY NAME

PIC2: dolly back further to see a kitchen table with someone – a slight man with unkempt dark hair slumped forward on it – seemingly asleep.

DD: ME – AND A THOUSAND AND TWENTY-THREE OTHERS, STOP BEING WHO WE WERE, AND BECOME WHO WE'RE GOING TO BE.

PIC3: dolly back further through the kitchen window to a typical suburban street.

DD: DURRAN.

PIC 4: dolly-back and raise camera to a wide shot of a surburban estate on the edge of a large, dense, dark, decadent and decaying city

DD: TODAY I CHANGE MY NAME, AND WE START TO CHANGE THE WORLD.

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