Monthly Archives: May 2014

Drugs in the Zeitgeist Sounds Like A Good Name For Your Post-Industrial Band

Stay with me for a second, I’m going to recap my book, but this isn’t about promotion.

I wrote Rx: A Tale of Electronegativity, a weird little cyberpunk novel about a society whose primary form of entertainment is custom drug cocktails. They have Feeds in all of their homes, like we have cable connections. The Feeds are tiny 3D printers, and the user subscribes to blocks of chemicals as we would channels, which they use to build the drugs they want. The main character, Red, is a beta tester — somebody that tests out the early versions of new corporate concoctions to work the bugs out before release. There’s a lot I’m leaving out in that description, but I would like to introduce you to the plot synopsis of Daryl Gregory’s Afterparty now:

Any high school student with a chemjet and an internet connection could download recipes and print small-batch drugs. The creative types liked to fuck with the recipes, try them out on their friends. People swallowed paper all the time without knowing what they were chewing. Half the residents of the NAT ward weren’t addicts; they were beta testers.

Again, there’s a lot I’m leaving out of the description of that book. But wow, look at the similarities! Now, we all have a negative bias towards stuff like this on the internet, but I want to make it clear I’m not calling plagiarism or anything. Daryl Gregory never heard of me or my strange little book before he got his publishing deal. This is kind of how science fiction works: You look at emerging tech, and the direction our society is headed in, and you extrapolate out something cool, strange, or ridiculous from that. Then you tell a story in that space.

Daryl and I both just happened to look at the emergence of 3D printers; at the new smart pharmaceuticals and the increasing acceptance of their role in our culture; at tech fetishism and early adoption, and we both arrived at 3D printed smart drugs with seemingly impossible effects, and the shift from “addict” to “beta tester.” On the one hand, I think that’s pretty damn cool. On the other hand, I think that’s pretty damn concerning. If multiple authors are starting to extrapolate out this kind of future from our present, there might be something to it, and neither of our worlds were all that pleasant.

I’m not saying we’ll have a god drug, like in Afterparty, or uh…stairwell-dwelling phallus kings like in my ridiculous abomination, but there’s clearly something in the zeitgeist with 3D printing, smart drugs, and home users. While having your own custom drug-machine sounds great, there are some very worrying implications to wide-spread smart drugs. For example, check out this story about the implications of a proposed ‘anti-love drug.’ One of which was “curing” homosexuals…

My memory’s a little faulty, and there was a lot going on, but I do believe I saw an advert for “No-Gay” in the background of an issue of Transmetropolitan. I guess I just start to worry when we, as a species, start striving for a world that Warren Ellis wrote.

Fashion Tips!

Fashion Tip #1: Wear clothes, at least around machinery.

Fashion Tip #2: Or don’t!

Fashion Tip #3: Actually, wear whatever the fuck you want, and if people give you shit, flip them the bird and then stick your middle finger down their throat until they puke on themselves. Who’s the “walking faux pas” now, pukeshirt?

Fashion Tip #4: Get a good pair of boots and a reversible belt.

How to keep things in perspective

Phrasing 1: I have so much work to do, there’s hardly any time to do what I want. I wonder if I’m sacrificing my life for my work, and if that’s worth it in the long run.

Phrasing 2 – Be Specific: The work I have to do is editing articles about interesting things for accuracy, and punching up the jokes wherever possible. The things I want to do are riding my motorcycle, because it’s nice outside and it won’t always be, so I have to take advantage of that.

Phrasing 3 – Think of Harder Problems Than Your Own: There are people in the world making tough decisions about the health and well-being of their children.

Phrasing 4 – Compare Problems: Right now somebody is wrestling a crocodile for their own baby. While I don’t want to get paid handsomely to read interesting things and write dick jokes because it’s sunny out and I would rather race about on my ten-thousand dollar freedom machine.

Solution: I will shut up and do my work. Maybe I will open a window, as a special treat.