Brevity is the width of soul.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Writer

He had been born with books already in his mind, word by perfect word, and the compulsion to write them. Who had put them there, how, and with what purpose, were things he didn't know. He suspected dangerous reasons, and the very texture of what he typed made him shiver at times.

But he never stopped writing.


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Any Given Day

Not having read The Man Who Was Thursday, a group of five intelligence agencies managed to unknowingly create between them a terrorist cell with no actual terrorists in it. Each member, to maintain cover, pushed for an attack. All of them agreed in the hope of catching the higher-ups.


Friday, October 26, 2007

The Six Faces of Divinity

Newton wrote about alchemy and angels. Einstein was more discreet.

Or perhaps he didn't forgive God for his method of judgment, nor Heisenberg for proving it.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Ninth Way

A combination of advanced psychotherapy and very specific chemicals can permanently free your mind of consumerism.

If you can afford them.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Statistical Inference

Statistically speaking, out of more than six billion people you should get at least one super-genius, somebody truly in another league. Do you know who she is? And if we don't, what does it tell you about what she might be doing?


Thursday, October 18, 2007

The King

The ship is almost too small for you, as all places are, but you suffer patiently. You are willingly chained, a prisoner by your own choice. The tiny humans only think they captured you; sustenance was growing scarce in the island, and something tells you they are taking you to a richer land to rule.

Maybe you will start by eating the blond female.


Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Shadow Behind

His murders didn't look like murders, so he was never pursued, and thus never caught. Nobody but him counted them; two hundred bodies by the night of his fortieth birthday.

He thought about retiring while he was the best, but a thought knotted his gut. He couldn't be sure.

He had no choice but to keep going, hope he was winning, ignore the nightmares about a faceless man recording names on a book thicker than his.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Harmony of Lies

She was like Mozart, you see. She built a successful cover identity when she was six. By age twelve she had a dozen names. Could have been a field agent before she was sixteen, but instead she got killed in a gruesome accident.

That's all in the records. But now we have for the first time a female director in the Agency, and of course the names, looks and ages don't match, and I will never be able to prove anything, but... would you tell me, Madam, if you...?

No, I'm not joking. And no, you are not the first woman I ask.


Monday, October 8, 2007

Modern Education

After cellphones became implantable schools started taking tests inside Faraday cages, but the IM isolation was very hard on most kids. Eventually the schools gave up, as open network exams were better predictors of job performance anyway. They didn't bother making a big announcement; the Education Minister just told his son, and assumed everybody else would find out.


Friday, October 5, 2007

E pluribus

She was too dangerous to be left unchecked, but too useful to destroy. So they split her mind in pieces, each personality having a few of her skills and some of her drive. Good enough. Just not too good. It seems to be working.

It's not. They are conspiring, from clues and fragments reconstructing her plans, mimicking selfhood with teamwork. Some of them refuse, reject the bloodshed and violence of what they had in mind back when they were one.

Some of them, but not all.


Thursday, October 4, 2007

The deeper meaning of life, love, and everything in between

He had been for a long time a very serious, nervous kid. He was convinced that if he messed up, if he let go of the damns and rules he had built in his mind, something awful would happen for sure. After a few years he realized how silly this was. How much he was hurting himself.

He let go. A few weeks later his father died.

Maybe it was just a coincidence.


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Naked Gaze

By 2011, widespread surveillance systems and sophisticated data integration algorithms allowed governments for the first time to develop an accurate understanding of the private activities of the general population.

What they discovered was so disturbing that they took down their own cameras, labeled everything Top Secret, and hoped nobody would ever find out.