Brevity is the width of soul.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

CEO Eternal

ELIZA, money, and a lifetime of digital recordings meant the first dead e-billionaires left quite impressive ersatz selves behind. Deep inside the Uncanny Valley, mind you, but it minimized the hit to the stock price when they passed away, so pretty soon it was a standard requirement from venture capital.

There was but a step from recording to tampering, and from tampering to design. Soon the inspiring CEO went the way of the Head of State and the movie superstar.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Abundance Issues

I woke up to find on my desktop three new eyephones, seven aphrodisiac RFID tattoos, and what I hoped was a parody of a Nigerian sex toy.

I clearly needed a new firewall for my microfab.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

For Lack of Wax

It wasn't a surprise that data mining found patterns. But nobody had expected a closed form expression for individual-specific desirability, certainly not one that could be maximized by algebraic means.

The things found later in researchers' monitors looked nowhere near human, and there was terror in the faces of the corpses lying in front of them.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

How to Conquer the World

Asia first, all at once. Symbol-tiled Europe. Then the rest of the world in a sweeping tide. All except one city. On that city, one street. On that street one room.

Systematically, deliberately, and with no mercy or pause, Fred forgot the existence of everything but the room where he sat in quiet glory, the first man to conquer the world.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Nothing on TV, Cannot Sleep

If you had the time and inclination (but who does?) to check them word by word, you'd notice that Gideon Bibles are each subtly different. Sometimes is a name in a long family line, sometimes a sermon's detail.

In a few, very few, after the Resurrection comes something called the Coronation. If after noticing that you opened the curtains... but who does?


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Search

When he was gone we lied to ourselves that he had never been there. What else could we do? The pain was too much. But then he came back, and at the same moment we all knew that he was here again — and we all decided we would find where.

Some raze down houses and wait for survivors. Some lie on the grass searching the clouds. Some look for him in bedfuls of flesh, in white powders, in innocent laughter. I scout the museums myself.

We all know he's here. We all want to seek him out. Maybe we aren't all on the same page as to what we'll do (with him, to him, joyfully or not) once we succeed, but damn it, we are all looking for God.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Distance Dating

I wrote a haiku. It's a love poem, spelled with the first letter of the names of those I have killed.

It's addressed to no-one in particular, but I can't imagine not falling in love with whoever finds and answers it.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The King is Dead

If the castle had been better lighted, or more cheerful, or less sad. If clergy dared enter it. If the old King had had a less forceful personality, or a gentler death. But the castle was sad, cursed, and dark, and the King's death — at the moribund hands of his last surviving son — had been anything but kind.

It's a terrifying place, that castle, and a worse sight is its Lord. But his people take a dark pride in their spectral ruler, and there has been no dynastic war for as far as memory can go back.


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Not You

She's just a decision to your left, a single decision that didn't change her life but now transfixes her soul with pain. She knows what it was; she hardly thinks of anything else. When she looks in the mirror, she can see herself not having made that choice. She sees the respite she will never have.

You are right to feel nervous when you stare for too long at the eyes on the mirror. She hates you, and she's trying to find a way in.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Voice

You hadn't been thinking about the prospects of war. It was for the Government to decide and for soldiers to fight. You kept aloof and cool, and your mind was elsewhere while you opened the next message in your phone.

Do You Want The War?

asked the message.

Yes        No

It took you a couple of seconds to understand what you were reading, but only at a conscious level. The rest of you had already read the message and answered the question without deciding to, your hand tilting minutely to the option your heart favored. Just a little bit. Enough for your phone's accelerometer to register it and send it forth to be tallied.

The message disappeared. You stood where you were, trying to reclaim the feeling of being cool and aloof. Nobody on the street was meeting anybody else's eyes.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009


There's this cave in Greece --- it turns out Plato was a very literal guy. Poets and mystics used it as a door, until an NSA front bought and fenced it up.

P=NP, but no mathematician will ever find the proof. It's ideally locked up in a safe deposit box.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Morituri Rex

Sometimes you wonder how it must have felt to be King of England a century ago. No real power. Little influence. Few close relatives trying to kill you. It must have been paradise. But you carry in your DNA the Royal Cryptographic Keys, which might as well be a molecular target. Poisons, snipers, lovers with knives. Pretty much everything has been tried against you or one of your body doubles before, and you still survive. As the eldest child of the reigning King, you stand to become Queen when he dies.

If he dies before you do. You used to suspect he'd rather kill you than hope you will be patient and wait for his death. Some of the latest assassination attempts against you, after all, had been rather old-fashioned. But now you know. He is trying to kill you --- he just fired his bullet a long time ago.

There's an undiagnosed genetic propensity to suicide cleverly hidden in your well-designed DNA, and the gun you always keep under your pillow seems to call your hand.