Archive for February, 2011

sun pilot

February 28, 2011

A rival trading concern plants a spy in a caravan. He tries to sabotage the return voyage in the middle of the desert, breaking the astrolabe and blinding the camel drivers. He plans to rendevous with another company of his employer’s men.

some kind of fire

February 27, 2011

I made plans to take a piece of it – to copy it, so I could spread its influence to my group. But my research showed that while splitting it was possible, the process would take a long time. I would have to have continual access to it during that time. So I tried to take it away from you. You caught me in the attempt, and I wound up extinguishing it. I blame you for not sharing it.



February 26, 2011

The monuments explaining radioactive waste will have to last for at least 10,000 years. The examples we have of man-made structures that have lasted 10,000 years can be counted on one hand, and we don’t fully understand them. One engineer was working to make the markings as permanent as possible, based on ideas he had about how hair clumps together, so you can pick up a clump of cut hair as a single item. He wanted to find and use a similar property to make the lettering on his inscriptions self-repairing. He died after his synthetic liver reacted badly to anti-biotics (a flaw of many early synthetic organs). His daughter-in-law took over for his work after his death and as a side effect was able to use the results to restore monuments from pre-historic sites such as Gobleki Tepe and Nevali Corli.

job system

February 25, 2011

After playing through several simulations youth come of age must choose between being sterilized and entering the workforce and consumer culture, or sign up for a more austere, regminted life raising children with voting privileges after several years.


February 24, 2011

A former political figure whose career was ended by a scandal hires a mentally unstable bodyguard whose frantic rantings successfully deter anyone from bothering him.


February 23, 2011

An expatriate asks his girlfriend to translate a letter he received in the mail. It’s from his doctor, informing him that he has tested postivie for an STD.

chemical dioptemeter

February 22, 2011

You go to the optometerist, he puts some drops in your eyes, shows you a two-to-four minute movie of letters and shapes going in and out of focus. At the end he comes back from hitting on the receptionist and wipes your eyes to pick up the crust that has dried on the corner of your eyes. he drops that into a machine which spits out your prescription. Now do you want glasses, contacts, laser surgery, or chemical surgery? You can’t get any heads up display with the last two. Yet.


February 21, 2011

A group of multi-generational interstellar colonists splits into two communities when it reaches a certain size. The process was modeled by the forefathers of the expedition after biological cell division. One crucial part of the split into two groups is called the metaphase: everyone is paired or grouped with others of similar job or function within the colony, and then each pair or group is divided so that one goes to colony A, the other to colony B. But this time a certain group is unhappy with the division and tries to take power to prevent it.


February 20, 2011

Now they have bamboo that grows stronger than steel, and it’s taken over part of the meadow. The pasture has been grazed down, and won’t spring back anymore. The livestock cannot eat the bamboo, which is why it flourishes so. I hear they;re working on a cow that can digest it, but somebody should be afraid that it will eat the building the birth it in. I’m trying to save up for a saw that will cut it, but I don’t think I’ll get there before we go bust.


February 19, 2011

One a Saturday afternoon, as I was digging up part of the backyard in preparation for installing a basketball court, I found a large hole that had been hidden by the grass. At first I guessed it belonged to a raccoon, a possum or some other medium-sized mammal. But suddenly comes floating up, with marshmallows falling out of her overladen arms, a plump fairy. Now she hangs out and watches TV with me. “You coming to the processional next week?” she asks, while putting cheese on a cracker. “Remind me why i should?” I say. “To show respect for our community, and thus that you are not a threat that needs to be dealt with.”