I watched Question Time the other night, the one with the racist nut on it and was struck by a comment from one of the questioners in the audience who seemed to have some kind of beef with some of the language being used.
You can see her full comment for yourself here on YouTube, I’ve linked to the specific bit in the video.
But here’s the text of the bit I’m referring to…
The parties must listen because, one of the things, I am sitting here and every time Jack Straw or somebody or one of the panel says ‘Afro-Caribbean’, I am cringing…Afri-CAN Ca-RIB-bean!
Talk about grammar Nazis! I missed the memo where ‘Afro-Caribbean’ was now an offensive term.
In Railroaded I thought of an easy way people could exchange personal information with mobile phones.
The other day I came across the ‘Bump‘ iphone app that now does exactly that. Instead of pressing a button you simply turn the app on and ‘bump’ the phones together.
I admit their execution is better but I still prefer my name for it!
Just downloaded it onto my iPhone, now I just need to find a willing victim to bump with…I mean ‘exstrange’ with.
Mr Salmon Rushdie uses it and say it’s his favourite app, maybe that’s how he pulls all those good-looking, tall women?
Below is the relevant bit from Railroaded, Chapter 1…
“Look I’m getting confused here. Things aren’t adding up. Why don’t we ‘exstrange info’ then we can see where we are.”
‘Exstrange Info’ was a term used to exchange personal information on mobile devices. Each person would hold their mobile device close to each other; press a button at the same time for one second and all relevant information would be stored in each other’s mobile device, therefore rendering each other ‘ex-strangers’.
Isaac apologised and said he didn’t have a mobile device.
I’m a science fiction fan but not a die-hard nerd so I had never heard of the sub-genre of ‘Mundane Science Fiction’.
Probably not a positively eye-catching sub-genre on the face of it but the idea behind it is it only uses science and technology that is either acheivable or extremely, very nearly acheivable.
I like this idea.
Spaceships, aliens, living on other planets, sentient robots, time-travel, etc are all sci-fi mainstays but they’re also way, way, way into the future…and that’s if they’re actually physically possible.
Mundane Sci-Fi deals in facts and near future, Earth based science fiction. The wikipedia page is good, listing a few ‘laws’ of mundane sci-fi.
There’s also a great blog, Mundane-SF that keeps you updated with non-lightspeed based science fiction. On that site I found this speech which is a great intro into mundane science fiction – ‘Take the Third Star on the Left and on til Morning!’ by Geoff Ryman
Railroaded is near future based in 2066 and I consciously stayed away from flamboyant flights of fancy and extrapolated every piece of technology on something existing today. I found it keeps the story more believable, helps shape it more realistically and therefore makes it better alround.
So I think I’d firmly place my sci-fi scribblings into the mudane category…you know, unless I think of a really great way to execute the aliens escaping from robots through wormholes idea.
The pain! The humiliation!
The second rejection for ‘Railroaded’ plus a rejection for a short story just to twist the knife a little more.
I’ve just finished another short story and going to start another one this weekend…because I just can’t get enough rejection in my life.