Thus does my time as a regular presence at the mic here come to a close. It's been an amazing month, and I've learned a lot from you guys--I hope you've all gotten something out of my posts here. It was a strange cross-pollination of ideas, given that I live on a very different patch of the genre farm, but I think a fascinating one.
If you want to follow my fiction work, I have an extensive website with a lot of free material on it as well as my own blog. You can find me in print or digital form anywhere you usually go to obtain books. I'm on Twitter at @catvalente.
It seems so incredibly true to me, not least because I do knit and garden and make my own pickles. It speaks to the essential humanness and strangeness of the future, the impossibility of predicting even your own timeline. The future is code and it is robots and it is virtual environments--and it is also raising chickens and growing food and forming collective communities in real, physical space. It is creating a more interesting hybrid of wild science fiction envisionings and, well, the dream of the 1890s.
The future, God willing and the robots don't rise, is a table where we choose what we want from a vast array of dishes. Some are set high up, out of our reach unless we have the money, the right connections, the right name, the right nationality, the right gender. Some are hidden, some glisten before us with all the plenty we ever imagined. What we desire, what we reach out our hands to take and what we reject, will be different for everyone. We take weird slices of skills and cultural memes from the past and graft them onto the distributed network of our current technological lives and this thing is created, this very old, very new culture, and that will never stop happening. Some of the leftover scrap-code of the old world--and the world, she is always ending and starting again, just about every year, just about every month--are terrible and harmful, and some are good and necessary for social primate satisfaction. That's part of life in the postmodern dire-circus. You pick and choose. A little of this religion, a little of that science, a dash of machine-automation, a pinch of making it from scratch with your own hands. It must, of necessity and by nature, be a patchwork of human ambition and human failure and endless, endless iteration--and it's really hard, most of the time, to tell which is the zenith and which is the nadir.
The future is a fairy tale. The past is exposition. And I, a poor player upon the stage, exeunt left, and if I am very lucky, I will find myself pursued by a self-programming, cybersentient autobear. Who knows how to knit.