Part of the fun of reading science fiction is learning about new tech items that the author dreamed up. Sometimes they go overboard and everything in the everyday world of the characters is something new and cool. I hate that. It makes things feel fake and I like the tech in SF novels to be unobtrusive, only bringing it out when you need it.
My favorite author, Richard K. Morgan, did this in a big way in Altered Carbon with the sentient hotel called The Hendrix. A sentient hotel! It played a small role in the overall story, but it was significant for the ending. I loved The Hendrix because it had badass weapons system built into its lobby and saved Kovacs butt in one particular scene. Plus, it was named after Jimi Hendrix, how cool is that?
I added my own sentient dwelling in Clutch, the first book in my I Am Just Junco science fiction series. I’m not going to tell you anymore because I like how the reader discovers this little tidbit of information in the story.
Sometimes it’s hard to come up with new gadgets. I mean most of the cool ones have been taken in some form or another. Even Ender’s Game author Orson Scott Card admitted to lifting the idea of the Ansible from Ursula K. Le Guin in her 1966 novel Rocannon’s World.
So, yeah I lifted the sentient dwelling from Richard K. Morgan. But he lifted his hyperspatial needlecast from Le Guin as well. So we’re all even!
But there is another piece of tech that I added, sort of as an afterthought to clarify another point in the second book, which really caught my attention once I invented it.
I mean, have you ever wanted to try out that killer flying armbar you saw on the latest MMA Smackdown on your best friend, but weren’t sure if killing him was such a good idea when you crashed his head into the concrete basement floor?
Enter the holomat – a completely programmable 3-D application in real time that will let you visualize in all your favorite MMA moves and kill over and over again, with nary a single drop of blood to soil your bedroom carpet.
Yes, kiddies, you too can learn to kill in the privacy of your own room and hey, if you screw up and get your butt kicked, you can just reset it and try again!
I love the holomat.
I also love a certain secret weapon that Junco has…I really can’t tell you more about this little horror – that’s a spoiler if ever there was one. But I will say this – it’s enough to scare the crap out of the most powerful man in the Solar System.
Check out Clutch, the first book in the I Am Just Junco science fiction series over at Amazon for 99 cents. When you’re done reading leave me a review and let me know what you thought of the tech in the book – but no spoilers please!