Me And My Friends Always Talk About Your Great Subject, It’s So Weird How This Thing I Always Thought Was Strange Is So Common, Do You Sponsor Guest-Posts On SEO Strategies? HA! HA! Because Just Yesterday My Father Plok Sr. Was Saying To Me…

…”That if I want to get ahead in this world I should write a bunch of 3,000 word posts on Semiotic Spider-Man.”

I fucking LOOOOOOOVE this spam, Bloggers.  Because it isn’t good for anything.  In the old days of a couple of years ago, we used to receive spam notices that were like some kinda fucked-up found poetry, illicitly loaded with sentiment perhaps wrong on our world, but right on some other?  Strange fingers struggling to hang onto the lip of reality;  and there, suddenly seen on their tips…!

Strange fingerprints.  Like nothing on Earth.  Mysterious structures, erected in the dead of night by clever gremlins.  Bizarre juxtapositions, fragrant yet evanescent possible sets of meanings!  Towering cities of folds of fake flesh.  The idea, somehow, that there was a real person there, who didn’t give a shit and was just trying to use you for cyber-financial purposes…sigh.  Well, I guess I’m a fool, right?

I’m like one of the characters who are not Jeff, in Community?

Honest to God, and don’t take this wrong…but I liked the old spam.

Its early stuff.

When it was the Silver Beatles.

Honestly, we should have a fucking Museum Of Spam.  Don’t you think?  The Way-Back Machine saves everything of interest, but what about the shit that isn’t of interest?  See, I used to be a data-entry guy, so I know:


It’s texture, it’s context, it’s the very perfume of the early 21st-century, and it’s not being saved…and that’s not right.  In a thousand years, if they don’t know about this, they’ll think of their past as we used to think of our future, as a world in which communications technology is just a sort of public utility…”called my friend on my uplink, asked him if he knew of any archaeological digs in this area, he said a word I couldn’t identify so I called on a Parsing Club on the net, got the word then sent a bot to chase mentions in journals…got the five relevant ones in about ten minutes, I had eaten a sandwich and heated up a cup of coffee because I figured it’d take that long…pretty obscure stuff…then once I’d got them I ran the topological program the old man had given me, looked for “zeta-curves”…while that analysis was running I called my friend up on Phobos.

“How’s it going, Jerry?”

“Shit, man, what’re you calling me here for?  People are looking for you!”

“Too bad I’m not at home to callers just now.  Listen, in exchange for me not screaming out that a person by your name was the mastermind behind the whole thing, could you do me a favour?  Just a two-second favour.”

“…What is it.  Son of a bitch.”

“Now now, Jerry…LANGUAGE.  All I want to know is if Mayor Truffaut’s tour bus has crossed into the Southern Hemisphere yet.  I don’t even need two seconds of feed.  I really just need one.  Even half of one.  But I just need it now.”



“…Yeah, all right, all right!  But this is the last favour I do for you, Callaghan!”

“Word is bond,”  I said.

And when the feed came in, I knew what to do.  Oh boy, did I!  Just a half-second of film, but when it’s digital you can chop it so many ways.  I had an idea of what I wanted in mind, so I set the inboard to crunching numbers.  And then I had another sip of coffee.

And then I threw the coffee in the disposal rack.

And then I pulled myself a shot of whiskey from the synthesizer.

And then I pulled another.

And then I called my ex-wife.”


Gee, Bloggers, and did you spot all the things that were the pure stuff of fantasy in that little excerpt?  Perhaps hard SF of one day or another, but certainly not SF of a day that could show up on any actual calendar we know of, whether hard or soft.  Communication as a public utility, eh?  I suppose no SF writer of the 20th century could’ve imagined that concept would’ve been as thoroughly blown-out as it is now.  “They’re looking for you, man!”  No, they’re not.  They already know exactly where you are.  “I sent a bot to chase the journal entries…”

Dude, how could you send it?

You don’t own it!

And, ha ha, “sent the bot to chase the journal entries, in ten minutes I got them” well gosh Andy Griffith, what’d you-all get up to after that?  Mebbe you-all had a slice of Aunt Bea’s delicious apple pie?  Don’t get me wrong, this was not a stupid idea in 1966, or 1979, or even 1992…but it’s a lost future, now.  It’s gone.  As gone as friendly spam, that admitted it might not know you but it was reaching out to you.  Likewise, the spacemen of the future aren’t just gone, they’re toast!  Because their communications networks will all be proprietary.  And there will be too much to learn, and keep on top of.

And the fail rates will be super-high.

Everyone who goes to the moon will expire in vacuum.  At first the companies will think it’s a great opportunity.  Then they’ll back out.  When push comes to shove, they won’t care to stay.

Just like the spammers don’t care, these days.  Oh, what has happened to all our good spammers!  I get messages saying that what I talk about is what loads of people talk about all the time…!

And if only that were true.

My, what a world that would be.

And yet I kind of love it;  I love the irrelevance.  I love the constant daily influx of messages saying “wow, we’re like twins, I have always thought this…!”

So many imaginary people out there, who are just like me.  And more every day.


I wonder sometimes if it’s me who’s making them.

Anyway, some huge kinda big-ass two-part post coming, Bloggers!  I think you will be slightly amazed at how me and my friends have totally always thought stuff like this, and just didn’t know it was totally normal.  And, you may not have cared much for this post, but I can promise you…

It gets better.

So sayonara for now!

Ooh, I have a head of steam up, I think!

This will all end in tears.


2 responses to “Me And My Friends Always Talk About Your Great Subject, It’s So Weird How This Thing I Always Thought Was Strange Is So Common, Do You Sponsor Guest-Posts On SEO Strategies? HA! HA! Because Just Yesterday My Father Plok Sr. Was Saying To Me…

  1. Back in the late Seventies there was a contest in — was it Fantasy & Science Fiction? — I suppose many publications have done the same competition over the years, the challenge being to write a scene set in the present day as it would be written centuries in the future, loaded with anachronisms and missing the point of things the way historical fiction does. And then there’s the even older trope of SF authorial projection where the accidental time traveler from our era arrives in Hugo Gernsback’s day and writes scientifiction depicting intercontinental jets, atom bombs, home Babbage engines. The hapless writer is either a huge success or laughed out of the office depending on whether the story is authorial projection or satire.

    Anyway, screw all of those: I want to read an entire collection of never-could-have-been-written SF stories by you like this one! (I actually have no idea how to describe what you just did in that passage in any concise way, but what you just did is what I’d like more of.)

  2. HA!

    It’s basically Green Mars. The technology, that is. KSR excels at writing really great stuff that gets staledated fast, doesn’t he? I recently picked up Antarctica, after years and years of dreaming about it, only to find that the Antarctica of the most rigourous imagining going circa 1998 pretty much reads like Martian Time-Slip now. That’s a compliment to Kim, I think: he’s working on the cutting edge enough that he can go out of date after having been absolutely current, which is no mean feat.

    I was basically annoyed and overtired and a little bit drunk when I wrote this…and haven’t revisited it until now, but damn it if we couldn’t use a Spam Museum, really! SF these days seems to me mostly like a lot of museum-type stuff, often very good stuff but stuff that’s out of date before the writer’s finished typing it…stuff that’s fallen into the synaptic gulf of sociotechnical change. And I find myself wondering: is it possible to make a career of that, of purposely running just ahead of the steamroller? It could be an interesting sort of a game: what can you say, can you say it fast enough, can you manufacture a humour out of the way some dreams of the future get almost instantly overwritten? Of course I would wonder about that: I have a story that prominently features record stores, and am writing another story which I am trying to make into legitimately Hard SF about the Moon.

    You know how hard it is to write a story about the Moon in 2013? Every day our knowledge of the Moon expands by about thirty percent. My first draft from 2011 is completely obsolete…it isn’t enough to write speculative fiction about the Moon anymore; now we must be reporters

    And Mars and Titan are probably next, so the smart money’s on Venus, right?

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