You know me, right? In the continuum of natural-to-unnatural, I’ll be the one with the binocs looking at birds and furry animules out in a relatively human-free landscape. Always have been bent that way, though I’m not outdoors enough to call myself a wilderness adventurer or anything. I’ve written stories and songs set in the outdoors, and have always enjoyed movies and books in that sort of setting. I’ve hiked and backpacked. I’ve dreamed of running away to the wilderness. I’ll even admit to having moments of interest in Furry fandom, mostly toward more realistic than ‘toony tropes.
Then on Monday, I read something on Twitter that a distant friend either liked or retweeted (probably liked) and it blew my fuzzy green mind. It was a middling-long series of tweets of a quick yet fairly well-done sci-fi story:
(note: Other tweets and retweets from that user may not be work-safe.)
Here’s the text from the first tweet:
What if. What if you lived in the flat above a cybernetics shop/clinic combo.
Going downstairs every day and seeing the most incredible cybernetics in the window. Seeing the heavily ‘borged hacker at the counter, chatting with clientele.
What if you went in one day.
That’s all you get here; you gotta go read it yourself if you want. Man, I got into the story. A good bit of it was how affecting the story was. Even with a couple of missing details, the style just pulled me in. (I say “missing details” only as if I were an editor advising the writer what he could add to make the story a skosh longer for publication. Just a skosh.) The other bit, maybe the bigger bit, was ME saying “What if I could do that?”
Well, we can’t do that yet, and won’t for quite a while. While scientists are working on a slice of what might eventually be the field of “replacement parts” for humans, they’re only working on vital things like the heart, really. I don’t think they’re really trying to make everything integrate with the human organism in the way a science fiction write would envision. At this point, it’s more important, and plenty challenging, to keep a person alive NOW. Get fancy later.
In a century or so … maybe we can get replacement eyes with adjustable colors and irises. (Oh, and perfect vision, of course.)
Anyway, I’ve spent the week sorting out a bunch of thoughts on this Eureka! moment, because cyborg-anything is so far from where my rich fantasy life has always been, and yet it really seems to fit, somehow. (This week, that is.) Not just for practical reasons, such as my current eyes being a mismatched pair of myopic and astigmatic balls of rods, cones, and humors. Maybe also for aesthetic reasons. Maybe just for fun.
By today, Friday, I think I figured out what the underlying thread is. The notion of changing myself or how I’m presenting myself is, um, really cool. From dressing up in a Ren Faire outfit or biker leathers, to occasional thoughts of more tattoos, to wondering what I’d look like with antlers or fur or even a spiffy robotic hand with a built-in multitool. Cuz, let’s face it, being a normal human living in a suburb of a metro area with a day job is kind of … mundane. Right?
It’s just that … how does all this fit in with the guy with the binoculars from the first paragraph who likes to watch birds?