Each morning, when I switch on my PC, I play a little game with myself...
Stop sniggering at the back...
No, nothing like that. What I do, when my laptop powers up and that Microsoft Windows travelogue-porn image (what's the bon mot in geek-speak? wallpaper? background? I think it may be lock screen...) pops up pre-login, is try to work out where it is.
Obviously, natural features - coastline, mountains, flora, fauna - only tell you so much. Yes, you can differentiate between temperate and tropical, but otherwise bits of South America look a lot like Africa or India or South East Asia.
No, what I prefer are pictures of man-made features, cityscapes, buildings, industrial architecture. Even the European countryside, with its distinctive field patterns, is distinctive from an American landscape. And then I try to guess where it is. Where have I seen houses like that before? What side are they driving on? Who has that signage?
This morning, I was presented with a picture of a railway bridge. Judging by the semi-tropical flora, my first thought was 'Georgia', before deciding that there was no way on earth that the USA would allow so narrow and dangerous a structure - Christ, I can see the rails from below.
I revised my guess to Vietnam. Turned out to be Georgia. Apologies, Vietnam. My sympathies, Georgia.And it is on that basis and that basis alone that l ask for more of that sort of thing. Or not.
One criterion. That's all the algorithm has to cope with. I've been doing this for a couple of years and Bill Gates still sends me pictures of rainforest. Very pretty rainforest, I'll concede, but it doesn't fit my one and only, and not - let's face it - very hard to work out measure.
Which leads me to conclude that the robots won't be taking over anytime soon. But also that we might want to look elsewhere for the cure to cancer and solution to climate change. Just for everybody relying on technology to dig us out of the hole of our making. Just saying...
2084. The world remains at war.
In the Eurasian desert, twenty-year old Adnan emerges from a coma with memories of a strictly ordered city of steel and glass, and a woman he loved.
The city is the Dome, and the woman... is Adnan's secret to keep.
Adnan learns what the Dome is, and what his role really was within it. He learns why everybody fears the Sickness more than the troopers. And he learns why he is the only one who can stop the war.
Persuaded to re-enter the Dome to implant a virus that will bring the war machine to its knees, the resistance think that Adnan is returning to free the many - but really he wants to free the one.
24 0s & a 2
Twenty-four slipstream stories. Frequently absurd, often minimifidian, occasionally heroic.
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