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@emptyoakszine inaugural issue features my #Shakespeare inspired #sci-fi tale "The Play's The Thing"


Up on Empty Oaks  is my Shakespeare inspired sci-fi tale, "The Play's The Thing".  Follow the link and download, or email.

The story is from my Streamworld cycle of stories, and takes place post de-privatization.

...from my commentary in issue one:


The world depicted in “The Play’s The Thing” is a futuristic, over-populated, over teched world. This world government has outlawed many things, including live theater, and Shakespeare. In "The Play's the Thing" a couple (consisting of two female grad students--we are post-gay in this world, btw) nearing the end of their romantic contract, stumble across an underground staging of Shakespeare. The magic of Shakespeare intrigues them, and one of the girls falls in love with a fellow audience member, much to her lover and her father's dismay.  She risks her relationships, and possibly her freedom to be with this man, and to continue seeing the underground, illegal plays, whose alien language holds her in thrall. The title is taken from a line from Hamlet; the dark prince is plotting to lay a trap for his Uncle Claudius.

"The Play's The Thing" was inspired by overheard conversations between friends who were discussing how they stalk potential romantic partners via Facebook and Twitter.  In the story, the characters exist in a world where there is no privacy. The world is crowded, expensive, and held together by "the stream," which essentially the internet, or what a future permutation of the internet. To be "out of stream" is to commit treason. When you are out of stream the government assumes you are up to nefarious deeds and villainy. Hackers, instead of trying to infiltrate systems and infrastructures, are trying to keep the infrastructure from infiltrating private life.
In this futuristic world (dare I say dystopia?) everyone is directly rooted into the stream. When you get close enough to someone you can read their feed. For example you walk to the store to buy milk, and if you choose, you can "see" what everyone you come into contact is doing, thinking, feeling (by way of biometrics), and reading, who they are interacting with, what kind of web activities they are into and up to, etc.  It's not explicitly stated, but this feed can be seen without the use of wearable tech. It's hardwired into you. You are the stream. This is a world without secrets. Everything is out in the open, your political leanings, your sexual fetishes, your private particulars can be accessed by anyone. All for the better good, eh? Be careful what you google.

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