Fury Road – Action is Truth…. a guest post from author A.D. Bloom.

 Fury Road – Action is Truth

Fury Road is brilliant and here’s (just one of the reasons) why. The action movies we’re all used to are movies that happen to have action sequences in them. Fury Road is a different creature altogether. In conventional terms, this movie is quite nearly a single, unbroken action sequence. Action is the language used here. Action is the medium. Fury Road is not a movie with action. It’s made of action. Character development is still there. It’s there in spades and it’s expressed through what the characters do.

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The film stays true to the idea of Action as a medium right through to the prime motive of the film’s most important characters – redemption. Past transgressions or failures can be balanced out by redemptive acts. It’s what you do that defines who you are in Fury Road. Here, action is truth. And action proves to be a powerful and broad-ranged medium in the right hands. The quiet notes don’t get lost. Subtlety is present as is perceptible complexity and nuance.

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I quietly exclaimed ‘fuck’ about fifty times watching in utter amazement. I slapped my forehead over and over, astounded at how there wasn’t one lazy shot, not a single moment that wasn’t maximized. The folks that made this movie refused to coast for even a second. Fury Road is an effing good time and a rare formal advance that opens up new territory. See it. Buy it. Love it like the work of art it is.

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A.D. Bloom is the author of the War of Alien Aggression series. Fury Road made his day.

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J.D. Goff – From Zombies to Generational Ark Ships…

I don’t recall exactly when I first met J.D. Goff on Twitter, but I’d venture to guess it’s been over a year ago now. At the time, he was writing a story on his WordPress site entitled Promised Land Abandonded (PLA).

PLA is a zombie story and some of you may already know that I don’t read or watch much in the zombie genre. When I do, it’s gotta be something that really catches my eye. PLA did just that. One of the most fantastic stories (zombie or not) that I’ve come across – and it was free! I couldn’t believe that it was just there for the reading on his blog!

A week or so ago, J.D. asked if I would read an ARC of a print book that he was having published on Amazon called Hope 239. “Of course!” I said.  I don’t think I got but a few paragraphs in before I was off to Amazon to purchase the Kindle version.

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Come to find out, it involved one of my absolute favorite themes in science fiction – the story of a “generational ark”. A ship designed to carry mankind (or the remnants of) so far out into space, that generations would come and go before it arrived at its destination. Non-Stop by Brian Aldiss comes immediately to mind. The ill-fated Canadian produced television show, The Starlost does as well (don’t let the negativity associated with The Starlost deter you from either it or Hope 239 – the story of The Starlost is absolutely glorious science fiction, even if the production values of the show weren’t).

Hope 239 takes place just as the Hope (the ship) has reached its destination. Generations have passed and the immense number of “villages” that make up the ship have no idea that they are indeed on a spaceship. There is a crew, however, that does. The crew is multi-generational as well and relies completely on the ship’s computer to perform day-to-day operations. It’s when the veritable “monkey wrench” gets thrown that things start getting exciting.

The story had me guessing and wondering on a fairly constant basis.  I found myself saying, “What the hell is going on?!” – in a good way. The suspense is palpable. If life did not get in the way, I would have read this in one sitting. It was difficult to put down and I’d constantly think about when I’d be able to get back to it.  I found myself taking a peek at my smartphone’s Kindle app at the most inappropriate times.

Mr. Goff has done a wonderful thing with his first published work and presented a world that has the possibility of creating many, many future stories. I still have questions and I anxiously await to find out the answers!

 

You can find Mr. Goff on Twitter, Amazon, and WordPress

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An interview with Arthur H. Walker – Identity Extensive Technology and “Going Delta”…

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EC: Welcome to the Wastes, Arthur! Hey, real quick before we get started… I understand you like to “poke pixels into proper shape”.  I’m a bit of a video game nerd, could you tell me about the game developer thing?

AW: A friend I’ve known for 25 years, asked me to help him build games. He loves games, but isn’t super creative. I design, write, and render, while my friend writes the code. I probably wouldn’t have had the courage to try indie dev at all, but when a friend like that asks me for a favor, I don’t say no. 🙂  I’ve grown to like it since our first game.  And, of course, I wanted to do a post-apocalyptic RPG after that.  I’ve had to reach out to all sorts of skills, and the indie dev community.  There are lots of great people there.

 

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EC: I recently finished the first book in your Uroboros Saga series and compared it to Bladerunner. First off, I gotta say that it has been an extremely long time since I’ve read a book that’s grabbed me by the throat and not let go from the first page.  Secondly, there’s a whole lot more going on than what I had initially thought. I was intrigued by the “idea of technology that extends and expands the modern notion of identity, and the sort of dystopia that such technology could create.”

AW: In the books I refer to it identity extensive technologies. It is what I expect will eventually arise from current cognitive technologies like IBM’s Watson.

 

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EC: Identity extensive technologies? Oh man, you gotta talk to me like I’m four years old sometimes. What exactly is that?

AW: In the present day, it is very limited, and amount to services that are not fully autonomous just yet. Amazon and Google can merely suggest products and web sites based on your previous search and buying habits. Facebook can push advertising you might like, based on information you’ve provided. Pandora comes a little closer, playing music for you based on your previous choices, automatically. I use an extreme example in my books.

A nanotechnological replica, with an imprinted neural construct that acts essentially the same way as your brain. It is a machine that looks and thinks like you, with implied legal (a thing I don’t touch on) ability to act as you. It could buy things it knows you like, enter into contractual agreements, and contribute to your works and desires, autonomously.  Basically, a technological redundancy for a person, acting as they would act. There are cognitive technologies (IBM’s Watson) and data holds (the Internet) that could give rise to such in the future.

 

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Automating human agency is one of the darkest and most dangerous things, done incorrectly. Apocalyptic in the extreme. Instead of a wasteland of burnt buildings and radioactive zombies, you’d have an intellectual wasteland, and a cognitive disparity in the population. People who could afford the technology, employing it ethically or otherwise, would have extreme advantages over others. I could write a book, while I was editing, while I was illustrating the cover, two books ahead, outpacing other independent authors. This, provided the technology worked flawlessly. And, it didn’t assume identity markers outside my own (constituting a separate being with its own desires). 

 

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 In my books, replicas do just this, “going delta” and becoming their own distinct folks, with varying consequences. Some of the Deltas are murderous psychopaths, while others are staunch protectors of humanity. I see machines of this type as reaching polarizing conclusions about morality, but not necessarily the “rise of the machines” scenario that Hollywood constantly puts on display. Still, Deltas would not possess the same anthropological imperatives as humans, so they’d likely reach slightly different conclusions.

 

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Cognitive technologies have real world commercial applications, but not for the average consumer just yet. I’d like to be able to take a picture of my closet, send it to a service that could examine my purchasing habits and buy me clothes at an appropriate interval, based collected biometric data, without me having to lift a finger. It would be eerie at first. Especially if the service was dead on, mostly buying stuff I liked, with the few regretful purchases I inevitably would have made anyway.

I wonder how society would grapple with such technology. Also, how it would treat redundant identity systems that go “delta”, and so forth.

 

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Arthur H. Walker likes to write about identity extensive technologies, fiscal/economic collapse, Intelligent Agents and A.I.s, Compliance Implants, and genetic engineering. You can find him on twitter at https://twitter.com/ArthurHWalker.