Archive for June, 2005

Hacking the megacorps…

June 23, 2005

The level of complete and utter bullshit I’m coming up with in this astounds me and will make real hackers laugh in my face.

Okay, I’m throwing enough ‘SOMEONE MADE THE INTERNET REALLY REALLY STUPID’ comments that people should be able to realise I don’t actually think this is how things work. That and the narrative is mostly figurative anyway. Because it’s mostly from Adrian’s perspective, he’s not seeing his hands dance on the keyboard, he’s seeing what the system translates that as. Our protagonist is suspending his disbelief, so I hope the reader will too.

And even if not, non computer savvy people needn’t know, and it’s fun, dammit. And come on, making complete and utter bollocks sound interesting and believable is kinda what writing is all about.


Some quick character profiles

June 21, 2005

Mostly spoiler free, but I thought I’d share.

Name: Adrian Richards

Other Names: Renraku (online), Ade.

Age: 19

Occupation: Barista, Freelance World-builder/Web Designer/AI Programmer.

Birthplace: Silverfall.

Hair: Dark brown in untidy spikes, neon green fringe. A few very fine braids at the back that are hidden in strings of round beads.

Eyes: Naturally green. Later, magenta.

Height and Build: Around 5’8”, fit but not overly muscled from a decent amount of excersise but a somewhat scanty diet.

Adrian is a good natured young man, quick to smile and with a continual desire to make people happy. He is easy going and friendly most of the time, both online and in reality. Below the surface, Adrian is a little less bubbly, and some might claim he has a habit of avoiding dealing with the real issues when it comes to himself. He is deeply idealistic and often seems to refuse to accept the rather colder reality life provides. He sleeps little, tending to run together rather too many all-nighters on a regular basis. He’s rarely seen without a pair of net goggles perched on his forehead, and those that know him in both realms have remarked how similar he looks in each.

Seeming to pay just as much attention to the online world as real life (if not more), Adrian has made more money doing freelance work than he gets for his official job, though most of this appears to be blown on the latest shiny piece of tech or software, meaning he still ends up barely scraping the rent for his small apartment, and lives off tea and instant ramen. Renraku is a rather known figure in the Atlantian community, having done a lot of work for the community as a whole, committed a rather impressive piece of cracking in his youth, and having links to the WhiteCrown Court. Their leader, Gyger, was a hero, mentor and a friend to him. Despite his love and skill for computer related endeavours, Adrian goes about his day job with a drive few people would expect from an underpaid beverage seller, and will make you the best cup of tea or coffee you’ve ever had.


Name: Vitorio Relik

Other Names: Vito (most common)

Age: 22

Occupation: Numerous part time jobs.
Birthplace: Silverfall

Hair: Dark but currently bleach blond with blue tips.

Eyes: Grey.

Height and Build: 6’2”, square shouldered but not massive.

Vito has known Adrian since they were kids, and his parents took his younger friend in after his mother and father were killed in the nanoplages. Consequently Vito has a bit of a big brotherly attitude towards him. Much more grounded that Adrian, Vito is down to earth and reasonable. He’s also much more focused on the real world, online things not particularly interesting him, and he doesn’t quite see what all the fuss is about.

Vito can be fairly dry at times, and a little pessimistic but tends to remain inoffensive most of the time. He usually works at least three jobs at a time, and is somewhat more practical than Adrian. Vito doesn’t have any particular goals that he would admit to, other than perhaps getting a promotions that would mean he could cut down his number of employers.


Name: Icarus

Other Names: Unknown, he never discloses his street name

Age: 23

Occupation: Undisclosed.
Birthplace: Assumed to be Reymurai.

Hair: According to his avatar, short and ginger.

Eyes: His avatar’s are green.

Height and Build: His avatar is about 6′ and quite skinny.

Icarus is an Atlantis user and friend of Adrian’s… Or at least it’s assumed he’s a friend, as the man keeps a close hold of his street identity. Icarus is a skilled programmer but a very closed person, even for someone who only communicates through avatar his emotions are veiled. He tends towards the cryptic and generally carries an air of vague interest in everything, often detracted. However, when he does set his mind to a task he is passionate and poised. Occasionally he will display flashes of compassion, and is a good ally to those he actually cares about. It is this and Icarus’ undeniable skill and access to information that keeps him and Renraku on good terms. However, although Icarus claims he is one of the few people he trusts, Adrian has still not been given the privilege of working out how the man ticks.

Icarus’ avatar bears stylised wings of white light, and from his occasion musings on the security systems of the corps, his alias might prove rather well chosen.


La. Subject to change and so on. Vito especially needs development. And hopefully Icarus won’t come across so much as token mysterious guy in the actual story. Stuff and things, yep.

Yay! Stuff happened!

June 21, 2005

Got some more work done today… And have been tempted to cut this chapter early, which would be at around 4500 words. I’m not sure though, that might be too short. If not, I figure the point I need to get to for where I originally wanted to end is another 1500 words away, maybe 2000. Maybe more depending on how much fun the Fractal Reef is to write. If things go nicely I might have the chapter done by the weekend. That would be cool.

Writing the interface has been interesting, and I’m hoping the rational for people using the potentially dangerous nerve stimulation stuff will be clear (other than a way for the corps to REALLY keep people under control, but that’s a bit big brother and nobody sane would buy into it if that was the case. “Hey, we have this hardware that allows us to remotely fry your nervous system if you piss us off. Cool huh?” “Sure! Sign me up!”). See, although the VR systems do bear some relevance to real life, computers have always had little quirks and differences, and in this the sense of touch comes into it’s own a bit. Yes, it simulates real touch to make the environment more immersive but at the same time other programs use it as a kind of full body braille-meets-spideysense language. Helps people multi-task and be aware of the increasingly complex online world. Very useful once you’ve learnt and customised it. That, and as a freelance world builder, Adrian needs it to make sure the worlds he builds will feel right for the user. I figure there’s a big full-immersion film market out there in this, and although there’s not much is terms of tech being controlled by nerve impulses in it, I think more people have nerve stimulation systems than not. Because, dammit, it’s cool.

0.03 MPH.

June 20, 2005

Well, as is predictable for me, chapter 1 is still moving painfully slowly. This owes quite a lot to the fact I keep having to stop every 3 minutes to figure out the name of a program, or how it’s manifested in the virtual world (which I still need to think up a funky name for. Two, actually, one for the net in general, and one for the silly in practice but somehow still cool in fiction VR style one).

The upshot of this is any attempt to get my dear Adrian actually DOING ANYTHING grinds to a screeching halt the moment he picks up the necessary tools, and I’m starting to think his procrastination has more to do with an unconscious fear of writing the actual run that belong to me rather than one of his. Joy of joys.

If this problem doesn’t shift soon I think I’m just going to whack in place holders then come back and do the names later. Actually, that might be a good idea.

Inking of a commission today, but I hope to get a bit of writing done as well. I really want to get this thing moving.

I hope it’ll be found interesting. There’s a few things I’m trying to do that are a little unusual, some for me and some for the genre. For one, the world of Reymurai and Silverfall (though not so much their island neighbour Zenyth) is remarkably… clean. Even though I have the usual love for grungy scifi and near-post-apocalyptic roughed up rainy warehouses and so on, in Interference society actually seems to be doing rather well. Seems being the operative word, as the system is full of hypocrisy and suppression and hidden nastiness, but on the surface things are slick and clean. Shiny and fast and full of neon. Okay, it still rains a lot, but I think that’s just me. I like rain. Another thing that’s different is I’m trying to focus mostly on one person, Adrian, instead of the usual huge cast. Yes, there are a lot of other people in the story, and they get the spotlight in later stories, but for the moment I’m keeping with him. Which kinda leads me to the 3rd thing. See, I like cyberpunk. I like it a lot, in fiction and in games and especially in movies. But one thing that’s been bugging me faintly about it is so often the ‘Hey, look how cool this is’ factor eclipses the actual depth of character. And I’m sorry Hollywood, just having 2 of your characters fall in love, have an argument and then have madsex, does not cut it. And so, despite loving all the shiny tech and philosophical issues cyberpunk things tend to entail, I want to right something where at the end of the day, that’s not what people are going to get from it. Interference isn’t about the world, it’s about the people. The tech is there as a link to draw these people together but the core of it is a group of individuals trying to get on with life, some of whom simply aren’t very good at living in reality. Sure, it’s going to hit some big issues, world shattering for some of the characters, but in the end it comes down to how it effects the people who have to deal with it. Because that’s what’s most important to me. Books that don’t make me care about the character tend to piss me off, and I really don’t want to write something I wouldn’t like to read.

Well Then…

June 15, 2005

As my good freind Chandra has been doing this, and to rather nice effect, I figured I would choan the idea and start a blog for my story as well. Maybe having somewhere to talk just about it will make me work harder on it.

Or it will just get me even more destracted, one of the two.

So yeah. I’ll be using this thing to let you know how I’m getting on, and also to share details of the world and characters and so on. Because development work is fun fun fun.