The Early Days of a Better Nation

Thursday, October 04, 2007


I've just been referred to in an online science fiction short-short story. The Singularity is near.


Mr. MacLeod - I have always been in awe of the Fall Revolution sequence, and was pleased to be able to work you into my story. I hope you enjoyed it.

I certainly did, thanks, and would have even if it hadn't referred to me at all.

Hey, not only were you right about ex-Trots taking over the world, you're now officially a celebrity!

(starts reading Engine City)

Your books make it a long way based solely on word-of-mouth; I've gotten nearly a dozen people in my entourage to read your books (usually Fall Revolution books, though sometimes Engines of Light books and, in one case, all but the ones I don't own - which are Human Front and The Web) and they've all loved them and recommended them to others...

If it means anything from a lurker...

Mr. MacLeod, your writing both on your blog and in your published works has inspired me

a) to see science fiction as something more than trash literature to be outgrown in adulthood, and

b) to see socialists as something other than Borg-like inhuman collectives.

(Admittedly, I'm a Fabian rather than a Trot now, but keep in mind I was quite the neo-con)

BTW, you might find this interesting: an online "Das Capital" graphic format. Done by radical artist and graphic designer Hugo Gellert, it was done to bring Marx's magnum opus to the laboring masses.

Thanks, dimitri. I'd much rather you were a Fabian than a Trot!

Speaking of graphic online Marxism, the best has got to be the Communist Manifesto done with animated cartoon clips.

Ouch, Ken. You prefer Fabians to your former comrades? (I want to say 'like myself', but I'm not sure how the tenses work, given that I became a Trot long after you stopped identifying yourself as such...)

On an unrelated note, don't you mean, "the singularity is *nigh*"? Given the quality of your writing, you really ought to understand that the word "nigh" must be used at every scant opportunity.

Great story: I actually laughed. Which, given that I am grappling simultaneously with a tooth abcess and Part P of the Building Regulations, is a remarkable feat. Thank you.
Stevie Gamble

NIce story Ramon :) And well done Ken, I assume you *have* patented the singularity and make a healthy profit on every mention of it now ?


Thanks, everyone!

'The Singularity is Near' is the title of a moderately famous book by Ray Kurzweil. The concept itself comes from Vernor Vinge.

Re Trots - it's not that I prefer Fabians to Trots, as such, but that I'd feel a dreadful sense of responsibility if my writing ever inspired anyone to become one :-)

I once spent an entire summer laughing at "followers of Kurzweil" who had calculated that the singularity would happen in August 2005. When it didn't, they claimed George Bush was covering it up and that we were all living a lie...

Good times; I love the crazy people. =)

Steven - you're kidding, right? Or has the Rapture of the Nerds already had its Millerites and its Great Disappointment?

Nah, they had a forum on delphi ( A quick skimming of the stuff there seems to indicate that there's been at least a small splash of realism, but believe you me, in 2005 they had a countdown clock on the front page.

Their forum owner - Mike I think he's called - had figured on a very specific date for the eventuality of the singularity and actually expected some grand celebration along with an eventual upload or something. You could find it all if you REALLY wanted to by dregging their archives.

The whole attitude of the forum is very Outwarder.

Dear Ken

Your writing inspired me to join the Sparts. Only the International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist) has the correct revolutionary programme and iron discipline sufficient to build a post-human socialist future.

And the ability to spot a crypto-Taafeite at a thousand yards.

Nothing crypto about me, Ken. I'm out and proud.

Yes, and I didn't mean to suggest you weren't - but you were posing as a Spart, so I thought a likewise tongue in cheek response was called for.

Speaking of a post-human socialist future, I can warmly recommend Eugene Byrne's 'Marxist extropian' novel ThiGMOO, in which some characters in a history simulation escape into the Interwebs. Levellers, Chartists and Scouse dockers run wild and ... well, it goes on from there.

Post a Comment