May 14, 2003

Of fiction and futures …

Do androids dream of electric sheep,
Or for lost humanity do they silently weep?
Lost in this stupor should I continue to sleep
When all of humanity in me their trust keep?

I composed the above poem while riding to work today. The first line is simply a short story title which I thought at that time was Harlan Elison’s but later realized was Philip K. Dick’s (in fact, I was reminded later on researching that this was the story that became "Blade Runner" :p) The title came to mind just as I left home and for some reason, the poem followed. The strange thing was that as I rode to work, the poem was followed by almost a vision of the setting for the poem and that in turn evolved in to a story outline – a story that I would like to write … but maybe not right now :p

The idea that came to me based on the poem was of a far future – future in which humanity has gone back to a savage sort of existence. This had occurred not due to some catastrophe or nuclear war or anything but simply because humanity had been locked out of all access to technology. And *that* had happened because at one point in time mankind had scaled the heights of technology to such a level that they’d entrusted all technology to the care of androids. The androids had been so advanced that they were able to repair themselves and maintain all the complex machinery necessary to keep human society functioning smoothly. The androids however realize that humanity is losing its essential "humanity" by being so cloistered and cosseted by technology and that they are kind of withdrawing into their own individual shells and so shutdown all technology so that mankind can rediscover itself without technology.

Fast forward a couple of hundred years and we come back to the time when my poem was written. The protagonist is a member of one of the numerous tribes that can be found on Earth. He’s discovered an old building from the high-tech days and he slowly begins to realize what happened to humanity. (Bear with me here as to how all this happens since I don’t have a fully outlined plot yet .. just ideas) He also discovers one of the shutdown androids and comes to the conclusion that the androids would wake up again and restore all technology if humanity could show it somehow that it had regained it’s humanity. That’s as far as I got … and yes, the story is going to need a lot of work :p But that’s for another day …

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Tags: Books, Poetry, Writing
Posted by Fahim at 7:52 am   Comments (1)