Welcome to Biting-Edge, a blog shared by authors and vampire experts, Mario Acevedo and Jeanne Stein. We’ll cover urban fantasy, vampires, pop culture, and all things Joss Whedon. Unlike other fantasy blogs, we don’t insist on body cavity searches (unless you ask politely). Snarkiness is most welcome...though we won't promise not to bite back!

Sunday, April 07, 2013
  The future is here and it ain't pretty
Mario here:

What I'm reading:

Gil's All Fright Diner, by A. Lee Martinez.

Last week, Jeanne gave in to her inner sparkly vampire and posted the movie trailer to Stephenie Meyer's The Host. So to even out our karma, please visit Rotten Tomatoes to read their opinions about the movie. Among my faves:

"Come back Bella and Edward - all is forgiven." James Croot  flicks.co.nz

"An invasion of the body snatchers is preferable to realizing that the true horror perpetrated here is not on the characters but on the audience."  Connie Ogle Miami Herald

Years ago, the future was chrome and fins, clean energy, and bounty for all. Jobs? Ha! We don't need no stinking jobs. Who cares about money? (When did you ever see anyone on Star Trek ask a buddy to spot him some cash? Just until payday.) Or worry about deductibles?

Now that we're well into the second decade of the 21st Century! it's obvious we're getting the toys and gadgets but little of the promised enlightenment. The dark side of high-tech is definitely ugly. Lately there's been a lot of noise about Google glasses and FaceBook's smart phone, and its obvious that the primary purpose of both gizmos is to collect as much data about you as possible. They'll record where you are, who you're with (through facial recognition), what you're doing, what you're buying, who you're texting/talking to. If you think Google and FaceBook care a whit about your privacy, you're a fool. And those who claim you can opt out of the tracking or data mining are even bigger fools. For example, I joked in an email that I'd been eaten by a giant carp. The next time I opened my Gmail account, they had posted an ad for carp fishing. I can opt out of receiving ads based on my email content, but not out of Google shifting through my (not-so) private correspondence. And FaceBook is notorious for fudging the line when protecting your privacy. Some restaurants have already banned Google glasses, and you know it won't be long before some jerk causes a car crash because he was looking at porn while driving.

Plus we have drones. More and more of them. Getting deadlier. And smaller. Some new ones are the size of large wasps.What does this mean for privacy?

Another unforeseen consequence of high-tech is how it affects the way we're communicating. Cell phone users under the age of twenty-six text more than they talk over the phone. Many of us geezers lament the loss of communication skills. And how will we writers realistically and dramatically portray someone texting? Some have tried by including blocks of text-speak, but it makes for a boring narrative. Maybe we are boring.

The best book I've read that extrapolates the present trends--technologically, culturally, and politically--to their logical frightening developments is Richard K. Morgan's chilling Altered Carbon. It's a future that I'll gratefully never see.

Thankfully, we're not completely there yet. You can celebrate the joys of great traditional prose with Seattle author Jeanne Shortridge, who will be signing Water Love Memory at the LoDo tattered Cover, April 10, and she'll be presenting a workshop on Voice: Tapping into the Distinct at Lighthouse Writers Workshop, Saturday, April 13.

Try as we might, life is not all sunshine and chocolate. Acclaimed science fiction author Iain Banks announced that he has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Please read Orbit's blog where he bravely discusses the news and his immediate future.

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Mario, Spock never had to borrow cash from Scotty to buy some q-tips because he had his own "credits." They didn't use money. In the Wrath of Khan, at least, Spock says their economy was based on "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few (1%) or one." It was some kind of ideal communism. I'm just sayin'.

About Gil's All Fright Diner, here's my weird take on the book, which I spoofed in My Closet of Discarded Dreams: http://labloga.blogspot.com/2005/11/1-year-gils-all-fright-diner.html

Congrats, dude, on your Nymphos making B&N 20 Best Paranormal Fantasy of the decade!
I never realized how friggin' hard it was to post a comment. This is my third try and it's my blog--sheesh...Anyway, the point I tried to make is that it's not just FB and Google tracking us. Everytime we swipe a credit card we leave a trail. What's the answer? Don't have a clue. I guess just be careful and vigilant.
Rudy: Star Trek and Star Wars do make a few references to "money" (Hans Solo was a smuggler for Jabba the Hut) but no one ever freaks out about paying the bills or their credit score.
Jeanne: True, every time you get online or use a cell phone, someone is tagging along.
Go over to CNN Money and read the article about Shodan if you want to read something scary about the internet. http://money.cnn.com/2013/04/08/technology/security/shodan/index.html?iid=Lead

JS - You should see the capcha I've just been presented with. It's gonna take at least a couple of tries to post this.
Cat: The internet is one big corral. Moo!
Cat: I felt your pain!
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