Book Jacket

 

rank 5902
word count 10639
date submitted 10.08.2008
date updated 10.02.2009
genres: Crime, Thriller, Science Fiction, F...
classification: universal
incomplete

ETERNAL OBSIDIAN

DavidWalker & Michael Cope

In the twenty sixth century, lifetime is currency, to be traded or gambled. Everyone gets sixty years, but could live centuries, or die in days.

 

In the twenty sixth century, lifetime is a currency, to be traded, gambled and lost. Everyone gets sixty years from the state, but could live for centuries, or die in days. In a London traumatised by a bombing campaign, the aim of which appears to be mere terror itself, a para-military police force, The Limitation Bureau uncovers a conspiracy, which stretches all the way from the Red planet to the infinitesimal quantum uncertainties of a god-like computer network. That network, the Scape, a virtual world as complex as the real one, is pervasive. There are functions of the Scape looped in diamond thread circuits in the bellies of mountains, or huge relay stations laced into the mantle of Jovian moons. As the politics of planets is being played out, a larger, more deadly game is under way in the Scape. A new religion has emerged – one where the disciples end their lives while their minds are still within the Scape itself; their God, their heaven. These pieces of human essences are joining together within the huge quantum mind and leading it towards sentience. It could be the dawn of a new age or the end of all humanity.

 
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tags

, action, ai, chinese, computers, cops, crime, future, internet, japanese, london, longevity, policemen, religion, time

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17 comments

 

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Nick Poole2 wrote 1517 days ago

ARISE, AUTHONOMY GHOST!

Ease those weary, withered limbs from your coffin. Push away the stone from the mouth of the tomb.

You have one last task to perform. One last, sacred shelf to confer.

Whether you were plugger, spammer, gusher or troll, whether you flirted or fought in the forum or beavered away in the shadows, now is the time for your resurrection.

One last time. Marshall your strength, muster the last vestiges of your power and carry out your final Authonomy act:

Back my book, MIRROR IN THE SKY.

Then, only then, you may rest easy in your Authonomy grave.

Nick Poole2 (formerly known as NickP)

EarthWormJimmy wrote 1816 days ago

Some nice imagery in this short chapter, not simply the physical prose but the play on the chess game betwen Rook and Qeeg. Slighly confusing that Qeeg can be rattled by the use of the word 'putrefaction', given the introduction to him in chapter one and his inability to be moved by everyday interactions - it seems out of character. But then, if his dead first wife is the one thing holding him to humanity, perhaps this is intende to be explored further a a later point. There's certainly a lot more character development I feel s waiting for Qeeg.

Don't really like the term GELF - it's a bit too Red Dwarf, though I know the term didn't originate there. Still, all in all the first chapters of this book definitely make me want to read more and I look forward to when that will be. There's great scope still for where this novel could go, and I'm intrigued to see what will come next.

EarthWormJimmy wrote 1816 days ago

Best chapter so far. Really builds the suspense nicely and, again, the idea of the lottery for extra life is a fascinating one!

EarthWormJimmy wrote 1816 days ago

Again, some curious discrepacies and beatiful ideas: love octans as a unit of measurement - very digital and fits in well wiht he idea of Scape encroaching further and further into everday life. But 'metal' as money? Perhaps it's just an anachronism, but you would have thought the need for physical money, even if you're not paying in lifetime, was long ago obsolete.

Finally, working on the assumption Kade is more or less some sort of policeman/detective, seems strage that the "tableau was so familiar he hardly noticed it anymore" - surely even tired and having seen it before many times, he'd be prized for his observational skills. Again, I'm just commenting as I go along, so it may well be these points are dealt with later, in which case, I apologise and please ignor me! :-)

EarthWormJimmy wrote 1816 days ago

Have only just read the first chapter now but will definitely read more. The main concept itself is a very interesting one and there are some lovely schadenfreude examples you give (stock market crach and wave of death, for example). Qeeg's evident dehumanisation with age is a nice touch and I wonder how much you'll explore it later in the book.

I'm not entirely convinced by some of the modern day details set so far in the future (the existence of Nokia, Kensington still, for example). On the one hand, I think there's interesting scope for the rise of companies like this into tran- and metanationals, used to such devastating effect in Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy, for example. On the other, if this is not explored, it seems a little out of place when everything else both cultural and technological has changed almost beyond recognition (as Qeeg even muses at one point).

This is, of course, without having got anywhere close to the plot of the novel itself, but a very promising beginning all in all and I look forward to reading more.

Billy Young wrote 1881 days ago

Your dark vision of the future is fully developed at first insepection. One thing I wondered about though was is it possible to steal someone's life money? You do allude to some connig some from the unwary. I think this is why the question came to mind. I suppose though it doesn't need answering as it has no relivance to your tale set in this dark future where life is seen so cheaply. WLed

Mia wrote 1973 days ago

I am very interested why you have placed obisidian into the future. Would like to here your comments, Mia. x

J.W. Reitz wrote 1987 days ago

May I recommend The BookShed, (www.bookshed.eu) which is always keen to admit damn good writers?

The Shed can be just as wild and woolly as this place, I must warn you, and has its share of the passionate and the mad. (I was part of its birth, and I know) But there is a quiet, separate, work area for crits and responses only. Because it's private and there is no obligation, beyond doing one's fair share of random reading and responding, these can be both detailed and frank.

I must stress that The Shed in no way competes with Authonomy. More a place to privately work through problems, to polish and perfect, before coming to a site like this in search of broader readership.

lastings wrote 1998 days ago

Hey you two! How come I didn't realise Eternal Obsidian was on here?!! If you remember, I voted you on my top 5 of all time over on YWO, and as soon as I caught the pitch on the front page here, I was on it! This deserves to be in top 5 for sure, and I'll be plugging it as soon as I can face my next visit to the forum (a person needs courage for that sort of thing!)
You are duly shelved by me, with fingers crossed that you get to thrust Eternal in front of the scifi wallah at HC! I've been able to read more, and I'm loving it!
Meanwhile, if you could bring yourself/selves to take a look at Tyranny, I'd love to know what you think - a comment from you two would be worth having :-))
Good Luck!
Jo

Slush Prince wrote 2003 days ago

I really liked this!

Lots of interesting concepts etc.

I think the upload may have mangled some of your formatting however. It really needs a bit more spacing and more paragraphs to read easier.

Really good use of dialogue, often lacking around here!

Any chance you will put the whole book up?

JAK wrote 2006 days ago

Hi, I've just finished the third chapter- and Newham got a mention- it always felt faintly dystopian when I lived in Plaistow! This is really arresting prose - you guys are the masters of the stunning throway line- i was initially hooked by the 'obsequious drivel' - (plenty of that around!) and then kept finding beautifully turned phrases like 'the world had to work hard to entertain him' and 'cereal packet philosophy.' This makes Blade Runner look like Postman Pat -loved it. The only duff note for me was the announcer in tux and bow- wouldn't this have evolved like everytthing else in your magnificently imagined world? Watchlisting this- of course. jak

Slush Prince wrote 2008 days ago

Nice pitch.

MrG wrote 2039 days ago

You chaps here as well?
This is a genuinly interesting and arresting slice of Sci-fi. I am am fan of dystopian futures and faint mockery of society gone mad. The science and social elements of this book works very well. All of this would be nothing without good, balanced and interestring characters. I'm not mad keen on the names, of the detectives - but the whole idea of mortgaging life for credit - Genius.

CGWalters wrote 2046 days ago

Very good concept---lifespan as a tradeable item. Excellent idea!
Strong first chapter. Bravo!

James E wrote 2060 days ago

This has a great pitch - an original idea for a sci-fi book. (I'm not an exclusive science fiction reader, but like Ian M Banks, Asimov etc.)

I've only had chance to read Chapter 1. but it seems to live up to the promise of the idea so far. Will read more.

Annie wrote 2074 days ago

By-the-way, which one are you? David or Michael

Annie wrote 2074 days ago

I loved your characters and beatiful descriptive language. The picth is very catchy, but maybe the second paragraph could be divided into two, instead of one paragraph.
I think it would read easier that way.

This is gripping and I shall certainly be back for more. Qeeg is a splendid character!

Anne

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