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  1. #1
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    wtb advice, and good book recommendation for sci-fi, transhumanism related

    My WIP takes place in an era I made up called the transhuman revolution. It's basically pre-cyberpunk. But the technological advances are beyond me (Im no scientist, and no little about the specifics of genetic engineering). The POV is through the eyes of a 17 year old slacker so I'm allowed to go 'light' on the science without appearing pretentious and adding "because magic!" It gives me some room to work with, and the fact that this 'transhuman revolution' only works as the setting, and a 'secondary antagonist'. It does not have a ton to do with the MC or the actual plot. It's basically just the society and world she is walking through.

    In the middle of telling the story, I drafted a 2 paragraph info dump about the era, that didn't really need to be there, because it didnt affect the MC directly, in regard to the plot she is moving through. So i ended up removing it, it slowed down the action -- and exposed my lack research on the subject. Here is my roughed efforts to describe what exactly this transhuman era is, (paraphrased), "The current controversy, that is the Transhuman Revolution, is based on the External Bionic Chips (EBCs) becoming... INTERNAL Bionic chips." (The external is somewhat cyborg, the internal is nanotechnology . The controversy is, external chips are fine, they don't directly mess with the body, while internal chips can restructure an individual from the inside out (like in the story Blood Music) and is incredibly dangerous and argued immoral. It seems a bit juvenile, switching out external for internal for some overly simplified explanation for transhumanism.

    I'm having a problem with distinguishing nanotechnology from being a cyborg. I'd assume the Cyborg technology would come BEFORE we inject ourselves with nanochips, but not totally sure. And I'm not sure how'd they mix with one another.

    Anyway, one of the obvious problems is I've not read any other novels about transhumanism, so any good recommendations?
    Last edited by 06Casuality; 05-23-2016 at 06:36 AM.



  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Why explain anything? It has to make sense, but in general, readers don't care. It's installed, it works, and as a result of having them your story takes place. 'Nuff said. John W. Campbell, who edited Astounding/Analog magazine for decades used to tell his writers to do the piece as if it was going to appear in a magazine of novel contemporary to the society it takes place in.

    Think about it. Did they explain how the Millennium Falcon works, or how Yoda could levitate things? No. Would it have made the film better if, at some point they stopped the story to explain that? Hell no. Story takes place. Reports are explained. Which do you find entertaining?

  3. #3
    Rogue Mutt
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    Generally I think you need internal and external components for cybernetic devices like artificial limbs because you need to interface with the nervous system for it to work somewhat naturally. I'm sure there's plenty out there on Google if you want to know how that works. If you're doing light sci-fi then you probably can bluff through most of it though even a lot of Star Trek was based on existing concepts, especially the later tv shows.

  4. #4
    Rogue Mutt
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greenstein View Post
    Why explain anything? It has to make sense, but in general, readers don't care. It's installed, it works, and as a result of having them your story takes place. 'Nuff said. John W. Campbell, who edited Astounding/Analog magazine for decades used to tell his writers to do the piece as if it was going to appear in a magazine of novel contemporary to the society it takes place in.

    Think about it. Did they explain how the Millennium Falcon works, or how Yoda could levitate things? No. Would it have made the film better if, at some point they stopped the story to explain that? Hell no. Story takes place. Reports are explained. Which do you find entertaining?
    Actually in the prequels they explained the Force and people hated it so they were better off not explaining it. A point for you. Hahaha.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
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    Why explain anything? It has to make sense, but in general, readers don't care. It's installed, it works, and as a result of having them your story takes place. 'Nuff said. John W. Campbell, who edited Astounding/Analog magazine for decades used to tell his writers to do the piece as if it was going to appear in a magazine of novel contemporary to the society it takes place in.

    Think about it. Did they explain how the Millennium Falcon works, or how Yoda could levitate things? No. Would it have made the film better if, at some point they stopped the story to explain that? Hell no. Story takes place. Reports are explained. Which do you find entertaining?

    I see what you're saying. I guess it comes down to the main question, how much 'world-building' is absolutely necessary for the kind of story I'm telling. Will there be need of an established Tolkien-esque futuristic world or more an experience of the POV character alone - what she understands - what moves the plot - scene to scene - with a dab here and there of the world building / setting aspects that make the society tick in its current, precarious state that's just enough "reporting" to add the gravity of the plot and to help the suspension of disbelief.

    I'm definitely leading to the 2nd option, not the Tolkien-esque background on the Transhuman Revolution. Like you said, it's more immersive than rather than just a report.

  6. #6
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    Generally I think you need internal and external components for cybernetic devices like artificial limbs because you need to interface with the nervous system for it to work somewhat naturally. I'm sure there's plenty out there on Google if you want to know how that works. If you're doing light sci-fi then you probably can bluff through most of it though even a lot of Star Trek was based on existing concepts, especially the later tv shows.
    Thanks for suggestion.

  7. #7
    Rogue Mutt
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    In one of those weird coincidences, I started reading this book on my Kindle this morning and it involves nanobots. Hahaha.

  8. #8
    Junior Member
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    Is it any good?

  9. #9
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest
    Not from an entertainment standpoint. If you just want some ideas for nanobots it would be better. But also sometimes a terrible book can help you by showing what not to do; like Tim Allen on Home Improvement all those years.

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