One of the reasons I enjoy straddling the science fiction / fantasy line with Above Ground is that I have the chance to play with werewolves and high-tech gadgets at the same time.
Much of the world building and gadgetry of the story has existed in my mind for years… so it gave me a very strange sense of deja vu when, throughout the course of writing, I stumbled across the same concepts.
Take Google’s Project Glass.
In Chapter 10 of Above Ground, Emma is harassed by a blogger/journalist called Mike, who suspects her of being involved in a government plot. He wears a pair of sunglasses that double up as a computer, very similar to what Google envisioned.
Excerpt from Chapter 10:
Mike touched his glasses, adjusting whatever screen he was reading. “You touched out on this level,” he said, “but there was no record of you touching in.”
“You got that information illegally,” Emma said, nervous. “The privacy acts—”
“So you don’t deny it?”
“I’m not a fare evader,” she replied. “I paid for my fare in cash, and forgot that I didn’t need to touch out.”
“It’s archaic, not illegal.” Or so Emma hoped. If Liam had lied to her….
“Either way, I don’t really care,” Mike said, dismissive. “I’m not writing that piece anymore, not when there’s a bigger story out there. The theatre,” he added, once again flipping through screens on his glasses. “I ran checks. You’re the only one who went above ground this morning who has come back. The only traceable one, anyway. If you hadn’t touched out, I wouldn’t have found you.”
He pulled his glasses down for the first time. His eyes were small, bloodshot, the blue pupils fixed on Emma. “You bought two tickets to the theatre; I know you were there. Tell me what you saw. Give me the exclusive, and I’ll make you look like a hero.”
Check out Google’s version:
Then there’s the Nokia 888
In Above Ground, phone are flexible, adaptable, and shape shifting. Snap them onto your wrist. Project holographic screens. Unfold them into normal phones. Clip them onto your belt.
Excerpt from Chapter 4:
King’s phone beeped. He glanced down, read the message without unsnapping the phone from his wrist. He’d opted for the latest model—a thin, flexible strip of smart plastic which could be worn almost anywhere—and the sight of it made Emma long for her own phone, as inconvenient and bulky as it was. She felt naked without it, defenceless. The thought of being locked up in this tiny room, cut off from the world with no means to call for help, was terrifying.
And lo and behold:
Rather than feeling bummed about my ideas lacking originality, I’m intrigued by how similarly people think. It is pretty incredible how quickly technology develops.
Although, really, if all our predictions came true, we’d already be driving around in flying cars.
…maybe next year.