Saturday, December 6, 2014

Fool's Sacrifice by Geronimo Bosch

Release date: November 22, 2014
Subgenre: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Cyberpunk

About Fool's Sacrifice

DOMINION: A lawless city of ten million desperate souls. The State ignores the struggles of the dispossessed, but crushes any who challenge its rule.

G-Boy is a delinquent graffiti artist and ace pilot working the airborne auto theft trade who finds his life threatened when he teams up with a slick newcomer, a girl named Spider. She's tech savvy and scopes all the angles, but comes wrapped in a web of secrecy and bad luck. After they lift a haul of booby-trapped vehicles and their partners in crime are blown from the skies, they find themselves under suspicion from their gangland boss and painted as terrorists by the authorities who govern Dominion City.

As the net tightens around them, G-Boy is presented with a dilemma. Face punishment for his crimes or accept a fool's sacrifice by taking the hand of a mysterious stranger offering escape. But, at a price.


“This you just have to see, even though it may not surprise you at all...” Lumbering into view at the rear of the blackly comic procession and towering over the festive street scene, there appeared the physical / psychical manifestation of the technocratically-engendered, ultra-symbolist Fluke Machine, with its dark lures and doomy limbs clawing a path along the boulevard.
“Long ago, the human genius developed, for its advantage, the means of producing surplus to requirements. This allowed civilisation to flourish and, over time, developed trade, commerce and fluency in communications. Institutions were established to protect what had been learnt and, these days, these wisdoms are considered inviolable, even when they clash. One must not refute accepted wisdom. Only a fool would argue against the weight of history. And yet, the world moves on, oblivious as to the undertakings of its inhabitants. Meanwhile, the human genius, who once exhibited the suppleness and reactive speed of the salamander sensing danger, sits safely in its hermetically sealed industrial cocoon, morosely planning the colonisation of space as an escapee from this over-farmed and stricken planet. The human genius sits on its withered legs, a hunched figure lost in contemplation over the series of Chinese Finger Traps which bind its hands, crouched deep in the belly of the Fluke Machine; trapped by its symbiotic dependence upon the Machine.”
“Fluke Machine: the barbaric, myopic, cycloptic behemoth that grew exponentially, insatiably from the desire of provision for loved ones and which is now careering untamed toward a desolate future.”
The hooked and barbed silhouettes of pincers and flailing extremities were visible from a distance, as they flashed across the skyline. The Fluke Machine was clearing a path for itself. It was also grabbing and crushing, or brushing aside, anyone foolish enough to stand in its way. Not that you had to be in its way; innocents and rubberneckers were plucked from balconies and, if they weren’t sliced in two by the monstrous pincers, were dashed to the ground or flung high into the air.
...More indiscriminate carnage.
“Many mindless mortals are transfixed by the mere appearance of the machinery, even know it to be a manipulative process and still they give themselves freely over to it. Others are induced into service by subtler means; via loved ones, or in a search for collective identity. But, all are eventually caught up in its many flails.”
The least fortunate victims of the Machine were thrust deep into its mechanised maw, to be ingested, subsumed and incorporated into the greater mass. Those lost in the belly of the beast were drained, but remained. They lived there, in its awful, habit-forming juices; poison recalibrating their brain chemistry, until they knew no different. There they survived and thrived as hosts reproducing, providing the Human Resources with which to man the Machine. For, here was another terrifying truth about Fluke Machine: as the oppressive, grey dystopian dragon lurched closer, it became clear that it was manned on every level, operated by its crazed inhabitants with no memory of life outside the Machine and with one, and only one, command; Move Forward.
Tearing up whatever stood in their way and disregarding all ramifications of their actions, in favour of the matter in hand, they ploughed on; semi-autonomous sections of the apparatus seemingly oblivious to the devastating effect of the operation of the whole.
The Minister pressed on with his less-than-soothing summation: “Empathy with those trapped within the Machine is lost and with it the cultural limitations that empathy imposes on extremes of human behaviour. Thus, the inhabitants become sociopathic: they know no compassion; indeed, they would view it as a weakness, pitted, as they are, against one another, even within the Machine. Their disconnectedness permits the committing of atrocities against other humans in the name of progress. And, Fluke Machine records not the names of those crushed, or left dispossessed, in its wake. Man’s atrocity towards man: the abhorrent engine derived from the logistics of fulfilling the human genius’ most altruistic desires; to provide for and to protect.”
“Existential conundrums don’t come more complex or tragically tangled...”



About Geronimo Bosch

Some of my best ideas arrive when I'm sleeping.

You know the type: Some clown with a melted face offers me a bag of jelly beans that contains the whole damn Multiverse; each one I eat is me chomping down an entire Universe... this one's sweet... and this one's really bitter. That one tasted like gorgonzola!

And it's not as if the clown has any qualms about this senseless devouring of reality... I ask the freak: "What happens when I eat the Universe that we're in right now...?"

And, the weirdo just looks at me with eyes that have seen too much of the heart of every star; have been baked hard, then melted, and ultimately screwed - and he says to me, this Dream Peddler, he says, "Aaah, there you go laddie: we're in all of them, at the same time, for all of eternity..."

Then, he starts to laugh, maniacally, in the manner of someone who's been given far too much adulation for far too long, and when I look again into the bag of jelly beans, I realise that I've been eating pellets of dung all along.

That sort of thing.

I like to channel a sense of dream absurdity and multi-textural reality into the high-octane, psychedelia of the dystopian, cyberpunk sci-fi that I write. It seems to me an adequate form for satirising the sheer, unbridled lunacy of life on Earth as a human in the 21st century.

Because if you forget to smile and laugh, you go mad...

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