Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Faulty Television Receiver (Alfred and Bertha's Marvellous Twenty-First Century Life, Book 2) by Cora Buhlert

Release date: July 9, 2015
Subgenre: Parody, hard science fiction, short story

About The Faulty Television Receiver


Bertha and Alfred, married for twenty years, enjoy a truly science fictional life in the twenty-first century. But in spite of all the technological marvels surrounding them, a faulty television receiver can still lead to argument and cause them to examine their marriage.

This parodistic piece is a mundane short story of 4100 words, written in the style of science fiction's "golden age" of the 1940s and 1950s. 

This story was written in response to E.P. Beaumont's "Not Really SF Short Story Challenge".



One of the great advantages of life in the twenty-first century was the amount of leisure time that even ordinary citizens had been granted by the many labour-saving devices available to them.
And so, after a long day of strenuous research at the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s most powerful particle collider, which also happened to be the largest machine on the entire planet Earth, head engineer Alfred von Bülow still had sufficient leisure time to spend the evening at his home, a free-standing single family house in a suburban subdivision, with his wife Bertha.
In the twenty-first century, citizens had myriad ways of spending the extensive leisure time available to them. There were public theatre and musical performances, professional and amateur sports events of any kind and cinemas where previously filmed material was projected onto a huge screen for the delectation of the audience. There were dance clubs and gambling halls, strictly regulated of course. There were public eateries offering samples of every cuisine imaginable and beautiful parks where citizens could go for a walk, either alone or with their pets of the Canis lupus familiaris species.
But in spite of all the public leisure options on offer, like many citizens Alfred and Bertha preferred to spend their evenings in the sanctity and privacy of their free-standing single family home. And on those peaceful evenings, their favourite leisure time activity was watching television.
Television was a true miracle of the modern age, a telecommunications medium used for transmitting moving images coupled with sound to individual receivers in every home.
There were multiple methods of television transmission available. The traditional method, commonly referred to as terrestrial television, employed high-powered radio frequency transmitters to broadcast television signals to individual receivers via the air. Another method, commonly referred to as cable television, used co-axial cables or fibre optic cables, that is cables containing optical fibres which transmit information in the form of light, to transmit television signals. The third method, commonly referred to as satellite television, employed orbital satellites to broadcast the television signal to dish-shaped satellite receiver antennas installed on the roofs of many homes.
As with many twenty-first century homes, the television receiver formed the centrepiece of Alfred’s and Bertha’s living room. In its most basic form, a television receiver was a screen on which the moving images transmitted via television signals were displayed, while loudspeakers emitted the related sounds.

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About Cora Buhlert:

Cora Buhlert was born and bred in North Germany, where she still lives today – after time spent in London, Singapore, Rotterdam and Mississippi. Cora holds an MA degree in English from the University of Bremen and is currently working towards her PhD. Cora has been writing since she was a teenager, and has published stories, articles and poetry in various international magazines. When she is not writing, she works as a translator and teacher.

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