Earth Commerce

Welcome to Earth Major, 2307. Firmware 3.1.53. 

It has been 2 months and 12 days since the last consumer uprising. Estimated GNP loss of  ¥R 42 Billion. Since the Great Capitalist Rebellion of 2205-2209, Corporations are officially recognised as the governing elite, as Commercial Autocracy washed away the obsolete ways of State and Party rule. With the fall of the old establishment, Conglomerates now map the globe. National pride and brand identity has become one and the same.   

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I’ve Been Struggling To Write Anything Lately…

My Friends Suggested I Write About It.

For the past couple of months, I have been suffering from Writer’s Drought. “Block” is simply too good a word, suggesting a stream of creative discourse is merely backed up, desperate to be unclogged by some cognitive Mr Muscle. My mind is a barren wilderness. If you listen close enough you may hear the wisp of the occasional heading or opening sentence as it tumbles from ear to ear.

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Supermash and The Art of the Hybrid-Genre

For the past few days, I’ve been playing Supermash, developed and published by Digital Continue. Supermash bids itself as a “game that makes games”. You run a video games store, that’s on the verge of closing, when you discover an old retro console that lets you combine (or mash) two different genres of game together to generate a unique old-school title that borrows elements from your chosen genres.

Every game you generate has its own challenge for you to complete. Whether the task is achievable however, is a whole other story. In fact, Supermash begins with a screen that states:

Supermash doesn’t design games a person would. The mashes can be: Good, Weird, Unbalanced, Incredibly Hard, Super Easy. The fun comes from finding and saving the games and rising to the challenge to overcome seemingly unbeatable mashes.”

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Partial Recall – Passing the Childhood Memory Baton

What’s your earliest memory? I have a particularly vivid snapshot from when we moved house when I was four. Sitting down on the delightfully brown carpet of the living room with boxes all around us, and watching Knight Rider with my family on our small colour television.

That was thirty-four years ago. Crikey.

I also have a vague recollection of an incident from when I was about two. For some incomprehensible reason I gleefully emptied all of my clothes from the lower drawers in my bedroom onto the floor. Ah what a rush! Only for my Mother to walk in and tell me she wasn’t going to put them back, and I quickly realised I had to tidy it all. Cue the tears.

Only, is that a genuine memory? Or is it a fabrication my brain has constructed from being told about it enough times by my parents? It’s entirely likely that this is an implanted, or “fictional memory”.

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Welcome To The World of Tomorrow!

From Annihilation Earth to A Quiet Place, Pacific Rim to Edge of Tomorrow, The film industry’s elaborately fictitious presentations of 2020 have often been pretty grim, typically featuring monsters or alien invasions, being fought with equally elaborate technology such as giant battle mechs and advanced robotic exosuits. Where’s my exosuit? Probably in the garage next to the hoverboard and self-tying shoelaces from 2015…

However, for a more reserved, optimistic portrayal of home-life in Twenty Twenty, we may look no further than a 1989 episode of the classic British TV show Tomorrow’s World.

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SLOWLY Return to Meaningful Discourse

In the age of instant access, limited patience and diminishing attention spans, “social” exchanges are commonly reduced to that of few words at a time. The likes of Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger and Line have enabled us to mindlessly chat away with each other at the press of a button, but what does that do to the quality and meaning of the content therein? How much thought goes into an emoji? Gone are the days when a thoughtful letter rich in content was the regular communicative method of choice for most people. Even if you have a pen pal or long distance acquaintance, an email can reach them in seconds. How much more time & effort would you make if it didn’t reach them for days, and took a week to get a response?

SLOWLY is a digital platform for a traditional pen pal experience.

Designed for people in search of meaningful conversations in the era of instant messaging, their aim is “to connect people around the world at a slower but better pace – one letter at a time.”

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Spread The Word’s London Short Story Prize Open for Entries

Spread The Word’s London Short Story Prize 2019 is currently open for entries. The Prize was launched in 2013 to platform talented short story writers in London. They have published six anthologies, celebrated six winners, have run two London Short Story Festivals and profiled over 50 talented short story writers.

The winner of the London Short Story Prize 2019  will receive £1000 and their short story will be published in Open Pen London. Two highly commended writers will each receive £250. The full longlist will see their short stories published in the London Short Story Prize 2019 Anthology.

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A novel worth writing should hold you to ransom. – Richard Skinner

I’ve only just started reading Skinner’s Writing A Novel, but this particular quote really resonates with me.