Misprints News #48 – How much do clothes cost in the Matrix?

So when you’re writing Historical fiction and you need to work out how much a pair of pants cost you can easily google a bunch of old newspaper ads that will gladly tell you. Writing a story set in the future requires working out a believable level of inflation for the price of things. You can’t just slap Australian prices on something set ten years in the future without reason. Has there been some sort of economic collapse and huge spike in inflation? Is there a new basis of currency? A true global economy? The thing is whatever the reason it needs to be believable and it needs to make sense for the setting.

For this story, I’ve gone with a fully cashless economy, where people are paid in what are called “units”. This makes their money not exactly modern dollars, or pounds in this case as the story is set in the UK, but a more appropriate government-backed currency. Yes I’ve taken the term “units” from Contest of Champions, but they won’t go calling $100 “Odins” or anything silly. I still don’t know what year to place it in, somewhere in the 2050’s perhaps, not so far ahead that everything we understand has been replaced or we’re all in space pod colonies or something that would force the story into proper scifi. Clothing and such shouldn’t be too crazy, I’m sure jeans won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Same goes for sneakers and boots etc, baseball caps will probably still be around but hooded sweatshirts might not. Who knows, that’s the fun of making up things.

The title of today’s post comes from the movie “Grandma’s Boy” where the nerdy lead developer at a game company runs around in black plastic jackets, boots, and sunglasses with his hair slicked back. One of the game testers makes a joke asking him how much clothes cost in the Matrix since he is clearly out of place in dressing like he came out of a futuristic science fiction movie. This is not the type of reaction I want readers to have when they read about the characters in my story, I need them to look and feel as though they are living in the right place and time for the story. No fancy robotic fabrics or LED jackets. No cartoonish levels of futuristic fashion that might be seen on a runway.

I still haven’t worked out the ending. There is a portion at the end of the second act that sort of halts the momentum of it all. Something might have to be rolled back a few chapters in order to fix it but that’s what the planning stage is for. Right now each “chapter” is only a few lines of text that act as a blueprint for full chapters later. Problems like this won’t require huge rewrites or any time wasted later on when things get fleshed out. I used the same outline process for Redbriar and it worked out well. This book will also be a novella and under 40k words, it will also have less chapters than Redbriar as it doesn’t encompass multiple years of time.

You’ll notice the site has a new theme on it, I’ve upgraded it so I can use custom URL’s and map the others to the pages they need to be mapped to. I won’t bother putting “jetlinks” at the bottom of these posts anymore. There are now RSS feeds at the bottom of the site from places I go to all the time where I was getting the links from. Now they will be up to date and relevant anytime you read the articles not just during the day it’s read. I had planned to get the site moved over and updated a few weeks ago but with my husband swapping jobs I had to hold off on major purchases for most of the month.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

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2 thoughts on “Misprints News #48 – How much do clothes cost in the Matrix?

  1. Something I’ve also found to help with ‘units’ of futuristic cash is just to say how long you’d need to work in order to buy something. No matter when a person reads that line, the value of the object remains fixed (unless, of course, the meaning of work changes!).

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