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!

Misprints News #46 – A Cyberpunk Story

Getting The Widow of Redbriar out to the world took a little longer than I’d hoped it would. After a setback with the internal print files of the paperback version, things are now shipping out smoothly. The holidays are over for the most part and things are back to normal around the house which means I can now jump back into the nightly writing schedule.

As of today, I’m still in the outlining stages of my next little book. This one will not be a sequel to Redbriar, for which, a concept is written down but I’m burnt out on Mary Ellen. Instead, I’m working on a cyberpunk story set in a speculative future. The main characters are guys, the world has electricity outside of Edison’s garage, and everyone has amazing flush toilets. Total opposite of Redbriar.

The “Cyberpunk” story as of right now follows two guys who write medical software for government pharmaceutical companies which have developed a chip-based drug delivery device that can be programmed to deliver custom signals to the brain to relieve pain, suppress hunger, etc. Again, this is speculative fiction and I’m not a scientist but you can grasp the concept. Our two guys write software for the devices by day and custom illegal software for them by night. Things go bad when one day the government decriminalizes the custom software hours after our guys have taken out a loan with one of the many drug rings in town.

Some differences from standard Cyberpunk:

  • Not a dystopia
  • Not set in NY/LA/HK/or Tokyo
  • Main characters are not orphans or teens

JetLinks!

  1. Amazon is pulling out of their New York HQ location.
  2. Chinese censorship workers spend all day banning history.
  3. JP Morgan is crazy late to the alt-coin game.
  4. Chinese business programs now invest in Reddit.

Among other things, you’ll notice this isn’t the original website. I’m in the process of moving it over to WordPress’s pro plan in the next couple of weeks so some old links may or may not work after Feb 22nd. Also until I get on the paid plan there may be ads on the site they inject, whatever garbage they are for wasn’t approved by me.