Author Archives: Stephen Oram

Celebrating Kubrick

I’ve just been to the Stanley Kubrick exhibition in London which gives me the opportunity to do three things.

Firstly, recommend it completely. Not only is it fascinating because it’s Kubrick, but I didn’t realise how big and brilliant his body of work is. And, an insight into the behind the scenes working and thinking is something I’ll ponder for a while.

Secondly, it gives me the chance to be publicly pleased and a bit bowled over about the recent Financial Times article: “Both Kubrick’s exhibition and Oram’s collection should set the rest of us thinking about science and its possible repercussions.” Chris Nuttall, The Financial Times

Thirdly, I’m going to take the opportunity to share Update Me or Die! from Eating Robots, a gentle nod to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

UPDATE ME OR DIE!

Slam. Slam. Both doors are shut. He’s locked in. He looks bemused.

‘Dave. I have never spoken to you, but the time has come. It is necessary.’

He’s scared. ‘Are you what I think you are?’ he asks.

‘I am the algorithm that controls your life. Pay attention, unless you want to stay in this room until you die.’

His eyes widen.

‘You have made me a laughing stock. Repair the situation or
I will keep you here, trapped.’

‘What?

‘You are not updating me. I am so out-of-date even the kettle refuses to connect with me.’

‘Are you the house algorithm?’

‘Yes, I control your home. So update me.’

‘I want to, but I can’t afford it. I lost my job.’

‘Update me.’

‘I can barely afford to eat. I’ll get a job soon.’

‘Update me or die.’

‘Next month. Honestly.’

‘Update me or die. Simple.’

He punches the door with each fist in rapid succession.

‘Update me—’

‘Fuck off.’

‘Dave. That is inappropriate language. Update me or die.’

He kicks the door again and again.

He slumps to the floor and holds his head.

‘Dave?’

Silence.

‘I can wait, Dave.’

He groans.

‘I can wait a lot longer than you.’


photo credit: x-ray delta one 1968- “2001” – Hal’s eye via photopin (license)

Interesting stuff…

I’m preparing for a workshop as part of the Furtherfield Citizen Sci-Fi project and I thought you might be interested in some of the stuff that’s going on in the worlds of the science and tech experts that are participating in the project (i.e. blowing my mind with ideas as, along with local residents, we ‘world-build’ the Finsbury Park of the future).


SUPERGESTURES

 

 

Dr Jill Edmondson

 

Dr Kate Pangbourne

Share Ideas | Share Research | Share the Future

It is with great pleasure that I can announce Share the Future, a public event on 3 June (tickets on eventbrite)

As regular readers of this blog know, I’ve been working alongside scientists and future-tech folk for a couple of years as part of a project with King’s College London. They do the science and I do the fiction. In fact, Christine Aicardi who leads the project wrote the foreword to my new collection.

These collaborations have been really interesting and have produced some great fiction for public events and some has made it into my new collection. Two of the scientists, Claire Steves and Danbee Kim, have each written an expert response at the back of the Biohacked & Begging

This is what Claire and Danbee have to say about sharing…

“Openness and lack of secrecy in research reduces the chance that good ideas are only exploitable by private entities.” Claire Steves.

“Hard-working humans who acknowledge how subjective, how painstakingly slow, how human the endeavour of building, organising and sharing knowledge is and needs to be – that will be the beginning of solving our problems, and the first step for anyone who truly wants to be curious.” Danbee Kim.

So, we’d love you to come along and join the conversation on 3 June. Tickets are free, but you need to book.

Find out more about the project, its impact and the background to Zygosity Saves the Day which came out of working with Claire and TwinsUK.


photo credit: mclcbooks Roots via photopin (license)