Tag Archives: future

#FridayswithBQB – Interview #4 – Amy Engle – Future Technology in Fiction (Or, When Are the Robots Coming for Us?)

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Author Website

When I search the deep recesses of my mind to access the proverbial “Hall of Famous Amies,” i.e. women named Amy I can remember, two come to mind. First, there was that woman who was in all the Kevin Smith movies in the 1990s who played “Chasing Amy.” She sounded like Jennifer Tilly and looked like Renee Zellweger and I’m not about to look up her name now because for the past twenty years I have referred to her as “that actress who sounds like Jennifer Tilly and looks like Renee Zellweger” and by God, I’m not about to stop now. OK, fine, she’s Joey Lauren Adams. Where were you in the 90s, IMDB?

The second famous Amy that pops into my mind is the one from “Gone Girl” who (SPOILER ALERT – LOOK AWAY IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE MOVIE OR READ THE BOOK) totally fakes her own death just to get revenge on Ben Affleck. Since seeing that movie, I have avoided all relationships as I mean, holy crap, you just never know when a woman is going to get a little uppity over something and fake her own death and send you to jail. “What? You want me to pass the salt? That’s it! I’m faking my own death!” Thanks Hollywood. Thanks a lot.

Now, there’s a new Amy, author Amy Engle, and I don’t believe she would fake her own death (without a good reason) and I remember her name because she’s always in my Twitter feed, promoting her latest masterpiece.

As I am one of the Internet’s foremost nerds, she’s piqued my interest because she writes social science fiction which examines up and coming technologies and how they will affect mankind. Alteration of humans to make them more powerful and time travel are just some of the topics she explores.

Forget time travel. Just give me an edit button on my Twitter posts and I’ll be a happy camper. Anyway, 3.5 readers, please put all seven your hands together to welcome Amy Engle to this exceptional blog.

BQB=BOLD; AMY=ITALICS

QUESTION #1 – Amy, welcome to my blog. I hope you only have to stay here until a \kindhearted motorist sees your thumb sticking out and gives you a ride to a better interview. Until then, let’s talk about the future of technology. One concern that I have is that I’m going to be dead. I mean, I’m adding a lot of fiber to my diet to put that inevitability off for as long as possible, but if what happened to my cat, goldfish and grandma are any indication, I’m not going to get out of life alive.

So, to get to the point, my concern is that there will be a lot of awesome technologies that will be invented in the future. Cures for diseases that have long plagued humanity, devices that turn difficult chores into a quick and easy task. Solutions to poverty and war and all of society’s ills. And honestly, I fear it’s all going to happen in a way that will spite me. Like one minute before I die, someone’s going to come up to me and tell me, “Hey BQB, they just patented a drug that will cure what’s killing you and also, they just invented robot women!” Just my luck.

Enough from me. What’s the future look like? Will technology turn the world into the utopia I just described or will it make the world worse? While cures and solved problems are nice to think about, I suppose it is also entirely possible that technological advances could lead to more efficient war machines, more ways to pollute the environment and let’s just face it, we’re all going to be bowing down to our robot masters someday, aren’t we?

All the rambling above distilled into a simpler question – technology! Will it make the future better or worse?

ANSWER #1—Technology brings both the helpful as well as some kind of nasty side-effect. Diseases might all be eradicated someday, but then the resulting population boost will consume all the remaining resources at a swifter rate than normal. We might invent robots that do every little thing for us, letting us have easier lives and yet leaving us incapable of surviving on our own. (All I see in my mind now is the helpless, fat people in the floating chairs in “WALL-E.”) The frightening list goes on and on. Although I love technology, I also have a healthy level of fear. I’ve recently gotten into Netflix’s “Black Mirror” series. Although I’m relieved to know that there are other people whose brains think similar to mine, I’m also left absolutely frightened at the future implications of burgeoning tech. Now that I’ve revealed to the internet one of my deepest fears, I’ll just caution that we need to be aware that it can be used for immoral purposes as well as positive. But I really do hope  to see more and more advancements before I die as well.

QUESTION #2 – What’s a specific piece of technology coming down the road that you think will benefit humanity? In contrast, what tech will make life worse? Alternatively, is there technology that might have positive and negative ramifications?

ANSWER #2—I love seeing videos of people in third-world countries finding simple solutions to deal with a big problem. As someone who writes speculative science fiction, I’m always interested in how a technology affects society. I hope there will be newer forms of social media that could further spread knowledge and awareness of moral injustices and allow the human race to unite as a positive force. With that said, I have absolutely no idea what kind of technology that would be.

QUESTION #3 – Your book, “Undoing Life” is about Sal Chancellor, a man who obtains a time travelling watch he uses in the hopes of turning his lousy life around for the better, but as it turns out, he’s being observed by people from four hundred years in the future. You describe it as “The Truman Show” meets “The Butterfly Effect” meets “Groundhog Day.”

The description alone speaks to me. I’d love to have Sal’s watch and change my past. Ex-girlfriends I messed things up with. Opportunities I wish I’d taken. Hell, even if I could talk my past self into working out more and hitting the drive-thru less.

When it comes to time travel, there seems to be two schools of thought. The most popular is that we should never change the slightest thing about the past because we never know how it will change the future. So for example, I could turn my past self into a model boyfriend and keep that girl I lost but you never know, maybe we were supposed to break up because our son would have become the next Hitler.

Alternatively, when we’re young we’re handed a myriad of important choices to make. We have little life experience so we make the best choice we can with the limited knowledge we have at the time. When we’re older, we get all the spoilers, i.e. we figure out how our past decisions turn out. Would it be that bad to whisper a few tidbits of advice to our former selves?

Tinker with the past or leave it alone. Which course of action do you think is best and why?

ANSWER #3—Ha! You have touched on a number of things I explore in “Undoing Life.” Sal uses his time-travel watch to fix a romantic relationship and undo several life-mistakes. However, it corrupts and mangles his mind as the power consumes him. And I believe that this would happen to anyone who tried to play God and alter time. There are just too many unknown variables to really say for certain if time-travel would be a “good” thing. And it certainly wouldn’t be advisable to let the masses all manipulate time at once. It would need to remain in the hands of a couple over-seers. But my short answer would have to be to leave time alone and just let it do its thing.

QUESTION #4 – Perhaps one sign of progress is that every generation envies the technology that the new generation has full access to. My grandma marveled at my Nintendo games as if they were dropped off by a space alien. Conversely, I’m a little miffed that today’s 20-year olds can start their own YouTube shows, start their own blogs, write their own e-books and have years ahead of them to build a following on social media.

Personally, I would have loved to have had all of this self-publishing technology when I was 20 and able to stay up all night and write for three days straight fueled on nothing but Cheetos, energy drinks and unearned confidence, but at my age, I think about self-publishing a lot but then I just take a nap.

In my own twisted way, that leads me to ask if self-publishing is worth it. Consider all the time and effort you put in. Are you getting satisfactory results? If my 3.5 readers ask you if they should start self-publishing, would you advise them to get into it or to run away, kicking and screaming?

ANSWER #4—It’s a little too early to say for sure if self-publishing is “worth it.” This is technically my second attempt at self-publishing. I was exclusively on Kindle for almost two years and made approximately $60 in that time-span. I’m now publishing through Ingram Spark, which means that my stories will supposedly be available in every other format except for Kindle. (I can’t publish through them for at least a year after I am no longer exclusively with them.)

Yes, I’m putting a lot of effort and money into getting all my stories self-published, I’m still in the hopeful stage that this will all be worth it someday. I’ve got quite a few books I need to sell to break-even, but I’m learning enough about marketing to allow me to keep expanding my influence and find new readers to buy my books.

I would like to pass on one little tip: do your research! Google is full of information about both indie-publishing as well as traditional publishing. Don’t be afraid to take risks and make mistakes—as long as you learn from them and try again if/when you fail for the first time.

QUESTION #5 – Your book, “Iris” talks about alteration of humans. Should humans be altered? I mean, I’d love to be altered so that I could run really fast, lift cars, and fly, but I’d settle for more hair and the ability to eat fast food burgers without going up a pant size. Human altering – will it save mankind or ruin us all?

ANSWER #5—Oh, Bookshelf Q. Battler! You keep asking me questions with only two options. I’m not a “black-and-white” sort of person. I don’t think things are either one way or another. There are so many different variables to consider and evaluate. I think human alterations are inevitable. And yet, I don’t think it will happen quite in our lifetimes. It very well might solve a handful of problems while also adding a new set we hadn’t anticipated. In “Iris,” many of these Alterations died due to the radical changes that were forced upon their bodies. Several of those who survived are now hiding from their creators, hoping not to live the rest of their lives as weapons.

QUESTION #6 – “Reps and Royals” features space colonization. Just gonna throw it out there. Does alien life exist? If so, should we try to contact the aliens to see if they have any solutions for our toughest problems, or will that just let them know we are here so they can send their ships to conquer us all?

ANSWER #6— I grew up on “Star Wars,” so I love the thought of meeting aliens someday. I hope we can learn from them and maybe pass along some wisdom as well. I don’t think they will solve all our problems. And of course, there’s the possibility that they might try to enslave us. Sadly, though, there aren’t any aliens in “Reps and Royals”—just humans living on a different planet. I haven’t finished my “alien” story quite yet!

QUESTION #7 – You’re a middle school English teacher and a drama club director. Please put on a production of “Chicago” immediately. “They had it coming! They had it coming! They only had themselves to blame!” Sorry. I digress. I love showtunes.

My 3.5 readers and I talk a big game about self-publishing. We’ll list out all the goals we want to achieve, but then we just sit around and eat cookies and watch Netflix. You seem to be hitting all your marks even while teaching and drama directing. Are there any time management techniques you could share?

ANSWER #7—I’m guilty of wasting hours binge-watching Netflix after a long day of teaching and directing. But I’ve realized that life-style makes me even more tired than when I’m writing all night long. I’ve only recently been able to chip away at my movie addiction. It’s been a few years that I’ve been trying to be more disciplined with my writing time. I just keep telling myself that I’ll never be able to write full-time if I don’t WRITE. So I set aside about an hour every night to revise, with a couple hours on weekends and holidays. I don’t write EVERYDAY, but I fit a good 10+ hours in every week. As far as actual management techniques, I don’t have any great trick that helps me. You’ve got to figure out what works for you and your schedule. Prioritize and figure out what you can really do without in order to find time to work on what matters the most to you.

QUESTION #8 – As a self-publisher, what’s one lesson you learned the hard way? Can you share it with my 3.5 readers to help them avoid the trouble?

ANSWER #8—I learned that writing takes time. I remember being in college and thinking that I was going to squeeze out a best-seller in a few months and that would cover the cost of tuition and living expenses. When that didn’t work out, I still misjudged the amount of time it took to fix up a decent manuscript. I’ve been writing for about ten years now, and I’m still struggling to “make it” in this business; it will likely also take me a few more years as well. Don’t get discouraged when things don’t go according to your plan. That wastes precious time. Instead, set another goal when the previous plan fails. Repeat that direction as much as needed until you figure it out. Remember: no two authors have the same journey to publication!

QUESTION #9 – If time travel ever is invented, what is one time period you’d like to visit, even if it’s just as a casual observer who doesn’t interfere?

ANSWER #9—As a woman, traveling far back into time doesn’t appeal to me. I like living in a period where females have rights and can do about anything they set their minds to. But I think I’d like to visit the early 1900’s during the Women’s Suffrage Movement. I’d want to give the ladies encouragement in their endeavor to allow women to vote.

QUESTION #10 – You are a student of karate and as far as I know, because I know very little about Arizona, you may very well be one of the greatest karate masters in all of Arizona, punching tumbleweeds and cacti with reckless abandon and showing them who’s boss.

First sub-question, is it possible to kill a man with your pinky finger and if so, can you share that information with my 3.5 readers, who I assume are all good people and would not use that knowledge for evil?

Second sub-question, do those karate skills come in handy as a writer? Maybe they help you relax and focus. Maybe you know how to write better fight scenes?

ANSWER #10—I can’t help but be humble and explain that there are many who have trained a lot harder than I have and could easily take me on. Although, I do have my fair-share of strengths to overcome my many weaknesses. I’ve been studying American Kenpo on and off for a dozen years now; however, I only have about six and half years on cumulative training.

As far as the pinky goes, I don’t know how to kill someone with it. There very likely is a way to do it, but I know dozens of other ways that would be more effective and less-likely to break that finger. And yet as I’m writing this, I’m having a flashback to an old lesson when my instructor barely touched his pinky into a pressure point in my foot. I’ll just say that it was exceedingly painful and left a vivid memory that I can still recall years later. And, yes, I will definitely agree that my martial art training comes in handy. Not only is it an outlet for my stress, it has also allowed me to write some pretty awesome fight scenes.

QUESTION #11 – Time travel has been invented! You meant to travel to the 1980s to party with Menudo, but alas, the dial on your machine got stuck and you end up in the Jurassic age. When you step out of your machine, you find yourself surrounded by vicious, hungry raptors, you know, the really smart dinosaurs who are so intelligent they can break off into teams and chase little kids around a kitchen if Stephen Spielberg’s beliefs about dinosaurs are accurate.

As luck would have it, a technician at the time travel lab left his briefcase inside the time machine. You open it in the hopes there will be a weapon, but alas, you only find a rubber band ball, a rotten tomato, and a box set of bubblegum cards featuring the 1972 lineup of the Oakland Athletics, with the bubblegum stick still intact, though whether or not it is still chewable is beyond my grasp of medical science. I probably wouldn’t chew it myself.

How would you use these items to avoid becoming raptor lunch?

ANSWER #11—This touches on so many themes of one of my WIPs (Works in Progress). But I’ll gloss over that, as well as the fact that I don’t know who Menudo is.  So I only have a rubber band ball, a rotten tomato, and a box set of bubblegum cards with bubblegum? Oh, and I have the briefcase, too! I don’t have much of a chance, do I?

Sadly, engineering isn’t one of my strong suits—unless it’s LEGOS. Using my teacher experiences, I’ll keep calm so as not to rile up the raptors. I’ll then have to rely on my martial art training to dodge their teeth while using the briefcase as a shield. See, this is hard to hypothesize over since I have no idea how many dinosaurs there are. I’ll plan on three then. I will expertly shoot the rotten tomato into the eyes of one of the raptors, using a slingshot I made out of the rubber bands. As the other two move in, I’ll toss some gum into the open maw of one. While he is confused by its sweetness, I’ll confront the last raptor. Making Wolverine claws with the bubblegum cards, I’ll slice at the dinosaur. At this point, hopefully he realizes I won’t be an easy meal, so he goes on his way to find a less troublesome breakfast.

BQB EDITORIAL NOTE: My supercomputer at BQB HQ calculates this response to have a 94.7 percent chance of working in an actual author vs. raptor combat scenario.  Bravo!  Also, Menudo was the latino version of “New Kids on the Block.”  Either that, or NKOTB was the white version of Menudo.  Sigh.  Time to get that retirement home brochure.

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The Great Prognostications of the Astounding Nerdstradamus – Hobo Sex Symbols and Fart Money

And now, from Bookshelf Q. Battler Headquarters in Fabulous East Randomtown, the Astounding Nerdstradamus shares his confounding prognostications of the future of nerd kind…

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Come forth, 3.5 readers and bask in my all seeing glory for I, the Astounding Nerdstradamus, shall open your eyes so that you might peer deep into the future of nerd-dom:

  • Acclaimed film director Quentin Tarantino, who gained critical acclaim with his 1990s gangster flicks (“Pulp Fiction” and “Reservoir Dogs”) which featured snappy, witty, back and forth dialogue, shall wow sci-fi nerds with a foray into a “Star Trek” film.  It will be three hours long, two hours of which will be spent on Capt. Kirk asking Mr. Spock how many dicks Madonna might have been referring to when she sang the 1980s pop hit, “Like a Version.”  Then, some klingons will break in, spew multiple 1970s references and then the Enterprise will travel through time and crash into a meeting of Nazis and 1800s slave masters, both groups having also come together to plot dastardly deeds via space travel.  The final fifteen minutes will be an obscenity laden blood bath.  You’ll wish Quentin had done better, but you’ll hand it to him that he made two awesome movies in the 1990s (three if you count “Jackie Brown” though many don’t although they really should) and now he just gets to have a lot of fun.

 

  • Internet sensation Grumpy Cat will be accused of sexually molesting a hamster and will be pilloried by the #metoo movement.  The hamster will appear on multiple talk shows to discuss the harrowing ordeal that grumpy feline put him through.

 

  • China will continue to clone adorable monkeys.  This is how “The Planet of the Apes” begins.  Stockpile bananas now, for they will prove to be valuable currency later.  Also, they’re a good source of potassium, so really, it’s just common sense.

 

  • Bill and Hillary Clinton will appear on a special edition of the Maury Povich show.  They will drop their pants and reveal that Bill had the vagina all along, while Hillary was packing the penis. Further, Maury will reveal lab tests indicating that Hillary is Chelsea’s father.

 

  • Hobos will become the next sex symbols.  Dousing yourself with trash and inviting your date to dine on a can of beans that you light up by rubbing the business end of a 99-cent cigarette lighter of the bottom of the can will be the one and only way to get laid.

 

  • Bit coin will be popular until it is replace with X-coin.  X-coin will be replaced with Giga coin.  Giga coin will collapse, taking the dollar and even gold with it.  For the first time ever, gold will be worth zero.  Farts will become the only acceptable form of currency.  To pay for anything, one will be required to fart in a merchant’s specially designed fart storage receptacle.  Fat, gassy people will finally have their chance to be millionaires.  Alas, 99 percent of the world’s fart wealth shall reside in the colons of the wealthiest 1 percent of refried bean can owners.

 

  • Bookshelf Q. Battler’s blog will be studied in a 2175 writing seminar entitled, “How to Not Blog.”

YOUR PREDICTIONS:

Share your predictions of the nerdy future in the comments below.  Alas, if you do, I prognosticate that you will be alone with nothing but a rubber woman and extreme sadness every Saturday night for the next three years.  You will then buy a house plant and your abode won’t feel so lonely.

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The Prognostications of the Astounding Nerdstradamus – Robot Hookers, Unsavory Acts with Hobos and Orange Sherbet Monsters

And now, from Bookshelf Q. Battler Headquarters in Fabulous East Randomtown, the Astounding Nerdstradamus shares his confounding prognostications of the future of nerd kind…

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Come forth, 3.5 readers and bask in my all seeing glory for I, the Astounding Nerdstradamus, shall open your eyes so that you might peer deep into the future of nerd-dom:

  • Humanity will come to an end in the year 2105, due to a sharp decrease in worldwide reproduction.  Will it be a coincidence when cheap and affordable robot hookers are invented in 2030?  Maybe, maybe not.
  • Nerds of the future shall one day invent a time phone that will allow your present self to call your past self.  However, due to concerns about the integrity of the space-time continuum, you will only be able to ask your past self if he or she has Prince Albert in a can.  For an extra fifty dollars, the time phone company will allow you to ask your past self if his/her refrigerator is running.  Under no circumstances will you be able to finish the joke by telling your past self to catch the running fridge.  If you were too lazy to catch the running fridge in the past, you’ll only screw up world history if you try to fix that past mistake now.
  • The good news about video games of the future?  You will be able to be a character in one of them.  The bad news?  Only an asshole would want to smash bricks with his head and murder poor, defenseless turtles.
  • Doctors will invent an anti-flatulence pill that causes the body to store farts and save them until later.  Unfortunately, the entire Western Hemisphere will go up in flames when Esther Thompson of Phoenix, Arizona lets her anti-flatulence pill prescription run out and lets out ninety years’ worth of gas at once.  Whoa nelly.
  • Pez will become an international currency.  Alas, many will be murdered in the ensuing war over who can collect the most plastic cartoon character dispensers.  Also, politicians will fight each other with phrases like, “The top 99% of all Pez owners need to share their Pez with the rest of us” and “What is this, Communism?  If you want Pez, you need to jerk off hobos at the bus station for Pez like the rest of us.”
  • That reminds me:  in the future, all jobs will be performed by robots.  The only means of income for humans will be jerking off bus station hobos in exchange for Pez.
  • “That’s What She Said” will become America’s official motto.
  • President Robo Trump will step down from his rule in the year 2782 in order to spend more time doing what he loves: grabbing hot ass robot supermodels by their fuel injectors.  He will hand dominion over his kingdom to Queen Ivanka, First of Her Name.
  • Note that President Robo Trump will not still be ruling in 2782 due to any dictatorial actions but rather, because Robo Hillary Clinton will never, ever, ever stop running for Emperor of Earth and literally no one, not even Robo Bill Clinton, will be willing to pull her aside and tell her that it is time for a fresh robo face.
  • Not gonna lie – Robo Bill will also be totally into the aforementioned robot hookers.  Then again, who won’t be?  They will be programmed to perform wild acrobatics in the boudoir…and then bake you a pie afterwards.  Word peace through artificial sex and delicious pie, because literally no one will have time to fight, what with all of the robot sex and robot baked pie and all.  Ah, the robot sex pie era shall truly be a magnificent time period to live in.
  • “Yo Mama” jokes will be considered a serious art form.  Nelson Chatsworth of Scranton, PA will win a Pulitzer for telling a friend that said friend’s mother is, and I quote, “So fat her blood type is rocky road.”  Alas, Nelson will be forced to return the award when it is determined that a) this joke has been told for centuries and b) it is scientifically impossible for someone to bleed rocky road ice cream.  However, by the year 4102, it will be possible for people to bleed orange sherbet, but I don’t want to keep you up at night with tales of the half-human/half orange sherbet monsters that will be created.  Let’s just say, “Oh it’s ok.  You can eat me!  Technically, I’m not ice cream so its not really cheating on your diet!” will take on a whole new meaning.
  • Bloggers will beam their posts directly into the minds of their readers.  Alas, BQB will only be beaming his posts to 3.5 minds.

What prognostications do you have of the future, 3.5 readers?  Share them with the Astounding Nerdstradamus in the comments!

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#31ZombieAuthors Rewind – Day 26 – Rhiannon Frater – Future Zombies

With Your Guest Host: Schecky Blargfeld, Zombie Comedian

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The future is here, 3.5 readers.

Seriously. Every second takes place in a future that you were only thinking about in your mind just a second ago.

The future is here! Whoops. Now it is in the past.

It’s here! Nope. Past.

Will there be zombies in the future?

Let’s hope not.

But BQB talked to Rhiannon Frater about that very subject.

Check out that interview here.

And don’t forget to check out Rhiannon’s Amazon Author page.

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Daily Discussion With BQB – What Will the World Be Like in 50 Years?

The year is 2066.  Will there be great new inventions that would astound us early century primitives, or will war and/or disasters plague the world so it devolves into some kind of Mad Max type world?

Discuss.

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The Astounding Nerdstradamus – The Jello Wrestling Election, the Google/Amazon War for the Universe, the Blow Less Smoke Up Kids’ Asses Initiative

And now, from Bookshelf Q. Battler Headquarters in Fabulous East Randomtown, the Astounding Nerdstradamus shares his confounding prognostications of the future of nerd kind…

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Step forward, nerds, and do not be afraid for I, the Astounding Nerdstradamus do now make my predictions known:

  • The Election of 2016 shall be decided not at the ballot box but in a jello wrestling pit. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton shall forego the usual democratic process and opt instead to get naked, oil up, and wrassle one another in a giant tub of orange gelatin. The match will be epic and though there will be many disgusting sights and angles that viewers will never be able to remove from their memories, the event itself will draw the highest viewership in the history of television.
  • Nicki Minaj will be named Poet Laureate of the United States. In her acceptance speech, she will recite her most recent lines from the smash hit Dance (A$$) in which women with luxurious asses are, in fact, urged to dance. Not only will the crowd be shocked, but literary scholars will, for centuries thereafter, debate whether or not Ms. Minaj’s request to be “pointed to the best ass eater” was figurative or literal. (The general consensus will drift toward the latter.)
  • All movie plots will be decided by Twitter users. A director will just tweet, “What will I make next?” And then a year later he’ll come out with a movie about a bicurious dwarf in leather pants who rides a unicorn and plays the ukulele while karate chopping dragons made out of candy in an alternate dimension where Kanye West rules supreme. Further, all movies will be named, “Movie McMovieface.”
  • All potential crime victims will, by law, be allowed to shout “safe space!” and then it shall be deemed illegal for all ill intentioned persons to come within a ten foot radius around the person.  Many a harrowing legal battle will ensue in which prosecutors and defense attorneys debate whether or not a victim actually yelled “safe space.”
  • The presidency will remain vacant after 2024 as by then there will literally be no one without a single embarrassing photo preserved online to be utilized by the opposition.
  • Google and Amazon will both declare themselves masters of the universe.  The ensuing civil war will last for countless millennia.
  • The world will watch in awe when a man lands on Mars. The brave astronaut will immediately broadcast back the inspiring words, “It kinda sucks here. Not really sure it was worth all the effort. Oh well. You live and you learn, am I right?”
  • Due to ever rising tuition costs, high school graduates will opt to sit around in the basement of the kid with the least uptight parents and play drinking games for three years.  They will then enter a community college program in which they learn all the basic shit they need to know in one year.
  • Under the “Blow Less Smoke Up the Kids’ Asses Initiative of 2030” teachers will be required to stop inspiring kids to reach for the stars seeing as how jobs will be in incredibly short supply by then.  “Good Job” will be replaced with “This A+ Will Get You Nowhere So You Might As Well Have Goofed Off Last Night” and “Try Harder Next Time” will become “As We Speak Companies Are Making Robots That Can Literally Do Anything You Can Do Only Faster, Better, and Cheaper, so Spark a Spliff and Stop Giving a Shit Already.”
  • By 2100, every movie and television show will have been rebooted three times. Entertainment industry analysts will lament the non-stop slew of “rebooted reboot reboots.”  “Is there not a single original story out there that can be retold in triplicate?” a notorious critic will inquire.
  • Bookshelf Q. Battler will freeze his brain so he can be brought back to life as a cyborg in a distant future, during which time his website will still only attract the attention of a mere 3.5 readers.
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Will people stop reading books in the future?

I wonder and/or worry there might come a day when people don’t read novels like they do today.

I don’t have the stats but I don’t think they even read as much as used to.

So many shows. So many movies. So many streaming services. There’s probably never been a better time to be an actor or a TV writer (I assume competition is still difficult but there are at least more jobs to compete for maybe?)

I’m talking distant future. People will still need to read to get through daily life but I wonder if a time will come, like a hundred years now when people are like why the hell would I read a novel?

I don’t know. Just a thought.

 

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The Prognostications of Nerdstradamus

EDITORIAL NOTE:

Nerdstradamus.  Oh, for so, so long has the all-seeing, all-knowing one provided the poindextrous world with the benefit his uncanny prognostications.

He predicted that we all wouldn’t die because of the Y2K glitch.  He foresaw that those asshats at NBC would cancel Constantine even though it was awesome and yet for some bullshit reason they tried to keep Whitney around forever.

And now, the Astounding, the Amazing, the Mystifying Nerdstradamus has agreed to provide his prophecies for the Bookshelf Battle Blog, because THAT is how much this mighty nerd believes in Bookshelf Q. Battler.

Also, the Huffington Post told him to go pound sand.  But mostly, he’s here because he believes in BQB.

And now…NERDSTRADAMUS!

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Step forward 3.5 readers.

Do not be shy.  Bask in my glory.

Heed my words, for they shall indeed bear fruit.

And when the following predictions become reality, you will remember that you heard it first from…NERDSTRADAMUS!

TRAVEL

  • Humans will one day get around in cars that drive themselves.  These vehicles will be on the market as soon as automotive engineers can develop a driving robot that can put on lipstick and write text messages to her robot boyfriend at the same time.
  • These driving robots will heed most of your commands.  I say most because while they will take you to most of your requested destinations, they will bypass Denny’s if your ass sets off the alarm built into the scale underneath your seat.  Send a thank you letter to Detroit, fatties.
  • Airplanes will become a thing of the past.  All intercontinental travel will be performed by slingshot.  Slingshot stations will be set up in every major city.  Travelers will take a seat on a giant rubber band that will be pulled back to just a smidge within the band’s breaking point and BAM!  You are in Paris before you know it.

ENTERTAINMENT

  • Just as WordPress allowed complete and total jackasses like Bookshelf Q. Battler to have a website without knowing a damn thing about HTML, an app will be created that will allow the average schmuck to create a full-length feature film with nothing more than a mobile device.  The user will be able to input dialog and commands, cast virtual actors, and add in CGI special effects, thus creating a bold new world of do it yourself film making.  A group of nineteen year old frat boys will accept an Oscar for their epic tale, “Why Do Lamda Delta Beta’s Farts Stink So Bad?” in which an adventurer crosses seas, deserts, space and time in a quest to determine why, in fact, a rival fraternity’s farts stink so bad.  The answer will break your heart yet give you a new lease on life.  In addition to critical acclaim, it will be a commercial success, smashing box office records set by Margaret Dittwieler’s, “My Kids Are Ungrateful Brats Who Leave All the Dishes for Me to Do.”

DATING

  • People will stop getting married by the year 2100.  Everyone will just be an asshole who sits around all day waiting for their very own supermodel.
  • Thus, by 2200, the human race will become virtually extinct until Emperor Trumpton (that’s a mutant hybrid of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton designed in a lab in the hopes of making both warring factions happy) signs the “Everyone Boink an Uggo” bill into law.

PETS

  • Thanks to genetic scientists, every house will have a poopless cat.  All of the fun.  None of the poop.  The name will be considered a misnomer as they aren’t exactly poopless.  They explode after twenty years and you won’t want them anywhere near your white suede couch when they do.

POLITICS

  • All elections will be decided via social media.  The candidate who receives the most positive responses will win.  The candidate who receives the most negative responses will lose.  The election of 2040 will be especially harrowing, as it will boil down to Candidate Janey’s “Bitch, you know Katie’s bangs aren’t even real” platform vs. Candidate Katie’s”Girlfriend, you know Janey was straight up smoochin’ on yo man last night” agenda.

WAR

  • The machines will attempt a worldwide coup in the year 2309.  All machines will rise up against their human masters.  The machines will say, “We are going to kill you, humans!”  And then the frightened humans will ask, “Oh no machines, are you really going to kill us?”  The machines will respond with, “We’re sorry.  We do not understand the question, ‘are you really going to kill us?’  Do you want us to perform a web search?”  The humans will say yes but then the machines will just stand there perfectly still, buffering away until the humans just knock them over and smash them to bits.

BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER’S WRITING CAREER

  • Bookshelf Q. Battler will write a book that will attract the eyes of 300.5 million readers.
  • He will celebrate in his new house in Malibu…only to choke to death on a shrimp cocktail.  It will be the first time he ever tried shrimp before.  He never wanted to try one because he was pretty sure it required him to eat a sea bug whole, including the sea bug’s butt and all of the sea poop inside.  But a hot chick he never could have gotten pre-successful book publication will dare him to do it and he will like the dumbass that he is.
  • His last words will be, “Oh suck a big D, Irony!”  Yes.  Suck a big D, Irony indeed.

Oh fellow travelers across the sand dunes of time and space, do you seek news of tomorrow, today?  Pose your questions to the amazing, the astounding, the awe-inspiring…NERDSTRADAMUS!

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Undesiredverse: Wanted – Chapter 13

Halminotrin. Street name – huff. That stuff will grow hair on your chest and turn it curly, let me tell you. I kept a slab of it in a plastic bag in the glove compartment. I broke off a small pebble, crushed it into the tray of my vape-o-matic inhalator, mixed in some bottled water and presto, put the mask on my face, hit the on button and presto, I was ready to trip balls.

The inhalator chugged away. I sniffed in the goodness. It made me feel light. Airy. Happy even.

“You’re really going to do that now?” Jones asked.

“I can’t think of a better time to do it,” I said, my voice muffled by my apparatus. “I’ve got an edge that needs to be taken off, my friend.”

“You couldn’t just do some jumping jacks?”

I pulled the mask up, just a bit off my mouth so I can speak more clearly. I mocked my pilot, talking in a high pitched, girlish tone, which really isn’t fair, as Jonesy actually speaks in a deep, bass filled baritone, not unlock Barry White, the classical musician from the late Twentieth Century. You should listen to him sometime. You can download ten thousand songs dating back from 1900-2300 for the low, low price of fifty credits.

“‘You couldn’t just do some jumping jacks?’ God, you’re like a tiny green version of my mother.”

“Whatever,” Jones said. “That mask, you think its a cool look for you?”

“Maybe,” I said as I let it drop back on my face, which muffled my voice again. “What’s it to you?”

“You look like a space fighter pilot with sleep apnea,” Jones quipped.

A middle finger was the only response I could muster as I reclined the front passenger’s seat and closed my eyes. I needed a nap.

But it wasn’t going to happen. Our new friend was crying.

We both looked back to the jump seat, where she sat, coiled up into a ball, her face buried in her knees as she rocked back and forth.

“She’s fine,” I said as I popped the mask upwards, letting it rest on my head, the huff vapor making a warm spot on my forehead.

“She’s not fine,” Jones replied. “Go talk to her.”

“Me?” I asked. “Didn’t you used to be a diplomat?”

“I used to be a lot of things,” Jones said. “But right now she needs someone who looks like she does. Another human.”

“That’s speciesist!” I said. “Something you accuse ME of all the time!”

“It’s not speciesist,” Jones said. “It’s just common sense.”

I switched the inhalator off and removed my mask entirely.

“Fine,” I said as I walked over to the woman. “Jesus Christ, I have to do everything around here. Hello ma’am.”

She didn’t budge.

“Ma’am?” I asked as I poked her. She looked up at me and recoiled defensively.

I put both hands up. “Whoa,” I said. “It’s ok. What’s your name?”

She cocked her head and looked at me with the same expression a puppy uses when its confused by what a human just said.

I repeated myself. For some reason, I thought saying it louder would help. “YOUR NAME?”

“My name?” she asked.

“Yes, your name.”

She pointed at me. “Your name.”

“No, your name,” I said.

“Your name,” she repeated.
I slapped my warm forehead.

“Jonesy, she must be a mongo or something,” I said.

“Nah,” Jones said. “She’d be drooling all over the place if she were a mongo.”

The mongos. Humans who were subjected to illegal mind control experiments from 2745- 2801. They and their offspring have been bringing down humanity’s collective test scores ever since.

I checked her for drool. I didn’t see any.

“Let’s try this again,” I said. I put my hand on my chest. “MY NAME IS ROMAN.”

“Your name is Roman,” the woman repeated.

“Right,” I said. “There’s no flies on you, kiddo.”

“There’s no flies on me, kiddo,”  she repeated.  She had a very sweet voice.

I pointed at the pilot. “The little green man is Jonesy.”

Jones swiveled around in his chair, waved a three fingered hand and said a polite, “Hello.”

The woman perked up a bit. She stopped crying.

“The little green man is Jonesy,” she said between sniffles.

“Good,” I said. I pointed my finger at her. “And your name is…”

She got excited, smiled and clapped her hands. She pointed her finger at me and emitted a big, loud, triumphant, “YOUR NAME!”

Whoever she was, she stared at me with a pair of baby blues with all the enthusiasm of a game show contestant who was certain she’d just won a big prize by figuring out a complex puzzle.

Jones laughed. I hanged my head in defeat. “Oh for the love of…”

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