Today I am sharing a guest post from the lovely Kim Curran as part of the blog tour for her recent release, Glaze. I’ve read Glaze and it’s great; smart, compelling and thought-provoking and I’ll be reviewing it shortly.
Petri Quinn is counting down the days till she turns 16 and can get on GLAZE – the ultimate social network that is bringing the whole world together into one global family. But when a peaceful government protest turns into a full-blown riot with Petri shouldering the blame, she’s handed a ban. Her life is over before it’s even started.
Desperate to be a part of the hooked-up society, Petri finds an underground hacker group and gets a black market chip fitted. But this chip has a problem: it has no filter and no off switch. Petri can see everything happening on GLAZE, all the time. Including things she was never meant to see.
As her life is plunged into danger, Petri is faced with a choice. Join GLAZE… or destroy it.
Something very strange happened while writing Glaze. All the technology that I was making up in my head started to come real. First, Google Glass was announced – and that was long after I’d finished my first draft (and they’ve recently announced Google Lenses – bringing it even closer to my vision of the Glaze optical overlay.) Driverless Google Cars. Occuls Rift. The list goes one.
But, as weird and sometimes frustrating as it was for me (frustrating because it meant I had to move really, really fast with Glaze to ensure it maintained relevancy), it’s hardly surprising. There has always been a fascinating feedback loop between science fiction and science. Take Minority Report (a clear influence on Glaze). The technology that seemed so advanced when the film came out in 2002 feels almost normal today.
Spielberg consulted a bunch of futurologists before the film began production. He said, “I wanted all the toys to come true someday.” And it looks like they are. Combine the way we all interact with our phones and tablets today with the motion recognition software in all new gaming consoles and the tech of 2054 is only a few years away.
Because I didn’t have access to a bunch of futurologists, I turned to a book called The Physics of the Future by Michio Kaku. In it, Professor Kaku details the inventions that will transform our lives over the next 25 years, 50 years and 100 years. From that I got the ideas about screen wall papers, driverless cars and interactive fridges, that you’ll see popping up on the pagers of GLAZE.
The technology behind the GLAZE network itself is way, way in the future. The combination of nanotechnology and neural wet wiring needed to feed images into your brain and broadcasts your thoughts is probably impossible. But people are already using brain implants to control technology. You can buy BCI (Brain Computer Interface) devices over the internet. And only last year a researcher controlled a colleague’s motions in the 1st human brain-to-brain interface.
I’m obsessed and fascinated about the interaction between humans and the technology they create. And I can’t wait to see what devices we’re all using in 25 years. But if someone creates a social network which is accessed via a chip in the brain, I might not be the first in the queue to get implanted*.
*Oh who am I kidding. I totally would be!
Links embedded in piece
She studied Philosophy & Literature at university with the plan of being paid big bucks to think deep thoughts. While that never quite worked out, she did land a job as a junior copywriter with an ad agency a week after graduating. She’s worked in advertising ever since and is obsessed with the power of the media on young minds.
She is a mentor at the Ministry of Stories and for the WoMentoring Project. And lives in London with her husband and too many books.
To find out more visit www.kimcurran.co.uk