we now return you to your scheduled programming

Right. Hi there. This is me, marginally returned from the brink of lunacy. At least, the incidence of seagull songs seems to be decreasing, steadily if not swiftly. 1

I have mailed the manuscript to my agent and my beta readers, and threatened them with Nasty Things if they so much as think of returning it too soon, and I have spent the past couple of days desperately avoiding the computer. I say desperately, because it was like crash withdrawal. What do people who don't write do with all that time?

In the interim, my cousin is beleaguered by a tricksome assignment. She wants my help but, given that my brain is broken, I thought she might get better help from the rest of you.

So, here's the assignment question:

think of a speculative technological object or device that you might propose to enhance or restrict the capacity of the human body. It may be serious, experimental or fantastic. It can be, but does not have to be, possible within the realms of current technology. It may extend, combine or depart from current technology devices (but should not to simply augment a ubiquitous technology such as a mobile phone or mp3 player). The representations that you will produce will all relate to this object or device.

Have at it. My suggestions were a jetpack, an amoeba bed which removes the need to eat (and therefore cook, clean up after cooking, plan the next meal, and shop for food)2, and I forget the third one, but there was a third one, and by golly it was brilliant. Oh! No, I remember. It was a dockable brain. A computer in my head.

Have at it, people. The more fantastic the better. What have you always wanted in the future?

  1. Y'all think I'm joking about the seagull singing, but honest to god I'm not. I even got so trashed by the whole novel-writing-revising process that I started my godawful yawping at the dayjob last week. Way to act professional. At least I had the sense not to … 'perform' in front of the patients. []
  2. Plus, you could still overeat and indulge by taking a nap — seriously, what is NOT TO LOVE about that? []

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