Monday, November 16, 2020

"The Chimera Code"

Over the years, Wayne Santos has written copy for advertising agencies, scripts for television, and articles for magazines. He’s lived in Canada, Thailand and Singapore, traveling to many countries around South East Asia. His first love has always been science fiction and fantasy, and while he regularly engaged with it in novels, comics, anime and video games, it wasn’t until 1996, with his first short story in the Canadian speculative fiction magazine On Spec that he aimed towards becoming a novelist.

He now lives in Canada, in Hamilton, ON with his wife. When he’s not writing, he is likely to be found reading, playing video games, watching anime, or trying to calm his cat down.

Santos applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, The Chimera Code, and reported the following:
From page 69:
“Is it really him?” Cloke said. “Or just some convincing code pretending it’s him?”

“If the code believes it, does it matter?” Victor asked.

“Can code believe?”

“And thus the circular argument completes its circuit,” Victor said.

An appropriately serious, older looking, formally dressed attendant entered the room and greeted Cloke. “You’re the executor?”

She nodded and indicated Victor and Zee. “They’re here for moral support.”

“Of course, of course,” the attendant said. “Our bandwidth here is pretty good, so we can broadcast a sim signal to you wirelessly, though we still have cabling for a direct jack if you prefer. Always cleaner and crisper, obviously.”

“No,” Cloke said, indicating the big altar with a nod of her head. “We’ll use the display; I don’t have any implants for receiving.”

The attendant’s face went into confused shock, mirroring Zee’s own feelings.

“No receivers of any kind? At all?” Zee asked.

Cloke shook her head. “Virgin.” She lifted her hair and turned her back to Zee to show the clean, unbroken flesh of the back of her neck.

“I assume your display is in working order,” Victor said.

The attendant looked to the altar that dominated the room. “It’s normally just used for saying a few words, accenting the presentation with some visuals, video reminiscing and the like… but yes, it’ll work. Most people prefer the first meeting to occur in simulation. It’s… a gentler transition.”

“Holography will be fine,” Cloke said. “I don’t feel like applying saline paste to my head, and I don’t know if you even have any analog interfaces lying around.”
I think the Page 69 test gives a decent glimpse into a major aspect of the novel, and that’s the way different kinds of tech have pervaded everyday life. This scene involves the characters visiting a kind of “funeral home,” except that instead of burying the dead, they electronically resurrect a digital copy of the deceased, if they purchased that service.

It’s a fair representative of the world building that takes place in the book, but, being a quieter scene, doesn’t cover the explosions and property damage that make up the other, significant chunk. It does, however, hint at the difficulties faced by a 22nd century combat mage in a world largely dominated by technology.
Visit Wayne Santos's website.

--Marshal Zeringue