You’re watching your Google TV. Your wife is sat next to you, idly thumbing through images of holiday destinations on Google Travel. Life is good. The world’s information is organised; what you need is at your fingertips. You sigh and let your muscles relax to conform with shape of the sofa, safe in the knowledge that a Google Wing drone will soon fly through the delivery portal and drop a pizza into your lap.

While you are absorbing this idyllic moment Larry Page sits with his own feet up in an office half a world away. Air streams noisily through…

“I think you should give him a break. He is only fifty after all. He’s a hot head. He’s still into building sheds isn’t he?”

“I guess. I suppose you really only start to mature once you get to a hundred.”

“Exactly. He’s a kid. Let him be. How’s your dad getting on anyway?”

“Oh, well you know, still enjoying life, but after you get past eight hundred you have to stop worrying about your health don’t you. Eat right, get checked out a bit more.”

“You do. My dad went at eight hundred and thirty. Just because he wasn’t…

“You are cool aren’t you?” said the overexcited man with a combover and spectacles.


“Are you cool? Because I went through this before, this kid said he was cool, really cool, went out all the time, was known in all the bars. Had loads of mates. And it turned out he wasn’t at all. He never left the house. Just played video games all the time. When I tried to go out on the town I got beaten up.”

They were sitting in a cafe in the City. The older man, Simon, was eating a ham and cheese baguette…

When I was a boy, I pictured myself as an adult, sitting in the control room of my vast mansion. For every light, every door, computer, appliance and person there was a switch, a slider or a button to control it. My fantasy was to be in this room, commanding the house and the people in it. To let people in, I would press the button for the door, slide the dimmer on the lights, speaking to them through the sound-system. I could queue up music or perhaps even switch the oven on to prepare dinner. Communication, a hug, kiss…

Darren was sat at his laptop at the beach, scrolling through Universe Warehouse, one of the best places to purchase alternate realities. Since there was enough processing power to simulate every molecule of an entire planet on a substrate the size of a grain of rice every kid was running his own custom designed system with all sorts of crazy physics, competing with each other for the most number of users.

The lists were endless. You could choose by all sorts of categories. Lots of the featured worlds were full up or you had to pay, so Darren was watching…

Primarily, I exist. I float in space and I experience my sparse environment. My brain is active, but my body is passive. It responds only to external stimlui, of which there are none, so it remains perfectly still. My body does not wither or decay, nor does it grow. It is as it always has been, and it always will be the same. I mention this so that we can deem any discussion of it irrelevant, as while it certainly exists, it plays no meaningful part in my existence.

The world was gone. It was not remembered how or why…

And so I held the mouse. So I eyed my screen, and pressed the keys upon the keyboard. The technology was premier, ultimate. The future held no secrets, for my computer was unsurpassable. And so I gripped my mouse ever tighter. So I tapped my tablet, simpler and smaller once more. No simpler could I become, no sleeker could I compute. Then I wore my computing power. My wrist, my eyes became the interface. The distance ever smaller, my computing power maximised. And so I plugged my brain into my hard drive, forgetting ceased to be. I was master of…

  • man: i’m going to the buffet car, do you want anything?
  • woman: some crisps
  • man: I thought I might get a bacon sandwich
  • woman: oh god, don’t get a train sandwich
  • man: why not?
  • woman: you know what they’re like, train sandwiches
  • man: but I want one. do you want anything else? what about a coffee?
  • woman: no. I don’t want a coffee. if you get a bacon sandwich I’ll be really cross. we can have something nice when we get home
  • man: are you sure you don’t want one? what flavour crisps do you want
  • woman: you know what…

The two prime ministers were on separate TV channels. They were both giving their first speech as new leaders of the nation. Their speeches contained details of their future policies, the values they represented and the people they believed they served.

The first prime minister felt a bit awkward, he kept glancing over at the second prime minister. He did the same back. They were both standing on Downing Street, about ten paces away from each other. Neither seems to want to acknowledge the presence of the other, though they can clearly see each other.

An old lady and her…


“Nah he’s alright, just give him a chance.”

“I think we’ve seen enough chances.“

Richard stared at the woman at the counter of the small perfume boutique. She was weird alright. Saying all those things to herself. She opened her eyes.

“Oh god! Sorry. I didn’t know you were there.”

“Um, just this,” said Richard, waving a small bottle of perfume. “For my wife.”

“I was just multi-threading. Thinking about whether to leave my husband or not. I’ve done that now though, he’s gone.”

“Of course,” Richard chuckled as if he knew what she meant. He didn’t though…

Tom Chambers


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