In Civilwarland in Bad Decline, the details says that history has been forgotten, that there is anarchy present in everyday life, that they are on a tight budget and make do –these lead to the final decline of the facility and the character getting what he fears.
In Smorgasbord, the details are of college and being hungry and not having enough money so much so that even a hot girl can’t compete with food, and that pretty much sets up the guys going along and feeling immature about their wants and needs and getting bought and wanting to buy.
Narrator Tone Helps Identify the Point in Time, Now and past
In Civilwarland in Bad Decline, the narrator talks in the immediate time, in a rush of everyday duties, but it’s clear it’s in a future where they’ve forgotten who built the Erie Canal and assume it was Chinese coolies rather than the Irish.
In Smorgasbord, the tone is immediate too, but it has a feeling of longing in the background of things remembered and appreciated.
How Does the Narrative Voice in Civilwarland in Bad Decline handle the strange time, place and culture?
The narrative voice is one of irreverence that seems to fit the “what the f^^% can I do” mood of a fall into anarchy. It also has some strains of wistfulness, like the ghosts which are discussed as if they were more human than him. He is accepting of all he sees and does, because he’s a smarmy salesman that has to keep his family so the reader doesn’t really mind that he doesn’t make it which is the point that he’s trying to paint, i.e. that nobody cares.
About Technology Support for Credibility
While narrative voice and tone aid credibility of the tale, the use of technology in some places hurts credibility.
The unexpected hits at the start of the story The Unexpected Offloading of Mrs. Schwartz. Where the narrator talks to a Guilt service, assuming he’ll get relief, which is expected by all, and then is not actually relieved. It provides a sense of humor in contrast with tragedy.
More of the same comes and goes, the narrator cares about people, offers them freebies at his own loss. Everything he does is an exaggeration of guilt looking for relief and the day to day details help to settle the reader into believing.
This is the story that seemed most nearly science fiction, but the unexpected arrives again less positively in the moment where the main character can accidently “offload” memory from an individual, causing the memories to disappear. Product manufacturers would never allow it due to law suits; although it is immediately shown to maybe have benefits.
But, this was the point where I get thrown out of the story because in technology and in biology, memory is very hard to wipe. Erase routines exist that make many passes over hardware to make the data stored go away. When hardware fails, the memory contents are often retained. Most mistakes destroy the copy, not the original. In human brains usually after a stroke, the cells have to die in order for the memories to disappear, and even then, the brain works to reroute the data and restore it. Other causes can be traumatic head injury. Furthermore, if so many brain cells die, how does the person keep living?
So I start wondering how everything works. The equipment is described as a module – which typically refers to a software routine, is showcased like a virtual reality machine attached to a treadmill, and no explanation of how the owner is seeing what the customer is seeing at the same time or why someone would expose themselves knowing he could see or even why pads are attached to the customer. Then the owner hand carries some of it (undefined) to the side of Mrs. Schwartz). Other pieces and parts expected to make it work, never exist.
One of the roles of science fiction and Utopias is to question where science is going. Definitely, if we attach electronic parts to our brain, there is a chance that we can cause damage as well as provide relief. All of the questioning part of Civilwarland in Bad Decline occurs in the white space which is also part of voice and depends a great deal on the knowledge level of the reader. Most of it disappears but some questions linger on, like how do you endlessly supply food in an amusement park where society has failed?
No matter, most readers will find this collection food for the brain, humor, with some unusual characters that make us look closely at who our society is.