In this week’s Futures story, Naru Dames Sundar introduces us to the Copyfactory and the vagaries of scientific experimentation. You can check out more of Naru’s work on his website and by following him on Twitter. Here, he kindly explains what inspired his tale — as ever it pays to read the story first.
Copyfactory started out as a hyper-kinetic action piece that involved distributed mind-states and gang warfare. Along the way, I began to think more about the mechanics of uploaded minds, a concept I have seen rendered in a variety of science fiction pieces over the years. In science and in engineering, the process of arriving at a thing is fraught with a field of discarded solutions; iterations that could have been.
What happens when these iterations are pieces of consciousness? What happens when these iterations, broken irreparably, have thoughts and feelings — and have that most primal of conscious desires, a will to live? From there the story wrote itself in a single sitting, although the ending eluded me until a day or two later. What I love about the story is the image of the fragments, the broken half-copies that stitch themselves together around a patchwork of memories.
Whether it is a piece of music or a fragment of a poem, an idea does not need to be complete in order to inspire, to resonate. Most of the time, the idea of completeness itself is an illusion, a false ideal to strive for. As it is with ideas, so it is with ourselves.