Jacked In Bibliography
Even though this story is a work of fiction, I believe that it is necessary to give credit to the sources and authors that supplied me with information, inspiration, and even advice. Overall, the story evolved as I read many works of science fiction in CSUF’s Eng. 579T cultural studies class. I read and enjoyed Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick (PKD), which is the main source of inspiration for this story. After a call for submissions for an art show and zine in honor of PKD at the Hibbleton Gallery called “Philip K. Dick in Orange County,” I decided to go full speed ahead with this story in an attempt to honor the legendary science fiction author. Although I still have much room for improvement as far as writing creative prose, I enjoyed writing this story as well as the fun ride in the SF class and PKD event
Dick, Philip K. A Scanner Darkly. New York: Mariner Books, 2011. Print.
As noted in the introduction, this book served as the main inspiration for my story. I definitely do not have Dick’s skill in writing or his style but that is what makes everyone different as writers. I found inspiration from his novel and made it my own. As far as direct ideas that I received from PKD, I definitely found the scrambler suits intriguing. In my story, people are not what they appear to be, but instead of scrambler suits, there are “jacks” that connect to people’s necks, changing them into perceived perfect members of future society both mentally and physically. In addition, I tried to make a character based off PKD himself, who warns my main character, Tristan, about the truth of the neck units and control they have over him and everyone else.
Dick, Philip K. “Second Variety.” Science Fiction: Stories and Contexts. Ed. Heather Masri. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2015. 155-190. Print.
In this PKD story, America and Russia are still battling in a Cold War landscape. Except in PKD’s world, artificial intelligence (AI) is used against the enemy. However, the reader quickly finds out that the humans are no longer in control, and instead, the AI arises as the new dominating force in this battle-weary world. In my story, AI is not in control of the future yet, but they are very much a part of it. My future system uses AI as teachers and administrators—programmed to teach students exactly what the government wants taught. In some ways, this is very similar to Dick’s story, except instead of weapons of destruction, the AI in my story use weapons of education. This is one of many PKD stories that include AI or cyborgs, and for this reason and my inclusion of this form of intelligence, I have to give PKD credit.
Doctorow, Cory. Little Brother. New York: Tom Doherty Associates, 2008. Print.
I began writing my story before I read Doctorow’s novel, so any similarities are mere coincidence. However, I was finding it difficult to somehow impress the history and context of my story’s world into the narrative without ruining the momentum of the story. I had already created a scene where Tristan speaks with his AI professor and a little bit of context arises. But there still wasn’t enough background story and readers were confused. Finally, I read Little Brother and especially enjoyed the scene where the lead character, Marcus, discusses the Civil Rights movement of the 60s with his professor. Doctorow added arguments about the concept of civil rights, freedom, and historical concepts without making the novel slow down or sound preachy. By using his novel as an example of how a good author inserts important information, I attempted to do something similar by adding more to my classroom scene by way of including more context through the dialogue of characters.
“Gym Equipment of the Future.” Realbuzz.com. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.
I’m not completely sure what I was thinking in the moment, but I wanted to create a scene where Tristan was exercising in his apartment. I started wondering what kind of exercise equipment we will have in the future. I don’t believe everything said in this article/blog, but then again this is science fiction, so who knows what the future will bring. Either way, the article has many neat ideas, such as future robot sparring partners, gravity manipulation workout rooms, anti-gravity rooms, and spinning cycles. I never actually included any of this in my story, but it was a thought, and it led to assistance with thinking about an advanced science fiction world.
Hopkinson, Nalo. Report from Planet Midnight. Oakland: PM Press, 2012. Print.
The first time I read a rough draft of my story at a club event, one of the students came up to me and said, “Tristan? He’s obviously a white kid.” I hadn’t really thought about it, but when I went home I decided that he actually was not white. Strangely enough, this was around the same time that we read Hopkinson’s stories in class. Through her reading, I realized that African Americans were highly unrepresented in science fiction, and one could argue, all publishing venues. Her paper Report from Planet Midnight mentions the idea that many people have about maintaining that they don’t see race. But I believe that this is the incorrect way to think and perhaps furthers the status quo. In my story, I made it so that everyone looks the same. They are the colorless society that people in our society attempt to uphold as the correct way to think. However, when Tristan takes the unit out of his neck, he finds that he is not the same as everyone else, and he is happy about this change. I guess my argument or insight is that we should be proud of who we are and not seek to join a colorless outlook or system. It would make everything quite boring that’s for sure.
Morin, Rod. “Is it Time for a New Monetary System?” The Mind Unleashed. 9 Nov. 2014. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.
Although not a scholarly or science fiction article, it gave quick easy to read information on how the current American system is controlled entirely by financial institutions. It gives the usual argument concerning the fact that the public works hard to put money into the hands of few while they toil away for nothing but bare survival. This author actually goes on to argue that this is one of the biggest problems that is leading to the end of the human species. This article helped with the overall idea in Jacked In of a world firmly controlled by the government and a select few. Of course, money always plays a hand in world domination, so I needed to consider the financial system.
Neiger, Christopher. “5 Future Car Technologies That Truly Have a Chance.” How Stuff Works. Web. 25 Apr. 2015.
I was trying to figure out how my main character, Tristan, was going to get around. I kept envisioning fantastic flying vehicles and strange pods that just zip people from one place to the next, but I finally decided to keep the story closer to home and stick with good old automobiles. However, what kind of technology will cars have in fifty to eighty years? I decided that most vehicles would be hybrids by this time. What other advanced features might they have? Neiger’s article addressed many of these questions. He discusses the idea of vehicles with solar panels, car-to-car communication, self-driving vehicles, augmented reality dashboards, and more. I didn’t include all of these innovations in my story, but I did make Tristan’s hybrid self-driving, and the article gave me overall great insight into what our vehicle future technology may look like.
Overbeck, Wayne. “1970: A Time of Turmoil on Campus.” Wayne Overbeck’s Communications Law Website. 2013. Web. 26 Apr. 2015.
This author is a communications professor here at CSUF who has his own website. Being that my story takes place in Orange County, and specifically, CSUF, I searched around a bit to look into our university’s history. On Mr. Overbeck’s website, I found an interesting article that discussed the Daily Titan’s history. In 1970, our school newspaper covered student demonstrations who protested against the Vietnam War and the Kent State affair. This eventually led to the closure of the entire campus. It seems as if the Daily Titan attempted to not take sides, which in effect made the warring sides offended. The reason why this article is important is that it demonstrates a history of social unrest even here in Orange County, which is partly what my story tries to delve into. Secondly, my story attempts to explore the idea that control over society actually lies in education. If the controlling powers were able to contain and control our educational institutions completely, then there wouldn’t be very many entities left to question domination.
Sellers, Heather. The Practice of Creative Writing: A Guide for Students. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2013. Print.
Sellers’ book is an introductory guide to creative writing. It’s a book I referred to often while writing this story, and it helped me throughout. I particularly enjoyed and tried to implement the chapter on focus and energy. Sellers discusses the idea that many creative writers create highly energized scenes to keep reader interest and then will slow the tempo down to give the reader a bit of a rest before continuing. She also describes how great creative writers go into detail in their writing, and this is another way to give the reader the impression that they are actually living in the story. She explains that it’s important to describe things, but at the same time, it’s also necessary to leave some details for the reader to fill in. Sellers has other great chapters about setting up scenes, using recipes, and finding insight.