A while back, I backed a horror magazine called Creeper on Kickstarter. You can click here to buy the magazine as it is out now. (I get no money if you buy it.) In the magazine there is a story called Ground Control to Leroy Quade, and it’s transhumanism horror at its finest. In case you don’t know what transhuman is, here’s a brief primer. The idea of being transhuman is merging humans with technology. It is the stuff of science fiction, but it is slowing turning into reality. Cybernetics, brain chips, shared biomechanical consciousness are all part of the larger scope. It is also a possible means to immortality, or at least extended lifespans.
Ground Control to Leroy Quade presents a transhumanism nightmare of horror with surprising ease. The tone of the story sets the reader up for the inevitable gutpunch, but does so in a way that we feel safe. The story lulls us into a false sense of security through its main character. Leroy is detail oriented and a creature of habit. He is a futurist, but doesn’t want to live forever; wants to do things, help people, improve the world. He visits his mother in a nursing home, and has a casual relationship with a woman. Put simply, he is an average man.
Then, he has a doctor put a chip in his brain. The chip allows him to always be working, even when he is dong other tasks. He eats and works; sleeps and works; fucks and works. It’s a godsend to his productivity.
However, as this is a horror story and not a happy go lucky one, something happens and the chip begins to take over his life. That’s as far as I’ll go for spoilers.
I Enjoyed The Transhumanism Horror of Leroy Quade to Ground Control
I read this story last week and it has stuck with me. The author, Ganzeer, uses precise and simple language, making it easy to read. However, just because the language is simple and straightforward does not lessen the impact of the words or the complexity of the ideas. In fact, they enhance it. Any time a writer can present high concept ideas in an easily understood fashion is excellent. I appreciate ability like that.
I really liked this story, not only because of Ganzeer’s way with words, but also because it explores a topic interesting to me. Human-machine hybrids fascinate me because they seem so out there, but at the same time like a real possibility. Admittedly, I have not read much of it, but what I have has sparked my imagination. The prospect is exciting and terrifying at the same time.
What do you think about futurism, transhumans, and the merging of flesh and machine? Let me know what you think in the comments. Oh, and seriously, buy this magazine. The $4 pdf is worth it for this story alone. Thanks for reading.