25 May 2021

from Author Pawley

We are excited to feature a brand new tale from Andrea M. Pawley in our marvelous May 31, 2021 issue of Electric Spec. It is called "The Kipnibbles Singularity." Here's what the author had to say about it:

Here's a fun thing to do -- find out how the brains of your friends work. I promise that interesting conversations will result.

Start by telling a friend that you're going to say a few sentences and that you'll ask afterward about what you just said. Then say something like this, "You see a person walking beside the street. Someone going in the other direction passes with a dog, and a car drives by." It doesn't much matter what you say. Just be sure to leave out the details, and only offer a few simple sentences about a scene. Then ask your friend to tell you what you just said.

Some people will add texture to the recollection. Some will stick to what you said. Others may only be able to recall one sentence. Regardless, when that's done, ask your friend if the thing they just recalled was something they saw or something they heard or something else entirely. The point is to get to how they formed and retained the memory.

In doing this little brain glimpse exercise with one of my favorite writer friends, I learned that she created the memory of what I said completely in sound. She had no visual at all. It turns out that when she writes, she doesn't see anything either. I was stunned at the time, but my conversation with her was an early one. I've since learned that the way memory works is all over the place.

I have about six mental tracks going at once with four of them completely visual. In my field of view when my eyes are open, the layers I can see exist on top of each other. One of the non-visual mental tracks sometimes ponders what it would be like not to have so many tracks observing and thinking about things all the time. The irony isn't lost on me.

In my visual way, I wrote "The Kipnibbles Singularity." I started with the name Vespasian. The image of a cat immediately came to mind, and I started to look around in my brain for what was in Vespasian's environment and what was important to him. The house revealed itself to me from the ground up. I saw that Vespasian had very strong feelings toward his food bowl, and that bowl was special in a science fiction way.

That story was a lot of fun to write. My mental tracks don't spend much time visualizing a technological singularity, but when they do, Vespasian the Cat is always involved.

Very interesting! Thanks, Andrea! Check out all the stories on May 31, 2021!

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