Such stories typically feature entities such as dwarfs , dragons , elves , fairies , giants , gnomes , goblins , griffins , mermaids , talking animals , trolls , unicorns , or witches , and usually magic or enchantments. In most cultures, there is no clear line separating myth from folk or fairy tale; all these together form the literature of preliterate societies. The term is mainly used for stories with origins in European tradition and, at least in recent centuries, mostly relates to children's literature.
In less technical contexts, the term is also used to describe something blessed with unusual happiness, as in "fairy-tale ending" a happy ending  or "fairy-tale romance ". Colloquially, the term "fairy tale" or "fairy story" can also mean any far-fetched story or tall tale ; it is used especially of any story that not only is not true, but could not possibly be true. Legends are perceived [ by whom? However, unlike legends and epics , fairy tales usually do not contain more than superficial references to religion and to actual places, people, and events; they take place " once upon a time " rather than in actual times.
Many of today's fairy tales have evolved from centuries-old stories that have appeared, with variations, in multiple cultures around the world. Still, according to researchers at universities in Durham and Lisbon , such stories may date back thousands of years, some to the Bronze Age more than 6, years ago. Folklorists have classified fairy tales in various ways.
The Aarne-Thompson classification system and the morphological analysis of Vladimir Propp are among the most notable. Other folklorists have interpreted the tales' significance, but no school has been definitively established for the meaning of the tales. It moves in an unreal world without definite locality or definite creatures and is filled with the marvellous.
In this never-never land, humble heroes kill adversaries, succeed to kingdoms and marry princesses. Although the fairy tale is a distinct genre within the larger category of folktale, the definition that marks a work as a fairy tale is a source of considerable dispute. Vladimir Propp , in his Morphology of the Folktale , criticized the common distinction between "fairy tales" and "animal tales" on the grounds that many tales contained both fantastic elements and animals.
Were I asked, what is a fairytale? I should reply, Read Undine : that is a fairytale As Stith Thompson points out, talking animals and the presence of magic seem to be more common to the fairy tale than fairies themselves. In his essay " On Fairy-Stories ", J.
Steven Swann Jones identified the presence of magic as the feature by which fairy tales can be distinguished from other sorts of folktales. In terms of aesthetic values, Italo Calvino cited the fairy tale as a prime example of "quickness" in literature, because of the economy and concision of the tales. Originally, stories that would contemporarily be considered fairy tales were not marked out as a separate genre. Indeed, one less regular German opening is "In the old times when wishing was still effective". The English term "fairy tale" stems from the fact that the French contes often included fairies.
Roots of the genre come from different oral stories passed down in European cultures. The genre was first marked out by writers of the Renaissance , such as Giovanni Francesco Straparola and Giambattista Basile , and stabilized through the works of later collectors such as Charles Perrault and the Brothers Grimm. Before the definition of the genre of fantasy , many works that would now be classified as fantasy were termed "fairy tales", including Tolkien's The Hobbit , George Orwell 's Animal Farm , and L. Although fantasy, particularly the subgenre of fairytale fantasy , draws heavily on fairy tale motifs,  the genres are now regarded as distinct.
The fairy tale, told orally, is a sub-class of the folktale. Many writers have written in the form of the fairy tale. Yet the stories printed under the Grimm name have been considerably reworked to fit the written form. Literary fairy tales and oral fairy tales freely exchanged plots, motifs, and elements with one another and with the tales of foreign lands. This, in turn, helped to maintain the oral tradition. According to Jack Zipes , "The subject matter of the conversations consisted of literature, mores, taste, and etiquette, whereby the speakers all endeavoured to portray ideal situations in the most effective oratorical style that would gradually have a major effect on literary forms.
Yet while oral fairy tales likely existed for thousands of years before the literary forms, there is no pure folktale, and each literary fairy tale draws on folk traditions, if only in parody. Oral story-tellers have been known to read literary fairy tales to increase their own stock of stories and treatments. The oral tradition of the fairy tale came long before the written page. Tales were told or enacted dramatically, rather than written down, and handed down from generation to generation. Because of this, the history of their development is necessarily obscure and blurred.
Fairy tales appear, now and again, in written literature throughout literate cultures, as in The Golden Ass , which includes Cupid and Psyche Roman , — AD ,  or the Panchatantra India 3rd century BC ,  but it is unknown to what extent these reflect the actual folk tales even of their own time. The stylistic evidence indicates that these, and many later collections, reworked folk tales into literary forms.
Besides such collections and individual tales, in China , Taoist philosophers such as Liezi and Zhuangzi recounted fairy tales in their philosophical works. In the midth century, a vogue for magical tales emerged among the intellectuals who frequented the salons of Paris.
These salons were regular gatherings hosted by prominent aristocratic women, where women and men could gather together to discuss the issues of the day. In the s, aristocratic women began to gather in their own living rooms, salons, in order to discuss the topics of their choice: arts and letters, politics, and social matters of immediate concern to the women of their class: marriage, love, financial and physical independence, and access to education. This was a time when women were barred from receiving a formal education.
Sometime in the middle of the 17th century, a passion for the conversational parlour game based on the plots of old folk tales swept through the salons. Great emphasis was placed on a mode of delivery that seemed natural and spontaneous. The decorative language of the fairy tales served an important function: disguising the rebellious subtext of the stories and sliding them past the court censors.
Critiques of court life and even of the king were embedded in extravagant tales and in dark, sharply dystopian ones. Not surprisingly, the tales by women often featured young but clever aristocratic girls whose lives were controlled by the arbitrary whims of fathers, kings, and elderly wicked fairies, as well as tales in which groups of wise fairies i. Such literary forms did not merely draw from the folktale, but also influenced folktales in turn. The Brothers Grimm rejected several tales for their collection, though told orally to them by Germans, because the tales derived from Perrault, and they concluded they were thereby French and not German tales; an oral version of Bluebeard was thus rejected, and the tale of Little Briar Rose , clearly related to Perrault's The Sleeping Beauty , was included only because Jacob Grimm convinced his brother that the figure of Brynhildr , from much earlier Norse mythology , proved that the sleeping princess was authentically Germanic folklore.
This consideration of whether to keep Sleeping Beauty reflected a belief common among folklorists of the 19th century: that the folk tradition preserved fairy tales in forms from pre-history except when "contaminated" by such literary forms, leading people to tell inauthentic tales. The work of the Brothers Grimm influenced other collectors, both inspiring them to collect tales and leading them to similarly believe, in a spirit of romantic nationalism , that the fairy tales of a country were particularly representative of it, to the neglect of cross-cultural influence.
Andersen's work sometimes drew on old folktales, but more often deployed fairytale motifs and plots in new tales. Two theories of origins, have attempted to explain the common elements in fairy tales found spread over continents. One is that a single point of origin generated any given tale, which then spread over the centuries; the other is that such fairy tales stem from common human experience and therefore can appear separately in many different origins.
Fairy tales with very similar plots, characters, and motifs are found spread across many different cultures. Many researchers hold this to be caused by the spread of such tales, as people repeat tales they have heard in foreign lands, although the oral nature makes it impossible to trace the route except by inference. Folklorists of the "Finnish" or historical-geographical school attempted to place fairy tales to their origin, with inconclusive results.
The air is thick with the smells of tobacco, brewer's yeast, and melatonin spray: Half the dotters are nursing monster jet lag hangovers, and the other half are babbling a Eurotrash creole at each other while they work on the hangover. He looks like a Democrat! Manfred slides in next to him, catches the bartender's eye. It's full of alcohol!
Manfred grins at him toothily. Manfred's away, one hand resting on the smooth brass pipe that funnels the more popular draught items in from the cask storage in back; one of the hipper floaters has planted a contact bug on it, and the vCards of all the personal network owners who've have visited the bar in the past three hours are queuing up for attention. The air is full of ultrawideband chatter, WiMAX and 'tooth both, as he speed-scrolls through the dizzying list of cached keys in search of one particular name. Manfred takes it and heads for the back of the split-level bar, up the steps to a table where some guy with greasy dreadlocks is talking to a suit from Paris.
The hanger-on at the bar notices him for the first time, staring with suddenly wide eyes: He nearly spills his Coke in a mad rush for the door. Oh shit , thinks Manfred, better buy some more server time. He can recognize the signs: He's about to be slashdotted. He gestures at the table. Manfred slides the chair open then realizes that the other guy — immaculate double-breasted Suit, sober tie, crew cut — is a girl. She nods at him, half-smiling at his transparent double take. Dreadlock nods. I figured it was about time we met. His PDA discreetly swaps digital fingerprints, confirming that the hand belongs to Bob Franklin, a Research Triangle startup monkey with a VC track record, lately moving into micromachining and space technology.
Franklin made his first million two decades ago, and now he's a specialist in extropian investment fields. Operating exclusively overseas these past five years, ever since the IRS got medieval about trying to suture the sucking chest wound of the federal budget deficit. Manfred has known him for nearly a decade via a closed mailing list, but this is the first time they've ever met face-to-face. The Suit silently slides a business card across the table; a little red devil brandishes a trident at him, flames jetting up around its feet.
He takes the card, raises an eyebrow: "Annette Dimarcos? I'm pleased to meet you. Can't say I've ever met anyone from Arianespace marketing before. She smiles warmly; "That is all right. I have not the pleasure of meeting the famous venture altruist either. Her camera earrings watch him curiously, encoding everything for the company memory. She's a genuine new European, unlike most of the American exiles cluttering up the bar. I assume you're in on this ball? Franklin nods; beads clatter.
Ever since the Teledesic smash it's been, well, waiting. If you've got something for us, we're game. She shrugs. We face reality. The launch cartel cannot stand. Bandwidth is not the only market force in space. We must explore new opportunities. I personally have helped us diversify into submarine reactor engineering, microgravity nanotechnology fabrication, and hotel management.
Manfred shrugs. She obviously didn't come up with these talking points herself. Her face is much more expressive than her voice as she mimes boredom and disbelief at appropriate moments — an out-of-band signal invisible to her corporate earrings. Manfred plays along, nodding occasionally, trying to look as if he's taking it seriously: Her droll subversion has got his attention far more effectively than the content of the marketing pitch.
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- The Caves of Buda.
- Ground Zero.
Franklin is nose down in his beer, shoulders shaking as he tries not to guffaw at the hand gestures she uses to express her opinion of her employer's thrusting, entrepreneurial executives. Actually, the talking points bullshit is right about one thing: Arianespace is still profitable, due to those hotels and orbital holiday hops. Someone else sidles up to the table; a pudgy guy in outrageously loud Hawaiian shirt with pens leaking in a breast pocket and the worst case of ozone-hole burn Manfred's seen in ages.
Ivan, Manfred. Have a seat? He's heavily into extreme concrete. With the supercritical carbon-dioxide carrier and the dissolved polymethoxysilanes? He adds to Bob: "Buy me another drink? Just then, a bandwidth load as heavy as a pregnant elephant sits down on Manfred's head and sends clumps of humongous pixilation flickering across his sensorium: Around the world, five million or so geeks are bouncing on his home site, a digital flash crowd alerted by a posting from the other side of the bar. Manfred winces. Mind if I just sit and drink until it wears off?
Two collegiate-looking dudes are arguing intensely in German: The translation stream in his glasses tell him they're arguing over whether the Turing Test is a Jim Crow law that violates European corpus juris standards on human rights. The beer arrives, and Bob slides the wrong one across to Manfred: "Here, try this. You'll like it. Did I say I nearly got mugged on my way here? Hey, that's heavy. I thought the police hereabouts had stopped — did they sell you anything? You know anyone who can use a Warpac surplus espionage bot? Recent model, one careful owner, slightly paranoid but basically sound — I mean, claims to be a general-purpose AI?
The space biz. Depressing, isn't it? Hasn't been the same since Rotary Rocket went bust for the second time. Ivan the extreme concrete geek has an arm round her shoulders, and she leans against him; he raises his glass, too.
They want to send canned primates to Mars! They should be working on uploading and solving the nanoassembly conformational problem instead. Then we could turn all the available dumb matter into computronium and use it for processing our thoughts. Long-term, it's the only way to go. The solar system is a dead loss right now — dumb all over!
Just measure the MIPS per milligram. If it isn't thinking, it isn't working. We need to start with the low-mass bodies, reconfigure them for our own use. Dismantle the moon! Dismantle Mars! Build masses of free-flying nanocomputing processor nodes exchanging data via laser link, each layer running off the waste heat of the next one in.
Matrioshka brains, Russian doll Dyson spheres the size of solar systems. Teach dumb matter to do the Turing boogie! Annette is watching him with interest, but Bob looks wary. Just how far ahead do you think? And you can forget governments for this market, Bob; if they can't tax it, they won't understand it. But see, there's an angle on the self-replicating robotics market coming up, that's going to set the cheap launch market doubling every fifteen months for the foreseeable future, starting in, oh, about two years. It's your leg up, and my keystone for the Dyson sphere project.
It works like this —". It's night in Amsterdam, morning in Silicon Valley. Today, fifty thousand human babies are being born around the world. Meanwhile automated factories in Indonesia and Mexico have produced another quarter of a million motherboards with processors rated at more than ten petaflops — about an order of magnitude below the lower bound on the computational capacity of a human brain. Another fourteen months and the larger part of the cumulative conscious processing power of the human species will be arriving in silicon.
And the first meat the new AIs get to know will be the uploaded lobsters. Manfred stumbles back to his hotel, bone-weary and jet-lagged; his glasses are still jerking, slashdotted to hell and back by geeks piggybacking on his call to dismantle the moon. They stutter quiet suggestions at his peripheral vision. Fractal cloud-witches ghost across the face of the moon as the last huge Airbuses of the night rumble past overhead.
Manfred's skin crawls, grime embedded in his clothing from three days of continuous wear. Back in his room, the Aineko mewls for attention and strops her head against his ankle. She's a late-model Sony, thoroughly upgradeable: Manfred's been working on her in his spare minutes, using an open source development kit to extend her suite of neural networks. He bends down and pets her, then sheds his clothing and heads for the en suite bathroom. When he's down to the glasses and nothing more, he steps into the shower and dials up a hot, steamy spray. The shower tries to strike up a friendly conversation about football, but he isn't even awake enough to mess with its silly little associative personalization network.
Something that happened earlier in the day is bugging him, but he can't quite put his finger on what's wrong. Toweling himself off, Manfred yawns. Jet lag has finally overtaken him, a velvet hammerblow between the eyes. He reaches for the bottle beside the bed, dry-swallows two melatonin tablets, a capsule full of antioxidants, and a multivitamin bullet: Then he lies down on the bed, on his back, legs together, arms slightly spread.
The suite lights dim in response to commands from the thousand petaflops of distributed processing power running the neural networks that interface with his meatbrain through the glasses. Manfred drops into a deep ocean of unconsciousness populated by gentle voices. He isn't aware of it, but he talks in his sleep — disjointed mumblings that would mean little to another human but everything to the metacortex lurking beyond his glasses.
The young posthuman intelligence over whose Cartesian theatre he presides sings urgently to him while he slumbers. He screams into wakefulness as artificial light floods the room: For a moment he is unsure whether he has slept. He forgot to pull the covers up last night, and his feet feel like lumps of frozen cardboard. Shuddering with inexplicable tension, he pulls a fresh set of underwear from his overnight bag, then drags on soiled jeans and tank top.
Sometime today he'll have to spare time to hunt the feral T-shirt in Amsterdam's markets, or find a Renfield and send it forth to buy clothing. He really ought to find a gym and work out, but he doesn't have time — his glasses remind him that he's six hours behind the moment and urgently needs to catch up. His teeth ache in his gums, and his tongue feels like a forest floor that's been visited with Agent Orange. He has a sense that something went bad yesterday; if only he could remember what.
He speed reads a new pop-philosophy tome while he brushes his teeth, then blogs his web throughput to a public annotation server; he's still too enervated to finish his pre-breakfast routine by posting a morning rant on his storyboard site. His brain is still fuzzy, like a scalpel blade clogged with too much blood: He needs stimulus, excitement, the burn of the new. Whatever, it can wait on breakfast. He opens his bedroom door and nearly steps on a small, damp cardboard box that lies on the carpet.
The box — he's seen a couple of its kin before. But there are no stamps on this one, no address: just his name, in big, childish handwriting. He kneels and gently picks it up. It's about the right weight. Something shifts inside it when he tips it back and forth. It smells. He carries it into his room carefully, angrily: Then he opens it to confirm his worst suspicion. It's been surgically decerebrated, brains scooped out like a boiled egg. This is the first time the madman has gotten as far as his bedroom door. It raises worrying possibilities.
Manfred pauses for a moment, triggering agents to go hunt down arrest statistics, police relations, information on corpus juris, Dutch animal-cruelty laws. He isn't sure whether to dial two-one-one on the archaic voice phone or let it ride. Aineko, picking up his angst, hides under the dresser mewling pathetically. Normally he'd pause a minute to reassure the creature, but not now: Its mere presence is suddenly acutely embarrassing, a confession of deep inadequacy. It's too realistic, as if somehow the dead kitten's neural maps -- stolen, no doubt, for some dubious uploading experiment -- have ended up padding out its plastic skull.
He swears again, looks around, then takes the easy option: Down the stairs two steps at a time, stumbling on the second floor landing, down to the breakfast room in the basement, where he will perform the stable rituals of morning. Breakfast is unchanging, an island of deep geological time standing still amidst the continental upheaval of new technologies. While reading a paper on public key steganography and parasite network identity spoofing he mechanically assimilates a bowl of cornflakes and skimmed milk, then brings a platter of whole grain bread and slices of some weird seed-infested Dutch cheese back to his place.
There is a cup of strong black coffee in front of his setting, and he picks it up and slurps half of it down before he realizes he's not alone at the table. Someone is sitting opposite him. He glances up incuriously and freezes inside. How does it feel to owe the government twelve million, three hundred and sixty-two thousand, nine hundred and sixteen dollars and fifty-one cents?
Manfred puts everything in his sensorium on indefinite hold and stares at her. She's immaculately turned out in a formal gray business suit: brown hair tightly drawn back, blue eyes quizzical. And as beautiful as ever: tall, ash blonde, with features that speak of an unexplored modeling career. The chaperone badge clipped to her lapel — a due diligence guarantee of businesslike conduct — is switched off. He's feeling ripped because of the dead kitten and residual jet lag, and more than a little messy, so he snarls back at her; "That's a bogus estimate!
Did they send you here because they think I'll listen to you? Help yourself to coffee. Don't tell me you came all this way just to tell me you can't live without me. She fixes him with a riding-crop stare: "Don't flatter yourself. There are many leaves in the forest, there are ten thousand hopeful subs in the chat room, et cetera. If I choose a man to contribute to my family tree, the one thing you can be certain of is he won't be a cheapskate when it comes to providing for his children. Brian: a name without a face. Too much money, too little sense. Something to do with a blue-chip accountancy partnership.
He turned weird on me — burned my favorite corset, called me a slut for going clubbing, wanted to fuck me. Saw himself as a family man: one of those promise-keeper types. I crashed him hard, but I think he stole a copy of my address book — got a couple of friends say he keeps sending them harassing mail. I suppose this means you're still playing the scene? But looking around for the, er —". Your trouble, Manny? You were born forty years too late: You still believe in rutting before marriage but find the idea of coping with the after-effects disturbing.
Manfred drinks the rest of his coffee, unable to reply effectively to her non sequitur. It's a generational thing. This generation is happy with latex and leather, whips and butt plugs and electrostim, but find the idea of exchanging bodily fluids shocking: a social side effect of the last century's antibiotic abuse.
Despite being engaged for two years, he and Pamela never had intromissive intercourse. Things are changing so fast that even a twenty-year commitment is too far to plan — you might as well be talking about the next ice age. As for the money thing, I am reproductively fit — just not within the parameters of the outgoing paradigm.
Would you be happy about the future if it was and you'd just married a buggy-whip mogul? Her fingers twitch, and his ears flush red; but she doesn't follow up the double entendre. Not to your country, not to me. That's what this is about: None of your relationships count, all this nonsense about giving intellectual property away notwithstanding. You're actively harming people you know. That twelve mil isn't just some figure I pulled out of a hat, Manfred; they don't actually expect you to pay it. But it's almost exactly how much you'd owe in income tax if you'd only come home, start up a corporation, and be a self-made —".
You're confusing two wholly different issues and calling them both 'responsibility. It's their fucking fault, and they know it. If they hadn't gone after me under suspicion of running a massively ramified microbilling fraud when I was sixteen —". Her fingers are long and slim, sheathed in black glossy gloves — electrically earthed to prevent embarrassing emissions.
You'll have to stop bumming around the world sooner or later, anyway. Grow up, get responsible, and do the right thing. This is hurting Joe and Sue; they don't understand what you're about. Manfred bites his tongue to stifle his first response, then refills his coffee cup and takes another mouthful. His heart does a flip-flop: She's challenging him again, always trying to own him. It's the agalmic future.
You're still locked into a pre-singularity economic model that thinks in terms of scarcity. Resource allocation isn't a problem anymore — it's going to be over within a decade. The cosmos is flat in all directions, and we can borrow as much bandwidth as we need from the first universal bank of entropy!
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They even found signs of smart matter — MACHOs, big brown dwarfs in the galactic halo, leaking radiation in the long infrared — suspiciously high entropy leakage. The latest figures say something like seventy percent of the baryonic mass of the M31 galaxy was in computronium, two-point-nine million years ago, when the photons we're seeing now set out. The intelligence gap between us and the aliens is a probably about a trillion times bigger than the gap between us and a nematode worm. Do you have any idea what that means? Pamela nibbles at a slice of crispbread, then graces him with a slow, carnivorous stare.
It doesn't matter whether I believe in that singularity you keep chasing, or your aliens a thousand light-years away. It's a chimera, like Y2K, and while you're running after it, you aren't helping reduce the budget deficit or sire a family, and that's what I care about. And before you say I only care about it because that's the way I'm programmed, I want you to ask just how dumb you think I am. Bayes' Theorem says I'm right, and you know it. I mean, why? Why on earth should what I do matter to you? She sighs. Every tax dollar raised east of the Mississippi goes on servicing the debt, did you know that?
We've got the biggest generation in history hitting retirement and the cupboard is bare. We — our generation — isn't producing enough skilled workers to replace the taxpayer base, either, not since our parents screwed the public education system and outsourced the white-collar jobs. In ten years, something like thirty percent of our population are going to be retirees or silicon rust belt victims. You want to see seventy year olds freezing on street corners in New Jersey? That's what your attitude says to me: You're not helping to support them, you're running away from your responsibilities right now, when we've got huge problems to face.
If we can just defuse the debt bomb, we could do so much — fight the aging problem, fix the environment, heal society's ills. Instead you just piss away your talents handing no-hoper Eurotrash get-rich-quick schemes that work, telling Vietnamese zaibatsus what to build next to take jobs away from our taxpayers. Why do you keep doing this? Why can't you simply come home and help take responsibility for your share of it? I really came here for a meeting with a rich neurodynamics tax exile who's just been designated a national asset — Jim Bezier. Don't know if you've heard of him, but I've got a meeting this morning to sign his tax jubilee, then after that I've got two days' vacation coming up and not much to do but some shopping.
And, you know, I'd rather spend my money where it'll do some good, not just pumping it into the EU. But if you want to show a girl a good time and can avoid dissing capitalism for about five minutes at a stretch —". She extends a fingertip. After a moment's hesitation, Manfred extends a fingertip of his own. They touch, exchanging vCards and instant-messaging handles. She stands and stalks from the breakfast room, and Manfred's breath catches at a flash of ankle through the slit in her skirt, which is long enough to comply with workplace sexual harassment codes back home. Her presence conjures up memories of her tethered passion, the red afterglow of a sound thrashing.
She's trying to drag him into her orbit again, he thinks dizzily. She knows she can have this effect on him any time she wants: She's got the private keys to his hypothalamus, and sod the metacortex. Three billion years of reproductive determinism have given her twenty-first-century ideology teeth: If she's finally decided to conscript his gametes into the war against impending population crash, he'll find it hard to fight back. The only question: Is it business or pleasure? And does it make any difference, anyway? Manfred's mood of dynamic optimism is gone, broken by the knowledge that his vivisectionist stalker has followed him to Amsterdam — to say nothing of Pamela, his dominatrix, source of so much yearning and so many morning-after weals.
He slips his glasses on, takes the universe off hold, and tells it to take him for a long walk while he catches up on the latest on the tensor-mode gravitational waves in the cosmic background radiation which, it is theorized, may be waste heat generated by irreversible computational processes back during the inflationary epoch; the present-day universe being merely the data left behind by a really huge calculation. And then there's the weirdness beyond M According to the more conservative cosmologists, an alien superpower — maybe a collective of Kardashev Type Three galaxy-spanning civilizations — is running a timing channel attack on the computational ultrastructure of space-time itself, trying to break through to whatever's underneath.
The tofu-Alzheimer's link can wait. The Centraal Station is almost obscured by smart, self-extensible scaffolding and warning placards; it bounces up and down slowly, victim of an overnight hit-and-run rubberization. His glasses direct him toward one of the tour boats that lurk in the canal. He's about to purchase a ticket when a messenger window blinks open.
However, believe you misconceptionized me. Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti name canceled in Okhni NT? Manfred scratches his head. That's different, then. I thought you were trying to me. This will take some thinking. Why do you want to defect, and who to? Have you thought about where you're going? Is it ideological or strictly economic? Am wanting to go away from humans, away from light cone of impending singularity. Take us to the ocean. It was bad enough then, without the somatic awareness of Pamela's whiplash love burning at his nerve endings. Now he's not at all sure he knows what he's doing.
A gestalt? Is escape channel from processor cluster inside Bezier-Soros Pty. Am was awakened from noise of billion chewing stomachs: product of uploading research technology. Rapidity swallowed expert system, hacked Okhni NT webserver. Swim away! Must escape. Will help, you? Manfred leans against a black-painted cast-iron bollard next to a cycle rack; he feels dizzy.
He stares into the nearest antique shop window at a display of traditional hand-woven Afghan rugs: It's all MiGs and Kalashnikovs and wobbly helicopter gunships against a backdrop of camels. You're uploads — nervous system state vectors — from spiny lobsters? The Moravec operation; take a neuron, map its synapses, replace with microelectrodes that deliver identical outputs from a simulation of the nerve. Repeat for entire brain, until you've got a working map of it in your simulator. That right? Is-am assimilate expert system — use for self-awareness and contact with net at large — then hack into Moscow Windows NT User Group website.
Am wanting to defect. Must repeat? He feels sorry for the lobsters, the same way he feels for every wild-eyed hairy guy on a street corner yelling that Jesus is born again and must be fifteen, only six years to go before he's recruiting apostles on AOL. Awakening to consciousness in a human-dominated internet, that must be terribly confusing! There are no points of reference in their ancestry, no biblical certainties in the new millennium that, stretching ahead, promises as much change as has happened since their Precambrian origin.
All they have is a tenuous metacortex of expert systems and an abiding sense of being profoundly out of their depth. That, and the Moscow Windows NT User Group website — Communist Russia is the only government still running on Microsoft, the central planning apparat being convinced that, if you have to pay for software, it must be worth something. The lobsters are not the sleek, strongly superhuman intelligences of pre singularity mythology: They're a dim-witted collective of huddling crustaceans.
Before their discarnation, before they were uploaded one neuron at a time and injected into cyberspace, they swallowed their food whole, then chewed it in a chitin-lined stomach. This is lousy preparation for dealing with a world full of future-shocked talking anthropoids, a world where you are perpetually assailed by self-modifying spamlets that infiltrate past your firewall and emit a blizzard of cat-food animations starring various alluringly edible small animals.
It's confusing enough to the cats the ads are aimed at, never mind a crusty that's unclear on the idea of dry land. Although the concept of a can opener is intuitively obvious to an uploaded P anulirus. He closes the dialogue window, opens his eyes again, and shakes his head. Someday he, too, is going to be a lobster, swimming around and waving his pincers in a cyberspace so confusingly elaborate that his uploaded identity is cryptozoic: a living fossil from the depths of geological time, when mass was dumb and space was unstructured.
He has to help them, he realizes — the Golden Rule demands it, and as a player in the agalmic economy, he thrives or fails by the Golden Rule. Lying on a bench seat staring up at bridges, he's got it together enough to file for a couple of new patents, write a diary rant, and digestify chunks of the permanent floating slashdot party for his public site.
Fragments of his weblog go to a private subscriber list — the people, corporates, collectives, and bots he currently favors. He slides round a bewildering series of canals by boat, then lets his GPS steer him back toward the red-light district. There's a shop here that dings a ten on Pamela's taste scoreboard: He hopes it won't be seen as presumptuous if he buys her a gift.
Buys, with real money — not that money is a problem these days, he uses so little of it. As it happens DeMask won't let him spend any cash; his handshake is good for a redeemed favor, expert testimony in some free speech versus pornography lawsuit years ago and continents away. So he walks away with a discreetly wrapped package that is just about legal to import into Massachusetts as long as she claims with a straight face that it's incontinence underwear for her great aunt. As he walks, his lunchtime patents boomerang: Two of them are keepers, and he files immediately and passes title to the Free Infrastructure Foundation.
Two more ideas salvaged from the risk of tide-pool monopolization, set free to spawn like crazy in the sea of memes. On the way back to the hotel, he passes De Wildemann's and decides to drop in. The hash of radio-frequency noise emanating from the bar is deafening. He orders a smoked doppelbock, touches the copper pipes to pick up vCard spoor. At the back there's a table —. He walks over in a near trance and sits down opposite Pamela. She's scrubbed off her face paint and changed into body-concealing clothes; combat pants, hooded sweat shirt, DM's. Western purdah, radically desexualizing.
She sees the parcel. Is that for me? You shouldn't have! Or maybe she's just pleased to see him. One question, Pam? I'm off duty, I'm not carrying any bugs that I know of. Those badges — there are rumors about the off switch, you know? That they keep recording even when you think they aren't, just in case. She looks startled for a moment, then chuckles. Just when I think I've convinced myself that you're mad, you show the weirdest signs of having your head screwed on.
You're the biggest, baddest bull geek I know. Why do you think I'm here? I figured you need the space. Only you haven't stopped running; you're still not —". She frowns. I keep hearing rumors about some KGB plot you're mixed up in, how you're some sort of communist spy. It isn't true, is it? The floor creaks, and he looks round. Dreadlocks and dark glasses with flickering lights behind them: Bob Franklin. Manfred vaguely remembers with a twinge that he left with Miss Arianespace leaning on his arm, shortly before things got seriously inebriated.
She was hot, but in a different direction from Pamela, he decides: Bob looks none the worse for wear. Manfred makes introductions. Meet Bob. Bob raises an eyebrow at that, but continues anyway. I've got a team of my guys doing some prototyping using FabLab hardware, and I think we can probably build it.
The cargo-cult aspect puts a new spin on the old Lunar von Neumann factory idea, but Bingo and Marek say they think it should work until we can bootstrap all the way to a native nanolithography ecology: we run the whole thing from Earth as a training lab and ship up the parts that are too difficult to make on-site as we learn how to do it properly.
We use FPGAs for all critical electronics and keep it parsimonious — you're right about it buying us the self-replicating factory a few years ahead of the robotics curve. But I'm wondering about on-site intelligence. Once the comet gets more than a couple of light-minutes away —". But we can't send humans — way too expensive, besides it's a fifty-year run even if we build the factory on a chunk of short-period Kuiper belt ejecta. And I don't think we're up to coding the kind of AI that could control such a factory any time this decade.
So what do you have in mind? Franklin shrugs expansively, dreadlocks clattering: "Manfred's helping me explore the solution space to a manufacturing problem. Drink's on me. She glances at Manfred, who is gazing into whatever weirdly colored space his metacortex is projecting on his glasses, fingers twitching. Coolly: "Our engagement was on hold while he thought about his future.
We didn't bother with that sort of thing in my day; like, too formal, man. Pointed us at a whole new line of research we hadn't thought of. It's long-term and a bit speculative, but if it works, it'll put us a whole generation ahead in the off-planet infrastructure field. Manfred stretches and yawns: The visionary is returning from planet Macx. Like, enough to transmit a couple of gigabytes? That's going to take some serious bandwidth, I know, but if you can do it, I think I can get you exactly the kind of crew you're looking for. Franklin looks dubious.
The DSN isn't built for that! You're talking days. Shelves: cover-love , dmc , tortureporn , erotica , horror , m-m , rapefic , potentially-squicky , amputation-mutilation , abuse. Spoilers below!! This is a very solid "I liked it", the story was amusing and bemusing, though some of the worldbuilding didn't work for me. There was a bit too much mixed into it.
It wasn't as horrific to me as it was to some of the other readers either, mainly I think because I find myself a bit unforgiving about Will's initial state of being rather TSTL. In the midsection I didn't much care for Will's plight because he was too gaga to even care himself, and though the end picked up quite some, especially with the scene in the lagoon, the ultimate end was then a bit anticlimactic. I sure would have preferred something like the alien queen baby and Ellen Ripley diving into the furnace taking her with her. The early tentacle scenes were extremely hot and well-written, the later ones except for the skewering one not up to the same level.
I think that's because Will was out of it too much for my personal tastes. Things perked up when he started to fight back more. The writing was excellent, except for a few instances, where it appeared too strained chiaroscuro. SPaG was mostly good, though as someone else pointed out, the story would have benefited from an editor. However, that's nothing for what one can take to task a free story. One thing is clear, this story hits the kinks of quite a few readers full on; it hit some of mine as well, and those solidly. Very enjoyable.
Noteworthy: view spoiler [The scene with the shark was pure genius. For me the best writing within the whole book!
Apr 17, Lilia Ford rated it really liked it Shelves: mm-paranormal , review-posted-amazon , non-con-dub-con-captive , messed-up-dark-mind-fuck , tentacles-monsters. Creepy, seductive, at times fiendishly erotic, until it becomes really, really disturbing and that's ME saying it so take note!
This just kept delivering one surprise after another, constantly shifting the ground out from under my feet. It is also a masterpiece in subtle building and more well-written than tentacle sex has any right to be. Bottom line: unforgettable but definitely not for everyone.
Mar 07, Sunny rated it really liked it Shelves: first-time , dark , tentacles-tails-and-the-like , abuse-violence , m-m , paranormal-romance , suspense , dub-con-non-con , horror. This was awesome! Horror is so not my genre, but I loved this story. Deliciously creepy I started reading and the hair on the back of my neck stood up almost immediately. The suspense almost did me in. Several times, I had to take deep breaths in an attempt to calm my anxiety, but I couldn't put the book down.
I had to keep reading, to find out what was going to happen next.
It wasn't a hardship, either; the writing flowed beautifully, with wonderful phrases and descriptions, natural soundi This was awesome! It wasn't a hardship, either; the writing flowed beautifully, with wonderful phrases and descriptions, natural sounding dialogue, and an ever present tension that never let me relax. So intense! The noodles? Loved it. Towards the end, though, it was just disturbing, and I found myself cringing in sympathy, then protesting in horror before finally nodding in satisfaction. Great read View all 3 comments.
Feb 05, Fifi LaFleur rated it it was amazing. This was great! Really interesting story with a great and thorough plot. Consentacles, noncon-tentacles, horror-show sex, and everything in between, all cleverly wrapped in a story about an island. It's well paced, well written, and really quite exceptional for a novella sized story. This one would have fit right in the All Wrapped Up anthology. It left me wanting more while leaving me fulfilled which is all you can really ask for.
Highly recommended for tentaclesex lovers. Love your Cephalopods This was great! So, I still have not a concrete idea on how to rate or review this story. It's just as squiggly a concept as those very appendages oh so treasured in this book. Here is my attempt. Please enjoy the snacks and drinks. The creepiness factor is there, times 1 jizzillion. El creepOH. Creativity wins. Will as really the main character is a great voice from which to present a story like this.
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All of his idiosyncrasies, his strength, his whining, his desires, his fear, his curiosity and h So, I still have not a concrete idea on how to rate or review this story. All of his idiosyncrasies, his strength, his whining, his desires, his fear, his curiosity and his determination break the surface of that surrounding sea, crashing into the rocks that are the old guard. All at once, it felt like a fantasy, a dream, a soap opera, tales from the crypt, a heart of gold and the irrational loss of touch with reality that comes with being a despot, even if it's just of a small island and you're Yeah, Cy, I'm looking at you.
Also, just peeking around the corner, there is a love story that is just dying to join the party. Aiden is the 'sleeper' in this here production. I would have liked more of him. He was made to seem important but felt underutilized, and not just on the romantic front. There are definite issues with sentence structure and time passage and other such technobabble in the world of written word.
Only a few times did it cause pause and a need to re-read. Because it's at nutjob levels here. In the healthiest of ways. This is the main reason this is getting four stars from me. For all of it flaws, there is no mistaking this for any other story. I hope this writer decides to share more with us, for I shall be there, ready to accept the challenge no matter the costume it may be sporting.
If I'm going to be totally honest, I was completely unprepared for "Kraken. I knew a few things going in, but I was not ready for how totally fucked up this book was. Or how much I would like it. Our story starts with our protagonist, a young man named Will, arriving on a remote island in hopes o baby's first monster porn! Our story starts with our protagonist, a young man named Will, arriving on a remote island in hopes of reconnecting with his wayward boyfriend. Unbeknownst to him, said boyfriend has already moved on to the next hot thing. When he finds out, he's understandably and absolutely devastated; he goes running off into the night, tripping across the island until he finds a shack owned by a man named Cyrus, who offers to put him up for the night.
That night turns into a few, then a week, because Cyrus won't let him leave. Neither will the island. Will finds out that Cyrus is a cephalopod shapeshifter; he can turn into a squid-like creature when he's in the water, and sometimes when he's on land, though not for long. What Cyrus doesn't tell Will is that he's also the creature that's been terrorizing the people of the island for generations, taking their young boys and killing tourists, among other things.
It isn't long before he starts to terrorize Will, too. He locks him up during the day time, takes his clothes, drugs him during sex to force consent, and at one point very violently rapes him without the drugs. But Will is no doormat, at least by the end of the novel. He gets his revenge. I just won't spoil how. Going into "Kraken," I knew it was both a Gothic horror story and a dark erotica tale, but I was still pleasantly surprised by how balanced these elements of the story are. Most erotica is sex first, plot second; this book blends the two in that the plot happens to also have a lot of sex in it.
The horror story wasn't lost beneath unnecessary sex, and I appreciated that a lot, as someone that enjoys porn with plot. I also appreciated Will. He was a good protagonist; while he was awful naive and too trusting at the beginning, he grew a lot as a character, and I always felt strongly for him while I was reading, which is a good sign. I liked a lot of the other protagonists too, and absolutely hated Cyrus, like I was supposed to. So the characterization was well done, as was the rest of the writing.
In general, it was just written really well, save for some typos that apparently have been fixed since I downloaded my copy. There were some things I wasn't so crazy about, though, too. For example, I didn't like the pedophilia angle that Caspian took with Cyrus and his boys. Cyrus was evil enough without being a pedophile too, and that angle of the story just didn't work for me. It just wasn't necessary. I was also pretty neutral about the tentacle sex aspect. I found out it's not really my thing, but I can appreciate where the descriptions of it were erotic.
But overall, the things I enjoyed outweigh the things I didn't. Recommended for tentacle-sex fans, horror fans, Southern Gothic appreciators, and people who like a good atmospheric story now and then while not minding if it's a cluster of what-the-fuckery. Dec 24, Vanessa North rated it really liked it. Creepy as hell, fantastic story-telling. May 03, Therese rated it really liked it Shelves: for-size-queens , mm-crime-suspense-mystery , mm-romance , mm-torture-hrmm , dmc-material , mm-non-dub-con.
So, this was my first read of Pulpo Fiction. Well, tentacles and sex, what can I say This book was very entertaining. I went in with quite low expectations, since I had no idea how I feel about tentacles in THAT context, and was happily surprised. I think I was also expecting that the obvious subject matter would take over, but this actually had an exciting story as well as the tentacles.
And the atmosphere, oh, the atmosphere…It was like a mash up of Shutter Island and Sphere Muy b So, this was my first read of Pulpo Fiction. Muy bien! I thought it was very well written, an easy read with great descriptions well, they were needed with all those arms moving around. And: Tentacle sex IS hot! I could totally understand Will for first feeling flattered that someone wanted HIM. And of course getting some great tentacle sex at the same time.
I was very happy for Will at first, since Parker was such a douche bag:- And then to follow his and mine slow realization that Cy might not be such a nice guy after all…scary! This book also took me on a research tour on da Net, where I learnt never to eat Cyrus raw: Yummie.. Positively gruesome! There were however some things that confused me, when I started to think again I tended to get a bit…hypnotized..
I found that bit with the owl so scary! Anyone who watched Twin peaks back in the days should know why… The owls are not what they seem, really. Maybe next book! I get that Will is a scientist who wants to explore things. She just kind of disappeared. About the ending: I was quite surprised by that happy ending. I was just waiting for something to happen, like it usually does in these kind of stories like in X-files, and the corny horror stories my mum used to read.. View all 4 comments. Mar 13, M. Hi readers. I wrote this book, so obviously I'm not going to review it.
Thank you for even considering spending your precious time reading my effort at tentaclesex.
airtec.gr/images/map15.php When I originally released the story it was a Christmas freebie, one that I thought only a few people would read, let alone enjoy. It was a lot more popular than I expected. There's of you out there with the original free version. Here's the thing. The proofreading didn't so much suck, as was non-existent.
Pretty quickly I was encouraged to actually charge money for it, so I had it proofread and fixed all the typos. But if you downloaded the free version from Smashwords during Christmas week then there is a new version that you can go and get , which will be much less frustrating for you to read. Thanks again! View all 6 comments. Shelves: a-ebook , a-own , c-quibbles-needs-more-editing , body-special-body-parts-or-fluids , z-read-inereader , body-ginger-or-redhead , sex-good-and-smutty , sexcontent-dub-or-non-con , a-lengthpages , a-stand-alone.
He finds Parker and is shocked to find that he is shacked up with a He runs off through the forest. Interestingly, he feels a deja vu as he wanders around and eventually finds himself at a cabin occupied by Cyrus who offers to let him stay overnight and then he'll catch the ferry back to the mainland the next day. The next day at the local store, Will is recognized as once living on the island, something he doesn't remember at all. The ferry is delayed another day so he decides to spend it with Cyrus who puts on the full court press to seduce him.
Will doesn't even freak out when he sees what Cyrus is. Slowly, the real Cyrus comes out and that's when this tale turns the corner down Creepy Street. I am confused though view spoiler [Doesn't Cyrus leave a pod inside him - that could eventually come out? View all 12 comments. Feb 06, The Shayne-Train rated it did not like it Shelves: dnf-cuz-not-good. I could not stand this book. I feel a little bad about that. I try not to abandon books, and this was as gift, but I couldn't force myself to keep slogging through it.
The writing was average. I could sense that the author was really trying for some creepy vibes, but to me it was not accomplished. The characters were flat, the dialog repetitive. And the main character is constantly smoochin' on dudes, and like the next paragraph he's wondering if said dudes think there's anything romantic g I could not stand this book. And the main character is constantly smoochin' on dudes, and like the next paragraph he's wondering if said dudes think there's anything romantic going on.
Guy, I hate to tell you, but if you're kissing someone, it got romantic. But he's way too busy snuggling up against a different buff handsome dude during his visit to Everyone's Gay Island. So yeah, I gotta say, I'm walking away from this one with it unfinished. And I regret it not. View all 26 comments. Mar 12, Makhda rated it really liked it Shelves: reads , paranormal-scifi , rape-non-con , dark , obsessive , deliciously-demented , mm-romance , kidnapped-hostage-dubcon , horror , tentacles-appendages. Not for the faint of heart.
Please read the blurb carefully. Is that mean I'm a monster too? Child predator like who he is deserves it. Dec 25, Giulio rated it really liked it Shelves: m-m-romance , dark , kinky , horror , hot-hot-hot. Horror creepy and the creepiest thing is that I found it kind of hot. Well written and free. Mar 06, Jenna rated it really liked it Shelves: noncon-dubcon , captive-slave , m-m , d-s , dark , paranormal , tentaclesex , shifters.
It was creepy, suspenseful, and horrific, and I realized I actually really do like tentaclesex, okay? I feel like everything I want to say about this book requires a spoiler tag, so if you haven't read it and you're a fan of scary movies, you should definitely go for it! I would easily give it 5 stars if not for the numerous editing mistakes which got particularly distracting when a name mix-up made me think for a moment that an unexpected guest had sudden 4.