NEW FICTION: BITING THE SNAKE’S TAIL by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Paul Raven @ 01-02-2010

Our second story of the new decade is yet another return visit from a Futurismic fiction alumnus. We loved Silvia Moreno-Garcia‘s “Maquech” enough to publish it back in 2008, and “Biting The Snake’s Tail” takes us back to an exotic and ecologically crumbling Mexico City… but this time it’s in a noir-ish near-future police story, where what you don’t see is even more important than what you do. Enjoy!

Biting The Snake’s Tail

by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Cops don’t go into the alcazabas. They’ll do raids every few months and confiscate mod-drugs for the sake of the TV cameras, but they don’t care what happens in the alcazaba’s colorless alleys. The gang leaders have established their own code of conduct, so what happens in the alcazaba is the business of the people who live there and not of the outsiders circling and enduring these cities within a city.

That’s why it was so bizarre to see all those officers in their blue uniforms running around La Catrina. I bet they were also pretty surprised to see me there in full gear with Arkasha at my side.

Gonzalo hadn’t told me what was going on. All he said was I had to get to La Catrina fast. Therefore, I was wearing the exo and the helmet, just in case things were really nasty. Arkasha was an added form of insurance. It’s funny how many people will run at the sight of a large dog, but not of a gun. Continue reading “NEW FICTION: BITING THE SNAKE’S TAIL by Silvia Moreno-Garcia”


Injectable arphid will let satellites track you world-wide (and maybe kill you)

Paul Raven @ 19-06-2009

injectable RFID implantCausing a bit of a stir over in Germany is a patent filed by a Saudi Arabian gentlemen for a form of subcutaneous RFID chip which would allow remote global tracking of the person into whom it was injected.

The patent application – entitled “Implantation of electronic chips in the human body for the purposes of determining its geographical location” – was filed on October 30, 2007, but was only published until last week, or 18 months after submission as required by German law, she said.

“In recent times the number of people sought by security forces has increased,” the Jeddah-based inventor wrote in his summary.

The tiny electronic device […] would be suited for tracking fugitives from justice, terrorists, illegal immigrants, criminals, political opponents, defectors, domestic help, and Saudi Arabians who don’t return home from pilgrimages.

Not too shocking on the surface, but it was one of the optional upgrades that caused the law firm representing the application to drop the case quickly:

After subcutaneous implantation, the chip would send out encrypted radio waves that would be tracked by satellites to confirm the person’s identity and whereabouts. An alternate model chip could reportedly release a poison into the carrier if he or she became a security risk.

Cute… thankfully the German patent system would probably have bounced the application on ethical grounds, but you don’t need a patent to make or use something like this.

And as science fictional as it blatantly is, it’s the political implausibility that stands out rather than the technological. Sadly, chipping people like we tag pets is likely to become quite the fashion in the more repressive nation-states of the world, but there’s certain to be a lively black market trade in removing and deactivating them too. [via Technovelgy; image by Nadya Peek]