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Mark Moore
05-14-2013, 09:20 PM
I've been developing a setting for the past two years. It's a mid-21st-century nation (actually, the capital city moreso than the nation), and the series will be police-oriented.

I've already started writing the first story, but I'm concerned about some of the tech (and terminology thereof) being dated as well as the economics.

The basic backstory is this nation will be founded approximately twenty years from now, and it'll have a socialist (or mostly socialist) government. It'll already be somewhat established by the time that the series starts, and the series will feature the first naturally-born citizens of this nation transitioning to adulthood.

There is a two-child policy to curb the overpopulation problem (the parents are taxed for additional children).

Excluding recreational/junk food (which are purchased in vending machines and are regulated for content), households are limited to twenty maximum grocery purchases per day (both for resource reasons and to curb "because I can" consumption and food waste).

Digital entertainment is downloaded, but physical media is available for purchase if you want to made your own physical copy. The society is mostly paperless (use of paper is taxed).

Stores are smaller and specialized (no big-box retailers). Grocery stores are more like delis and have the items behind the counter (no taking cold items out of the cooler/freezer and then deciding "Oh, I changed my mind on this" or being unable to pay, and it has to be thrown out). A separate store for household pantry items, a separate store for electronics, etc.

Gun ownership is restricted to use by law enforcement and military.

Finances and records are centralized and regulated (see below for my first problem), and crimes are more often punished by fines than imprisonment. Serious crimes (murder, rape, drug-dealing, etc.) are punishable by lifetime imprisonment in an unguarded, open-area, subterranean prison (lots of population turnover down there).

Everything regarding a person (whether citizen, resident alien, or visitor) is accessed through a national identification card: finances, licenses, restrictions, criminal history, etc. The card includes a photo ID and a sample of the person's DNA. People don't carry wallets with cash (there is no cash) and lots of cards around - just the one card.

Here's my first problem. Is the card even neccessary? Or is accessing a database through the person's DNA enough?

Also, in one of the early scenes of the first story, I have the MC use her "computer". The thing is I can easily see the PC being obsolete by this time, and there would be a multi-use device instead for all audio-visual uses (Internet, music, personal communications, etc.; there is no television, since everything is accessed online, but visual entertainment would be viewed with this same device). "Computer" sounds too old-fashioned and quaint (kinda of like "movie") for a society where technology is so integrated into people's everyday lives. Anyone have a better word?

Also, since the economy is closely regulated (food-purchasing caps, annual earning caps, all transactions recorded, etc.), I'm trying to figure out what the benefits/drawbacks of it are and how criminals (such are drug and gun dealers/purchasers) might successfully bypass them, so I can work them into the stories.

melindamusil
05-14-2013, 10:36 PM
Everything regarding a person (whether citizen, resident alien, or visitor) is accessed through a national identification card: finances, licenses, restrictions, criminal history, etc. The card includes a photo ID and a sample of the person's DNA. People don't carry wallets with cash (there is no cash) and lots of cards around - just the one card.

Here's my first problem. Is the card even neccessary? Or is accessing a database through the person's DNA enough?


Personally I think you could go either way (card vs no card) and it could be legitimate. Just depends on how you want to set up your story.

If you go the no-card route, my first question would be how you are able to give your DNA to pay for things, like if you go to the store. You could either require a finger-prick and blood donation to pay for everything, OR since you're in a futuristic setting, you could say that scientists have developed something that gets a DNA sample by just scanning a finger, no blood donation necessary.

If you go the card route, that could add criminal complexities, i.e. people stealing cards to sell on the black market. A whole new definition of identity theft! What do the people do if their card is lost or stolen? How does the government respond to lost/stolen cards? That could be an interesting subplot.



Also, in one of the early scenes of the first story, I have the MC use her "computer". The thing is I can easily see the PC being obsolete by this time, and there would be a multi-use device instead for all audio-visual uses (Internet, music, personal communications, etc.; there is no television, since everything is accessed online, but visual entertainment would be viewed with this same device). "Computer" sounds too old-fashioned and quaint (kinda of like "movie") for a society where technology is so integrated into people's everyday lives. Anyone have a better word?


Obviously you can make up all kinds of words here. Smartphone, handheld PC, data processing machine, artificial intelligence... I'll let you know if I think of any others. Do they have different words for different devices? You should read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury - he has some good made-up technology devices in that.



Also, since the economy is closely regulated (food-purchasing caps, annual earning caps, all transactions recorded, etc.), I'm trying to figure out what the benefits/drawbacks of it are and how criminals (such are drug and gun dealers/purchasers) might successfully bypass them, so I can work them into the stories.

Like I already mentioned, they might be stealing identity cards and reselling them on the black market.

This reminds me a bit of the movie "Gattica", where a man "purchases" the DNA of a genetically "better" man, so that he will be allowed to become an astronaut. He has to use that man's urine and blood for all medical tests. I would imagine that buying and selling identities like that might be a major criminal enterprise.

Also, with the food-purchasing caps, they might be buying and selling identities to get more food. Reminds me of the food rationing in Europe during WWII - people who were hiding Jews or who ran orphanages would buy extra ration cards on the black market.

Bribery may also be a big thing. "I'll give you $$$ if you will sell me more food without recording it."

ironmikezero
05-14-2013, 11:08 PM
If cards are potentially obsolete by then, why not employ subcutaneous RF chips containing access links to dynamic databases (clouds) that maintain all personal relevant data (approved geographical access, social standing, economic wealth and authorized spending limits, medical status, holographic communications, etc.). Your black market may be a complete underground economy fueled by cloud hacking, RF chip counterfeiting, identity theft, etc. Smuggling and bartering of goods and services to avoid taxes and market(s) control could be rampant. I gotta agree with melindamusil - bribery would be endemic. In fact, corruption might only be surpassed by incipient paranoia.

Your premise is indeed fertile - have fun with it!

Mark Moore
05-14-2013, 11:13 PM
Those are some great ideas, Melinda. Thanks! :)

Yeah, I haven't worked out everything, such as how the government deals with lost/stolen cards, etc. The bribery idea is good. Also, it's possible that people might "donate" credits or trade a good or service (prostitution is legal but regulated through regular STD testing) to obtain something that they shouldn't.

I imagine cybercrime would be pretty rampant (probably even much moreso than today). I'm not sure where to place the tech level. I don't know if I want to do cyber-augmentation / mind interface like in "Ghost in the Shell" or keep it more at the level of, say, "Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040" (well, a bit more advanced than that; those shots of the bulky PC towers with floppy disk drives are embarrassing, and this series was made in the late 1990s; there's no excuse).

Mark Moore
05-14-2013, 11:15 PM
If cards are potentially obsolete by then, why not employ subcutaneous RF chips containing access links to dynamic databases (clouds) that maintain all personal relevant data (approved geographical access, social standing, economic wealth and authorized spending limits, medical status, holographic communications, etc.). Your black market may be a complete underground economy fueled by cloud hacking, RF chip counterfeiting, identity theft, etc. Smuggling and bartering of goods and services to avoid taxes and market(s) control could be rampant. I gotta agree with melindamusil - bribery would be endemic. In fact, corruption might only be surpassed by incipient paranoia.

Your premise is indeed fertile - have fun with it!

Thanks for the tips, Mike, and I intend to! :)

Xelebes
05-14-2013, 11:23 PM
The basic backstory is this nation will be founded approximately twenty years from now, and it'll have a socialist (or mostly socialist) government. It'll already be somewhat established by the time that the series starts, and the series will feature the first naturally-born citizens of this nation transitioning to adulthood.

Interesting.


There is a two-child policy to curb the overpopulation problem (the parents are taxed for additional children).

Modeled after the Chinese, I presume. Be forewarned that this only really presents a problem to the powerful in the community. The poorer folks will "orphan" their children rather easily. There will be a lot of shaming and castigating the poor from the powerful because of this.


Excluding recreational/junk food (which are purchased in vending machines and are regulated for content), households are limited to twenty maximum grocery purchases per day (both for resource reasons and to curb "because I can" consumption and food waste).

An absurd idea. This only works if there are food shortages, at which point starvation is a socially common concept. It is something that will be openly discussed.


Digital entertainment is downloaded, but physical media is available for purchase if you want to made your own physical copy. The society is mostly paperless (use of paper is taxed).

This only works if there is a shortage of trees and other materials that you can make paper with. On the other hand, the mostly paperless society can exist without a tax. The biggest issue is data integrity of people's financial systems.


Stores are smaller and specialized (no big-box retailers). Grocery stores are more like delis and have the items behind the counter (no taking cold items out of the cooler/freezer and then deciding "Oh, I changed my mind on this" or being unable to pay, and it has to be thrown out). A separate store for household pantry items, a separate store for electronics, etc.

You make it sound like a foreign concept. The only issue is the OTC - that does not make sense. The only way this makes sense is if there is a food shortage or famine going on.


Gun ownership is restricted to use by law enforcement and military.

Again, you make it sound like it is foreign.


Finances and records are centralized and regulated (see below for my first problem)

For many things, they already are. Your birth certificate, your passport, your death certifcate, your tax forms are all centralised. The only issue is bank records which is easy to do.


, and crimes are more often punished by fines than imprisonment.

Ok.


Serious crimes (murder, rape, drug-dealing, etc.) are punishable by lifetime imprisonment in an unguarded, open-area, subterranean prison (lots of population turnover down there).

Weird.


Everything regarding a person (whether citizen, resident alien, or visitor) is accessed through a national identification card: finances, licenses, restrictions, criminal history, etc. The card includes a photo ID and a sample of the person's DNA. People don't carry wallets with cash (there is no cash) and lots of cards around - just the one card.

Fair enough.


Here's my first problem. Is the card even neccessary? Or is accessing a database through the person's DNA enough?

DNA or retina scanning should do the trick. More secure that way.


Also, in one of the early scenes of the first story, I have the MC use her "computer". The thing is I can easily see the PC being obsolete by this time, and there would be a multi-use device instead for all audio-visual uses (Internet, music, personal communications, etc.; there is no television, since everything is accessed online, but visual entertainment would be viewed with this same device). "Computer" sounds too old-fashioned and quaint (kinda of like "movie") for a society where technology is so integrated into people's everyday lives. Anyone have a better word?

Laptop or tablet.


Also, since the economy is closely regulated (food-purchasing caps, annual earning caps, all transactions recorded, etc.), I'm trying to figure out what the benefits/drawbacks of it are and how criminals (such are drug and gun dealers/purchasers) might successfully bypass them, so I can work them into the stories.

Caps on real goods only work in shortages. Liquid, intangible goods are easily capped - if only because if one wants more, they can just wrest it with their wilyness. Cash and earnings are only units of influence one has.

melindamusil
05-15-2013, 12:15 AM
With all due respect, Xelebes, I think that they can easily create legal caps. Whether the people will respect and observe those caps is another story. They can create a tax or a cap on (for example) paper; even if there is a shortage, this will most likely lead to smuggling, bribery, and a black market on paper. (Incidentally, that could be a source of a good subplot.) (But that's just my opinion. Either scenario could potentially be legitimate, just depends on how he writes it.)

Xelebes is right on the two-child policy, though. There may be forced abortions or forced surgical birth control methods (like a woman having her tubes tied without her consent). There may be outright murder of 3rd children. Some families will probably at least try to hide a 3rd baby, but the majority of them will just leave the baby on a doorstep at a church/convent/hospital.

I can definitely also imagine black markets for foods that are limited or banned by the government.

A question about crimes: What happens if a person is unable to pay the fine? Are they imprisoned? Sent to a labor camp? Wages garnished until the fine is paid?

I think it may also be interesting to add a plot about an innocent person convicted of a violent crime and sent to prison. Does he/she try to break out? What happens if/when he/she gets out?

Of course, you could probably write a whole book about the culture within the prison.

This should be an interesting plot!

MythMonger
05-15-2013, 12:59 AM
I'm concerned about some of the tech (and terminology thereof) being dated as well as the economics.

Never underestimate the power to resist change. So much of people's mindsets are grandfathered to a prior time.

There is a two-child policy to curb the overpopulation problem (the parents are taxed for additional children).

If the government is serious about a 2 child policy, they'll sterilize the parents after they've had two children. It would also be easier to keep track of how many children each woman has birthed, so maybe the sterilizations would only apply to mothers.

Here's my first problem. Is the card even neccessary? Or is accessing a database through the person's DNA enough?

I don't believe the card is necessary. I think it's contrary to the centralized theme you seem to want in the rest of your country. The best centralization relies the least on factors outside of 'the system.' Cards could be lost, stolen, counterfeited. RF cards could also be tampered with. The most secure means of identification would center around dna identification.

Also, in one of the early scenes of the first story, I have the MC use her "computer". Anyone have a better word?

Think along the lines of Google Glass, but smaller and lighter (as technology always goes). Maybe contacts along with some kind of earpiece, or a brain chip that delivers all the required sensory input.

Also, since the economy is closely regulated (food-purchasing caps, annual earning caps, all transactions recorded, etc.), I'm trying to figure out what the benefits/drawbacks of it are and how criminals (such are drug and gun dealers/purchasers) might successfully bypass them, so I can work them into the stories.

If there are earnings caps, I'm assuming there are price caps as well? Price caps inevitably lead to shortages, as you've implied your country already has.

One thing you haven't discussed is what the other countries in the world have done. Are they socialist with similar caps, capitalists where anything goes, or a mix like what we have today? What are the neighboring/closest countries like? Probably a lot of the smuggling will come through these other countries, so it might be important to figure that out.



.

Mark Moore
05-15-2013, 01:32 AM
Xelebes is right on the two-child policy, though. There may be forced abortions or forced surgical birth control methods (like a woman having her tubes tied without her consent). There may be outright murder of 3rd children. Some families will probably at least try to hide a 3rd baby, but the majority of them will just leave the baby on a doorstep at a church/convent/hospital.

Yeah, there will definitely be issues regarding that, and I haven't worked everything out yet.



A question about crimes: What happens if a person is unable to pay the fine? Are they imprisoned? Sent to a labor camp? Wages garnished until the fine is paid?

I haven't worked everything out yet, but I figure the fine will be noted in the centralized database in the cloud, and there will also be an automated payment schedule. So, for example, a 200-credit fine might be spread over 20 workdays (payments are issued at the end of each day); therefore, 10 credits from each workday would be diverted to city coffers (with a note of where they came from and why, so they can automatically be allocated to the proper program: drug-offense fine goes to a recovery program, etc.).



I think it may also be interesting to add a plot about an innocent person convicted of a violent crime and sent to prison. Does he/she try to break out? What happens if/when he/she gets out?

There really is no escape, since the Pit (that's what it's called) is in a subterranean area beneath Vanity City, and the only accesses are a human elevator and a supply elevator. The human elevator is for lowering prisoners (along with a yell down the shaft by the police to the other inmates regarding what the person did; fun times) and police (see next paragraph) and for the prisoners to load bodies of dead inmates for nightly retrieval, and the supply elevator is for lowering daily allotments of food and toiletries.

It certainly is possible that some inmates will be foolish enough to attempt to escape via the elevator during the nightly retrieval, and that could present some interesting plots.

As for an innocent person being put down there, it certainly is possible, but there are a few safeguards to minimize the chances of that happening. To be sentenced to the Pit, you have to be either caught in the act or convicted beyond a reasonable doubt during a trial. Or if you admit/claim you did it, which could be an opportunity to explore possible ulterior motives for doing so.



Of course, you could probably write a whole book about the culture within the prison.

That certainly is an idea that I've considered. Once per month (though never on the same day, for security reasons), the Pit is gassed. Once all of the inmates are knocked out (or supposedly so), the police descend to do routine clean-up / maintenance. At least one of the stories will deal with the MC being called in to assist on a Pit mission.



This should be an interesting plot!

I hope so. I've chosen to write it in an epistolary format, compiled by the MC and consisting primarily of her journal entries (but also including excerpts from laws, police reports, etc., to give alternate viewpoints). The premise is she's releasing a series regarding her life as a police officer (I started a thread a while ago regarding this character here (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=267276)) - for both a domestic and foreign audience (this is my excuse for her to insert explanations of how things in her nation work). Yeah, kinda meta, I know.

The first story will deal with her moving to the city (she's from a more rural area), enrolling in the police academy (this is where a lot of the rules and her first glimpse of the Pit come in), becoming a regular officer, being recruited to join an elite police force designed to combat terrorism, and just generally getting used to life on her own.

As I mentioned above, she's part of the first generation of adults that were born citizens of this nation. Unlike her parents and older peers, she's known nothing else. She'll realize it's not a perfect system (what is?), but she's willing to fight to maintain it. She'll also be in a bit of an awkward spot by having more authority/leeway than the normal police but less than the military.

Unlike my other series, which are series of (mostly) self-contained short stories (each of which is approximately the length of a TV episode, oweing to my general preference of watching anime / 1980s cartoons and reading Archie Comics over reading novels - and my general inability/unwillingness to come up with plots that justify a longer length), I've decided to go with a longer approach for this series. Not quite a series of novels. More like a series of novellas / longer "short" stories (if that makes any sense).

Also, I can't draw worth crap, and I've relied on doing plain-text covers for my other stories so far (I talked to a published author, William Hatfield, at a con recently, and he expressed the criticalness of a good cover but agreed with me that short, 99-cent stories don't justify the cost of a paid-for cover), but I'm considering getting some kind of good cover art for this series (especially since I consider this series to be the "big one", whereas the other series are more cartoon/comic/sitcom-inspired).

Xelebes
05-15-2013, 01:38 AM
With all due respect, Xelebes, I think that they can easily create legal caps. Whether the people will respect and observe those caps is another story. They can create a tax or a cap on (for example) paper; even if there is a shortage, this will most likely lead to smuggling, bribery, and a black market on paper. (Incidentally, that could be a source of a good subplot.) (But that's just my opinion. Either scenario could potentially be legitimate, just depends on how he writes it.)

My issue with it is if there is a surplus and the people can see the surplus, the government is going to collapse. I think there is enough experience by politicians and dictators to know that caps and prohibitive taxes are likely to shorten the term of the government. There are ways to mask the caps and taxes, but they are not going to be stated on receipts and so forth. For example, the government might shut down the paper factories because they are not optimally productive, resulting in them having to import their paper. The paper then will have tariffs that are not stated.

Caps on food however is idiotic and makes the situation very volatile. If the people know that food is more available than the quotas would suggest, the government would easily lose its mandate and be toppled. Heck, even with shortages in food the government is especially vulnerable to volatility and losing its mandate. You don't mess with food, in other words.

Russell Secord
05-15-2013, 01:52 AM
My main suggestion would be to posit a shadow economy. Some people will have to have their daily Twinkies and Coke. If they can't get it legally, they'll get it illegally. It would be like Prohibition all over again, only with junk food, guns, and books (!).

There'd be a whole class of people, third-class citizens, who don't have cards and live below the radar. The police would tend to ignore these people unless they did something especially heinous. And of course, since cool guns are outlawed, only the outlaws will have cool guns.

With so many small stores, you're going to have a more complex infrastructure for delivering merchandise--unless they're all government-owned or -sponsored, which gives you a different batch of problems. Stores may have runs on particular items based only on rumors, so there will always be shortages of this or that--which may or may not work to the advantage of the shadow shops.

And of course with constant shortages, you'll have price fluctuations or, worse, inflation. The "real" economy will start taking its cues from the shadow economy (which has no central controls), the tail will wag the dog, the system will find a new equilibrium until They fix it again.

Your computer could be hard wired into the nervous system. For instance, instead of having a screen, the data simply appears in your field of vision because it's piped into the optic nerve. When you want to know something, you phrase the question in a certain way and ask it mentally or subvocally. You might call it a sub-brain since it's a sort of mental assistant.

melindamusil
05-15-2013, 02:45 AM
There really is no escape, since the Pit (that's what it's called) is in a subterranean area beneath Vanity City, and the only accesses are a human elevator and a supply elevator. The human elevator is for lowering prisoners (along with a yell down the shaft by the police to the other inmates regarding what the person did; fun times) and police (see next paragraph) and for the prisoners to load bodies of dead inmates for nightly retrieval, and the supply elevator is for lowering daily allotments of food and toiletries.

Pointing back to what I mentioned earlier about bribery- a prisoner *could* attempt to bribe someone to let them out. Or not, just depends on how you want your story to go. Do they have any contact with the "surface"? i.e. are they allowed to send letters to their family or friends?



It certainly is possible that some inmates will be foolish enough to attempt to escape via the elevator during the nightly retrieval, and that could present some interesting plots.

As for an innocent person being put down there, it certainly is possible, but there are a few safeguards to minimize the chances of that happening. To be sentenced to the Pit, you have to be either caught in the act or convicted beyond a reasonable doubt during a trial. Or if you admit/claim you did it, which could be an opportunity to explore possible ulterior motives for doing so.

In the United States, I think we have a pretty good criminal justice system, but there have still been innocent people convicted "beyond a reasonable doubt". So if you want it to happen in your fictional world, it could.

You could make this some kind of political/blackmail thing... like, a man pays to have his parent/business partner/spouse convicted of something. By doing this, the accuser acquires all his business assets. Or even just good old revenge.



That certainly is an idea that I've considered. Once per month (though never on the same day, for security reasons), the Pit is gassed. Once all of the inmates are knocked out (or supposedly so), the police descend to do routine clean-up / maintenance. At least one of the stories will deal with the MC being called in to assist on a Pit mission.

Could be a chance for someone to escape. Is it possible for long-term residents to build up a resistance to the gas? What if a prisoner dies accidentally from the gas? Speaking of prisoner deaths, what happens to their bodies - are they returned to the family or anonymously cremated?



Also, I can't draw worth crap, and I've relied on doing plain-text covers for my other stories so far (I talked to a published author, William Hatfield, at a con recently, and he expressed the criticalness of a good cover but agreed with me that short, 99-cent stories don't justify the cost of a paid-for cover), but I'm considering getting some kind of good cover art for this series (especially since I consider this series to be the "big one", whereas the other series are more cartoon/comic/sitcom-inspired).
Just a thought- you can go to a nearby university with a graphics/art program and see if you can find a student willing to do the cover for a much lower price. My sister studied graphic design, and they had many similar requests. Often students can get a little extra credit or can use it to fulfill a class assignment, plus college students are generally desperate for money.



My issue with it is if there is a surplus and the people can see the surplus, the government is going to collapse. I think there is enough experience by politicians and dictators to know that caps and prohibitive taxes are likely to shorten the term of the government. There are ways to mask the caps and taxes, but they are not going to be stated on receipts and so forth. For example, the government might shut down the paper factories because they are not optimally productive, resulting in them having to import their paper. The paper then will have tariffs that are not stated.

Caps on food however is idiotic and makes the situation very volatile. If the people know that food is more available than the quotas would suggest, the government would easily lose its mandate and be toppled. Heck, even with shortages in food the government is especially vulnerable to volatility and losing its mandate. You don't mess with food, in other words.

Thanks for clarifying. Yes, that would be a volatile situation. I still don't think it is impossible to limit the food - I'm thinking of a lot of 3rd world countries, where the government is so corrupt and the cost of food is ridiculously high - but it would not necessarily be easy. It may also depend on the culture and the attitude of citizens prior to the establishment of this government.




Your computer could be hard wired into the nervous system. For instance, instead of having a screen, the data simply appears in your field of vision because it's piped into the optic nerve. When you want to know something, you phrase the question in a certain way and ask it mentally or subvocally. You might call it a sub-brain since it's a sort of mental assistant.
Google Glass plus Big Brother! :)

One other idea - someone mentioned the "rest of the world". You could have people desperate to escape this nation, kinda like people who attempt to swim from Cuba. Maybe a whole underground illegal immigration culture - like smuggling people out of the country.

Mark Moore
05-15-2013, 04:55 AM
Pointing back to what I mentioned earlier about bribery- a prisoner *could* attempt to bribe someone to let them out.

Yeah, that's a good idea.


Do they have any contact with the "surface"? i.e. are they allowed to send letters to their family or friends?

I hadn't thought of that, but I suppose they should have contact. It would be filtered, of course, to make sure that no undesirable messages get out (I'm reminded of that one "prophet" guy that led that Mormon splinter group and how he continues to command his followers through letters that he sends from jail).


In the United States, I think we have a pretty good criminal justice system, but there have still been innocent people convicted "beyond a reasonable doubt". So if you want it to happen in your fictional world, it could.

You could make this some kind of political/blackmail thing... like, a man pays to have his parent/business partner/spouse convicted of something. By doing this, the accuser acquires all his business assets. Or even just good old revenge.

Another good idea. :)


Could be a chance for someone to escape. Is it possible for long-term residents to build up a resistance to the gas?

Is such a thing possible?


What if a prisoner dies accidentally from the gas?

I hadn't thought of that.


Speaking of prisoner deaths, what happens to their bodies - are they returned to the family or anonymously cremated?

Returned to the family.


Just a thought- you can go to a nearby university with a graphics/art program and see if you can find a student willing to do the cover for a much lower price. My sister studied graphic design, and they had many similar requests. Often students can get a little extra credit or can use it to fulfill a class assignment, plus college students are generally desperate for money.

Interesting. Thanks for the suggestion.


Thanks for clarifying. Yes, that would be a volatile situation. I still don't think it is impossible to limit the food - I'm thinking of a lot of 3rd world countries, where the government is so corrupt and the cost of food is ridiculously high - but it would not necessarily be easy. It may also depend on the culture and the attitude of citizens prior to the establishment of this government.

I should have specified that the people that originally settled and founded this nation set up the government in this way, and anyone that wishes to live there (even temporarily) has to read and agree to the rules.

The food caps and earning caps are not meant to be a way for Big Brother to control the peasants or anything like that. It's to remove conspicuous consumption, reduce individual waste, and ensure there's enough food for everyone.

Admittedly, this is the cashier in me speaking. It amazes me how people can come through my lane with two or three shopping carts and spend $300 and up on food (personally, I think $100 is pushing it), and then they don't have enough money to pay, forgot their wallet in their car, or leave without their items.

At the same time, I heard a guy (regarding prices) say "I guess they want us to starve to death", and I heard another guy (regarding fishing regulations) say "It's a police state. You can't do nothing anymore." I wanted to smack both of them.

Also, I recently saw a news report about how much food that Americans waste. They buy more than they can eat and then, instead of putting it in the fridge, they throw the leftovers in the trash at the end of the meal.


One other idea - someone mentioned the "rest of the world". You could have people desperate to escape this nation, kinda like people who attempt to swim from Cuba. Maybe a whole underground illegal immigration culture - like smuggling people out of the country.

Well, I never intended for the populace to be trapped here. If they want to leave, they're free to. It's actually harder for foreigners to get in.

That's actually going to be a source of conflict in a later story when the government allows refugees from another nation in.

I haven't thought up any fictional neighboring nations yet. Honestly, I still haven't fixed a location for this nation yet. All that I know is it's on a stretch of land that doesn't exist in our world and is located in a subtropical or tropical climate. No snow. Plenty of heat.

melindamusil
05-15-2013, 10:05 PM
Prisoners having contact with the surface is just one angle you can use for them to escape - like, telling their friends/family on the surface what to do or where to go. I'm thinking of drug kingpins (or the Mormon guy you mentioned) who are able to control their groups while still in prison. Maybe they're able to tell their family to file an appeal or something - "Talk to Bob! He knows what really happened!" But of course you can play with this - maybe letters are not allowed, and maybe that is one of the challenges a prisoner faces in escaping.

As far as the gas - you're already in a futuristic/sci-fi kind of setting, so IMO you can do whatever you want with it. Maybe with this gas, they can build up a resistance. Maybe not. Maybe there's a prisoner who discovers that, due to some weird genetic thing, he is not affected by the gas. He fakes being "out" while plotting an escape.



I should have specified that the people that originally settled and founded this nation set up the government in this way, and anyone that wishes to live there (even temporarily) has to read and agree to the rules.

The food caps and earning caps are not meant to be a way for Big Brother to control the peasants or anything like that. It's to remove conspicuous consumption, reduce individual waste, and ensure there's enough food for everyone.

Admittedly, this is the cashier in me speaking. It amazes me how people can come through my lane with two or three shopping carts and spend $300 and up on food (personally, I think $100 is pushing it), and then they don't have enough money to pay, forgot their wallet in their car, or leave without their items.

At the same time, I heard a guy (regarding prices) say "I guess they want us to starve to death", and I heard another guy (regarding fishing regulations) say "It's a police state. You can't do nothing anymore." I wanted to smack both of them.

Also, I recently saw a news report about how much food that Americans waste. They buy more than they can eat and then, instead of putting it in the fridge, they throw the leftovers in the trash at the end of the meal.

Ahhh, can you tell I've been indoctrinated by the "Hunger Games" and other dystopian novels?

So I would imagine you're going to have some personalities not unlike today. Some people will be ultra-green, constantly figuring out their carbon footprint or whatever. Some people probably won't like the government regulations but don't really care enough to fight it (or move to another country). Some people will hate the government enough to protest in front of City Hall. Kinda like a bell curve - most people are apathetic about it, and you'll have a few people on either end who feel passionately for or against the government.

You can tell Mr. Police-State that he should be glad he's not living in North Korea or Iran. This ain't nothing compared to those nations!

I also saw that report about Americans throwing away food - blew my mind. We save leftovers (makes an easy lunch for the next day). The only food we throw away is food that is rotten. I don't think I could waste that much food/money if I tried!



Well, I never intended for the populace to be trapped here. If they want to leave, they're free to. It's actually harder for foreigners to get in.

That's actually going to be a source of conflict in a later story when the government allows refugees from another nation in.

I haven't thought up any fictional neighboring nations yet. Honestly, I still haven't fixed a location for this nation yet. All that I know is it's on a stretch of land that doesn't exist in our world and is located in a subtropical or tropical climate. No snow. Plenty of heat.

You could reverse it - have people fighting to get INTO the nation. Or you can just not even mention the rest of the world. You really only need to include it if that's included in your plot.

UNLESS, you could say the rest of the world is "ruined" (like from smog and pollution and landfills and junk). There's still people and nations there, but the people all get sick and die young. Your nation is a random island or something that is the only "clean" or "pure" place left on earth. [/random brainstorm]

melindamusil
05-15-2013, 10:14 PM
Well, I never intended for the populace to be trapped here. If they want to leave, they're free to. It's actually harder for foreigners to get in.

That's actually going to be a source of conflict in a later story when the government allows refugees from another nation in.

I haven't thought up any fictional neighboring nations yet. Honestly, I still haven't fixed a location for this nation yet. All that I know is it's on a stretch of land that doesn't exist in our world and is located in a subtropical or tropical climate. No snow. Plenty of heat.

Okay, I just reread this... If you were to say that your nation is the only clean nation left on earth, that could work right into your refugee conflict. Maybe some people are worried that they won't have enough food to support all these other people in addition to themselves. And/or some people feel kinda selfish about it, like, "I worked hard to make/grow all this food, why should I have to share it with a bunch of freeloaders?"

Or not... your call. Either way this is still an interesting concept.

Mark Moore
05-15-2013, 11:31 PM
Or you can just not even mention the rest of the world. You really only need to include it if that's included in your plot.

I do plan to involve the rest of the world somehow - in the refugee plot that will be coming up later but also, more generally, in an ongoing terrorist target plot. That's the point of the special police force that my MC is on (well, that and the random robot rampage). She deals with the "big stuff", not random brawls or neighbor complaints (although she'd be obligated to intervene in those if in the area; her apartment building alone should prove to be a source of headaches for her).

See, I gave this city, which is otherwise very efficient and interconnected, two flaws:

1) Even though particular businesses and agencies are grouped within particular districts, the layout of each district itself is kind of messy, and it's very easy to get lost if one is not checking a GPS (or whatever the futuretech equivalent is). Bad for cops. Good for criminals.

2) The people kind of put all of their eggs in one basket. The city is not only the capital (government center) but also the manufacturing center, technological center, artistic center, financial center, etc. It's as if the U.S. government, the dot coms, the auto industry, and the film industry were located in New York City. This has made Vanity City a very attractive target for terrorists.

Paris Love
05-31-2013, 10:10 AM
As far as the ID card and computer issue, you could have your characters use mobile devices not unlike a smartphone or iPad when out and about, and they can dock their devices into their larger entertainment systems when at home.

I already refer to my smartphone and iPad as "mobile devices" when speaking about them in general. Such as "Is your mobile device paired to the Bluetooth receiver?" I also already use bluetooth and wi-fi technology to use wireless peripherals such as keyboards, printers, car stereo (yay! Pandora!), television, and home sound systems.

I have an app on my smart phone that allows me to make purchases at participating retailers and merchants via wireless technology. I can also get paid from private parties or by swiping someone's debit card through a card reader that attaches to my phone. I bought Girl Scout Cookies like that this year. Paypal is probably the most common service, but there are already other services available that allow anyone to pay anyone else with a debit account.

In 20 years, personal computing as you know it will be obsolete. Everything will be in the cloud, so back ups or local server or hard drive storage will be unnecessary and difficult. Google jumped the gun when they released the Chrome Book last year. No one bought it, because the world isn't ready to go completely into the cloud. But I predict that within 5-7 years we will all wonder why it took us so long to get to cloud only based information storage.

Mark Moore
05-31-2013, 06:18 PM
Thanks for the input. That has helped me, because I'd recently written scenes where my MC went out shopping for furniture and appliances for her new apartment. I better change it to her just ordering everything from her tablet.

I'm still going to have her go out to shop for food and toiletries. I'm guessing those are things that people will still insist on purchasing in person.

Oh, I'm calling the handheld device a tablet and the larger, stationary device a console.

There's also a scene where the MC goes to the police academy to check on the status of her application. This is a matter of plot convenience, because it leads to an interview and her acceptance, followed by a tour. I suppose a more realistic approach would be for her to simply get a message saying she's been granted an interview.

melindamusil
06-01-2013, 12:40 AM
I will throw this out: I know what Paris Love is talking about with cloud-based vs. personal computing, and I don't entirely disagree. Also since this is in the future, you have plenty of flexibility. But I have helped MANY people (mostly older but also including some people who are younger than me!) who just refuse to shop online. If you wanted to keep some brick-and-mortar stores, I think you could.

You could also say that there's a law that says certain items must be sold in brick-and-mortar stores. I know that your government is big on environmentalism/not throwing stuff away... so maybe they decided it is more efficient if certain items are only sold at one particular brick-and-mortar store.

NikiK
06-01-2013, 04:53 AM
Interesting read. My attention was snagged by your retail concept since I've worked in all aspects of retail for, well, too long. There are some things happening now that you should be aware of that might want to incorporate into your futuristic novel so that it doesn't seem dated in ten years time.

One of the trends in retail to watch out for is the adaptation of face-recognition technology. You just give the cashier your name, and your face pops up on their tablet. Then the cashier, or facial-recognition software matches you up, and the transaction is completed without cash or anything else exchanging hands. This technology is already out there and in use, so maybe you can build on that.

Some stores are looking at eliminating cashiers completely by allowing people to use their smart phones to ring through their purchases as they put them in their shopping cart. Supposedly, this frees up people to provide actual customer service on the sales floor. I'll believe that when I see it.

Brick-and-mortar stores are being used more for "showcasing" where customers look at the products in stores, talk to a sales person about it, then go home and order the product online because it's cheaper that way. This is happening a lot for electronic products especially. I don't really see brick-and-mortars being big in the future. If the environment is a huge concern in your world, then home-delivery is actually the greener option - one truck making multiple deliveries in a day rather than hundreds of personal vehicles each making a round-trip to the store. Convenience is another factor. My elderly neighbour currently does almost all her food purchases online and has them delivered because it's simply too difficult for her to physically get around.

One thing that a lot of people talk about in futuristic economies is the cashless society. I don't know if we'll ever be without cash. Here's an idea I'll throw out. I live in a place where a windstorm can knock out the power for up to a week. That means business pretty much shuts down until the power company finally works its way up-island. That can effectively freeze the economy, unless you have cash, and the merchant is willing to make paper records until their POS systems are back up and running. Just something to think about if you're putting everything into the cloud. What happens when the cloud isn't accessible due to windstorms, ice storms, tornadoes, etc.?

Hope might find some of this useful.

Mark Moore
06-20-2013, 11:09 PM
I will throw this out: I know what Paris Love is talking about with cloud-based vs. personal computing, and I don't entirely disagree. Also since this is in the future, you have plenty of flexibility. But I have helped MANY people (mostly older but also including some people who are younger than me!) who just refuse to shop online. If you wanted to keep some brick-and-mortar stores, I think you could.

You could also say that there's a law that says certain items must be sold in brick-and-mortar stores. I know that your government is big on environmentalism/not throwing stuff away... so maybe they decided it is more efficient if certain items are only sold at one particular brick-and-mortar store.

Yeah, good ideas. Not absolutely everything will be available exclusively online: food, clothing, toiletries, and appliances, for example. Drugs will be brick-and-mortar only. Also, physical media can be sold at some brick-and-mortar stores for those that want to back up their downloads.

Mark Moore
06-20-2013, 11:37 PM
Interesting read. My attention was snagged by your retail concept since I've worked in all aspects of retail for, well, too long. There are some things happening now that you should be aware of that might want to incorporate into your futuristic novel so that it doesn't seem dated in ten years time.

One of the trends in retail to watch out for is the adaptation of face-recognition technology. You just give the cashier your name, and your face pops up on their tablet. Then the cashier, or facial-recognition software matches you up, and the transaction is completed without cash or anything else exchanging hands. This technology is already out there and in use, so maybe you can build on that.

Yeah. I'm doing pretty much the same thing but with DNA instead of facial recognition. I'd imagine facial-recognition-based payment would lead to an extreme form of identity theft: thieves cutting off someone's face and grafting it on themselves.


Some stores are looking at eliminating cashiers completely by allowing people to use their smart phones to ring through their purchases as they put them in their shopping cart. Supposedly, this frees up people to provide actual customer service on the sales floor. I'll believe that when I see it.

This will largely be a non-issue in my society. Food and various other commonly-stolen items will be available either in vending machines or behind the counter (grocery stores will look more like foreign-themed delis with a staff behind the counter and not like supermarkets at all). There won't be any self-checkouts. There won't be any wandering around big-box retail stores with shopping carts either.

I imagine a side effect of this will be shopping will become much less of a social activity than it is in our society and more of a necessary part of life that takes far less time. People will spend less time in a store. Here's what we have. Can't pay? Come back when you can. The food won't be removed from the cold area until it's paid for. No trying multiple methods of payment. No counting out change (I HATE that!). Get in. Get your stuff. Get out.


Brick-and-mortar stores are being used more for "showcasing" where customers look at the products in stores, talk to a sales person about it, then go home and order the product online because it's cheaper that way. This is happening a lot for electronic products especially. I don't really see brick-and-mortars being big in the future. If the environment is a huge concern in your world, then home-delivery is actually the greener option - one truck making multiple deliveries in a day rather than hundreds of personal vehicles each making a round-trip to the store. Convenience is another factor. My elderly neighbour currently does almost all her food purchases online and has them delivered because it's simply too difficult for her to physically get around.

Home delivery is certainly an option for people that need it. In fact, this ties in nicely with something that I heard from my mom, who recently came back from a two-week trip to Poland. The cashiers there get to sit. How do they bag the groceries? They don't. The customer does that. How do they scan large items? They have to be within their reach already.

That's something that I find incredibly appealing and had already worked into my society, but the scanning/UPC system will be upgraded to entirely digital. Customer selects the food, cashier imputs it, customer pays, food is dispensed, customer bags it (with her/his own bags that s/he had brought).


One thing that a lot of people talk about in futuristic economies is the cashless society. I don't know if we'll ever be without cash. Here's an idea I'll throw out. I live in a place where a windstorm can knock out the power for up to a week. That means business pretty much shuts down until the power company finally works its way up-island. That can effectively freeze the economy, unless you have cash, and the merchant is willing to make paper records until their POS systems are back up and running. Just something to think about if you're putting everything into the cloud. What happens when the cloud isn't accessible due to windstorms, ice storms, tornadoes, etc.?

A workaround is, in the event of the cloud being inaccessible, various basic needs are provided freely (food, water, toiletries, shelter, etc.), and no purchases will take place until the problem is resolved.

Of course, with a city this large, I'd imagine there'd be various nodes or whatever, so the cloud won't be entirely down city-wide.


Hope might find some of this useful.

I did! Thanks! :)

Trebor1415
06-21-2013, 06:15 AM
A couple thoughts:

Is this supposed to be a future U.S.? If so, how did it get there from here? Even if it's not expressly explained in the story you should know how it happened. The collapse or radical change of a whole society is going to have ramifications that should be understood by the author.

Second thing: You realize there's going to be a huge black market economy in every item you've prohibited or restricted, right? From guns to drugs to food and cigerattes to sex to extra kids, people will want what the government doesn't want them to have and they will trade these items outside of the watchful eye of big brother. In many ways I think the underground economy would be the most interesting aspect to explore.

In a situation like this everyone would use the black or "gray" market, to one extent or another, and it's an open secret. It's also something the authorities can use against any particular person whenever they want if they need to have a reason to go after any specific person.

I see massive non-compliance, corruption, and low level resistance to a lot of this.

You've outlined what I see as the "ideal" version of how the future govt. wants this society to work. Now, put it to a stress test and figure out how real world economics, science, human nature, etc, will make it *really* work. There's going to be some disconnect between the ideal and the implementation.

A couple specific thoughts:

There's only going to be enough of a concern over "wasted" food and other resources to restructure how stores work, how stuff is distributed, etc, if there is a shortage that needs to be addressed. I can see some of the changes you've outlined growing out of a rationing system that started during times of scarcity, but I don't see those same changes happening just from some ideal notion to "cut consumption and waste" outside of some real scarcity.

As for ID's and general future tech: I can see a system that uses a combination of implanted chips for most day to day activities (shopping, etc) where you just pass your hand over a scanner that reads the chip and debits your account, opens the gate, starts your car, etc. Instead of chips you use use special tatoos or some other system.

Fore more secure transactions, or things that require "absolute positive" ID they could have a second system that uses a retina scan or DNA test to positively establish your identity. It isn't used as commonly for day to day stuff because it is more expensive (equipment and infrastructure setup), slower, or requires a blood draw for DNA, etc. They restrict it to more important use and could have a system were they randomly require people to submit to a govt inspection where they positively match your chip to your ID (established by that retinal scan, etc) to cut down on ID theft or misuse.

Of course, these systems could always be hacked. How difficult or common that is depends on the needs of the story.

For computer stuff, simple implants for phones, cameras, etc, could be common. They'd be keyed to your chip or more secure ID. If you really want to keep "gadgets" you could do so, but I really think a lot of that tech will be implantable fairly soon.

A home entertainment system could just be a screen you access through your chip to display the content. For personal use though you might view content on a display projected in your vision (implant) or something akin to google glass. (Wearable computer).

I don't see the need for even a tablet or smart phone. A simple phone could be implanted and the processing power of something like a tablet or smart phone could also be implanted. Instead of using a physical input device, (keyboard, touch screen, etc), you could use voice commands, gestures, "phantom typing", or even subvocal or possibly mental controls.

The only reason to have a screen at home or a conference room screen at work would be to display something for multiple people to view at once. That could be for social purposes or to make sure people are watching what you want them to watch, or just to have something passive that isn't being displayed on the inside of your retina, etc.

As to still having physical media, why? The tech your postulating would make it obsolete and people wouldn't feel the need for physical backups. I can see the only physical media still existing being old stuff printed or created before the changevover. Old books traded on the underground, old software run on old physical computers that aren't part of the net, etc.

Mark Moore
06-24-2013, 09:04 PM
Is this supposed to be a future U.S.?

No. It's a completely made-up nation that will be founded around 2031.


Second thing: You realize there's going to be a huge black market economy in every item you've prohibited or restricted, right? From guns to drugs to food and cigerattes to sex to extra kids, people will want what the government doesn't want them to have and they will trade these items outside of the watchful eye of big brother. In many ways I think the underground economy would be the most interesting aspect to explore.

In a situation like this everyone would use the black or "gray" market, to one extent or another, and it's an open secret.

Oh, yes, I've definitely considered that. The drug policy is LE goes after the manufacturers and suppliers, not the users, which leads to the common phrase, "It's illegal if I get caught."

Other than it being an inefficient use of resources, another reason that the police don't actively pursue the users is the use of illegal drugs disqualifies the users from health care. The government basically takes a "let them die" approach in order to curb the overpopulation problem and weed out the undesirables by letting nature take its course.


It's also something the authorities can use against any particular person whenever they want if they need to have a reason to go after any specific person.

That's an interesting angle that I hadn't considered. Thanks.

Yeah, the police could follow a "known" criminal and bust him for buying tobacco products or whatever - just to get him off the streets.

Or maybe the city just needs some extra money. Time to raid the black market and fine the crap out of people.


I see massive non-compliance, corruption, and low level resistance to a lot of this.

You've outlined what I see as the "ideal" version of how the future govt. wants this society to work. Now, put it to a stress test and figure out how real world economics, science, human nature, etc, will make it *really* work. There's going to be some disconnect between the ideal and the implementation.

Yeah, there's definitely gonna be friction between the authorities and the populace as well as between national leaders (based in Vanity City) and local leaders in the various small towns.

I recently read an article where a state (I forget which) might pass a law that nullifies all federal gun laws. The article presented a scenario in which a federal LE official trying to prevent the illegal purchase of a gun by a felon could be arrested by local LE and charged with a felony in state court. Courts have routinely sided with federal law, but these state laws are passed to deliberately bring up court cases, lawsuits, etc., as part of a broad "states' rights" movement.

I could do something similar in my series, and that will put Our Heroine (who's on the city police force) in the difficult position of having to deal with local LE in her old hometown.


There's only going to be enough of a concern over "wasted" food and other resources to restructure how stores work, how stuff is distributed, etc, if there is a shortage that needs to be addressed. I can see some of the changes you've outlined growing out of a rationing system that started during times of scarcity, but I don't see those same changes happening just from some ideal notion to "cut consumption and waste" outside of some real scarcity.

Well, this goes back to the founding of the nation (still in the future from our perspective) in which the founders deliberately set this system up to address what they saw as problems in various nations around the world.


As for ID's and general future tech: I can see a system that uses a combination of implanted chips for most day to day activities (shopping, etc) where you just pass your hand over a scanner that reads the chip and debits your account, opens the gate, starts your car, etc. Instead of chips you use use special tatoos or some other system.

Fore more secure transactions, or things that require "absolute positive" ID they could have a second system that uses a retina scan or DNA test to positively establish your identity. It isn't used as commonly for day to day stuff because it is more expensive (equipment and infrastructure setup), slower, or requires a blood draw for DNA, etc. They restrict it to more important use and could have a system were they randomly require people to submit to a govt inspection where they positively match your chip to your ID (established by that retinal scan, etc) to cut down on ID theft or misuse.

Interesting. Yeah, assuming instant DNA identification (not requiring the drawing of blood) won't become a reality by 2050, this implanted chip idea (requiring periodic DNA confirmation) would work fine.


Of course, these systems could always be hacked. How difficult or common that is depends on the needs of the story.

Yeah, I imagine there'd be tons of police cases involving hacking. And the chips and network can be hacked, whereas DNA can't (um, yet).


For computer stuff, simple implants for phones, cameras, etc, could be common. They'd be keyed to your chip or more secure ID. If you really want to keep "gadgets" you could do so, but I really think a lot of that tech will be implantable fairly soon.

Hmm, yeah. I'm not sure yet if this series will be closer to Bubblegum Crisis (with its physical gadgets) or Ghost in the Shell (which its bionic implants and human connectivity to the network) yet.

As it is, right now, I have my MC carry around an all-in-one "tablet" that can be used for pretty much anything.


A home entertainment system could just be a screen you access through your chip to display the content. For personal use though you might view content on a display projected in your vision (implant) or something akin to google glass. (Wearable computer).

I don't see the need for even a tablet or smart phone. A simple phone could be implanted and the processing power of something like a tablet or smart phone could also be implanted. Instead of using a physical input device, (keyboard, touch screen, etc), you could use voice commands, gestures, "phantom typing", or even subvocal or possibly mental controls.

The only reason to have a screen at home or a conference room screen at work would be to display something for multiple people to view at once. That could be for social purposes or to make sure people are watching what you want them to watch, or just to have something passive that isn't being displayed on the inside of your retina, etc.

All good points. I've mentioned the tablet a few times early on in the story but will cease to do so as the story goes on. I can easily change it to something more...integrated into my MC (which, again, would be mentioned early on and then just be left to be assumed).

One of my favorite movies is "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within" (criminally underrated). There's a scene early on where the MC uses a holographic interface for her ship's computer. I've always found that really neat.

On a side note, I recently read the creators of the "Mass Effect" series (which I haven't played) were (ahem) massively influenced by the tech and general look of the FF movie.


As to still having physical media, why? The tech your postulating would make it obsolete and people wouldn't feel the need for physical backups. I can see the only physical media still existing being old stuff printed or created before the changevover. Old books traded on the underground, old software run on old physical computers that aren't part of the net, etc.

There will always be people that want physical backups.

There was that recent Xbox One fiasco where Microsoft had to backpedal and says there would be no DRM encryption, no online check-in requirement to play games, etc., after the fan uproar.

One point that was brought up in a video was that, if Microsoft decided to shut down the servers ten years from now, the Xbox One and all of its games will henceforth be unplayable - forever.

People will always want an "I have it right here and can play it whenever I want; it's mine; I OWN it" option, not just "Oh, it's in the cloud, and I can access it whenever and wherever...for NOW".

Mark Moore
07-14-2013, 07:33 AM
Another thing that I need help on is any firearms, incapacitation, and imprisoning tech that might be cutting-edge today but might become routine by 2050.

The police in my series will want to incapacitate criminals as much as possible (especially the really violent ones, since it'll be more satisfying to send them down into the Pit than to kill them), but they will also be some of the few people authorized to carry lethal firearms. There will also be the black market of firearms to civilians - not to mention crazy cyber-augmentation crap.

I'm at the point in the story where the MC has been accepted into the police academy and is now just exploring the city and going clubbing, so she's bound to run into some crazies and have to deal with them - as well as seeing how the police operate.

Any suggestions on how to tech things up (without needlessly teching it up; for example, if a tazer and metal handcuffs will likely still be used, then fine) would be appreciated.