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Sunday, July 29, 2007

FAR Future: Episode 3

It might be interesting to try weaving the commentary from today into the narrative of tomorrow. Let’s see how this works…

Sunday, July 29, 2012
The Happenin’ Library

Nancy P asked about the situation at the local library. I’ll have to say, I’ve dropped by on those evenings that I commute to work, and it’s turned into The Happening Place.

Sure, they have the same power issues everyone else does, but that’s actually working in their favor. With the TV out of commission for long stretches of the day, kids are going outside during the day and reading at night (using wind-up flashlights if necessary). If it’s raining, they stay inside and read. So there’s been a lot of volunteer work going into the library lately. Somebody even gave them a generator, and the regulars often kick in some gasoline to keep it (and the lights and computers) running.

The A/C is off most of the time, of course, but people are already getting used to that. Still, I’ve heard there’s been some jostling to get a seat close to a fan. Our library also has an outdoor deck, and they’ve put up tarps and poles to shade it on sunny days. If there’s any breeze, it’s another popular spot.

People in town just come by with their kids as soon as their power goes out. Sometimes, they get really lucky and the library still has power. But however it works out, people catch up on news, books, and each other. The staff shows kids’ videos from the stacks in one of the conference rooms when they can. After a while, people start expecting to see each other, and now the library (or the lobby or standing outside) is becoming the hub for local news and gossip too. The staff is raising a little money by selling coffee — serves the chains right for parking their shops in the retail district instead of putting one downtown. They’d kill for the kind of traffic the library is getting now.

The Internet access is pretty reliable there. They’ve put up a couple more wireless hubs to handle all the people bringing laptops… they have the PCs in the carrels, but there’s usually a line and time limits. I’ve started spending a little time there in the evenings myself, because our DSL has gotten so flaky… I guess the power outages are starting to affect the phone system as well as cable. I’m posting from the library tonight, by the by. You have to assume that the frequent outages are starting to take its toll on server farms as well. If you haven’t already backed up anything you have online, you might want to do that. Printing it out would be a good idea too.

So in a world where most retail businesses have gone to shorter hours, the library is extending theirs. I wonder of the arts council has given it any thought — they could start some writing workshops and we could all get some new, local, reading material.



  1. VERY good, FARf!!

    This felt so real and possible, it almost makes me wonder what I'll find when I get to work (I work in a library).

  2. Hey, I'm a character!! I love it.

    It does seem so unnervingly real.

  3. Hey folks!

    KB, you mentioned that you work in a library during a Gtalk chat (we need to get a bunch of folks together for a group chat some evening!), but I clean forgot about that while writing (and posting) this episode. But as the (Unix) fortune cookie says, "that which hits the fan will not be evenly distributed" — so while many businesses and facilities will go unused in a permanent energy crisis, others will have a renaissance of sorts. I figure libraries will be one of them.

    Nancy, I thought you might appreciate that. That's one of the cool things about writing a story in blog format; you can interact with the readers as you go. BTW, I just finished Virgin about half an hour ago, and it was one heck of a great story! My second suspicion was also correct (I won't go into detail here in case others are reading or soon to start) — I think one trick to reading mysteries is to pay special attention to the beginning of the story, because so much of what happens afterwards depends on it. I'm passing the book to Mrs. Fetched, and expect a couple of long nights of trying to sleep while she leaves the light on. :-)

    Boran, I want to apologize, but I also take your (and Nancy's) comment above as the highest form of compliment. If my storytelling sucks you in like that… well, personally I think the best stories are the ones you can live in while reading them.

    'Night everyone!

  4. Okay, more Twlight Zone theme music. For some reason, just now I switched over to farfetched's blog and while there I read a quote that made me chortle, and I came back here and put it in a comment to share with everybody. But, just before I hit "publish," I noticed that for the few seconds I was gone, far had come here and written it, too! (It's the "hitting the fan" quote.)

    And far? Thank you.

  5. Nevermind!! I thought I was reading the comments on my own blog!

    Slinks away. I think it is time for this bogger to go to bed, lol.

  6. (I love social blogging)

    Hi everyone, I just stopped by to say hi before slinking off to my own bed.


  7. Great writing FAR ... but I was on to it this time ... :)

  8. Of course, the two line preface helped ... ;)

  9. Hey Olivia. Thanks for the compliment! You caught me tapping in a little placeholder note.

    Not much going on at the manor right now; Daughter Dearest is mostly holed up in her room (which looks very nice) and Mrs. Fetched is perusing DD's yearbook.

  10. Hiya FAR.

    As I told you before, I really like the story and how it's progressing. Pretty soon you might have to put up a link to have all the story posts combined.

    Good going FAR!

  11. Hey Far, just so you know....the phrase "by the by" instantly identifies you as a non-native transplant to planet Georgia (and probably midwestern in origin).

  12. It's been a while, Fallout, but nice catch — I grew up in Michigan & moved here after college.


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