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"Science Fiction" means—to us—everything found in the science fiction section of a bookstore, or at a science fiction convention, or amongst the winners of the Hugo awards given by the World Science Fiction Society. This includes the genres of science fiction (or sci-fi), fantasy, slipstream, alternative history, and even stories with lighter speculative elements. We hope you enjoy the broad range that SF has to offer.


Steve writes fiction in the space between his day job writing software (with a lower-case s :) and time with his family as husband to Kristin and dad to toddler Valkyrie. He calls San Diego home, but you can also find him online at nootropia.xyz writing about states of consciousness and the relationship between humans, their technology, and each other.

A program is a carefully reasoned series of steps to accomplish an end result. Imagine, if you will, that you are reading a program. Imagine that the desired end result is the implantation of a certain idea in the machine: your mind.
There are many techniques for programming the human mind. Aristotle called them "rhetoric" in his book on persuasion. Some of them are known as "propaganda." Some are more subtle, psychological. Here's a good example: the human mind does not process negatives.
Thought: You are not an organic computer to be programmed.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, April 20th, 2017

Author Comments

Where does an idea come from? I write code all day long. Sometimes, I use my already-open Eclipse editor (a programming tool) to jot down notes for a story, pieces of dialogue, or other random ideas. "Writing software," I thought. Languages. Grammars. One of my mottos: "Never trust a programmer with bad grammar." :) Writing is an imperfect way to transmit thoughts from one person to another. Maybe I am constructing an argument, and I want to "make you" agree with my ideas. I am the programmer and you are "the hardware" that will run my program! The best software solves the problem in the fewest lines of code. Here, we call that flash fiction. :)

- Steve Breitenbach
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