Thursday, July 23, 2009

Assassinate the President

In the Australian Fantasy & Science Fiction magazine Aurealis, 20/21, April 1998 a special double issue speculated on the possible futures of an Australian republic. SF is, afterall, the 'literature of ideas'. Below is an extract from Robert Hood's, 'Occasional Demons'

.... I toss the antique magazine back to him. "Impossible. She's been dead for what? A decade or so?"

"Security ID gives an 94.7% verification. Do you know what that means?"

Of course I did. But it was still impossible. "Has to be a genetic remake. I saw Elvis Presley at the New Trocadero last week. Dead spit, he was." Digalle huffs, but the scorn's gone before I can protest. "A hologram?" I suggest.

"Do you think we wouldn't sift out the obvious, long before we'd resort to you? Genetic remakes can't catch the nuances. Holograms are unstable. Security ID says it's her."

"The real thing?"

He shrugs. "As you say, it can't be her. But we don't have any alternatives that the analysis programs like."

I get up from behind my desk and wander to the window. Canberra looks stark under the exposed sun, even with the filters running at maximum. "So Princess Di is skulking about the President's house. What's he worried about? That she wants to assassinate him?"...

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