Author: T. Warwick
Publisher: The Artificial Mirage
Description: A relentless pursuit from Vietnam to Saudi Arabia in which augmented reality distorts the nature of attachment and desire.
In a world where augmented reality blurs the line between the real and the computer generated, Charlie cherishes the reality of Lauren….
His life as a young American banker in Vietnam seems idyllic until a series of events precipitate her disappearance.
When her trail leads to Saudi Arabia, he must navigate a criminal underworld. The stakes grow higher as it becomes apparent that reality isn’t what it once was.
Excerpt: The harshness of spring had already eradicated the traces of emerging microbial life coaxed into existence from the rainy days of winter. Charlie made it to the CBD just in time to witness the departure of swarms of Indian and Filipino office workers from the polished oval glass hives. They managed to avoid a group of four Bahrainis standing in front of the building with shiny green Dragonflies the size of Hawks hovering above them, projecting some statistical information that they were swapping among their screens. Some of the office workers smirked at the antiquated technology as they passed before getting lost in their own AR. AR Lauren walked ahead of Charlie briskly, and the Arabic script with an adjacent English translation seemed archaic and quaint as it wisped its way through her. There were only occasional advertisements, and they weren’t overwhelmingly intrusive. The ads came sliding in from the periphery with colorful video slice-of-life depictions of Arabic family life. A young Arabic woman’s gleaming bleached-white oval face peered through her abaya as she examined some laundry and seemed to smile right at him. It was liberating not having a marketing profile. Commercial spots were flung at him randomly. He had no profile, so there were no marketing parameters targeting him. Freedom. And boredom. A clear connection in a sea of useless bandwidth. Lauren bounded forward in a scarlet dress shredded into tatters as she served as his directional beacon. She flipped herself forward and backward like a gymnast. He noted the display above her head, which indicated there were exactly 2.3 kilometers to be covered at the current optimal route.
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