Four years ago, as John Kerry and George W. Bush were arguing about which direction in which they were going to take our country (Kerry: let’s take this offramp onto smoother road; Bush: hey, let’s head toward that giant cliff up ahead! It’ll be neat!), I had this idea for a story. It was set in the near future where everyone was surveilled and standardized tested within an inch of their lives, where social networks really meant something. Also, there were programmable dildoes.
I wrote it during my long bus commute to Nissan, and when I was finished I had cranked out thirty-three thousand words about high school politics, reputational economics and intelligent sex toys. The Fictionados loved it, but everyone thought it could use some trimming. So, down and down went the word count, first down to twenty-three thousand, then down to twenty, then to sixteen for one mag (with assists from Andrew Tisbert and Daryl Gregory, who are cruel and excellent editors), then to fifteen for Writers of the Future (who gave me a straight form rejection, big surprise). I was about to trunk the thing when Futurismic, purveyors of fine text, opened up for fiction submissions. Off it went, and then I got the second-best kind of reply from their editors: would I be willing to rewrite it a bit?
I did, and today I got the best kind of reply, the kind where they said they wanted to buy “The Right People,” and that it’ll be up this Wednesday. Granted, this is also the day when the US economic Armageddon began, but what the hell. I’ll take it as an appropriate omen, seeing how it’s about business and takes place at Ronald Reagan High School in deepest, darkest Irvine.
And now, back to work.
UPDATE: And here it is, live!
UPDATE II: Holy pants, I done got BoingBoinged!