An Author's Lost...

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


Short story idea, barely roughed out, that I've decided to post to see how this site works. It's about books in the cloud and in the future world where there are no hard copies. The books are
edited at will, the author's words forgotten.

Submitted: December 20, 2017

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Submitted: December 20, 2017

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Books aren't what they use to be.  I don't mean that the books written and sold aren't the quality they used to be or that they just aren't as interesting.  I literally mean the words in the books have been changed.

I started noticing little things, a word or sentence in one of my old favorites being not quite what I remember.  I marked it up to being old, so I thought I'd keep a record.  This was about a year ago.  I've been keeping track, writing the sentences and then sending them to myself in emails.  I use the title of the book as the subject and then save it in its own file.  Some books are either quite a bit different because my memory is inaccurate or they had more changes made.  Any book with a strong philosophical message is changed more than others.  A large number of ancient manuscripts are down right ridiculous.  For example I had to add additional folders for each book of the bible due to the volume of changes made.  The Bill of Rights, Constitution, and 1984 have all been changed to the point of barely being recognizable.  Though the one that really stands out for me, since it was one of my favorites and I tried memorizing it as the characters in the book did, Fahrenheit 451.  It's now about the temperature that's best for cooking scones, it only has 4 chapters now that all expound on the ins and outs of scone cooking.  Another book, 1984, has been so altered to reflect a positive face to world government that I would not be surprised to see the title changed to 2004 or 2024 and move forward from there. 

It's a simple thing to change the words in books.  The environmental movement eliminated the use of all paper and wood products in 2020.  We read with e-readers, we write on electronic tablets, we build houses with recycled plastic.  We even wash our buns with recycled water, used again and again.

As paper and books were eliminated, pencils and pens and paperclips, staples, printers, have all vanished from the public consciousness.

As I was saying, it's easy to change the words written.  I can go online to Wikimans, an editable book site, and pick a word to change, any word by any "author" and edit it at will.  I've tried changing things back, rewriting the books like I remember, but things change so fast these days.  The words are obsolete before I refresh the page.  Every change is saved to the book.  Only one book copy of each title is in the cloud and all changes are made for everyone to share.  Just one version infinitely adjustable by whoever decides to log on and make the change. 

In this modern world we are all authors and we are all published, more easily than making a cup of strong tea.  And just as easily our words are removed forever eliminating any claim we ever had on the term "author".


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