Editor’s note: This is a work of hyperfiction. To read it, click the link marked ‘Begin’ below. A window will pop up allowing you to click more links and experience the story as you choose.
“Neural Net”, by Kenneth Schneyer
Kenneth Schneyer was born in Detroit but now lives in Rhode Island with one singer, one dancer, one actor, and something striped and fanged that he sometimes glimpses out of the corner of his eye. You can find his stories in Analog, Abyss & Apex, Clockwork Phoenix 3, GUD, Cosmos Online, Daily Science Fiction, Bull Spec, Niteblade, The Newport Review, Digital Science Fiction Anthology 1, and the occasional index card stuck under somebody’s office door. He attended the Clarion Writers Workshop with the famous Class of 2009, joined the Cambridge Science Fiction Workshop in 2010, and Codex Writers in 2011. He also teaches stuff. He says:
I am fascinated by contemporary neuroscience’s assertion that there is no singular “mind” in the human brain, but rather a multitude of interconnected subsystems, each of which thinks that it is the whole “person.” At the same time, I like the AI theory that a complex series of interconnected memory locations could mimic the brain, and that the connections themselves — the links between different pieces of information — are what define a mind. It occurred to me that hypertext was the ideal (perhaps the only) way in which this atomization and interconnection could be expressed. The form allows me to exploit free association, drawing the reader from one thought to another in the seemingly random, but thematically meaningful way that our minds work. It also seems to me, as it seemed to Fred Pohl in Beyond the Blue Event Horizon (1980), that being uploaded into a form where your memories could never fade would be a little like Hell.