I’ve just started podcasting a new story, a novella-in-progress called “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow/Now is the Best Time of Your Life.” It’s a long, weird adventure story about the failure of futurism and the difference between “progress” and “change,” all about immortal children stalking the bones of ruined cities in lethal mechas. Disney fans will recognize the title as coming from the amazing, weird, awful and wonderful Carousel of Progress ride that Disney built for GE at the 1964 World’s Fair in NYC, and subsequently moved to Disneyland, then Walt Disney World.
I’m presently about 18,000 words into this — final length is probably somewhere north of 30,000 words — and I’m planning on reading about 30 minutes’ worth of audio every week.
I piloted the mecha through the streets of Detroit, hunting wumpuses. The mecha was a relic of the Mecha Wars, when the nation tore itself to shreds with lethal robots, and it had the weird, swirling lines of all evolutionary tech, channelled and chopped and counterweighted like some freak dinosaur or a racecar.
I loved the mecha. It wasn’t fast, but it had a fantastic ride, a kind of wobbly strut that was surprisingly comfortable and let me keep the big fore and aft guns on any target I chose, the sights gliding along on a perfect level even as the neck rocked from side to side.
The pack loved the mecha too. All six of them, three aerial bots shaped like bats, two ground-cover streaks that nipped around my heels, and a flea that bounded over buildings, bouncing off the walls and leaping from monorail track to rusting hover-bus to balcony and back. The pack’s brains were back in dad’s house, in the old Comerica Park site. When I found them, they’d been a pack of sick dogs, dragging themselves through the ruined city, poisoned by some old materiel. I had done them the mercy of extracting their brains and connecting them up to the house network. Now they were immortal, just like me, and they knew that I was their alpha dog. They loved to go for walks with me.