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Behind the Book: Creating the Futuristic Technology of MIND GAMES

The problem with writing a book where the characters all invent cutting edge technologies is that… you have to be the one to invent those technologies so you could write about them. I wanted the technologies mentioned in the book to be cool things that readers might not have seen before, but also practical enough that someone reading would think, “Yeah, that could happen soon.”

In addition to the mind uploading software at the center of the plot, there’s quite a lot of other technology mentioned in the book. There’s 3D bio printing software that can print an entire body part in a matter of seconds. There’s holographic makeup that you apply with a wand that looks like a Wii controller—the make-up lasts for hours and never smudges! And then there are a few smaller technologies mentioned in passing including a LASIK procedure to change eye color permanently, a hard drive that’s smaller than a human cell, sober-up pills, and an MP3 player that streams music directly to your ear, to name a few. There was also technology that ended up on the cutting room floor instead of the final book, including a device that could turn you invisible and another that could change your surroundings with a holographic image the same way you might set a screensaver of a beach to feel like you’re actually there.

So how did I come up with all the technology showcased in the book? It was a combination of imagination and research.

For the mind uploading software, this one came about when I came up with the book idea itself. But I couldn’t just start writing—I had to figure out exactly how it worked and how it didn’t work, who had access to the controls… and who didn’t… and how they might break that barrier. I had to envision what it would look like and then describe it in a way the reader could understand and picture. This involved some research by Googling whatever information I could find on the topic of mind uploading technology, but my dad helped a lot in helping me figure out exactly how it would work. Specifically, he came up with the idea of syncing brain waves to the software and that was an awesome plot find.

For the holographic makeup, this stemmed from my not-so-minor obsession with beauty products. I love buying them and applying them and I wanted to write about a character that does as well. I hate when my makeup smudges so I thought it would be awesome to have a way to apply temporary makeup that stays put not matter what.

For the 3D bio printing, this technology emerged as a necessity due to plot reasons but involved a ton of research—first to learn terminology, but then to understand how the technology can be used in a variety of ways.

For the other technologies mentioned in the book, I mostly read a lot of lists predicting what future technologies might be invented in the next one hundred years and then I tried to put my own twist on them. I chose stuff that seemed science-y (synthetic plasma) and then I dreamed up stuff I thought the general public would get excited about. I’ve always wanted blue eyes so I invented a way to permanently create them!

What’s the coolest future technology you can think of?

Author spotlight

Shana Silver

Rachel Shane (writing as Shana Silver) studied creative writing at Syracuse University. She's been a computer animator, an e-book creator ...

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