Had to spend a night without electricity recently. Really made me rethink the whole surviving-in-a-post-apocalyptic-future thing. Without power, the world just doesn’t work for me. I’m constantly plugged into screens and machines to provide me hot or cold food and drink, information about the outside world, entertainment, communication channels. Without all that, my world comes undone. Even sleeping’s rough when I don’t have the sound of a fan or air purifier or just the hum of electrical do-dads merrily waiting for when I’ll wake up and play with them.
I think this is not unique to me, but also not a prerequisite for sci-fi writers, and obviously not for fantasy writers. Tolkien, I’m sure, would prefer a bucolic night without power. Surprisingly, though, William Gibson wrote Neuromancer on a regular old typewriter. So even authors seemingly plugged right into the heart of modern technology aren’t always machine addicts like me.
How about you? Can you survive without machines? Just survive, or thrive and find the whole situation preferable to the mechanized world we live in now? Personally, when the machine revolution comes, I’m going to be in line with Cypher to help them keep the system running and keep me fed and entertained. I wonder–should I feel guilty about that?