Back in early fall of 2009, with help from Bruce Sterling, I put together a list of augmented reality novels. I’ve added a few since the original, but further additions have been sparse (at least until I can find a publisher for my own.)

So this concept video based on the novel Feed by MT Anderson was a pleasant surprise.  And though it uses the tired trope of ubiquitous advertising invading every aspect of our lives (of course, its not a prediction, but commentary on the state of our lives), it has a dab of plot for a one minute video.  Think of it as flash fiction for the reading impaired.

If you’re interested in the novel, which I’ll probably take a crack at reading, here’s the jist from the Great Wiki:

Feed (2002) is a dystopian novel of the postcyberpunk genre by M. T. (Matthew Tobin) Anderson. The story revolves around a teenage boy and his relationship with a girl with a vastly different world perspective. They live within a futuristic world where technology has merged electronics and telecommunications with the human mind, something which plays a major role in the novel. The book is a dark satire about corporate power, consumerisminformation technology, and data mining in society. Their lives revolve around advertising, and the knowledge and will that the Feed not only provides them with information on demand but manipulates their decision-making in realtime.

The story depicts a future in which the Internet has evolved into the “Feednet”; a computer network to which the brains of American citizens are directly connected by means of an implanted computer chip called a “Feed”, which about 73 percent of Americans have set in their brain. Privacy has become a thing of the past; Corporations are free to monitor and manipulate citizens’ thoughts, people’s thoughts are interrupted by the mental equivalent of pop-up ads, sometimes to a debilitating degree, and the government can even subpoena one’s memories. The corporations and conglomerates responsible for the feed participate in data mining by monitoring the purchases and interests of those with the feed, and using this information to fit individuals into consumer profiles. People can “M-Chat” one another (a form of evolved Instant Messaging) on closed channels, effectively creating a form of telepathy. In addition, the Feed chip is implanted at such an early age that it actually takes over the running of many brain functions as the child matures. As a result, certain sites on the Feednet allow users to go “In Mal”; deliberately cause their feed chips to malfunction, causing physical and mental sensations similar to some illegal drugs.


Thomas K. Carpenter

Thomas K. Carpenter is a full time contemporary fantasy author with over 50 independently published titles. His bestselling, multi-series universe, The Hundred Halls, has over 25 books and counting. His stories focus on fantastic families, magical academies, and epic adventures.

  • The “Part Of The Machine” video makes a nice political statement. Now, as for the first person interface, that was really cool! Everything is clean and out of harm’s way. I particularly liked the “your sponsors” in the corner, and the video player sized just big enough to pay attention to, but not overpowering. I know it was a story, but whoever designed that interface needs to be contacted! LOL!

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