Paranoid psychedelic cyberpunkery
Dead City just dropped, and it’s time to reveal book 3 of ABAM, a paranoia-infused psychedelic cyberpunk tale entitled ‘NLI-10’.
Yeah, I’m not great at naming things, but bear with me, it will be worth yet another stupid title.
NLI-10 tells the tale of Sarah, a psychdelics burnout who’s looking for meaning and direction in her life. When she’s offered a chance to take part in a medical trial, she figures it’s the best chance to get clean and stretch her brain with three months of reading. But of course, it was never going to be that simple.
As the trial begins, the subjects realize that it’s not your average medical trial, their food and drink is tainted, there are weird sounds in the walls, they’re being drugged at night, and someone’s experimenting on their sleeping bodies.
Bit-by-bit their personalities are being erased, their emotions stunted, and they start to wonder if they’ll still be human by the time the trial ends.
See – exciting happenings, despite the dumb title.
Let’s talk origins.
Back in the mid 2000s, ‘NLI-10’ (yes, it was called that back then.) was pitched to an independent production company as three series of six hours. Because I’m the kind of asshole who says “It’s eighteen hours long, in three acts of six, also it takes place in a couple of continents and get progressively more insane and expensive as it goes on. May I have money please?”
Luckily, the story was more compelling than my ego was off-putting, and I was asked to sketch out the whole thing for them… only for the production to halt before it even began when someone of more value with a cheaper concept came along – which is fair enough, that’s kinda how this business works.
This book is the first act of the NLI-10 story, and essentially self-contained. Six hours of television distilled into what looks like it will be the longest BAM thusfar, probably hitting 40k+ words, which is almost a real book length… and that’s without most of the time-sucking montages and concerned glances / close-ups that would have made up a lot of the screen time in the show.
For those of you who’ve read ‘@‘, this is maybe worth a gander, as it takes place in the same universe, albeit a decade later. It’s not a sequel by any stretch of the imagination, so new readers have no fear, but it shares the themes of corporate evil and surveillance state paranoia.
So, that’s all I have to say about NLI-10. Apologies again for the name, I’ll do better next time, I promise. And you know what helps me keep my promises? Preorders!
See you next time.