This month’s Patreon theme is Tír na Cali, which got me thinking…
One of the things that always gets me about Tír na Cali is the way it started out slightly sci-fi and, more and more, ends up being modern-era in terms of the technology.
When I started working on Cali, smartphones had not yet come into existence. I thought I was making somewhat magical technology:
Collars with a chip that could be read by any police officer with a reader (probably a smartphone ap now) and tracked by anyone with the right information. Collars with technology small enough to carry all of a slave’s “papers” in an easily-transferable format right on the collar. Electronic “keys” the size of a pen (micro-usb?) with a thumbprint reader and the ability to change a collar’s permissions, update or download the data therein, and so on.
And those permissions: collars that “knew” where a slave was allowed to go and, in one case, a “smart home” with doors that would not unlock if the collar approaching it didn’t have the right permissions.
Certainly, Cali still has a wide range of things that can’t be done by modern tech — changing someone into a cat-person hybrid, changing someone’s gender at the genetic level, complete rebuild of a limb, just for a few examples — but that is all covered under their magic, not under their tech.
Basically, in the time I’ve been playing with this setting, their tech has gone from being cutting-edge stuff that didn’t exist in the mainstream to being — if I hadn’t updated it as I went along — a little backwards. I mean, really, shouldn’t that collar be able to serve as a Bluetooth headset? What do you mean, you can’t text from your slave collar? No streaming videos?
…okay, now I’m wandering off on a whole new brainstorm. *wanders off, muttering about wi-fi hotspots*
*pops back in* New to Tír na Cali? I updated the landing page with a few suggestions for starting places.
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