[NetBehaviour] Bad Shibe

Rob Myers rob at robmyers.org
Wed May 24 07:17:13 CEST 2017

On Tue, 23 May 2017, at 10:59 AM, Edward Picot wrote:
> I'm a bit late responding to this, but I just wanted to say I liked it. 

Thank you!

> It's a bit of a stretch calling it a novella, when it's only about 5,000 
> words long, and its weakness is that in story terms nothing much really 
> happens, apart from the lead character realising that people are 
> 'tipping' each other to artificially boost their online ratings. Having 

It was originally over 2000 words longer, which meant even less happened
over the course of the story. ;-)

Most of the action is taking place off-screen, and will not come to a
head until a couple of days later.

> said this, what really works is the idiomatic/slang language, 
> reminiscent in a way of Anthony Burgess' book A Clockwork Orange; and 
> through that language a really strong sense of a particular mindset and 
> environment. I also like the fact that a lot of stuff in the background 
> is just suggested, not fully explained - working in the orchard, eating 
> lots of apples, going to school at night because it's so hot during the 
> day, etc. 

Thank you! I'm glad that comes through strongly.

While the story is not a pedagogical argument for or against any
particular politics the background details tend to come from political
and economic arguments of the kind that arise around cryptocurrency.

> You don't have to know about where the terms 'doge' and 
> 'shibe' come from to enjoy the story, but if you do take the time to do 
> a bit of background exploring (assuming you don't know all that stuff 
> already, which I didn't), it certainly contributes a sense of extra 
> depth.

For anyone interested there are some useful sources at the bottom of the
page here -


I wrote the story with an index card of Doge grammar attached to my
laptop. :-)

> Also, the central character is very likeable, a sweet kid who 
> wants to get a book of old Green Shield stamps to please his mum, which 
> is rather nice to find in a dystopian story like this.

Yes they are very definitely not the robust individualist subject of
cypherpunk theory and cyberpunk fiction.

As an example of how the details of the story work, Green Shield stamps
( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Shield_Stamps ) are there for two
reasons: they are an example of previous money-like things and they help
to indicate which generation the central character's parent is.

Lina deserves massive credit for illustrating a story whose narrator's
descriptive powers are so limited. I love the details they've
interpreted and added.

- Rob.

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