a life in bullet point

by uzwi

This reminded me of this theme in Nova Swing, which at the time seemed like a bit of a punt–

When Emil Bonaventure arrived in Saudade thirty years ago, everyone was writing on paper.

It was one of those things. They loved paper suddenly. The nostalgia shops were full of it, all colours of cream and white, blank or with feint lines, or small pale grey squares, shining softly from the lighted windows which were like religious cubicles or niches. There was every kind of notebook in there, paper between covers you could hardly believe, from wood bark to imitation grey fur to holographic pictures from the narratives of Ancient Earth religious figures, with their fingers and their bovine eyes uplifted, who smiled and raised a cross as you turned the book in your hands in the retro shop light.

As artificial as the textures of the paper itself–an Uncle Zip product franchised out of some chopshop on another planet–these notebooks came in all sizes, fastened any way you could think, with clasps, hasps, magnets, combination locks or bits of hairy string you wrapped around and did up in a beautiful knot. Some were fastened in more contemporary ways, so you could see a little flicker in the air near the edge of the pages–if you’re the wrong person don’t get your fingers near those!

Everyone was buying these books because it was cute to write your thoughts in them–thoughts, a shopping list, those kinds of things.

People wrote, “Who do I want to be today ?”

They wrote diaries.

Everyone suddenly loved paper, no one could say why, and soon they’d love something else.

–and on. (I love the fact that the key to the site doesn’t lie in Emil’s notebooks filled with random data, but in Elizabeth’s achey desperate journal of her unknown self.)