Technologies seen and their restrictions

[Victory Dreams of Techno-Sleep]

(This is part of a science fiction world descript.)

Technologies in this world are still valued for their practically and medical benefits. However, the general public doesn’t like to “see” tech, and the government frequently bickers over what constitutes Ekzer tech.

For example, cars, trucks, and vans do exist, but their owners go out of their way to make them look like almost anything other than modern tech. The most common option is wooden caravans or to load some Ekzer tech: a light deflector to make it look like whatever the owner wants. These can get creative (even among non-Ekzers, since people value their utility), and can range from giant pumpkins to magician stands to a large golden cart on metallic wheels. The base shape of a vehicle remains intact for the driver(s) and/or passengers. If I write a more horror-centric story in this setting, I do admittedly tune this down. For example, I may just call it a vehicle and say that it matches the locale. Or that it’s average.

For example, The Man on the Stage fully embraces this tech and the potential whimsy of vehicle owners. It Began with a Dream does not. Per the plot, they both still include Ekzer tech. But, since IBwaD is a horror (and TMotS is a science fiction), this setting is presented wildly differently in the two books. As an esker himself, Amine (Ah-meen) in TMotS actively embraces this technology, along with the other tech encountered in the book.

Streets still exist to handle transportation. Pedestrians roads are common, but the occasional motorbike will still pass through. A parked car with an Ekzer light deflector might be made to look like a spontaneous garden shed, garden wheelbarrow, or almost anything else the owner wants to make it into. The edges of pedestrian avenues are commonly makeshift parking lots. Sometimes the parking areas are themed (for example, as winter gardens). Motorbikes and motorcycles still exist, but they either encase the feet or are effectively just self-pedaling.

The main question to ask, when creating a vehicle in this setting, is this: How do I design a car that doesn’t look like a car?

The same question applies to other forms of technology. If it is useful enough, it may be disguised. Otherwise, it is considered Ekzer tech. The only exception here is when disguising tech would remove its utility (for example, a display monitor in a hospital), but this only applies in life or death scenarios.

Electric lights are still common for their utility, but on a limited scale. A room doesn’t typically have overhead lights, for example, but it may have a desk lamp. Portable flashlights and electric lanterns are also valued for their utility. Street lights are prevalent, but dimmed at night. They also tend to be disguised in ways that vary besed on their location and locale (ex: lanterns, orbs, plant life).

Computers are officially Ekzer tech (in fact, they’re often sighted as a prime example of it), but they can be found tucked away when practical. For example, a hotel may hide a touch screen under the counter at reception for it’s utility in handling check-ins. However, newspapers are still the most common way to getting news and information to the general population.

When designing tech that isn’t a vehicle, the biggest consideration is for it’s utility. The second biggest consideration is how to hide and/or disguise it.

Smart phones are effectively non-existent among the general population. However, a version is prominent among Ekzers. That being said, they’re not used that much. Even Ekzers tend to just value them for their utility. The internet does exist, and good phone reception is common globally. However, the general population does not access the internet nor really understand how it exists.