My goal with Altered Seasons in October is to get 1,000 words a day written. So far I’m on track. Part of the problem with writing near-future but not quite Next-Sunday-AD science fiction is having to invent not only your own tech, but your own slang. Here’s a glossary of some terms, technical and otherwise, that will be coming up in Altered Seasons. I hope they don’t sound too silly.
armphone: A smartphone that goes on your arm, leaving you with one hand free.
bag of hair: A useless and unpleasant person, especially one who makes empty promises or threats.
bargain produce: A section of the supermarket dedicated to wholesome but physically unattractive fruits and vegetables. Also, a sexual partner who in someone’s opinion is below your usual standard in terms of looks or money.
birdseed (Adj.): Upscale, hip, urban and somewhat snobbish. A reference to pearl millet, tef and wattleseeds, which are now considered fashionable foodstuffs — sort of the new arugula — mostly because they’ll still grow well in California.
bluelining: The act of declaring a property unmortgageable as a result of expected sea level rise or water supply loss.
chyq: Pronounced “chick.” Genetically modified chicory, high in caffeine. Created in response to a decline in the coffee crop. Definitely not chic (or birdseed).
crashingly: Blatantly, as in “crashingly obvious” or “crashingly stupid.”
grow a/sprout a ____________: To begin showing signs of some quality which has hitherto not been much in evidence, as in “grow a common sense” or “sprout an empathy.”
Jellicoed: Given the "Jellicoe treatment," a form of addiction therapy which is highly effective but often has unusual and permanent side effects.
make a bonfire: To destroy or cast aside something that until now has been important to oneself. To "make a merry bonfire" is to do so with no regret at all.
oke-: Cultured meat, fish or other animal products. Pronounced “okay,” although not everyone would call it this.
OOP: Out of proportion — happier, sadder or (most often) angrier than circumstances would warrant.
rhust: A subgenre of metal characterized by guitar/bass duos in place of solos, new forms of distortion and complex lyrics, sometimes inspired by art or literature. Rhust bands include Rodomontade, Dark Incentive and The Coming Autopsy.
rune: An image stored on a thumb drive or other external device and used in place of a password.
sadakode: A code buried in a hi-res image that causes a computer or armphone to ping a certain address, such as the FBI. Invented to fight child pornography, but often used to track copyright violators.
spiny: Needlessly defensive.
swee: Suiamor, a drug prescribed to combat neurotic guilt and social anxiety but often abused for other purposes.
tarpie: A resident of a FEMA emergency housing center.
toilet (Adj.): Bad, but not in an interesting or memorable way. One or two grades below “meh.”
tug-F: Temporary Untranslatable Graphics Format. A type of image that can’t be converted directly into a jpeg or png, and in which all pixels revert to black after a set length of time. As a secrecy measure, this can obviously be defeated easily. It requires that both the sender and the receiver be trustworthy, and that they not get hacked before the image self-destructs.