“No Dominion” Annotations

Warning: contains spoilers

Page numbers are for the version appearing in Among the Wild Cybers: Tales Beyond the Superhuman.

The spelling conventions of the story are Australian, reflecting the nationality of the narrator.  However, other typographical conventions like quotation marks follow the American pattern.

Scene 1

p. 73

Onogoroshima is an island from Japanese Shinto mythology, the first island made by the creator deities Izanagi and Izanami.

p. 74

The first draft of the story was set on a Stanford torus-style orbital habitat with a canal circling its entire circumference, making it impossible to tell where she’d been dumped, since she could’ve circled the whole thing more than once before being found.  I’m not sure the “unpredictable lake currents” explanation works quite as well.

Isabelle’s age and birthdate peg the date of the story at 2058 or perhaps 2059 (if it’s before her birthday).  I went to the limit of the “next 50 years” timeframe of the anthology so I could have the tech as advanced as I wanted, but I would’ve preferred to set it another decade or two later.  In retrospect, maybe I should’ve left out any specific date.

p. 75

The discussion about memory RNA was longer in the original story:

…later research showed that memory worked in a completely different way, unfortunately for the science fiction writers who’d embraced memory RNA as a plot device. But decades later, nanotechnologists had begun researching the possibilities of engineered DNA as a data storage medium, and in time they made science fiction into reality (yet again).

The discussion of science fiction felt a bit too much like an authorial intrusion to me, but I suppose Tamara could be an SF fan in her spare time and be aware of such things. Still, it was deemed better to delete it from the revised edition.

However, recent research has suggested that there may be something to the idea of genetic memory transfer after all, though to a more limited extent than portrayed in fiction. I discussed this in my blog post “Memory RNA after all?” on May 14, 2018.

Scene 2

p. 76

Ischemia is a loss of blood flow or supply resulting in tissue damage due to oxygen deprivation.  Restoring oxygen too quickly to an anoxic brain can actually cause more damage than the anoxia itself by generating excess free radicals and triggering calcium overload.  The precise medical term for this is reperfusion injury, but since Tamara is not a doctor, her (or rather my) inaccurate terminology here can be excused.

“But there were burns on the skin,” I said.  “We’re not talking about an act of surgical precision.” — A surgical laser can be focused below the skin, causing no damage to the skin itself, if it’s used properly.

p. 77

I’m not sure if lesbian sex actually does leave traces a medical examiner could discern, but this is nearly 50 years in the future, so I figured, why not?

“Nanotes”: A fusion of “nanotech” with “biota,” suggesting hybrid, semi-organic nanotech.  The sciences of nanotechnology and genetics are already starting to converge, and I think that trend will only continue until the distinction becomes effectively nonexistent.

“Root” is Australian slang for copulation.  Will it still be in fifty years?  Who knows?

Scene 3

p. 79

“We travel in the same circles.” — In the original, orbital-habitat version of this story, this line was a lot funnier.

Scene 5

p. 85-6

Since Trendler is American, his texts naturally use American spellings.  Keep in mind that Trendler would be at most 25 in 2010, and thus very much a part of the texting generation.

Scene 7

p. 91

“Bloody oath” is an Australian interjection expressing emphatic agreement with a statement (equivalent to “Damn straight” or “You said it,” for instance).

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