Thursday, December 3, 2015

Perceptions Change

First off, there's a nice new interview with me over at The Leighgendarium!

I had a nice review of my sci-fi novel The Immortality Game recently that made me think more about how different perceptions can be in different time periods. The reviewer mentioned that it was hard to believe that the character Marcus could manage as much running as he does, given how out of shape he is.

This is a perfectly fair point to make. I did state a number of times throughout the novel that Marcus was overweight, had a belly, and otherwise looked down on himself for being out of shape, and I never did try to explain why this isn't necessarily true from our current perceptions. I wouldn't have explained it, because the book is written from the point of view of the characters, so it is only their own perceptions that come into play.
How can it be that characters can view Marcus as overweight and out of shape but he can run as far as he did in the story? The reason is that by modern day standards Marcus would be considered by most of us to be in quite good shape! That's right, he thinks he is 'fat' and has a big belly only because he is comparing himself to the standards of his time, not our time. In my future, nanotechnology has reached a point where billions of differently programmed nanobots flowing through your body help keep you in fantastic shape with minimal effort on your part. That means most people walk around looking like highly-toned athletes of today. Those who work hard not to stay in shape, like Marcus, can end up just a little flabby, so that in the view of people at that time he could be looked down upon, while people of today's world would tend to think that he is in great shape.

Have you written stories that used big differences in perception like this?


  1. I haven't, but I've read books with differences in perception.
    I'll take some of those nanobots, please.

  2. Can I have some of those nano-bots?