Category: avatars

The Chee

People have been finding this site by just googling my last name, so I did, so I could see what they see.

From the Wikipedia entry:

The Chee are a fictional race of androids created by the extinct Pemalites, a race of pacifists from the sci-fi book series Animorphs, written by K. A. Applegate. The word Chee means “Friend” in the Pemalite language.

The Pemalites created the Chee in their own image, using their highly advanced technology to create friends that they could play with. The Chee are completely incapable of violence or assisting with any activity that would lead to someone’s harm, even in their own self-defense. Due to having been designed for operation on a planet with higher gravity than Earth, the Chee possesses immense strength, speed and durability, capable of withstanding low-energy Dracon beam attacks and operating in the deep ocean. They have extremely long life spans, Erek King, the first Chee the Animorphs met, being over 50 millennia old.

When the Pemalites were attacked by the Howlers, and the quantum virus which destroyed their creators was released, the Chee fled to Earth, which had been previously visited by the doglike pacifists. With only a few Pemalites barely clinging to life when they landed, the Chee managed to bind those Pemalites’ “essences” with those of several wolves; from this combination, the modern dog was born. The Chee went into hiding on Earth, passing as human beings, watching humans evolve alongside them. The Chee can be considered benevolent Doppelgängers, as they can alter their appearance to match that of anything they wish, living or not. Erek King and the other Chee often aid the Animorphs by standing in for them whenever they must undertake long missions, where they will be gone from home for longer than a few hours.

There has been only one time when a Chee has ever killed a living being; in book #10, The Android, the Animorphs manage to capture a device that allows a Chee to alter its programming, the Pemalite Crystal, which is in fact a computer of such advanced design that it would theoretically be able to control every computer on Earth, presumably utilizing the existing worldwide web. When the Animorphs retrieved the device from the Yeerk-run Matcom facility, Erek was able to use it on himself and managed to save his friends from certain death at the hands of more than 25 human-controllers armed with machine guns and 25 elite Hork-Bajir warriors; he effectively slaughtered them in less than 10 seconds. The eternally vivid memory of this action so disturbed and disgusted Erek, that he restored the failsafes against violence in his programming after having saved the Animorphs’ lives, vowing to never harm anything ever again. Jake eventually passed the crystal to his dog, Homer, who cast the Pemalite crystal into the ocean, and no news of it has been heard since.

I have often felt like I was a benevolent and ancient doppleganger, resistent to low-level Dracon Beams, and that I could once control every computer on the web. So, this basically explained everything.

Stephen King Essay On Short Story Heals Short Story Problem Instantly

Sunday, in the New York Times Book Review, Stephen King wrote a hilariously touching essay about being on his knees at his local bookstore in order to find short fiction in literary journals, hidden under the Martha Stewart Living and Us Weekly magazines. He lamented the state of the short story and asked people to support it.

Monday, my friend Nami Mun sends her just-completed short story manuscript in to her agent, who sends it out to editors immediately on Tuesday.

Wed., Megan Lynch at Riverhead takes it off the table with a preemptive.*

Thursday, the deal closed.

Thank you, Stephen King! Please everyone never say that bad thing about not being able to sell a story collection again! Or Stephen King and I will make a posse and come to your house.**

* Nami’s book will appear in the early part of 2009. She is a rising Korean American superstar short story writer. She looks like Maggie Cheung, kind of. You will in all likelihood worship her or at least try to dance like her, as I do.

** If you still talk smack about short fiction, Mr. King (who I do not know, but who is from Maine like me and will likely back me up) and I will send this HUBO robot. Which is Korean-made, and thus, very efficacious. And it is also this week’s new Koreanish Google Image Search header. It will give you a dance lesson and then afterwards you will dance to the new tune, ‘I love American Short Fiction’.

William Gibson on Second Life and his work

You recently did a reading in the virtual world of Second Life, where you are a kind of patron saint. I got shut out — I didn’t realize capacity would be an issue — but I caught up with it afterward on YouTube. Did the event turn out as you’d expected?

Apparently there’s always finite space in Second Life. I was actually in a room at the Centre for Digital Media in Vancouver with a live audience so I wasn’t paying much attention to the Second Life aspect, which is probably a good thing in terms of my performance. I had a laptop open so I could see it as if I was watching from within Second Life. What I saw I found a bit distracting — people levitating and sitting on top of the microphone.

How much time had you spent in Second Life by yourself?

Just a couple of hours. I think it only works if you’re hooked up socially. Otherwise it’s like walking around outside a shopping mall in Edmonton, Alberta, at 4 in the morning in December. You never see anybody and if you do, chances are they run away.

Some people have called Second Life the fulfillment of your vision of cyberspace. Does it at all resemble what you had in mind in 1984 when you wrote about a “consensual hallucination” in “Neuromancer”?

It is and it isn’t the vision I had. It’s what the characters in my early novels would call a “construct” — that was a word I used before virtual reality was around. I did imagine constructs where people could appear in avatar form. And in “Idoru,” I imagined these teenage girls leading virtual lives in abandoned corporate Web sites which they’d taken over and altered to build themselves a hideout. Those are the two things in my fiction closest to Second Life, but they’re not really anything like it. It never would have occurred to me to write something about a corporation building a virtual world in which shopping and real estate were two of the most popular activities. It sounds like too conventional a science-fiction novel.

From his interview on Salon, with Dennis Lim.