Imagine a world where your influence on social media determines your job, your home and your friends. A world without politicians, where the corporations run the country.
Set in a dystopian London, Fluence is a story of aspiration and desperation and of power seen and unseen. Amber is young and ambitious. Martin is burnt out by years of struggling. She cheats to get what she wants while he barely clings on to what he has.
It’s the week before the annual Pay Day when strata positions are decided by the algorithms. The social media feed is frenetic with people trying to boost their influence rating, while those above the strata and those who’ve opted out pursue their own manipulative goals.
To what extremes, and at what cost to their families, should Amber and Martin go to achieve the Fluence they desire?
Stephen Oram writes thought provoking stories that mix science fiction with social comment, mainly in a recognisable near-future.
He is the Author in Residence at Virtual Futures, once described as ‘the Glastonbury of cyberculture’. He has collaborated with scientists and future-tech people to write short stories that create debate about potential futures, most recently with the Human Brain Project and Bristol Robotics Laboratory as part of the Bristol Literature Festival.
As a teenager he was heavily influenced by the ethos of punk. In his early twenties he embraced the squatter scene and was part of a religious cult, briefly. He did some computer stuff in what became London’s silicon roundabout and is now a civil servant with a gentle attraction to anarchism.
He has two published novels, ‘Quantum Confessions’ and ‘Fluence’, and several shorter pieces