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Context Literature / FloatingPoint

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1[[quoteright:275:]]˛[[caption-width-right:275:Okay, so it's not a BadassLongcoat, but it's close.]]˛˛->''The digital universe of Netwerk. Thousands of servers, millions of living Programs (the evolutionary descendents of Apps) living in relative disharmony as one massive social network. It’s home to individuals seeking love, happiness, madness, trolling, order, stability, lawlessness, anonymity, individually, community, and everything in between. Binary people making binary decisions... but life is what happens between Zero and One. Life happens within the floating point decimals...''˛˛[[ Floating Point]] is a CyberPunk story, about [[ArtificialIntelligence artificially intelligent]] Programs living in [[InsideAComputerSystem an entirely digital world.]] The culture of this world is shaped vaguely like the [[TheInternet Information Age]], complete with all the good and the bad... social networks, toxic online games, hashtag mobs, and avatar-based discrimination.˛˛TheUntwist to all of this is that there's clearly a world beyond the computer-based reality of Netwerk... but while the reader is likely aware of this, the characters are not. The process of realization, along with all the implications of how and why their world is in this particular shape, drive the main narrative. Along with physics-simulated avatars [[MyKungFuIsStrongerThanYours kicking butt]], sendups and subversions of HollywoodHacking, and the occasional LoveTriangle.˛˛Floating Point is structured as a WebSerialNovel, written by Stefan "Creator/{{Twoflower}}" Gagne. It consists of a series of both free and for-pay stories, also available in published book form with [[PrintBonus various extras]]. It's currently a work in progress.˛----˛!!These stories contain examples of:˛* ActionGirl: Spark in a nutshell, using mantis-style kung fu for avatar-to-avatar combat. The trick is that physical strikes are meaningless, but the [[HiddenWeapons attack malware in her fingernail polish]] is not. One good poke, and [[PlayingWithFire kaboom]]. Arguably WaifFu as well, although an avatar's physical size is meaningless and can actually be leveraged as an advantage.˛* AmazingTechnicolorPopulation: Skin hues for Programs span the entire rainbow, without any real racism present. However, Tracer purposefully colors himself a neutral grey]] to avoid any preconceived notions in those he seeks to manipulate. ˛* {{Antihero}}: Tracer in a nutshell, a Revenge driven [[VigilanteMan vigilante]] and general ManipulativeBastard perpetually chasing his ArchEnemy, the killer of his [[TheMentor mentor]]. Uses non-lethal methods to take down any targets along the way between himself and the one he'll likely kill in the end. [[spoiler:At least, as far as he knows he's never killed anyone, thanks to a MemoryGambit allowing him to erase his own memories.]]˛* CombatStilettos: Heels and other otherwise-impractical gear have the same hitboxes as something well-suited for combat, so that there's no practical difference.˛* EverythingIsOnline: With great power comes great ability to exploit the personal information of others... and as everybody is software, attacking their data with corruptive malware and crashing them outright is a fine way to destroy them.˛* ExtremeOmnisexual: Spark's sexual orientation is "yes," as she sees avatars largely as window dressing for whatever Program lurks behind them. Depicted as a LoveableSexManiac, generally sex-positive, but sometimes using casual relationships to avoid emotional entanglements.˛* FalseFlagOperation: [[spoiler:An archbishop of the Church of One was unmasked as a notorious killer of his own believers, in an effort to frame evolutionary researchers as terrorists and rally his flock against them.]]˛* FieryRedhead: Somewhat literal in Spark's case, as her preferred hairstyle is a short cropped red hairdo with actual flames licking at the edges. Particle effects don't actually burn you to a crisp, after all.˛* FlameWar: Yelling at people over TheInternet takes a turn for the worse when you LIVE in TheInternet. A figurative flame war can turn into a literal one if someone goes nuts with malware in the shape of a flamethrower.˛* {{Frameup}}: The fate of Beta in her introductory chapter; an ex-boyfriend, not taking the breakup very well, frames her as a fraud and a cheat with a healthy dose of SlutShaming. The resulting [[ConvictedByPublicOpinion hashtag mob]] that forms around the incident indulges in heavy UsefulNotes/VictimBlaming.˛* GogglesDoSomethingUnusual: Beta's DisabilitySuperpower. Technically blind, but the glasses she wears are actually a remote vision App. Handy for work in the field; put them on someone else's nose and watch from across all of Netwerk.˛* HellBentForLeather: Spark, being a diehard ActionFashionista, changes clothes frequently... but always wears a white leather jacket given to her by her [[TheMentor mentor]] Verity. It's also an ExpressiveShirt with her own icon on the back, which she can add visual effects to such as pulsing to the beat of music.˛* HeWhoFightsMonsters: One of the many real risks of Tracer's vendetta, as he skirts morality in an effort to clean up Netwerk's evils. At least, evils he sees fit to address.˛* HollywoodHacking: Generally subverted, with extensive explanations for why two digital lifeforms need to stab each other with knives. (The knives are actually malware Apps which require a physics exploit to lock onto their targets and identify security weaknesses.)˛* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: All chapter names are four characters long.˛* IDontWantToRuinOurFriendship: Spark's primary reason to avoid confirming or denying any of her emotional attachments.˛* ImpossiblyCoolClothes: Avatars in general can defy the laws of physics and good taste with their fashions. Complete avatar replacements for furries, robots, tentacle monsters, and [[Literature/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy superintelligent shades of the color blue]] exist.˛* InsideAComputerSystem: The basic gimmick of the entire series. There is no outside world that they're aware of; both creationists and evolutionary thinkers deny it exists.˛* InsufferableGenius: Tracer learned at an early age why [[TheSmurfs Brainy Smurf]] always gets jettisoned from the village.˛* LimitedWardrobe: Many Programs, such as Tracer, have one avatar and stick with it. No need to wash clothing, so if you have a good look already, why blow money on more clothes?˛* MarkOfTheBeast: [[spoiler:A mind-altering form of malware in the form of a tattoo shaped like a barbed-wire laced heart marks any who are affected by the Great Zero. It encourages extreme and erratic behavior.]]˛* MegaCorp: Quite a few of these, notably the Horizon corporate umbrella, home to many a CorruptCorporateExecutive. Generally all of Horizon has a ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney attitude.˛* MultiplayerOnlineBattleArena: Challenge of Champions, the preferred sport of Netwerk. Spark's a pro player, streaming her matches to an audience of thousands. Laced with toxic attitudes and sexism and worse, as competitive fevers run high.˛* NeuroVault: Tracer's Memory Palace software modification grants him a modular and easily searched personal memory system. [[spoiler:One which he can edit at will, to forget certain events.]]˛* NiceJobBreakingItHero: [[spoiler: Beta immediately releases the boy that has been captured and enslaved by CorruptCorporateExecutive XSept... unfortunately, the boy, Dex, is actually Zero, and she's released him.]]˛* ParentalSubstitute: Verity, the CoolTeacher and [[TheMentor mentor]] who fills in for Spark and Tracer's mother. Their real mother is a [[TheFundamentalist diehard Church of One believer]] who tended to play ControlFreak over their early years.˛* PayEvilUntoEvil: Tracer's general approach when dealing with {{Troll}}s and {{Griefers}}. He's well aware of the problem with fighting evil with evil, and considers himself to be a terrible person... but is still willing to do it.˛* PlayfulHacker: Plenty of both to be found in Netwerk, from harmless pranksters to cyber terrorists. Dialogue has run very extreme across the world recently, ramped up by hashtag mobs and violent supporters of various causes.˛* PoliceAreUseless: Moderators, in this case, although Athena Online has a government-authorized police force of moderators. Mods are typically shown as lazy, corrupt, or both.˛* PowersAsPrograms: Programs can install Apps to gain new functionality, or install patches that modify the core of their software for even more powerful abilities.˛* PowerTrio: Tracer, Spark, and Beta. Two foils plus balance. See also FreudianTrio, and TwoGirlsAndAGuy. [[spoiler:Oh, and LoveTriangle, but not the squicky incest kind.]]˛* PrinceCharmingWannabe: Beta's former beau Cup8, who saw himself as the world's greatest romantic despite being overbearingly intense... and more than a little playfully dismissive of his "darling" and her worries.˛* RationalFic: Floating Point is generally intended to be rational, if not specifically about rationalism. Tracer in particular adheres to rational principles, letting them guide his life. [[spoiler:Except when he doesn't.]]˛* ReligionIsWrong: The idea of "The One," a great Program made entirely of ones with no zeroes, which created the world is a bit laughable. Unless, of course, ReligionIsRight. ˛* ResidualSelfImage: Programs have a "Default" avatar, the one they were born with, which ages naturally and reshapes itself accordingly. Few bother sticking with their Default, preferring to go wild with body reshapers and new hair colors and more... unless they're Church of One, which believes Defaults are sacrosanct.˛* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Wobbles around quite a bit here, as unfortunate reality gets in the way of optimism for the future.˛* SmartPeopleWearGlasses: Beta. See the goggles entry above; she's BlindWithoutEm. Techncially she's blind with 'em, but.˛* TheSocialExpert: Tracer, the ManipulativeBastard. He learned long ago how to read people and social situations, so he can better lie right to their face to get what he wants.˛* ThisIsYourBrainOnEvil: [[spoiler: The Great Zero malware twists and distorts the thinking of its host, encouraging them to go further and further into their darkest wishes. Someone who would be content to join a FlameWar just to yell might show up with a knife and intention to do harm.]]˛* WellIntentionedExtremist: Plenty of examples... left and right, pro and anti, for and against, red and blue, us and them. Each feel they're the heroes of their own narratives, when in reality life is seldom one and zero. It's the floating point decimals in between...


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