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Literature / Liv in the Future

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Documenting our crazy, dystopian future for us.
"Also like - can someone tell my mom I’m here? Like tell her I’m good but also...981 years in the future."

Liv in the Future is a Web Serial Novel published on Litty by Shadows Interactive.

Liv has just graduated from high school and is uncertain of what the future holds for her. The matter is suddenly decided when she pokes at a strange glowing crack in the sidewalk and finds herself in the year 3000. After befriending and settling in with a pet rental service employee named Alix, Liv aims to make the most of her new reality (and maybe find a way home) while trying to prevent anyone else from finding out she's not a local.

Liv also has a Character Blog, which provides additional insight on what she’s thinking over the course of the story and depicts events that chapters on Litty haven’t reached yet.

Liv's Character Blog primarily updates on Instagram here and has a mirror on Tumblr here.

Liv in the Future provides examples of:

  • Accidental Time Travel: Liv ends up in the year 3000 after poking a portal in the sidewalk with a stick.
  • Actually, I Am Him: Liv and Alix get into the morgue by claiming to be delivering a pet to "Josh". Before they can get out of the mortuary, they're found by a burly mortician who asks them what they're doing there. When Alix repeats their cover story, the mortician says he's Josh.
  • Alternate Universe: One of the types of dimensions the portals can lead to. While not shown, one government-sustained portal is known to lead to a universe where Jamaica has sharp sand.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife:
    • Liv's kitten, Agent Spaghetti, has teal fur.
    • One of Alix's many pets is a purple-furred cat named Gemini.
  • Arc Words: The word "dreams" appears frequently. "In dreams we trust" is used as a government slogan, there's a government research facility that specializes in dream extraction, one of the books Liv checks out from the library is about dreams, a brand of government-endorsed cereal called Dreamy-O's exists, and a carnival has a Gravitron-style ride called "The Dream Juicer".
  • Artificial Limbs: Alix has a prosthetic leg. While he doesn't remember how he lost it, it's implied the Neighborhood Watch was involved.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: A swimming pool Liv visits has the following rules:
    1. No running
    2. No diving
    3. No breathing
    4. No introducing live sea creatures to the swimming pool ecosystem
    5. No devouring live birds in the deep end (shallow end OK)
    6. No calling your grandmother (I'm sorry, but she doesn't love you as much as you thought she did)
    7. Above all, HAVE FUN! ☺
  • Breather Episode: Chapter 11 is a short chapter about Liv attending her first Z-ball game. The chapter preceding it has a one-two punch of Liv's reaction to what Cleanup Crew does to beings that pass through portals and a meeting between Mr. Prez and someone named Helios about a portal-related project.
  • Calvinball: The game of Z-ball is primarily based on baseball, as it shares elements such as the scoreboard layout and positions such as pitcher and batter. It also has an obstacle course that wouldn't be out of place on Ninja Warrior and according to Liv, has aspects similar to dodgeball.
  • Character Blog: Liv has Instagram and Tumblr accounts. Her Instagram occasionally takes input from fans in deciding what she should do, while the Tumblr has her respond to questions from fans.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Liv presses the elevator button in the morgue on impulse, which Alix criticizes her for since they aren’t going to the place the receptionist thinks they are. A portal appears shortly afterward and a monster comes through it; the elevator arriving allows them to escape from the monster, as the other possible escape routes are blocked off.
  • Complexity Addiction: Liv’s plan for getting an ID watch she needs from a morgue is overly actionized. She proposes hiding by the loading dock and disabling the security cameras, knocking out the guards with “secret kung-fu karate moves” and taking their uniforms to enter undercover, defeating any baddies they find along the way, capped off by taking a watch and getting the heck out. The absurdity of it causes Alix to go silent for a moment before he can react properly.
    Alix: Need I remind you again that this isn’t a fantasy?
    Liv: I thought it was a good plan...
  • Crashing Dreams: Liv’s secret agent/spy dream takes a turn for the surreal when a giant blue pufferfish starts singing an 80’s pop song. The music turns out to be the ringtone she assigned to her best friend.
  • Domesticated Dinosaurs: Liv adopts a quartet of tiny dinosaurs that wandered out of a portal as pets.
  • Dream Intro: The story appears to begin with Liv as a badass secret agent... at least, until the giant singing pufferfish and the glowing-eyed cat appear. She’s having a dream the night before her high-school graduation. The corridor the dream began in and the cat later appear once Liv travels to the future.
  • Dystopia: Despite all the colorful and exciting trappings, the year 3000 isn't a great place to live. Wearing government-issued Unizon ID watches is mandatory; anyone found without one is suspected of having arrived via a portal and taken in for study. The government is a dictatorship that's been run by the enigmatic Mr. Prez for the past 23 years and the existence of highly skilled assassins is openly advertised on magazines. On top of that, there's an ever-changing variety of bizarre environmental hazards such that daily alerts about them are issued on people's Unizon watches. Most citizens don't seem to mind what's going on because it's all they've ever known.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Agent Spaghetti appears in Liv's dream at the beginning of the first chapter before showing up at the pet rental in Chapter 3.
  • Fake-Out Opening: The beginning of the first chapter has Liv fighting monsters in a corridor before finding a giant pufferfish and a cat in the desert. It turns out to be a dream Liv’s having the night before her high school graduation.
  • Fantastic Vermin: "Street mutants” are colorful geckos with cat fur and ears. They coexist alongside rats with glowing eyes and aren't regarded as the sort of animal one would rent out as a pet.
  • Fictional Currency: The currency of the year 3000 is called ZScrip. The banknotes' design resembles US dollars.
  • Flying Car: Cars in the future are shown to be able to hover.
  • Foreshadowing: Alix’s gaze briefly lingers on the body of Braeyleighe Smmythe, the girl whose Unizon watch Liv takes. Later on, Liv's looking through records at the library and learns the two of them grew up in the same orphanage.
  • Future Music: The music produced by popular group Unanimous Girth. Their songs make heavy use of samples and tempo changes to create a discordant sound.
  • Glowing Eyes: Many creatures shown have eyes that glow: Cats, rats, dogs...
  • Great Offscreen War: A war known as "The Big Big Nuclear War" ended in 2967. Not much is known about it other than portals beginning to appear in large numbers after it concluded.
  • High-Tech Hexagons: The digital signboard that informs Liv she's in the year 3000 has a hexagon pattern on the corners of its screen.
  • Hologram: Liv's friend Natalie is eventually able to visit her as a hologram by using Bluetooth to connect her VR headset to Liv's Unizon watch.
  • "I Know What We Can Do" Cut: Liv tells Alix about her plan to break into the morgue, which has far too many action movie elements present to be realistic. After shutting her plan down and thinking for a minute, Alix says he has an idea. The next scene has them walking through the front door and claiming they’re delivering a pet to “Josh” in order to get in.
  • Informed Attribute: According to Liv, Z-ball is like "baseball mixed with dodgeball mixed with a crazy ass obstacle course". While the baseball and obstacle course components are obvious enough from the pictures provided, it isn't made apparent how dodgeball factors into the game.
  • Line-of-Sight Alias: When Alix is trying to sneak Liv into the morgue to get her a government-issue ID watch, he has to provide a name to the receptionist at the front desk. He looks up at the phoenix mural behind the desk and gives his name as “Phoenix”.
  • Medium-Shift Gag: When Liv visits one of Alix's neighbors, the house's interior and occupants are presented as a screenshot from The Sims 3 with Liv as the only drawn element. She lampshades how bizarre the change in appearance is.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters:
    • The street mutant has a gecko-like body and the ears and fur of a cat.
    • The pets available to rent include a chimera with lion and pit bull features.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • Liv's dream at the beginning starts off as an over-the top action movie sequence, complete with a Morph Weapon and an awesome one-liner. It takes a turn for the surreal when she opens a door and finds herself in a desert with a giant pufferfish and a green cat for company.
    • A list of rules for a swimming pool starts off with the standard rules against running and diving, then lists "no breathing". It then adds rules such as prohibiting the introduction of sea creatures or eating live birds. The last rule is a reminder to have fun, complete with a smiley face emoticon.
  • My Nayme Is: Exaggerated with the name of the deceased girl whose Unizon watch Liv takes, which is "Braeyleighe Mikaylynne Smmythe". A more standard spelling would be "Brayley Micalyn Smith".
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The pop song that wakes Liv up in the beginning is by Rick Ghastly, an obvious spoof of Rick Astley.
  • Parodies for Dummies: One of the books Liv checks out from the library is Portals for Dummies, providing an Info Dump about how portals function and some of the roles the government takes on. The sections on how portals are sustained long-term and what kind of research the government does with them are blanked out.
  • Portal Crossroad World: Portals have been appearing on Earth since the end of a nuclear war in 2967, connecting to alternate universes, other time periods, and other dimensions. These portals stay open for thirty seconds at most unless they're sustained by government technology.
  • Portal Network: Portals sustained with government tech can be used for reliable travel to other dimensions. Liv spots some people using such a portal to vacation in a dimension identified as "Jamacia, but with really sharp sand".
  • The Present Day: The first chapter takes place on June 20, 2019, a week before the story's release.
  • Rain of Something Unusual: At one point, it begins to literally rain cats and dogs. This is attributed to the general strangeness of the future.
  • Ridiculous Future Sequelisation: A movie theatre marquee visible in one of the early Instagram posts is advertising Star Wars XXXIII.
  • Running Gag: Since Agent Spaghetti’s naming, subsequent mentions of the kitten will replace the word “spaghetti “ with another kind of pasta.
  • Scout-Out: A pair of scouts who are made of blue fire sell Liv cookies. While traditional cookies like thin mints, tagalongs, and samoas still exist in the year 3000, “electric bleeding insect shortbread” is an option.
  • Selfie Fiend: Liv is fond of taking selfies to commemorate various moments. This includes while she’s being sucked through a portal.
  • Shadowed Face, Glowing Eyes: Mr. Prez is always depicted as a shadowy figure with glowing orange eyes, even in brightly-lit environments such as atop a parade float or on a TV broadcast.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sigil Spam: Red eyes, associated with the government, appear everywhere except the motel Liv briefly stays at.
  • Skewed Priorities: Liv decides to take a selfie while she’s traveling at high speed through a portal.
  • Stunned Silence: Alix is briefly unable to find the words to react to Liv’s over-the-top plan to infiltrate a morgue.
  • Super Cell Reception: After travelling to the future, Liv's smartphone is able to make posts on social media that appear in the present day and otherwise functions as if it were still the late New 10's aside from being unable to access GPS maps.