Sunday 29 July 2012

Now Hiring: only pseudonyms need apply

I've been stalking about the Farm lately. I've been trying not to draw attention to myself. I keep my distance. The creatures I see in the fields are stranger these days than they have been, but they are still familiar. I still see my brushstrokes in the their casual gait and in the way that they feed. They are mine, and I long to be among them again.

Looking at them without engaging, I see more clearly the way that they are penned together despite their differences. Allowed to roam amongst each other without restriction.

It is not an alien concept that one might create new farmers, cut from the cloth of the original, to help tend the herds. Iain Banks made himself another farmer. One who would tend to his science fiction, while he tended to the mainstream herd. Stephen King brought one to life to reduce market saturation, only to take its life when his usefulness had passed. Dodgson wrote about mathematics under his own name, and about Wonderland under Carroll's. Asimov wrote as French to accommodate the varied nature of the creatures on his farm.

I've seen my creatures, and I think they might need labeling. Same farm, different product. People know what they're getting. It's not a dissociative identity disorder thing, it's just branding. Such an unfashionable word, but I think people like to know what they are letting into their heads. Don't you?

How varied are my creatures? How many people do I need to be? How many people could I be? Perhaps if I were a dragon and a dentist, as well as a farmer, I could create an army to tend my herds.

Think of all the faces I could have!

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