“Something Blue, Something Borrowed” is essentially my pet-name for BodyBuster while I was writing it. Like the couple Indepentionals before it, it was written around a period where I was re-reading The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke. I believe I was visiting my home town for some reason or other when I passed the old Blockbuster that somehow had managed to keep its position near the effective center of town. I do wonder how they stay in business, let alone keep a quite attractive position for a shop. But that’s an aside.
BodyBuster is my idea of one futuristic version of Blockbuster where customers don’t rent movies or games anymore. They rent a vacation on a whole different planet, their consciousness transferred to androids on the company’s base on the various planets on offer. One thing, though. If such a venture ever becomes a reality, I cannot imagine they would choose the name “BodyBuster”, no matter how high their love for the old rental-brand. It just sounds unsafe.
One thing that certainly did not help while I was writing BodyBuster was that I tried to map out the Journey- and Vacation-parts of the scenario out in my head, but none of that is shown in the story, as it ends the moment their journey begins. Establishing a base within the Sol system would be astronomically expensive for a private company, let alone a base in an entirely different star system. And then you have to find a way to safely beam a clump of data, meant in this analogue to be the digital version of a human consciousness, across the vastness of space to a very specific point on a planet surface. Having a string of relay stations along the way would probably make it safer and easier, but would drive up the cost.
In retrospect, the sentence – “There was no check-in beyond confirming your presence and preparedness for the journey” is a bit off; since the only thing you need to do for this journey is to be present, surely that would be the most important check-up. And since you would be away for up to 9 months on very foreign soil, being mentally prepared would also be very important.
The planet name ‘Alpha Centauri Bb’ is one I cannot recall why I chose. Perhaps Bb is meant to be ‘Baby’? Or it’s an alternative to a number – It’s the B category, and within that category it is ‘b’.
The story really does end too soon. Going back, I think I would have at least written out their arrival on their temporary home, shown them arriving on the new planet before ending it there.
Finally, I feel I need to apologise for another stereotype, that of the australian Lucy McCanneigh. I don’t really talk to any australians on a regular basis, so I guess I just want off a curious sort of soft-scifi version of Steve Irwin.