from “The Singing Ape, Or, Life in Pink”
“The Singing Ape, Or, Life in Pink” is about a group of people who live constantly connected to a global entertainment network, where they are essentially gaming all the time—at work, or eating, or walking down the stairs, they’re deeply immersed in gameplay. My characters are also primatologists whose research has brought them to the ruins of the former Disney Empire in what was once Central Florida—now a war-torn region overrun by feral zoo animals and the only inhabited place on Earth where the global game connection doesn’t reach. There they encounter an unusual ape who has been enhanced by the technology of war into something of an indomitable monster. The story takes on the feel of gameplay, and the characters become unsure whether they’re going to die or just have to start the game over. This is the first of several portions of the story written from the point of view of the singing ape herself, the “monster” of the story, whose thoughts I have conceived as a sort of song embedded in the datastream that guides her functions.