Enter a dystopic future where integration with technology may cost us our humanity.
A bleak prediction of a world where consumerism and technological advancement has been taken to the extreme.
If you were offered the chance to integrate with technology, would you? How far would you go? Replace your skeleton with a titanium alloy? Save your memories to the cloud? Surf the net whilst you sleep? Install neuro-ocular implants? Download your consciousness into a new, bio-synthetic body?
Or would you instead choose to remain ‘Natural’, and become part of an increasingly segregated and victimised minority?
In an anthology of 11 short stories, Upgrade attempts to answer the fundamental question: What does it mean to be human?
Upgrade will be released chapter by chapter online; in text format via my fiction and poetry blog, and in audio format via the Reality Check Podcast.
If you can't wait for the next chapter to be released, or would like to own a copy for yourself, it is available for purchase as an eBook, Paperback & Audio Book.
Check below to see what chapters are available now! The best way to be notified when the next chapter is up is by signing up to my email list, or by following me on social media.
- Out Now -
Part 1 - Upgrade 'Natural' humans are left behind as the masses Integrate themselves with technology in an attempt to live forever.
Walking down the street, you can't help but succumb to the onslaught. Billboards flashing, speakers screaming...
- Coming Soon -
Part 2 - The Priest (Release date: mid September 2018)
A flock of Naturals struggle to survive in an increasingly Integrated world.
The Priest winced as he got down on to his knees and began to pray. The years of prostration had taken its toll on his old joints, yet he never complained...
Part 3 - Sales Pitch (Release date: mid November 2018)
Want to know how to sell Integration to a Natural? Look no further than this!
When was the last time you felt alive? When was the last time you felt truly human? When you weren’t doubled up with physical pain or mental rumination? How long has it been since you have felt happy or even merely fulfilled? ...
Part 4 - A Love Story Part One (Release date: mid January 2019)
What Naturals call 'love' is only a shallow approximation to the deep connection that Integrates experience.
With a coy smile she bit her bottom lip. “I’m nervous, it is my first time you know?” Blushing a little, she went on.“Well my first time since ... changing.”...
Part 5 - Changing Our Reality (Release date: mid March 2019)
Poetry becomes political as a Natural fights back against an oppressive system.
The following poem was found on the body of a suspected Natural terrorist, following a Bureau of Religious and Ideological Acceptance raid on a slum.
We had little choice but to comply,
Conform, obey, Integrate or die ...
Part 6 - Historical File, H001a (Release date: mid May 2019)
An introduction into the events that lead humanity down the path of Integration.
2039: The natural resources of the modern world are becoming ever more scarce. Poverty and famine are rife. Pollution and deforestation have ravaged the earth. Large cities surrounded by endless slums begin to encompass most of the world’s surface ...
Part 7 - Bloodless Coup (Release date: mid July 2019)
A group of patriots go to extreme lengths to ensure the lasting survival of their beloved country.
War is inevitable, there is simply not enough to go around. Yet, due to the affluence of our nation, no one here was preparing for it. Whilst other countries were stockpiling munitions and supplies, we were debating trivialities ...
Part 8 - A Love Story Part Two (Release date: mid September 2019)
When Integrates make love, it is an experience like no other.
Her eyes popped open the instant the pill hit her tongue. Her pupils rapidly dilated. It tasted sweet. It tasted wet. It tasted like him. This wasn’t her first Stimul-Dose, so she somewhat knew what to expect. But it was her first ‘Sensuality Dose’, and as such, its drop took her somewhat by surprise ...
Part 9 - Historical File, H001b (Release date: mid November 2019)
The conclusion of the events that lead humanity down the path of Integration.
2080: The Bureau of Religious and Ideological Acceptance is created. Tasked with ensuring toleration and safe practice for every and all Nations for Lasting Peace approved belief systems ...
Part 10 - Death (Release date: mid January 2020)
As the mortality rate continues to plummet, Death itself faces an existintial crisis.
Patience. All he had to do was wait. No-one escaped his grasp. Wealth, family ties, personality, religion, social status, all meant nothing to him. Everybody would eventually be taken ...
Part 11 - The Collective (Release date: mid March 2020)
inally complete, the Collective extends its reaches into the vastness of space, searching for meaning, searching for life, searching for another.
Integration of the last Natural heralded in a new age. There was no longer a need for any form of governmental control. All Integrates thought and acted as one. There was no longer a need for creativity, expression or art. No physical creation could compare to the memory of the Collective ...
I have always been a fan of science fiction and the dystopia genre. It feels like humanity is on a path to complete integration with technology - my phone for example does everything; including acting as external memory, knowledge bank, communication enhancer, extra processing power, navigation system, entertainment system and more. These advances don't seem ominous, because we are living through them and benefiting from the changes to our lifestyle. Upgrade is my prediction of one possible future, should these trends continue.
I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it!
- Zachary Phillips