& cplSiteName &

Silence Like Diamonds – Episode 1: Family Business

John Barnes
Faster-Than-Light Reading
John Barnes, Author
7/24/2015
50%
50%

And now for some light reading on Light Reading: Something a liltle different for our readers -- a science fiction story, written especially for communications service providers by veteran science fiction writer and technology journalist John Barnes.

Join us in the day after tomorrow, as a mild-mannered network security consultant is ripped from her quiet life when she investigates unusual activity affecting the biggest cloud applications provider in the world.

"Silence Like Diamonds" is brought to you in ten parts on Fridays and Tuesdays for the next few weeks. Sit back, pour yourself a cup of chamomile-peppermint tea, pet the cats and enjoy Episode 1. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did. -- The Editors


The override siren made me spill a lovely, just-drinking-temperature cup of chamomile-peppermint. Amaryllis, Daisy and Mrs. Greypaws all bolted from the balcony and under the bed, wailing.

My sister Yazzy paid me extra to have that super-powered, never-off phone bell always hanging over my silence. It was worth it except when it went off. I rubbed the tea splashes on my old yoga pants, kicked my slippers off at the French doors and padded inside barefoot. "House, main parlor."

The siren doused into muffled plaintive mewing. Paintings, bulletin boards and windows vanished from the interior wall. I dragged my chair over to face it, about a meter away.

The wall became apparently transparent, seeming to join my morning parlor to my sister's late afternoon office. She had that smirk, having caught me before I dressed for the day. "Hi, Yip. How's Arcata?"

"Same as always. How's Prague?"

"Different from Arcata. I talked to the folks on Thursday. They're still okay?"

"You know, the usual. Mama robbed a bank; Táta drove the getaway car."

She stuck her tongue out at me, just like when we were kids. "All right, and how're things on the Markus front?"

"I'm sorry I ever told you about that. I don't know if I should even try to get his interest. What if he finds out there's hereditary yenta-ism in my family?"

Yazzy sighed. "I guess you just want to get right to business, huh?"

"Well, I do have my itsy-bitsy pottering pleasures to bury myself in."

"I'm sorry I ever said that. Does that make us even?"

"What's the gig, sis? Who's the client and what's the matter?"

"It's NameItCorp. I guess you know who they are."

I held a thumb high. "Hey, good going." I was so impressed I didn't care if she saw. NameItCorp was as ubiquitous nowadays as Google had once been. Type or speak "NItCO" or "NameItCorp" while connected to the Net, add the name of any problem and AI and human operators would rush you a price and a time estimate, or Sorry, not possible with present tech, or Sorry, illegal. "What do they need us for?"

Yazzy shrugged. "They need you. And they're smart enough to know it. There are maybe 200 scheme architecture analysts worldwide, and last time Dusan ran 1,000 iterations of an open-ended self-defining search, 1,000 out of 1,000 times, you turned up in the top three."

"He's biased. He's your husband—"


Want to know more about the cloud? Visit Light Reading's Cloud Services content channel.


"He's the Zalodny in Zalodny Integrated Security, Yip. When he's analyzing on the marketing and business side, his feelings get into it about as much as yours do when you're tracing the money or mine do reading code. You're our single most salable asset, which is why we do pretty much any ridiculous thing you ask so that we can be the only 4D security firm that has 'Yi Ingrid Palacek, Yip to her friends, a legend in scheme architecture analysis...' "

"Ugh. I hate that stupid bio." It was good that we were talking through the screen-wall; it kept me from throwing vases at her.

Next Page: Deadly Interruption

(10)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Blogger
8/3/2015 | 4:10:28 AM
Re: Awesome idea!
ddgreenhill, indeed, science fiction has always played an important role in technology, either using current research to anticipate the future, or giving ideas about what could be possible if certain devices would exist. It's fascinating, isn't it? -Susan
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
7/31/2015 | 11:03:11 AM
Re: IT fiction ..
nasimon - Charles Stross has written a series of novels about an IT manager in a British spy agency code-named "the Laundry," that investigates paranormal threats. They're great fun. 
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
7/31/2015 | 11:01:25 AM
Re: Episode 1
The names I've given cars are unprintable. 
John Barnes
50%
50%
John Barnes,
User Rank: Blogger
7/31/2015 | 7:01:02 AM
Re: Awesome idea!
ddgreenhill,


Always good to run into one of the Trufen of the Tribe, but did you have to make me feel so ancient? Ellison and Silverberg were the young rebels when I was a kid (which you may figure out was a while ago) -- we've had half a dozen revolutions, at least, since then.
ddgreenhill
50%
50%
ddgreenhill,
User Rank: Light Beer
7/30/2015 | 9:53:04 AM
Awesome idea!
I grew up on science fiction, and devoured stories from all the masters - Issac Azimov, Aurthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury and the classices like Jules Vern and Edgar Rice Burroughs. Even the "outlaw: writers like Roger Zelazny and Harlan Ellison.

From that innocent childhood until now, i've seen this fiction become fact. From the lunar landings to all our modern technology, we read it first in science fiction.

How appropriate that we should turn to it again as we discuss the futore possibilites of our technology. Thank you!
John Barnes
50%
50%
John Barnes,
User Rank: Blogger
7/27/2015 | 4:14:57 AM
Re: IT fiction ..
Oh, there's quite a bit of computer-related science fiction, and even closely related to IT.  Historically there hasn't been as much near-future IT because the general reading public doesn't know what's possible, what's coming, and what's not, so unfortunately a "tale of wonder" about a future technology may not produce much wonder because they don't realize it's either future or difficult.


True story: when I was working on one book set in the near future, I included everyone carrying a voice recognition transcriber to meetings; that is, a gadget that wrote down what everyone said, attributing it to the correct speaker, and producing a document that looked something like a playscript. I learned later that one editor had sent an assistant out at lunch to "shop for one of those" at the Apple store.

Most people know we don't have the starship Enterprise yet, but a surprising number have no idea how miraculous and world changing the tech I'm going to be weaving into this story really might be.  That's why it's great to work for this audience (and also terrifying) -- you know what ISN'T YET!
nasimson
50%
50%
nasimson,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/26/2015 | 10:27:09 AM
IT fiction ..
This is something I've never come across earlier. Pardon my ignorance but is it the first time IT fiction is written?
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/24/2015 | 5:56:15 PM
Re: Episode 1
John, Will do!  Yes, I am thinking that they may assume functions as well, i.e., robotics?  I look forward to learning more.
John Barnes
50%
50%
John Barnes,
User Rank: Blogger
7/24/2015 | 5:50:21 PM
Re: Episode 1
Thanks for the kind words! I suppose given that people attribute personalities to machines (think how many people you know who name their cars ...) that as we all become dependent on drones, we'll start to have nicknames for them.


And I can promise you a surprise or two up the road with Joy Sobretu as well ... and a few others.  But anything more would be spoiling -- so watch for Episode 2 on Tuesday.

 
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/24/2015 | 5:29:27 PM
Re: Episode 1
John, highly engaging!  Looking forward to the next episode!  Like the drones as characters.
From The Founder
Either we perform a complete 'factory reset' on the way the telecom industry creates and deploys virtualization, or we face the consequences.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mobile Operators & Video

4|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ovum's Ed Barton discusses the latest mobile operator strategies for mobile video.
LRTV Custom TV
Infinera Introduces Instant Network

4|20|17   |     |   (1) comment


Mike Capuano, vice president of marketing at Infinera, discusses the advancement from Instant Bandwidth to new Instant Network capabilities, which include Bandwidth License Pools, Moveable Licenses and Automated Capacity Engineering (ACE).
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Vodafone's Eubank on Sponsors, Mentors & Moving On Up

4|19|17   |   4:25   |   (0) comments


Vodafone America's Head of Operations Kimberly Eubank breaks down the difference between a sponsor and a mentor and shares why both made a big difference in her career.
LRTV Custom TV
NYC Auto Show: Are We Smart Yet?

4|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


The auto industry is facing some big transformations as electric vehicles, autonomous technology and connected cars are seen as the future of the industry. During the much-anticipated NY international auto show, there was an emergence of new technology and mobility service on the show floor. Aside from performance, brands like Lincoln, Hyundai, Honda, Mercedes and ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Impact of Video

4|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


David Mercer from Strategy Analytics discusses the impact of video on current strategies.
LRTV Custom TV
Pardeep Kohli Discusses Network Transformation & the Market Opportunity for the 'New' Mavenir Systems

4|13|17   |     |   (0) comments


In a brief discussion at MWC 2017, Heavy Reading analyst Adi Kishore talks to Pardeep Kohli, CEO, Mavenir Systems about the creation of the 'new Mavenir' and some of the key challenges facing operators in today's market. A key theme of the discussion centers around operator need for software-only, virtualized solutions and how they will need to adapt to ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Tech Maverick Shares Her Tips for Gender Inclusivity

4|12|17   |   7:28   |   (0) comments


Wendy Hall Bohling, a corporate escapee, author and gender exclusivity consultant, tells her story of sexism, bias and progress along the road to gender equality in the workforce.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at MWC 2017

4|11|17   |     |   (0) comments


At Mobile World Congress 2017, the biggest mobile industry gathering of the year, Huawei showcased its new innovations and solutions with the theme "Open Road," which focuses on cloud, 5G, operation transformation, videos and consumer-oriented products. Its campaign has been recognized by three awards given by GSMA.
LRTV Custom TV
China Telecom NFV Infrastructure on RSD

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


Lynn Comp, senior director of market development of Intel, is joined by Chong Zhang, storage engineer at Inspur and Ou Li Yan, architect for technology strategies of China Telecom on what NFV brings.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's IMPACT Software Demo

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


Khamis Abulgubein of IoT market development at Nokia demonstrates IMPACT (intelligent management platform for all connected things), a software solution with a horizontal approach to managing any device on any application.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia Introduces Virtual Service Router for More Rapid Service

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


James Cumming, product line manager for virtualized service routers at Nokia, demonstrates how the virtual router based off the Nokia ecosystem changes the network function experience.
LRTV Custom TV
The Keys to SD-WAN Success

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


Versa Networks CEO Kelly Ahuja talks about the key requirements for service provider-managed SD-WANs.
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Brazos Hall - Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Time for a Telecom Reboot
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 4/19/2017
Unlicensed: It's What's Next for US Mobile Operators
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/19/2017
First Year TIPs the Scale Toward Success
Denise Culver, 4/24/2017
Verizon's Fiber Spend Won't End With Corning
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/19/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.