Postscript: BNSSV2 was reviewed by Angus Whitehead of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore in ASIATIC, Volume 11, Number 1, June 2017 and had this to say about this story: “Another dystopian tale is Victor Fernando R. Ocampo’s ambitious long “I am d 1 in 10” which is certainly distinctive, much of it written in SMS format: “THEY R COMING 4 me, my Dev/Null executioners, I got no more tym left so u, dear reader, have 2 fill in the gaps in my story”(39). and seems to successfully nod to the world of social media operating in an ever more constricting and hierarchical climate of fear, while ironically bemoaning via machine the loss of material text, print culture.“
I will be reading a short excerpt from my story “I m d 1 in 10” at Epigram’s book launch of the Best New Singapore Stories Volume 2 (edited by Jason Erik Lundberg) at the Singapore Writer’s Festival on Sunday, 1st Nov, 7-8 pm, in the Gallery at The Arts House (1 Old Parliament Lane, Singapore 179429).
Other authors reading include Joshua Ip, Gemma Periera, Jeremy and Tania de Rozario. Please come!
“I m d 1 in 10” is my experimental, epistolary story which I can only term as “Immigrant Speculative Fiction” It’s about what you have to sacrifice to move to “a better country”, it’s about fitting in with the crowd — sometimes at the cost of your soul, and the consequences of living with extreme cognitive dissonance.
It was written with Latin (representing the order of an officially-controlled public language) and an vernacular based on L337, IM and SMS speak, emoticons and a Filipino argot called Jejemon (which is what everyone actually speaks and writes with in private).
Here’s a short excerpt:
They r coming 4 me, my Dev/Null executioners, I got no more tym left so u, dear reader, have 2 fill in d gaps in my story. I don’t know who u r, but if u value ur life, LISTEN 2 me. I’m a dead man talking.
Listen n listen closely.
Life Hack # X: Speak their Latin or die.
“I signed up because I want only d best 4 my family” — d@’s d only safe answer if any1 asks u why u’re here. B very careful wot u say n remMbR, always remMbR: “Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis”. Its best 2 endure w@ u can’t change. Ur f*cking life depends on it. N don’t ever speak ur mind. If u’re a resident of d New Cities, ur mind’s not urs, not anymore. So speak their Latin n b safe.
If they pursue conversation, stick 2 trivial topics. Rhetorical questions can n will give u away. U never know who u’ll be talking 2. Let suspicion breed ur confidence. In d New Cities, d walls have eyes n every word is twittered by d wind. Speak only every1’s truth. Think b4 u speak, n never ever post what u really feel. HIDE URSELF FIERCE, HIDE URSELF DEEP.
(<_<) = J