The Fungus System

The main hurdle facing the believability of a narrative is in it's context. Jumping in to the context requires that an audience suspends their disbelief in the concept. One of the greatest instances of this is Boilerplate.

The creators of Boilerplate constructed an entire fictional history of the robot through excelently doctored photographs and believable narrative. The questions that needed answering in relation to the use of synthetic fungi in New Mumbai were:

  • Why are the fungi being used, what is the motivation for the people using them?
  • How did they get there in the first place?
  • Who is using them, who knows how?
  • Why here, why now?

The answers can be extrapolated back from the history of New Mumbai and the imagery used.

  • The fungi are being used to provide infrastructure (electricity, water, heat) where there is none. There is none because of the rapid influx of refugees from the Third Gulf War and the Indian government being ill-equipped to deal with the near billion people that settled there in just over a decade.
  • They got there in the same way that most stolen technologies find their way to the street. Using the example of LSD, MDMA and cocaine in the 20th century we can see that a criminal element saw a niche market for their use and stole them.
    This is why the structure supporting the distribution of the fungi still relies on that criminal element.
  • The refugees are using them but the power land in the hands of refugee scientists and researchers who have the knowledge to push the research that began further. They're inspiration and drive for innovation comes not from a well funded laboratory but form a desperation to care for their friends, family and community.
  • The technology was only just getting off the ground in the richer countries, it took the drive of the residents of New Mumbai, and their particular circumstances (educated, desperate) to push it further.