Imagine a not-so-distant future in which everyone is HIV positive and, sooner or later, ends up in a state-operated hospice dying of AIDS. In a broken socio-economic order, governments have been reduced to a single function: extending the lives of their citizens with anti-retroviral treatment (ART) drugs. Meanwhile, rumours have coalesced into a widespread belief in the existence of a cure for HIV that is also exchanged through bodily fluids. Sex, casual, friendly or indifferent in all its forms offers a possible cure. Consequently, genders, sexuality and relationships have been altered drastically. Elliott lies in the hospice among the dying, his only remaining purpose: to serve as a subject for sociological and psychological research, research that is conducted via a nano-tech device to which the patient is wired. The device, called a Spade has a twofold purpose: to read and manifest Elliott’s thoughts along with bits of cultural detritus into his room, and to produce a tranquilizing effect on the patient.
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