The Flower of Shazui

Description (in English)

Set in a part of China that has rapidly moved from rural to industrial, the dense urban setting, with inhabitants of skyscrapers so closely packed together than residents in one tower block can almost shake hands through their windows with their neighbours in the building next door, old sits side by side with new, so that protagonist runs a medicine shop, but also offers hi-tech services on account of his skills from his previous job.

There’s a Shaman living nearby, a high-class prostitute with a hi-tech tramp stamp that denotes her husband/pimp, and the vicious husband/pimp himself, and the hi-tech comes to play. The Flower of Shazui Best SF, retrieved September 26, 2019


Pull Quotes

From my booth at the door of the Chinese medicine shop, I sell a combination of body films and cracked versions of augmented-reality software. Body films are applied to the skin, where they display words or pictures in response to the body’s electrical signals. In America, they use the technology as a diagnostic tool, monitoring patients’ physiological signs. But here, it has become part of the street culture of status display. Laborers, gangsters, and prostitutes all like to apply the films to prominent or hidden parts of the body so that, in response to changing muscle tension or skin temperature, the films can show various pictures to signal the wearer’s personality, daring, and sex appeal.

Suddenly, I understand. The mask is nothing more than a fucking well-made disguise for a pair of augmented reality glasses. [...] Guessing conservatively, her information privilege level must be set to at least level IIA or above, giving her the power to access an individual's private file based on facial recognition. [...] But even so, without professional-grade analysis filter software, how can she glean any useful information out of that torrent within such a short time? It would be like finding a needle lost in the sea.

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