Rx Discussion (This is Where You Go To Yell At Me About The Ending)

Doooo it already. We know you’re gonna yell at me about something. How does the Gas work? How did QC’s nanobots travel back with her? What the hell happened in the Atrium? Why do bad things happen to good people? How does the Janitor get his porn down in the Blackouts? Do I have to be in an accident to get a sweet prosthetic like Zippy, or is it an elective procedure? Anything you want to discuss, have at it here and I will either respond or break down crying and run away forever. We’ll play it by ear.


  1. John Dornette · July 6, 2014

    Dude. Just finished the book. Holy fucking shitballs. That’s a damn fine novel you’ve written good sir. I actually really liked the lack of any backstory that wasn’t immediately relevant to the story at hand. I don’t care how Gas works because if I was living in Four Posts I wouldn’t give a shit. It’s irrelevant to the story. Bravo sir. Please keep writing. I need more shit like this in my life.

    • brockway.robert@gmail.com · July 6, 2014

      Glad to hear it! That’s actually a somewhat common complaint, that I never explained how the Gas works. I don’t really understand. I mean, I hope the mechanics of Gas are clear in the story — at least by the end — but it’s fictional. It…doesn’t work? Like am I supposed to go into the chemical composition? Because if I did that, I would have invented inhaled time travel and I would be writing this from atop a dinosaur right now.

  2. Jake Lucas · July 6, 2014

    So I just finished the novel, and being a rather simpleminded good samaritan, the first words that popped into my brain were, “What the actual fuck?” the enxt couple were something along the lines of “Gahdammit QC, NOOOO!” and the next were hysterical laughter. Yeah, I should probably shut my face now, but the point being is that this is the best novel I’ve read in a good long while, and the only reason it’s not at the top of the Amazon most read list is because of all those Japanese artificial intelligences that are running every aspect of our American lives. Even Mcdonalds.

    • brockway.robert@gmail.com · July 6, 2014

      Damn you, Nuggetbot. I can’t even stay mad at you.

  3. Evan Jones Thorne · July 6, 2014

    Any chance you can explain the sociological context for why biographiliacs are shunned? Everything else, I either can or don’t need to understand, but I keep coming back to that one point. I mean, I get that from a story perspective, it’s the reason Byron knows Red–but why is that taboo, while other forms of presence and voyeur gas trips are fine?

    • brockway.robert@gmail.com · July 6, 2014

      It’s not necessarily taboo, so much as it’s not cool. If the gas is media, biographiliacs are the uber-nerds of it: The ones who obsess about Star Trek, know every detail of every episode, the personal lives of the cast members, and so on. There’s just not much market for that kind of obsession, especially for historical figures that the Four Posts considers obscure, so Byron has to go through black market channels, even though what he does isn’t illegal. Also, since drugs aren’t illegal, Red isn’t a badass criminal drug dealer. He’s a black market chemical nerd. Think anime series that weren’t released in the western world – back before the internet, dorks had to go through their own black market to get stuff like that. The one space where they sort of intersected with the criminal underworld.

      • Evan Jones Thorne · July 6, 2014

        Got it. That makes a ton of sense. While I really liked that Red is a chemistry nerd instead of a badass drug dealer, I couldn’t quite get my head around the ostracism that Byron faced–but the anime comparison totally works.

  4. Mitch · July 6, 2014

    I just finished the book . I liked the fact that you didn’t sit and go over every intricate detail of how this world works and why everything is the way it is. But I was left with one question: What the hell happened to QC at the end? Did she make some sort of nanobot suicide bomb and blow herself up or what?

    • brockway.robert@gmail.com · July 6, 2014

      QC has those dissolver-bots in her bloodstream, remember? She uses them on the glass floor and breaks through it. Because they’re so high up, that results in some explosive depressurization.

      • Mitch · July 6, 2014

        OK got it. Thanks! 3/4 of the way through the Unnnoticeables and it’s great. Keep up the good work!

  5. Simon Friend · July 6, 2014

    Hi Robert,

    Just finished the book, and while I really enjoyed it, I gotta be ‘that guy’. I didn’t understand the end at all. I get that the presence gas was actually permanently messing with whatever timeline they screwed around in, but the Beta gas and Red’s realisation about it completely lost me. What was up with the forest place that Red kept being sent back to, the creatures and the RX trade out ? Was this meant to be a recent presecence on a timeline that had been screwed further back in the past? What was up with the Avatar battle Red Witnessed, was that supposed to be what caused the problems and what exactly was the damage anyway? So many questions!

    • brockway.robert@gmail.com · July 6, 2014

      It’s okay! Remember what the beta gas was: The cheap fight between the Native American girl and the robot. Red realized that the gas had permanent consequences in alternate timelines because he was being thrown back to that timeline – the one that split off when we fucked with it by making a Native American girl fight a robot for our amusement — in its future. The Native Americans discovered robotics way too early because of that fight, and advanced in leaps and bounds to become the ‘creatures’ — they’re just heavily body-modified, by the way — that Red meets. I’m not sure what you mean by the avatar battle — do you mean when Red and the shaman were trading BioOS’? The jumping line and all that?

  6. Caitlin Dunn · July 6, 2014

    Came across this book at a secondhand bookshop where I work in New Zealand. I got through it in about two days–couldn’t put it down. Will definitely be recommending it to others. Have you written anything else recently?

    • brockway.robert@gmail.com · July 6, 2014

      New Zealand? That’s a long way to travel! How cool to see it popping up so far away. Really glad you dug the book. I just finished work on The Vicious Circuit – a trilogy from Tor books. The first two are out already: The Unnoticeables and The Empty Ones. The last one, Kill All Angels, comes out November this year. We did sell U.K. Rights for that series, which oddly includes Australia. Hopefully New Zealand, too?