Writing Infrastructure

The dictionary defines “infrastructure” as “the basic physical and organizational structures and facilities (e.g., buildings, roads, and power supplies) needed for the operation of a society or enterprise.” The works of sf we’ve read for today juxtapose human (or human-like, in the case of the “Vegetable Wife”) beings with infrastructural features, such as the mailman man-pillar in “Standing Woman,” who helps deliver the mail even as he transforms into a tree; or the “Vegetable Wife,” who grows like a plant in the main character’s cimmeg farm.

Creating continuity between human identity and infrastructural features is difficult, but the payoff can be profound. For this exercise, select one of the following types of infrastructure and use it as a way to communicate human identity–your own or a character of your choosing. Although you are welcome to come up with a mini-plot and/or mini-novum, your focus should be on description and characterization rather than narration.

1. The intracoastal waterway
2. An intersection of two busy streets
3. A drawbridge
4. A city park
5. A tollbooth
6. A mail route
7. the I-95
8. a water treatment center
9. a landfill
10. power lines.

Write for ten minutes then repeat with a different selection for another ten minutes. Post your responses in the reply box below.

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