Fast and Faster
by Margaret Yang and Harry R. Campion
(writing together as M.H. Mead)
Harry: I love to drive.
Margaret: I hate to drive.
Harry: C’mon. You don’t hate to drive.
Margaret: No, but I don’t like driving someplace I’ve never been before because I have to pay attention to where I’m going instead of just driving. I don’t like driving places I have been before because it’s monotonous. I don’t like being behind the wheel with someone else in the car because they distract me just by breathing. I don’t like being in the car by myself because there’s no one to talk to. I hate to drive.
Harry: I love to drive.
Margaret: You’re weird.
We grew up in an age when people worked on their own cars, changed their own oil and fluids, crawling under the front ends of Detroit’s rolling iron on their own creeper boards. Michigan, man! Home of the Motor City.
Now, every time we open our hoods, we need Spock standing by with a tricorder just to give us some idea of what’s going on under there. It’s only going to get worse. Internal combustion engines are on the way out. Electric cars—filled with vastly more complicated and “smart” devices—are inevitable. This is going to go one of two ways. Either society will passively accept lightweight cars with the pickup and top-speed of a hamster, or manufacturers will push the limits and make these new cars into lightning-powered monsters that will blow down the highway at ridiculous velocities.
We hope it’s the second option. We want them to America those bad boys.
Faster, baby. Faster.
Accidents! we hear you cry, Accidents waiting to happen! Don’t worry, we have it covered.
In the fictional world of Taking the Highway, cars and highways work together to keep drivers safe. Overdrive technology—an artificial intelligence system—lines every highway in Detroit. Overdrive monitors the flow of traffic and sends override codes to cars to keep them from speeding, veering, or crashing.
Despite the spectre of crashes (or sabotage), cars that practically drive themselves are a dream for many writers. From the moment our cars enter the on-ramp to the time the off-ramp deposits us at our destinations, we will be safe in the arms of modern technology. We’ll be part of a gleaming river of automobiles rushing along in nearly silent splendor, free to hold a meaningful conversation, catch up on our reading, or play a game of yahtzee with our carpool.
Harry: But…I want to drive.
Margaret: You are driving. Kind of. Now roll the dice. It’s your turn.
About the authors:
When hitchhiking becomes the profession that saves the city, who will save the hitchhikers?
Detroit is thriving, once again on the move. The key to this motion may be the fourths--professional hitchhikers who round out incomplete carpools, allowing the car entrance to the superfast, computer-controlled highways.
The city needs fourths. Fourths need the work. It's an easy way to earn some extra cash.
Or to end up dead.
Someone is killing fourths and the only one who can stop the killer is jaded homicide detective Andre LaCroix, who moonlights as a fourth himself.
Taking the Highway is the newest science fiction thriller from the authors of The Caline Conspiracy and Fate's Mirror.