On becoming: being a cyborg ... week 2

From this point of my life forward, I will be judging science fiction hard. Especially any science fiction that has humans being surgically implanted with electronic devices. Most especially if those devices are implanted in the head, not just because of recovery time, but also for adjustments.

One of the major points my doctor and audiologists keep discussing with me is the need for continual adjustments as my brain learns to translate the noise that I hear through my implant into recognizable sound. These adjustments will not transpire in a day, or a week, but over the course of a couple of years. Even once I have made the major adjustments during the first six months, minor modifications will be happening ... well, forever.

My life is less one of being and more of one becoming.

Being is indicative of a form of stasis, where maximum growth has been achieved, while on the other hand, becoming requires change, which at times can be either major or miniscule. Becoming is more difficult than being, because becoming requires one to be self-observant at all times. Adjustments are constantly being made when one is becoming.

Becoming has an end-goal but also an awareness that the goal may never be attained, much in the same way that writing a story is about the story, and not publication. Although publication is the eventual objective, it may or may not actually happen; therefore, it cannot be the sole ambition for the author. Likewise, I may never achieve much more than twenty to forty percent speech discrimination; however, my goal is to reach the highest level possible, and also to be published, because let's not kid ourselves here: that is, in fact, a target.

So what does becoming have to do with writing science fiction and cyborgs and how I'll read those stories from this point forward? I'll think about scientific enhancements more deeply. To survive a complex surgery such as the one I've just undergone leaves me with a very deep sense of wonder, and I will look for that wonder in characterization--or at the very least, an explanation as to why someone would feel such a procedure to be mundane. I will expect a longer adjustment period for medical enhancements, along with the SNAFUs that go along with them. Living adjustments, which must be made in order to accommodate the enhancements, should be made to the characters' lives.

In short, I will be watching for those characters in the process of becoming, because that is where one's true story lies.