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Mike Lancaster

Human.4

To the girl in Cromwell that I fell in love with and whom I am proud to call my wife

'We are all in a post-hypnotic trance induced in early infancy'

— R. D. Laing

'Is all that we see or seem But a dream within a dream?'

— Edgar Allan Poe

'History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.'

— Mark Twain

WARNING

THIS DATA STORAGE UNIT, OR 'BOOK', HAS BEEN DESIGNED TO REPROGRAM THE HUMAN BRAIN, ALLOWING IT TO REPLICATE THE LOST ART THAT WAS ONCE CALLED 'READING'. IT IS A SIMPLE ADJUSTMENT AND THERE WILL BE NO NEGATIVE OR HARMFUL EFFECTS FROM THIS PROCESS.

WHAT YOU ARE DOING: 'READING'EXPLAINED

EACH SHEET IS INDELIBLY PRINTED WITH INFORMATION AND THE SHEETS ARE VISUALLY SCANNED FROM LEFT TO RIGHT, AND FROM TOP TO BOTTOM.

THIS SCANNED INFORMATION IS PASSED THROUGH THE VISUAL CORTEX DIRECTLY INTO THE BRAIN WHERE IT CAN THEN BE ACCESSED, JUST LIKE ANY OTHER DATA.

Editor’s Note

When Danny Birnie told us that he had hypnotized his sister we all thought he was mad.

Or lying.

Or both.

These are the words that begin the spoken narrative of Kyle Straker. It’s a story that many have heard about , but few have had the opportunity to hear for themselves. It is both a piece of oral history from a time we are largely unfamiliar with—the early twenty-first century—and a tale with dark depths, which, if true, has important lessons for us all to take away from it.

For those unfamiliar with the history of the Kyle Straker tapes, a brief recap might be helpful. The tapes were discovered two years ago, in the understair cupboard of a house in the small Cambridgeshire village of Millgrove. The first tape was labeled 'Dire Straits'. Luckily the finder was an antique music enthusiast, who had the necessary analogue equipment to play back the tapes, otherwise the story of Kyle Straker would have been condemned to the dustbin of lost history.

After discovering their true contents, the tapes were passed on to the authorities. They have been the subject of much controversy and debate ever since.

The peculiar format that you are holding—a book—was still the dominant form of information storage at the time the tapes were made. There is a reason why I insisted on this archaic format which will, I hope, become apparent as the narrative progresses.

If the story you are about to read is true, then this work is respectfully dedicated to the 0.4.

Mike A. Lancaster,

Editor

Tape One Side One

is this thing on?

Testing, testing.

One two. One two. Two.

Ha. You know those roadies who get up on stage and test all the band’s gear before a gig? And they do all that 'testing testing one two one two' stuff into the microphones, to make sure they’ll work when the singer finally takes the stage. Well, Simon once said that the reason they said 'one two one two' was because roadies couldn’t count to three.

Made me laugh, but I guess you had to be there.

Anyway—how can you tell if these things are even working?

I mean, low-tech or what?

Still, of course it’s low tech, it’s a tape recorder. An old and battered relic of a time before digital storage and CDs; iPods and MP3s; memory sticks and SD cards.

At least it works. I wasn’t sure it would, it had been abandoned and left to rot in the cupboard under the stairs.

I kinda know how it feels.

Anyway, the tape player is old—it was made by Amstrad, the company started by that rude bloke off The Apprentice. Mum used to love that show. Even went through a phase of saying 'You’re fired' for a while when we did something stupid or naughty.

Funny the things you miss.

NOTE—The Apprentice

What was known—ironically—as 'reality TV'. Entwistle in his paper 'Manufacturing Nothing: Light

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