No. 91

The Cat Market

By : vitor

Entrant’s location : Portugal

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Description

A second-person gore narrative taking you, the human reader, on a tour of an alien market for anthropomorphic cats.

What did you create?

The Cat Market is a second-person gore narrative taking you, the human reader, on a tour of an alien market for anthropomorphic cats. It imagines a world where cats became the dominant intelligent species and whose technological evolution followed a path similar to ours. How would their culture differ? Their relationship to other animals? To us? It’s an unfinished piece that hasn’t been through the eyes of beta readers. The makeshift cover exists with the purpose of having something to submit as a photograph of the work.

Why did you make it?

At the heart of the transition to a new operating system is the changelog. It tells you what will be different, what has been fixed, what stayed the same, but seldom what got worse. That last part falls on the users to identify and report in the hopes it will get better next time. But while we’re scrambling to survive amidst another bug-ridden release, old problems resurface, history repeats. If we conceptualise the Earth as a computer, geological eras are incremental versions of its operating system. Paleozoic: the forerunners of all life on Earth begin to diversify. Mesozoic: age of dinosaurs. Cenozoid: rise of the mammals. Historical periods are point releases, but we’ve been documenting those for a measly five thousand years. The Bronze Age, the Iron Age, Axial Antiquity… On a planet with over four billion years, we call what happened a handful of centuries ago “the Middle Ages”. Our method of recording is anthropocentric and flawed, so history repeats. Cultures are shaped by the limitations in the system. The Cat Market explores a facet from a fictional society while holding up a mirror to our own. Would other mammals in our situation behave differently, or would history repeat?

How did you make it?

Through a lot of figurative sweat, good days and frustrating days, and a lot of typing on iA Writer on both a 2013 Macbook Pro and an iPhone SE.

Your entry’s specification

By nature of it being text, the format can be almost anything we want. The provided copy (see “Your work URL”) is an eight-page A4 PDF (210 x 297 mm).

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