Swancon 17 – July 1991 Progress Report – Dreamers in the Net (part I)

Being page 13 of the SwanCon 17 July 1991 Progress Report. Part II will be posted in the near future.

This page features a faux newspaper clipping about ‘The Urban Outback’ (which requires a bit of a content warning for being icky – this is cyberpunk after all). It includes two columns of text, part of an advert that encourages the reader to “Come … New America” and mentions “PanAm Tours Christmas Special”. The bottom quarter of the page includes the details of the “Dreamers in the Net” tournament.

The Urban Outback by Gerry Cornell

Part 1: All God’s Children?
Roger Castumis was a fourth generation Australian. He lived with his seventy year old grandmother, his father – for six years a bedridden cripple following an industrial accident – and his five year old brother Yiani, a congenital CRS sufferer. Roger’s meagre income, gained principally from selling his body in the streets and Jolt in the Vinyl Clubs of Colworth Avenue, barely kept hunger at bay and the bailiffs from their door. At half-past eleven on Tuesday Night, Roger’s body washed up on the foreshore at Lindsay, a single massive wound obliterating his face and his severed left thumb jammed down his throat. To anyone familiar with Polis’ social underbelly, Roger’s death means one thing: he had fallen foul of the drug culture he had been forced to serve.

Sixty five percent of the urban unemployed between the ages of fifteen and thirty five are regular or occasional users of the opiate-derived drugs that include Cocaine, Crack, Morphine, Jolt, Endo and Heroin. Ninety Six percent of all raw and processed opium that entered Polis in the past three years came from poppies grown under the Sun that warms the roofs of the great cathedrals of the South American Apostolic Union. Estimates of the value of this enormously stable commodity exceed A¥600million per annum, and it can hardly be doubted that a percentage of this money ends up in the coffers of the Papal See in Rio DeJaniro.

Last year alone over seven hundred missionaries from the Apostolic Union entered this state, and government and corporate funding has helped establish no less than eighteen hundred Urban Missions in Polis itself in the last four years. We are constantly being told of the good works of the Liberation Catholic missionaries in our community, amongst the poor and the homeless. No doubt most of these men and women are fine people, dedicated to their faith and those they serve, but their leadership in Rio, and our government in Canberra, have a different set of priorities.

Tonight, Yiani will sleep in a cot in the Mission of the Immaculate Conception in Argrave Place. He will cry for his brother, but Roger will not come. We live in a world where the cross and the needle are made in the same Brazilian factory, and it’s difficult to discern the will of God in this cold truth of political expediency.

108 – The Cityscape – Dec 03 2019

The world is in a mess. The Soviet Empire has Shattered like a Glas Goblin,
The USA has closed its borders during a period of radical economic change,
Fortress Europe grinds away by itself 
while Post-Second Cultural Revolution China dies noisily.
The New Nationalist Australian government has sold itself to the Japanese
and the Multi-Function Polises sprawl across the coastal landscape.
In Polis, the biggest of them all, it’s cold, it rains all the time, everyone’s sick
and it’s Christmas time again. 

Dreamers in the Net is a roleplaying tournament for everyone. Inexperienced newcomer or hardened gaming wizard, this strange world of 2019 will challenge, surprise, perhaps bewilder, but above all entertain.

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