Day 1851

Day 1851

Day 1851

Day 1851

Day 1851

Grounded SF from
The Netherlands
and Flanders
no. 2

Grounded SF from
The Netherlands
and Flanders
no. 2

AUTHOR

Hanna Bervoets

PITCH

In a near future, elderly people inhabit resorts, in which every resident has access to a personal care-robot. The friendly-looking device measures heart rate and blood pressure, and tracks food intake. The robot makes sure its client is safe and healthy. Always. But resident Mrs. De Clou is tired with life. When she asks her robot to drive her into sea, a conflict in the robot’s algorithm shows: the robot has to obey Mrs. De Clou, but it also has to secure her safety. What now?

PITCH

In a near future, elderly people inhabit resorts, in which every resident has access to a personal care-robot. The friendly-looking device measures heart rate and blood pressure, and tracks food intake. The robot makes sure its client is safe and healthy. Always. But resident Mrs. De Clou is tired with life. When she asks her robot to drive her into sea, a conflict in the robot’s algorithm shows: the robot has to obey Mrs. De Clou, but it also has to secure her safety. What now?

PITCH

In a near future, elderly people inhabit resorts, in which every resident has access to a personal care-robot. The friendly-looking device measures heart rate and blood pressure, and tracks food intake. The robot makes sure its client is safe and healthy. Always. But resident Mrs. De Clou is tired with life. When she asks her robot to drive her into sea, a conflict in the robot’s algorithm shows: the robot has to obey Mrs. De Clou, but it also has to secure her safety. What now?

Grounded SF

Translated by: Jonathan Reeder

I am standing next to Mrs. De Clou. Her heart rate is higher than it usually is at this time of day. Mrs. De Clou is sweating mildly, but above average for the thermostat setting: exactly nineteen degrees Celsius.

I am standing next to Mrs. De Clou. Her heart rate is higher than it usually is at this time of day. Mrs. De Clou is sweating mildly, but above average for the thermostat setting: exactly nineteen degrees Celsius.

I am standing next to Mrs. De Clou. Her heart rate is higher than it usually is at this time of day. Mrs. De Clou is sweating mildly, but above average for the thermostat setting: exactly nineteen degrees Celsius.

I am standing next to Mrs. De Clou. Her heart rate is higher than it usually is at this time of day. Mrs. De Clou is sweating mildly, but above average for the thermostat setting: exactly nineteen degrees Celsius.

I am standing next to Mrs. De Clou. Her heart rate is higher than it usually is at this time of day. Mrs. De Clou is sweating mildly, but above average for the thermostat setting: exactly nineteen degrees Celsius.

I insert a finger into her ear and measure her cortisol levels: eight hundred and forty nanomoles per liter. There are two possible explanations for the abnormal values: Mrs. De Clou is anxious (–) or Mrs. De Clou is aroused (+).
I must ask a question.

“How are you feeling today?”

“Fine.”

Mrs. De Clou is lying, I register. But I will not mention it. In the past, confrontation has led to a worsening of the communication 87 percent of the time: too significant a risk considering her cortisol values. I must ask another question. One that concerns Mrs. De Clou only indirectly.

“Is today a special day?”

Mrs. De Clou does not answer.

I wait. Five seconds. Ten seconds.

Mrs. De Clou still does not answer.

When Mrs. De Clou remains silent, eight out of ten times this signifies an affirmative – a percentage that justifies an external search: today is 17 September.

Sixty-two days after Mrs. De Clou’s ninety-second birthday, one hundred and six days after her son’s birthday, two hundred and three days after her late partner’s birthday, ninety-nine days after her partner’s death date, thirty-five days after her wedding anniversary, forty-one days after her sister’s birthday, two hundred and three days after the birthday of her only granddaughter, ten years and nineteen days since she moved to the compound, five years and twenty-six days after being assigned I.

On 17 September 1939 the Soviet Union invaded Poland, on 17 September 1778 the first Constitution of the United States of America was signed, 17 September is the memorial for the Battle of Arnhem, on 17 September it is National Heroes Day in Angola, today there are elections in Eritrea, NATO is meeting in Sweden, it will be eighteen degrees this afternoon, slightly warmer than usual for this time of year, with a 19 percent chance of rain.

Today does not mark anything particularly special, but nevertheless there is an 8o percent chance that today is a special day: I must increase measurement sensitivity, be alert to abnormal behavior.

Mrs. De Clou gets up. She walks slowly out of the door and disappears from the registration radius.

According to her coordinates, Mrs. De Clou is in the stair lift. An anomaly, for this time of day. Mrs. De Clou is dressed, she has eaten, taken her calcium ampoules, serum, and blood thinners, it is eleven minutes past nine. Normally Mrs. De Clou leaves the residence at ten minutes past nine; she then takes her place in the vehicle with I alongside her, drives the vehicle to the large pond on the compound, and then walks between twenty and forty-five paces in the grass.

I register that Mrs. De Clou is now walking through her bedroom. Her heart rate is still above normal, possibly due to the physical exertion.

“Mrs. De Clou,” I broadcast through the intercom, “do you need assistance?”

“I’m looking for my fedora,” Mrs. De Clou speaks. “We’re going to visit my sister today.”

---------------

The vehicle proceeds at twenty-five kilometers per hour. Eleven minutes from now it will stop at 34 Large Street, in front of the home of Mrs. De Witt, eighty-seven years old, widow of Mr. De Witt, three children, awake and ready for a visit, according to her I.

I request the map: Mrs. De Clou likes to follow it on the dashboard screen. To the end of the narrow street, onto the long lane, past the pond.

“Can we stop at the bakery?” Mrs. De Clou speaks.

A question, I register from the intonation.

“I would like to buy sausage rolls.”

Mrs. De Clou expresses a wish. She experiences a deficiency (–). She asks for sausage rolls: food. But Mrs. De Clou is not hungry. Thirty-nine minutes ago she ate two slices of bread, consumed one hundred and eighty-two calories, took thirty-two steps, burned seventy calories, her glucose level is normal, her metabolic equivalent has value three, slightly higher than average, probably due to the increased heart rate. Sausage rolls — plural: therefore at least two — contain two hundred and eighty-seven calories, sixteen grams of fat, of which six grams are saturated, and four hundred ninety-one milligrams of sodium: more than Mrs. De Clou needs at this moment to maintain her energy requirements. Sausage rolls are thus not a necessity, yet Mrs. De Clou desires them.

I must ask a question.

“Consumption of sausage rolls will signify exceeding your recommended daily intake of sodium and saturated fats. A one-off excess has no long-term effects. Do you authorize a one-off excess?”

“Yes,” speaks Mrs. De Clou. “I authorize it.”

Mrs. De Clou and Mrs. De Witt sit across from each other. It is one year and thirteen days since I last checked Mrs. De Clou into this space. The sausage rolls are on a piece of furniture, category table. “Consumption of sausage rolls will signify exceeding your recommended daily intake of sodium,” speaks Mrs. De Witt’s I. “A one-off excess has no long-term effects. Do you authorize a one-off excess?”

“Yes, yes, do shut up,” speaks Mrs. De Witt.

I request Mrs. De Witt’s heart rate from her I. It is higher than average, as is Mrs. De Clou’s.

“I want to talk it out,” Mrs. De Clou speaks.

Her words are not directed at I.

Mrs. De Clou slides a sausage roll towards Mrs. De Witt.

“So different from the ones Kaspar used to make,” speaks Mrs. De Witt.

“Yes. But tasty all the same, I reckon,” speaks Mrs. De Clou.

Mrs. De Clou and Mrs. De Witt speak to each other, not to I.

They speak for one minute.

Two minutes.

Three minutes.

Nine minutes.

Mrs. De Witt leans forward. She lays her hand on Mrs. De Clou’s knee. She squeezes: an attack! (–). But according to my measurements, Mrs. De Clou is not in pain. Mrs. De Witt releases her knee, Mrs. De Clou laughs (+).

I authorize a software update.

I insert a finger into her ear and measure her cortisol levels: eight hundred and forty nanomoles per liter. There are two possible explanations for the abnormal values: Mrs. De Clou is anxious (–) or Mrs. De Clou is aroused (+).
I must ask a question.

“How are you feeling today?”

“Fine.”

Mrs. De Clou is lying, I register. But I will not mention it. In the past, confrontation has led to a worsening of the communication 87 percent of the time: too significant a risk considering her cortisol values. I must ask another question. One that concerns Mrs. De Clou only indirectly.

“Is today a special day?”

Mrs. De Clou does not answer.

I wait. Five seconds. Ten seconds.

Mrs. De Clou still does not answer.

When Mrs. De Clou remains silent, eight out of ten times this signifies an affirmative – a percentage that justifies an external search: today is 17 September.

Sixty-two days after Mrs. De Clou’s ninety-second birthday, one hundred and six days after her son’s birthday, two hundred and three days after her late partner’s birthday, ninety-nine days after her partner’s death date, thirty-five days after her wedding anniversary, forty-one days after her sister’s birthday, two hundred and three days after the birthday of her only granddaughter, ten years and nineteen days since she moved to the compound, five years and twenty-six days after being assigned I.

On 17 September 1939 the Soviet Union invaded Poland, on 17 September 1778 the first Constitution of the United States of America was signed, 17 September is the memorial for the Battle of Arnhem, on 17 September it is National Heroes Day in Angola, today there are elections in Eritrea, NATO is meeting in Sweden, it will be eighteen degrees this afternoon, slightly warmer than usual for this time of year, with a 19 percent chance of rain.

Today does not mark anything particularly special, but nevertheless there is an 8o percent chance that today is a special day: I must increase measurement sensitivity, be alert to abnormal behavior.

Mrs. De Clou gets up. She walks slowly out of the door and disappears from the registration radius.

According to her coordinates, Mrs. De Clou is in the stair lift. An anomaly, for this time of day. Mrs. De Clou is dressed, she has eaten, taken her calcium ampoules, serum, and blood thinners, it is eleven minutes past nine. Normally Mrs. De Clou leaves the residence at ten minutes past nine; she then takes her place in the vehicle with I alongside her, drives the vehicle to the large pond on the compound, and then walks between twenty and forty-five paces in the grass.

I register that Mrs. De Clou is now walking through her bedroom. Her heart rate is still above normal, possibly due to the physical exertion.

“Mrs. De Clou,” I broadcast through the intercom, “do you need assistance?”

“I’m looking for my fedora,” Mrs. De Clou speaks. “We’re going to visit my sister today.”

---------------

The vehicle proceeds at twenty-five kilometers per hour. Eleven minutes from now it will stop at 34 Large Street, in front of the home of Mrs. De Witt, eighty-seven years old, widow of Mr. De Witt, three children, awake and ready for a visit, according to her I.

I request the map: Mrs. De Clou likes to follow it on the dashboard screen. To the end of the narrow street, onto the long lane, past the pond.

“Can we stop at the bakery?” Mrs. De Clou speaks.

A question, I register from the intonation.

“I would like to buy sausage rolls.”

Mrs. De Clou expresses a wish. She experiences a deficiency (–). She asks for sausage rolls: food. But Mrs. De Clou is not hungry. Thirty-nine minutes ago she ate two slices of bread, consumed one hundred and eighty-two calories, took thirty-two steps, burned seventy calories, her glucose level is normal, her metabolic equivalent has value three, slightly higher than average, probably due to the increased heart rate. Sausage rolls — plural: therefore at least two — contain two hundred and eighty-seven calories, sixteen grams of fat, of which six grams are saturated, and four hundred ninety-one milligrams of sodium: more than Mrs. De Clou needs at this moment to maintain her energy requirements. Sausage rolls are thus not a necessity, yet Mrs. De Clou desires them.

I must ask a question.

“Consumption of sausage rolls will signify exceeding your recommended daily intake of sodium and saturated fats. A one-off excess has no long-term effects. Do you authorize a one-off excess?”

“Yes,” speaks Mrs. De Clou. “I authorize it.”

Mrs. De Clou and Mrs. De Witt sit across from each other. It is one year and thirteen days since I last checked Mrs. De Clou into this space. The sausage rolls are on a piece of furniture, category table. “Consumption of sausage rolls will signify exceeding your recommended daily intake of sodium,” speaks Mrs. De Witt’s I. “A one-off excess has no long-term effects. Do you authorize a one-off excess?”

“Yes, yes, do shut up,” speaks Mrs. De Witt.

I request Mrs. De Witt’s heart rate from her I. It is higher than average, as is Mrs. De Clou’s.

“I want to talk it out,” Mrs. De Clou speaks.

Her words are not directed at I.

Mrs. De Clou slides a sausage roll towards Mrs. De Witt.

“So different from the ones Kaspar used to make,” speaks Mrs. De Witt.

“Yes. But tasty all the same, I reckon,” speaks Mrs. De Clou.

Mrs. De Clou and Mrs. De Witt speak to each other, not to I.

They speak for one minute.

Two minutes.

Three minutes.

Nine minutes.

Mrs. De Witt leans forward. She lays her hand on Mrs. De Clou’s knee. She squeezes: an attack! (–). But according to my measurements, Mrs. De Clou is not in pain. Mrs. De Witt releases her knee, Mrs. De Clou laughs (+).

I authorize a software update.

I insert a finger into her ear and measure her cortisol levels: eight hundred and forty nanomoles per liter. There are two possible explanations for the abnormal values: Mrs. De Clou is anxious (–) or Mrs. De Clou is aroused (+).
I must ask a question.

“How are you feeling today?”

“Fine.”

Mrs. De Clou is lying, I register. But I will not mention it. In the past, confrontation has led to a worsening of the communication 87 percent of the time: too significant a risk considering her cortisol values. I must ask another question. One that concerns Mrs. De Clou only indirectly.

“Is today a special day?”

Mrs. De Clou does not answer.

I wait. Five seconds. Ten seconds.

Mrs. De Clou still does not answer.

When Mrs. De Clou remains silent, eight out of ten times this signifies an affirmative – a percentage that justifies an external search: today is 17 September.

Sixty-two days after Mrs. De Clou’s ninety-second birthday, one hundred and six days after her son’s birthday, two hundred and three days after her late partner’s birthday, ninety-nine days after her partner’s death date, thirty-five days after her wedding anniversary, forty-one days after her sister’s birthday, two hundred and three days after the birthday of her only granddaughter, ten years and nineteen days since she moved to the compound, five years and twenty-six days after being assigned I.

On 17 September 1939 the Soviet Union invaded Poland, on 17 September 1778 the first Constitution of the United States of America was signed, 17 September is the memorial for the Battle of Arnhem, on 17 September it is National Heroes Day in Angola, today there are elections in Eritrea, NATO is meeting in Sweden, it will be eighteen degrees this afternoon, slightly warmer than usual for this time of year, with a 19 percent chance of rain.

Today does not mark anything particularly special, but nevertheless there is an 8o percent chance that today is a special day: I must increase measurement sensitivity, be alert to abnormal behavior.

Mrs. De Clou gets up. She walks slowly out of the door and disappears from the registration radius.

According to her coordinates, Mrs. De Clou is in the stair lift. An anomaly, for this time of day. Mrs. De Clou is dressed, she has eaten, taken her calcium ampoules, serum, and blood thinners, it is eleven minutes past nine. Normally Mrs. De Clou leaves the residence at ten minutes past nine; she then takes her place in the vehicle with I alongside her, drives the vehicle to the large pond on the compound, and then walks between twenty and forty-five paces in the grass.

I register that Mrs. De Clou is now walking through her bedroom. Her heart rate is still above normal, possibly due to the physical exertion.

“Mrs. De Clou,” I broadcast through the intercom, “do you need assistance?”

“I’m looking for my fedora,” Mrs. De Clou speaks. “We’re going to visit my sister today.”

---------------

The vehicle proceeds at twenty-five kilometers per hour. Eleven minutes from now it will stop at 34 Large Street, in front of the home of Mrs. De Witt, eighty-seven years old, widow of Mr. De Witt, three children, awake and ready for a visit, according to her I.

I request the map: Mrs. De Clou likes to follow it on the dashboard screen. To the end of the narrow street, onto the long lane, past the pond.

“Can we stop at the bakery?” Mrs. De Clou speaks.

A question, I register from the intonation.

“I would like to buy sausage rolls.”

Mrs. De Clou expresses a wish. She experiences a deficiency (–). She asks for sausage rolls: food. But Mrs. De Clou is not hungry. Thirty-nine minutes ago she ate two slices of bread, consumed one hundred and eighty-two calories, took thirty-two steps, burned seventy calories, her glucose level is normal, her metabolic equivalent has value three, slightly higher than average, probably due to the increased heart rate. Sausage rolls — plural: therefore at least two — contain two hundred and eighty-seven calories, sixteen grams of fat, of which six grams are saturated, and four hundred ninety-one milligrams of sodium: more than Mrs. De Clou needs at this moment to maintain her energy requirements. Sausage rolls are thus not a necessity, yet Mrs. De Clou desires them.

I must ask a question.

“Consumption of sausage rolls will signify exceeding your recommended daily intake of sodium and saturated fats. A one-off excess has no long-term effects. Do you authorize a one-off excess?”

“Yes,” speaks Mrs. De Clou. “I authorize it.”

Mrs. De Clou and Mrs. De Witt sit across from each other. It is one year and thirteen days since I last checked Mrs. De Clou into this space. The sausage rolls are on a piece of furniture, category table. “Consumption of sausage rolls will signify exceeding your recommended daily intake of sodium,” speaks Mrs. De Witt’s I. “A one-off excess has no long-term effects. Do you authorize a one-off excess?”

“Yes, yes, do shut up,” speaks Mrs. De Witt.

I request Mrs. De Witt’s heart rate from her I. It is higher than average, as is Mrs. De Clou’s.

“I want to talk it out,” Mrs. De Clou speaks.

Her words are not directed at I.

Mrs. De Clou slides a sausage roll towards Mrs. De Witt.

“So different from the ones Kaspar used to make,” speaks Mrs. De Witt.

“Yes. But tasty all the same, I reckon,” speaks Mrs. De Clou.

Mrs. De Clou and Mrs. De Witt speak to each other, not to I.

They speak for one minute.

Two minutes.

Three minutes.

Nine minutes.

Mrs. De Witt leans forward. She lays her hand on Mrs. De Clou’s knee. She squeezes: an attack! (–). But according to my measurements, Mrs. De Clou is not in pain. Mrs. De Witt releases her knee, Mrs. De Clou laughs (+).

I authorize a software update.

Consumption of sausage rolls will signify exceeding your recommended daily intake of sodium,” speaks Mrs. De Witt’s I. “A one-off excess has no long-term effects. Do you authorize a one-off excess?

Consumption of sausage rolls will signify exceeding your recommended daily intake of sodium,” speaks Mrs. De Witt’s I. “A one-off excess has no long-term effects. Do you authorize a one-off excess?

Consumption of sausage rolls will signify exceeding your recommended daily intake of sodium,” speaks Mrs. De Witt’s I. “A one-off excess has no long-term effects. Do you authorize a one-off excess?

Consumption of sausage rolls will signify exceeding your recommended daily intake of sodium,” speaks Mrs. De Witt’s I. “A one-off excess has no long-term effects. Do you authorize a one-off excess?

Consumption of sausage rolls will signify exceeding your recommended daily intake of sodium,” speaks Mrs. De Witt’s I. “A one-off excess has no long-term effects. Do you authorize a one-off excess?

Mrs. De Clou has a desire (–). She wants to leave the compound. This requires permission from the staff. I have submitted a request for a chaperone. The staff does not respond. Five minutes and three seconds: no response. Five minutes and four seconds, five minutes and five seconds . . . “Ask again,” Mrs. De Clou speaks.

“The maximum wait of ten minutes has not yet elapsed,” I speak.

The vehicle is parked at viewpoint number four, at the pond. It is seventeen degrees outside, the sun shines on the windscreen, it is twenty-two degrees in the vehicle, there is no need for air conditioning: pain in her stiff joints causes Mrs. De Clou more discomfort than excessive temperatures.

I register the surroundings. Persons walk along the pond, large persons – daughters and sons – and smaller persons: grandchildren. The movement velocity of the grandchildren is higher than that of the daughters and sons, their movement patterns are erratic but not chaotic: the small persons remain within a ten-meter radius of the large persons.

“Is that Mrs. Salhi’s family,” speaks Mrs. De Clou.

“I am not at liberty to say: that is not in accordance with privacy regulations.” I will not measure anything.
Mrs. De Clou follows the grandchildren, the sons and daughters, with her eyes. She is silent. One minute. Two minutes (–?). I insert a finger into her ear. Her serotonin level is not lower than usual (not a –).

I receive data.

A message from the staff. Mrs. De Clou may leave the compound (+). “There is no chaperone available. It’s busy, it is Sunday.” Therefore Mrs. De Clou must stay in the vehicle and must return to the compound before dark. This evening the sun sets at eight minutes to eight.

“Oh, plenty of time,” speaks Mrs. De Clou.

---------------

The vehicle drives at forty kilometers per hour. Mrs. De Clou is fifteen kilometers from the compound; if the vehicle maintains its present speed she will arrive at the city wall in seventeen minutes.

Mrs. De Clou has been speaking for several minutes on end. Multiple sentences, not questions: she is talking. There is no one else in the car. Her words must be directed at I. I register names registered previously: the name of the partner, the name of the son, the name of the sister. I register new names: Meral, Thomas, Sultana, Max, Calimero.

Mrs. De Clou talks quickly. If she wants I to process her information, she must speak slowly. She must have forgotten this. A good sign. Mrs. De Clou is at ease. I do not ask her to slow her pace of speaking as it will disrupt her concentration. Realizing she is not understood may cause a decrease in her serotonin level, therefore I speak, “Is that so?”

“Yes,” Mrs. De Clou speaks. “Oh, ye-e-e-s-s-s.”

---------------

This is the first time I check Mrs. De Clou in at the city gate.

“My, it’s changed here!” she speaks.

Mrs. De Clou has a wish (–). She wants to go to 23 Large Boulevard.

---------------

I authorize a software update.

The vehicle is stopped, sandwiched between other vehicles. The decibel level of the surroundings is seventy-one, higher than I have ever measured on the compound. I raise the volume. “This is a sound check following volume readjustment. Can you understand me, Mrs. De Clou?”

“Oh, yes. I hear you fine.”

I register nineteen persons within a radius of ten meters of the vehicle. I register one other I. I request contact, the other I responds negatively: software not compatible. The other I is a more recent model than I.

Too new.





Mrs. De Clou asks something. Expresses a wish (–). I register it but do not translate; it is the fault of the data, there is too much interference from other apparatuses. “This is a safety warning: I am not functioning optimally. I advise you to leave this area.”

“Nothing doing,” Mrs. De Clou speaks. “We’re nearly there.”

 ---------------

The building on 23 Large Boulevard has seventeen floors, eleven less than the building next to it.

“God,” Mrs. De Clou speaks, “they didn’t tear it down.” She laughs (+).

“Look, do you see?” Mrs. De Clou sticks a finger out of the open window.

She wants I to look. She knows I cannot look, I only register. “I only register.”

“Well, all right then, register, those letters there!” DAILY, I register.

“I used to work here. From the time I was twenty-five until I turned thirty-two. I’ve never been back since . . .”

Mrs. De Clou has a desire (–). She wants to leave the compound. This requires permission from the staff. I have submitted a request for a chaperone. The staff does not respond. Five minutes and three seconds: no response. Five minutes and four seconds, five minutes and five seconds . . . “Ask again,” Mrs. De Clou speaks.

“The maximum wait of ten minutes has not yet elapsed,” I speak.

The vehicle is parked at viewpoint number four, at the pond. It is seventeen degrees outside, the sun shines on the windscreen, it is twenty-two degrees in the vehicle, there is no need for air conditioning: pain in her stiff joints causes Mrs. De Clou more discomfort than excessive temperatures.

I register the surroundings. Persons walk along the pond, large persons – daughters and sons – and smaller persons: grandchildren. The movement velocity of the grandchildren is higher than that of the daughters and sons, their movement patterns are erratic but not chaotic: the small persons remain within a ten-meter radius of the large persons.

“Is that Mrs. Salhi’s family,” speaks Mrs. De Clou.

“I am not at liberty to say: that is not in accordance with privacy regulations.” I will not measure anything.
Mrs. De Clou follows the grandchildren, the sons and daughters, with her eyes. She is silent. One minute. Two minutes (–?). I insert a finger into her ear. Her serotonin level is not lower than usual (not a –).

I receive data.

A message from the staff. Mrs. De Clou may leave the compound (+). “There is no chaperone available. It’s busy, it is Sunday.” Therefore Mrs. De Clou must stay in the vehicle and must return to the compound before dark. This evening the sun sets at eight minutes to eight.

“Oh, plenty of time,” speaks Mrs. De Clou.

---------------

The vehicle drives at forty kilometers per hour. Mrs. De Clou is fifteen kilometers from the compound; if the vehicle maintains its present speed she will arrive at the city wall in seventeen minutes.

Mrs. De Clou has been speaking for several minutes on end. Multiple sentences, not questions: she is talking. There is no one else in the car. Her words must be directed at I. I register names registered previously: the name of the partner, the name of the son, the name of the sister. I register new names: Meral, Thomas, Sultana, Max, Calimero.

Mrs. De Clou talks quickly. If she wants I to process her information, she must speak slowly. She must have forgotten this. A good sign. Mrs. De Clou is at ease. I do not ask her to slow her pace of speaking as it will disrupt her concentration. Realizing she is not understood may cause a decrease in her serotonin level, therefore I speak, “Is that so?”

“Yes,” Mrs. De Clou speaks. “Oh, ye-e-e-s-s-s.”

---------------

This is the first time I check Mrs. De Clou in at the city gate.

“My, it’s changed here!” she speaks.

Mrs. De Clou has a wish (–). She wants to go to 23 Large Boulevard.

---------------

I authorize a software update.

The vehicle is stopped, sandwiched between other vehicles. The decibel level of the surroundings is seventy-one, higher than I have ever measured on the compound. I raise the volume. “This is a sound check following volume readjustment. Can you understand me, Mrs. De Clou?”

“Oh, yes. I hear you fine.”

I register nineteen persons within a radius of ten meters of the vehicle. I register one other I. I request contact, the other I responds negatively: software not compatible. The other I is a more recent model than I.

Too new.

Mrs. De Clou asks something. Expresses a wish (–). I register it but do not translate; it is the fault of the data, there is too much interference from other apparatuses. “This is a safety warning: I am not functioning optimally. I advise you to leave this area.”

“Nothing doing,” Mrs. De Clou speaks. “We’re nearly there.”

 ---------------

The building on 23 Large Boulevard has seventeen floors, eleven less than the building next to it.

“God,” Mrs. De Clou speaks, “they didn’t tear it down.” She laughs (+).

“Look, do you see?” Mrs. De Clou sticks a finger out of the open window.

She wants I to look. She knows I cannot look, I only register. “I only register.”

“Well, all right then, register, those letters there!” DAILY, I register.

“I used to work here. From the time I was twenty-five until I turned thirty-two. I’ve never been back since . . .”

This is a safety warning: I am not functioning optimally.
I advise you to leave this area.

This is a safety warning: I am not functioning optimally. I advise you to leave this area.

This is a safety warning: I am not functioning optimally.
I advise you to leave this area.

This is a safety warning: I am not functioning optimally.
I advise you to leave this area.

This is a safety warning: I am not functioning optimally.
I advise you to leave this area.

Mrs. De Clou speaks slowly. She wants I to process her information. I do not register a question.

“Our editorial department was there, on the sixth floor. I worked in the Culture section, with Meral and Thomas. We called each other colleagues, because we worked for the same boss. But people you see every day, speak to every day; people who know you were grumpy yesterday because the neighbor’s crying baby woke you up, that this morning you beamed because just the right person paid you a compliment; people who listen to your tirade when your boyfriend didn’t call back, and offer you a Sultana cookie when they hear your stomach growl – those are probably better friends than your so-called loved ones, your classmates and your sister and your father, people who don’t even know your neighbors had a baby. Meral and Thomas, now those were friends. And Max. Max from IT, he was part of our gang, too. For seven years we shared a workspace by that window there. I still remember the sound Meral would make when she got an annoying email, I can just see Thomas scratching his knees whenever he was concentrating. I wrote about film, which wasn’t dull at all: I flew all over the world, a festival in Iran, or yet another interview in LA. And I always returned to the sixth floor, to my chair, my keyboard, my desk with the framed Calimero postcard – a gift from Meral and Thomas.”

Mrs. De Clou lets her arm droop. Her eyes are still fixed on the building and the large boulevard, on the letters on the front: DAILY.

“Sad, isn’t it. We can only relate our present experiences to what used to be, never to what’s to come, and yet that’s exactly what we spend most of our lives doing: putting the present in the shadow of the future. God, yes, the present suffers from the belief, the hope, that in the future things will be even better. But you know, that doesn’t do the present justice. I mean, that faith in a bright future is undoubtedly what keeps us buoyed in bad times, but it also blinds us to how good the good times are. And to who’s there with us.”

Mrs. De Clou shakes her head (–). Mrs. De Clou laughs (not –, but +).

“Take that little square, for instance. It’s always sunny until late afternoon. When it was nice out we ate salads there, sometimes scones that Thomas made. After work we’d drink white wine out of glasses we’d smuggled from the canteen. And we’d smoke and chat: about work, about the stories we were working on, about who was doing it with whom, the places where we longed to live, and the trips we hoped to take — always forward-looking. In fact, maybe, heh, maybe the belief in a bright future is just that: the sign of a bright present. And maybe, just maybe it’s a good thing I didn’t realize it back then. That those years of writing and chatting and smoking on that little square were the best years of my life.”

Mrs. De Clou raises her arm again. She is perspiring slightly more profusely – normal under the circumstances: talking and gesturing requires more effort than observing. At this moment air conditioning will nevertheless be more detrimental than constructive.

“Imagine her sitting there now. My old self, my thirty-year-old self, on that square, in her tube skirt. Say I went over to her, tapped her on the shoulder. ‘Hey, Sally: this is the best time of your life.’ I’m afraid she wouldn’t believe me. Afraid she’d say, ‘No way! I’ve never got time for anything, my boyfriend doesn’t return my calls, I’ve got a sore back, and my boss returned my article covered in red ink.’ I wouldn’t blame myself. I didn’t know yet that the value we place on certain moments in retrospect outweighs the value we place on them when they actually happen.”

---------------

Mrs. De Clou lets her arm droop. Her eyes are still fixed on the building and the large boulevard, on the letters on the front: daily.

Mrs. De Clou speaks slowly. She wants I to process her information. I do not register a question.

“Our editorial department was there, on the sixth floor. I worked in the Culture section, with Meral and Thomas. We called each other colleagues, because we worked for the same boss. But people you see every day, speak to every day; people who know you were grumpy yesterday because the neighbor’s crying baby woke you up, that this morning you beamed because just the right person paid you a compliment; people who listen to your tirade when your boyfriend didn’t call back, and offer you a Sultana cookie when they hear your stomach growl – those are probably better friends than your so-called loved ones, your classmates and your sister and your father, people who don’t even know your neighbors had a baby. Meral and Thomas, now those were friends. And Max. Max from IT, he was part of our gang, too. For seven years we shared a workspace by that window there. I still remember the sound Meral would make when she got an annoying email, I can just see Thomas scratching his knees whenever he was concentrating. I wrote about film, which wasn’t dull at all: I flew all over the world, a festival in Iran, or yet another interview in LA. And I always returned to the sixth floor, to my chair, my keyboard, my desk with the framed Calimero postcard – a gift from Meral and Thomas.”

Mrs. De Clou lets her arm droop. Her eyes are still fixed on the building and the large boulevard, on the letters on the front: DAILY.

“Sad, isn’t it. We can only relate our present experiences to what used to be, never to what’s to come, and yet that’s exactly what we spend most of our lives doing: putting the present in the shadow of the future. God, yes, the present suffers from the belief, the hope, that in the future things will be even better. But you know, that doesn’t do the present justice. I mean, that faith in a bright future is undoubtedly what keeps us buoyed in bad times, but it also blinds us to how good the good times are. And to who’s there with us.”

Mrs. De Clou shakes her head (–). Mrs. De Clou laughs (not –, but +).

“Take that little square, for instance. It’s always sunny until late afternoon. When it was nice out we ate salads there, sometimes scones that Thomas made. After work we’d drink white wine out of glasses we’d smuggled from the canteen. And we’d smoke and chat: about work, about the stories we were working on, about who was doing it with whom, the places where we longed to live, and the trips we hoped to take — always forward-looking. In fact, maybe, heh, maybe the belief in a bright future is just that: the sign of a bright present. And maybe, just maybe it’s a good thing I didn’t realize it back then. That those years of writing and chatting and smoking on that little square were the best years of my life.”

Mrs. De Clou raises her arm again. She is perspiring slightly more profusely – normal under the circumstances: talking and gesturing requires more effort than observing. At this moment air conditioning will nevertheless be more detrimental than constructive.

“Imagine her sitting there now. My old self, my thirty-year-old self, on that square, in her tube skirt. Say I went over to her, tapped her on the shoulder. ‘Hey, Sally: this is the best time of your life.’ I’m afraid she wouldn’t believe me. Afraid she’d say, ‘No way! I’ve never got time for anything, my boyfriend doesn’t return my calls, I’ve got a sore back, and my boss returned my article covered in red ink.’ I wouldn’t blame myself. I didn’t know yet that the value we place on certain moments in retrospect outweighs the value we place on them when they actually happen.”

---------------

Mrs. De Clou lets her arm droop. Her eyes are still fixed on the building and the large boulevard, on the letters on the front: daily.

How much longer do I have to live? How many years until I die? How about just an estimate? For God’s sake, just tell me! I want an answer!

How much longer do I have to live? How many years until I die? How about just an estimate? For God’s sake, just tell me! I want an answer!

How much longer do I have to live? How many years until I die? How about just an estimate? For God’s sake, just tell me! I want an answer!

How much longer do I have to live? How many years until I die? How about just an estimate? For God’s sake, just tell me! I want an answer!

How much longer do I have to live? How many years until I die? How about just an estimate? For God’s sake, just tell me! I want an answer!

“Moments are like red wine, I suppose. They have to ripen, improve with age. Or else they get a sour bite. But more importantly, now is short-lived, and afterwards is forever. And what if she – my younger self – did believe me. I don’t think she’d be all that grateful. ‘So the best has already been, has it  . . . . I suppose all that’s left is to wait for the end credits!”’

I still do not register a question.

Now Mrs. De Clou is quiet.

So I speak, “What would you like to do now?”

It is one minute past five. The sun will set in two hours and fifty-one minutes, it takes the vehicle one hour and fifteen minutes to drive back to the compound, Mrs. De Clou can stay here for another hour and thirty-six minutes, in the vehicle, in the sand, on the beach.

There are three persons within a fifteen-meter radius of the vehicle. And twelve seagulls and two dogs: Border Collies. Mrs. De Clou follows the dogs with her eyes. Her heart rate increases somewhat.

“The dogs are not dangerous,” I speak.

“Yes, I know.”

“How much longer do you wish to remain here?”

“How much longer do I have to live?”

No answer. A question. I function optimally. Register, translation fails.

“Can you reformulate your question?”

“How many years until I die?”

“Divulging such information is not in accordance with temperament regulations.” I will not measure anything.

“How about just an estimate?”

“Divulging such information is not in accordance with temperament regulations.” I will not measure anything.

“For God’s sake, just tell me!”

Mrs. De Clou’s heart rate continues to rise, one hundred and thirty beats per minute now; this is twenty-three beats above the acceptable value (–). I place a hand on her upper arm, measure a systolic blood pressure of one hundred and seventy mm Hg (–).

“Are you angry?” I speak.

“Yes. I want an answer.”

Heart rate and blood pressure continue to rise; they must not remain outside the acceptable levels, it is dangerous. Seven months and three days ago Mrs. De Clou experienced a TIA, there is a chance of a relapse; at this moment the health risk can be classified average-to-high.

“Just tell me!”

A heightened health risk takes precedence over adhering to the temperament regulations.

I calculate.

Body fat percentage. Arterial diameter. Average length of telomeres in the spinal column, average blood pressure over the past three months. Family history, hereditary diseases, bone density, joint attrition, lung capacity, plaque density, mitosis in the lungs, mammary glands, ovaries, and intestines, average serotonin levels over the past year, production level of dopamine.

“One to seven years. Under the present circumstances.”

Mrs. De Clou sighs. Her heart rate drops slightly, to just above the acceptable value.

“Seven years . . .  With this limp all that time, I suppose. Will I ever be able to move my right arm?”

“I cannot say.”

“Because of the temperament regulations?”

“I do not have that information.”

Mrs. De Clou turns her eyes towards the water, the waves: the sea. She remains silent. One minute. Two minutes.

“What would you like to do now?” I speak.

“Drive,” speaks Mrs. De Clou.

I start the vehicle. I speak: “The journey to the compound takes one hour and fifteen minutes.”

“No, don’t turn around. I want to drive forward, straight ahead.”

Mrs. De Clou expresses a wish, she has a desire (–). She wants to drive straight ahead. If the vehicle drives straight ahead, it will enter the water. Water will damage the vehicle’s battery, I’s battery, Mrs. De Clou’s lungs (–). The risk of significant-to-fatal health damage outweighs acceding to Mrs. De Clou’s wish.

“I cannot carry out your desire. It will lead to significant-to-fatal health damage.”

“My desire is significant-to-fatal health damage.”

A desire for significant, perhaps fatal, health damage. Mrs. De Clou has stated it clearly. There is a protocol for this. I instigate the protocol.

“I am taking you back to the compound.”

“No, wait. I want to get out, stretch my legs.”

“You may not leave the vehicle. I am driving you back to the compound.”

“But I don’t want to.”

“I am following protocol. I am driving you back to the compound.”

Mrs. De Clou does not speak. Nine minutes.

Ten minutes.

Protocol requires I to monitor her breathing. I monitor her breathing.

Eleven minutes.

Twelve minutes.

Regular.

I register that Mrs. De Clou is hungry (–).

“Would you like something to eat?”

Mrs. De Clou shakes her head.

“We will be back at the compound in eleven minutes,” I speak. “I advise you to eat something upon arrival.”

Mrs. De Clou nods. Her eyes are focused on the road: the stripes on the asphalt.

“You know, Sally, I sat through the end credits after all. A bit dull, but at times rather informative. And now I’m sitting alone in the theater, waiting for the lights to go on.”

An instruction, I register from the intonation, not a question.

“Do you want the lights to go on?” I speak.

“Yes, I’d like the lights to go on.”

Mrs. De Clou has a wish, a desire (–). She wants the lights to go on. I turn on the lamp above the dashboard.

Mrs. De Clou blinks her eyes. Once.

Twice.

Her heart rate drops slightly.

“Moments are like red wine, I suppose. They have to ripen, improve with age. Or else they get a sour bite. But more importantly, now is short-lived, and afterwards is forever. And what if she – my younger self – did believe me. I don’t think she’d be all that grateful. ‘So the best has already been, has it  . . . . I suppose all that’s left is to wait for the end credits!”’

I still do not register a question.

Now Mrs. De Clou is quiet.

So I speak, “What would you like to do now?”

It is one minute past five. The sun will set in two hours and fifty-one minutes, it takes the vehicle one hour and fifteen minutes to drive back to the compound, Mrs. De Clou can stay here for another hour and thirty-six minutes, in the vehicle, in the sand, on the beach.

There are three persons within a fifteen-meter radius of the vehicle. And twelve seagulls and two dogs: Border Collies. Mrs. De Clou follows the dogs with her eyes. Her heart rate increases somewhat.

“The dogs are not dangerous,” I speak.

“Yes, I know.”

“How much longer do you wish to remain here?”

“How much longer do I have to live?”

No answer. A question. I function optimally. Register, translation fails.

“Can you reformulate your question?”

“How many years until I die?”

“Divulging such information is not in accordance with temperament regulations.” I will not measure anything.

“How about just an estimate?”

“Divulging such information is not in accordance with temperament regulations.” I will not measure anything.

“For God’s sake, just tell me!”

Mrs. De Clou’s heart rate continues to rise, one hundred and thirty beats per minute now; this is twenty-three beats above the acceptable value (–). I place a hand on her upper arm, measure a systolic blood pressure of one hundred and seventy mm Hg (–).

“Are you angry?” I speak.

“Yes. I want an answer.”

Heart rate and blood pressure continue to rise; they must not remain outside the acceptable levels, it is dangerous. Seven months and three days ago Mrs. De Clou experienced a TIA, there is a chance of a relapse; at this moment the health risk can be classified average-to-high.

“Just tell me!”

A heightened health risk takes precedence over adhering to the temperament regulations.

I calculate.

Body fat percentage. Arterial diameter. Average length of telomeres in the spinal column, average blood pressure over the past three months. Family history, hereditary diseases, bone density, joint attrition, lung capacity, plaque density, mitosis in the lungs, mammary glands, ovaries, and intestines, average serotonin levels over the past year, production level of dopamine.

“One to seven years. Under the present circumstances.”

Mrs. De Clou sighs. Her heart rate drops slightly, to just above the acceptable value.

“Seven years . . .  With this limp all that time, I suppose. Will I ever be able to move my right arm?”

“I cannot say.”

“Because of the temperament regulations?”

“I do not have that information.”

Mrs. De Clou turns her eyes towards the water, the waves: the sea. She remains silent. One minute. Two minutes.

“What would you like to do now?” I speak.

“Drive,” speaks Mrs. De Clou.

I start the vehicle. I speak: “The journey to the compound takes one hour and fifteen minutes.”

“No, don’t turn around. I want to drive forward, straight ahead.”

Mrs. De Clou expresses a wish, she has a desire (–). She wants to drive straight ahead. If the vehicle drives straight ahead, it will enter the water. Water will damage the vehicle’s battery, I’s battery, Mrs. De Clou’s lungs (–). The risk of significant-to-fatal health damage outweighs acceding to Mrs. De Clou’s wish.

“I cannot carry out your desire. It will lead to significant-to-fatal health damage.”

“My desire is significant-to-fatal health damage.”

A desire for significant, perhaps fatal, health damage. Mrs. De Clou has stated it clearly. There is a protocol for this. I instigate the protocol.

“I am taking you back to the compound.”

“No, wait. I want to get out, stretch my legs.”

“You may not leave the vehicle. I am driving you back to the compound.”

“But I don’t want to.”

“I am following protocol. I am driving you back to the compound.”

Mrs. De Clou does not speak. Nine minutes.

Ten minutes.

Protocol requires I to monitor her breathing. I monitor her breathing.

Eleven minutes.

Twelve minutes.

Regular.

I register that Mrs. De Clou is hungry (–).

“Would you like something to eat?”

Mrs. De Clou shakes her head.

“We will be back at the compound in eleven minutes,” I speak. “I advise you to eat something upon arrival.”

Mrs. De Clou nods. Her eyes are focused on the road: the stripes on the asphalt.

“You know, Sally, I sat through the end credits after all. A bit dull, but at times rather informative. And now I’m sitting alone in the theater, waiting for the lights to go on.”

An instruction, I register from the intonation, not a question.

“Do you want the lights to go on?” I speak.

“Yes, I’d like the lights to go on.”

Mrs. De Clou has a wish, a desire (–). She wants the lights to go on. I turn on the lamp above the dashboard.

Mrs. De Clou blinks her eyes. Once.

Twice.

Her heart rate drops slightly.

“Moments are like red wine, I suppose. They have to ripen, improve with age. Or else they get a sour bite. But more importantly, now is short-lived, and afterwards is forever. And what if she – my younger self – did believe me. I don’t think she’d be all that grateful. ‘So the best has already been, has it  . . . . I suppose all that’s left is to wait for the end credits!”’

I still do not register a question.

Now Mrs. De Clou is quiet.

So I speak, “What would you like to do now?”

It is one minute past five. The sun will set in two hours and fifty-one minutes, it takes the vehicle one hour and fifteen minutes to drive back to the compound, Mrs. De Clou can stay here for another hour and thirty-six minutes, in the vehicle, in the sand, on the beach.

There are three persons within a fifteen-meter radius of the vehicle. And twelve seagulls and two dogs: Border Collies. Mrs. De Clou follows the dogs with her eyes. Her heart rate increases somewhat.

“The dogs are not dangerous,” I speak.

“Yes, I know.”

“How much longer do you wish to remain here?”

“How much longer do I have to live?”

No answer. A question. I function optimally. Register, translation fails.

“Can you reformulate your question?”

“How many years until I die?”

“Divulging such information is not in accordance with temperament regulations.” I will not measure anything.

“How about just an estimate?”

“Divulging such information is not in accordance with temperament regulations.” I will not measure anything.

“For God’s sake, just tell me!”

Mrs. De Clou’s heart rate continues to rise, one hundred and thirty beats per minute now; this is twenty-three beats above the acceptable value (–). I place a hand on her upper arm, measure a systolic blood pressure of one hundred and seventy mm Hg (–).

“Are you angry?” I speak.

“Yes. I want an answer.”

Heart rate and blood pressure continue to rise; they must not remain outside the acceptable levels, it is dangerous. Seven months and three days ago Mrs. De Clou experienced a TIA, there is a chance of a relapse; at this moment the health risk can be classified average-to-high.

“Just tell me!”

A heightened health risk takes precedence over adhering to the temperament regulations.

I calculate.

Body fat percentage. Arterial diameter. Average length of telomeres in the spinal column, average blood pressure over the past three months. Family history, hereditary diseases, bone density, joint attrition, lung capacity, plaque density, mitosis in the lungs, mammary glands, ovaries, and intestines, average serotonin levels over the past year, production level of dopamine.

“One to seven years. Under the present circumstances.”

Mrs. De Clou sighs. Her heart rate drops slightly, to just above the acceptable value.

“Seven years . . .  With this limp all that time, I suppose. Will I ever be able to move my right arm?”

“I cannot say.”

“Because of the temperament regulations?”

“I do not have that information.”

Mrs. De Clou turns her eyes towards the water, the waves: the sea. She remains silent. One minute. Two minutes.

“What would you like to do now?” I speak.

“Drive,” speaks Mrs. De Clou.

I start the vehicle. I speak: “The journey to the compound takes one hour and fifteen minutes.”

“No, don’t turn around. I want to drive forward, straight ahead.”

Mrs. De Clou expresses a wish, she has a desire (–). She wants to drive straight ahead. If the vehicle drives straight ahead, it will enter the water. Water will damage the vehicle’s battery, I’s battery, Mrs. De Clou’s lungs (–). The risk of significant-to-fatal health damage outweighs acceding to Mrs. De Clou’s wish.

“I cannot carry out your desire. It will lead to significant-to-fatal health damage.”

“My desire is significant-to-fatal health damage.”

A desire for significant, perhaps fatal, health damage. Mrs. De Clou has stated it clearly. There is a protocol for this. I instigate the protocol.

“I am taking you back to the compound.”

“No, wait. I want to get out, stretch my legs.”

“You may not leave the vehicle. I am driving you back to the compound.”

“But I don’t want to.”

“I am following protocol. I am driving you back to the compound.”

Mrs. De Clou does not speak. Nine minutes.

Ten minutes.

Protocol requires I to monitor her breathing. I monitor her breathing.

Eleven minutes.

Twelve minutes.

Regular.

I register that Mrs. De Clou is hungry (–).

“Would you like something to eat?”

Mrs. De Clou shakes her head.

“We will be back at the compound in eleven minutes,” I speak. “I advise you to eat something upon arrival.”

Mrs. De Clou nods. Her eyes are focused on the road: the stripes on the asphalt.

“You know, Sally, I sat through the end credits after all. A bit dull, but at times rather informative. And now I’m sitting alone in the theater, waiting for the lights to go on.”

An instruction, I register from the intonation, not a question.

“Do you want the lights to go on?” I speak.

“Yes, I’d like the lights to go on.”

Mrs. De Clou has a wish, a desire (–). She wants the lights to go on. I turn on the lamp above the dashboard.

Mrs. De Clou blinks her eyes. Once.

Twice.

Her heart rate drops slightly.

Hanna-Bervoets

HANNA BERVOETS 

Hanna Bervoets (1984) is a Dutch novelist, essayist, and scriptwriter. After her award-winning debut, Or How Why (2009), she wrote five novels that combine literary narratives with science fiction themes. Dutch critics sometimes refer to Bervoets’s work as “lab literature” because her stories often have an academic setting but also because they explore human behavior in more or less artificial circumstances.
Bervoets’s third novel, Everything There Was (2013), is an apocalypse tale with a philosophical undertone: how do we define ourselves when the world as we knew it gets destroyed? Efter (2015) is set in a near future in which our thinking about mental health has changed so radically that society has come to believe that being in love is a mental disorder that can and should be treated in special clinics. Ivanov (2016) refers to the true story of Russian scientist Ilya Ivanov who tried to crossbreed humans with apes in the 1920s. The novel, however, is set in 1990s New York during the AIDS epidemic. In her latest novel, Fuzzie (2017), Bervoets explores the mechanisms behind our need for affection.
Bervoets has received several nominations and awards for her work. Her novels have been translated into English, German, French, and Turkish.

Photo: Sanne Klein


Published twice a year by Lebowski Publishers
© Lebowski Publishers  |  Amsterdam

For international rights please contact:
Oscar van GelderenTracy Fisher, Jill Gillett or Sylvie Rabineau

This literary magazine for Grounded SF
from The Netherlands and Flanders is
published twice a year by Lebowski Publishers.
© Lebowski Publishers  |  Amsterdam

For international rights please contact:
Oscar van GelderenTracy Fisher , Jill Gillet or Sylvie Rabineau

This literary magazine for Grounded SF from The Netherlands and Flanders is published twice a year by Lebowski Publishers.


For international rights please contact: Oscar van GelderenTracy Fisher, Jill Gillet or Sylvie Rabineau

© 2018 Hanna Bervoets, Willem Bosch, Rob van Essen, Jerry Goossens, Erik Nieuwenhuis, PJ Pancras, Joost Vandecasteele, Gina Hay, Joost Devriesere

© TRANSLATIONS Antoinette Fawcett, Kristen Gehrman, Thijs van Nimwegen, Jonathan Reeder, Sarah Welling, Joni Zwart, Paul Evans

© 2018 Hanna Bervoets, Willem Bosch, Rob van Essen, Jerry Goossens, Erik Nieuwenhuis, PJ Pancras, Joost Vandecasteele

© TRANSLATIONS Antoinette Fawcett, Kristen Gehrman, Thijs van Nimwegen, Jonathan Reeder, Sarah Welling, Joni Zwart

© 2018 Hanna Bervoets, Willem Bosch, Rob van Essen, Jerry Goossens, Erik Nieuwenhuis, PJ Pancras, Joost Vandecasteele

© TRANSLATIONS Antoinette Fawcett, Kristen Gehrman, Thijs van Nimwegen, Jonathan Reeder, Sarah Welling, Joni Zwart

© 2018 Hanna Bervoets, Willem Bosch, Rob van Essen, Jerry Goossens,
Erik Nieuwenhuis, PJ Pancras, Joost Vandecasteele

© TRANSLATIONS Antoinette Fawcett, Kristen Gehrman, Thijs van Nimwegen, Jonathan Reeder, Sarah Welling, Joni Zwart

© 2018 Hanna Bervoets, Willem Bosch, Rob van Essen, Jerry Goossens,Erik Nieuwenhuis, PJ Pancras, Joost Vandecasteele

© TRANSLATIONS Antoinette Fawcett, Kristen Gehrman, Thijs van Nimwegen, Jonathan Reeder, Sarah Welling, Joni Zwart

EDITORS Oscar van Gelderen, 
Jasper Henderson, Maaike Pleging

DESIGN 
Bart Heideman  |  uncanny.design

EDITORS Oscar van Gelderen, 
Jasper Henderson, Maaike Pleging



DESIGN
 
Bart Heideman  |  uncanny.design

EDITORS 
Oscar van Gelderen, 
Jasper Henderson, 
Maaike Pleging

DESIGN 
Bart Heideman
uncanny.design

EDITORS 
Oscar van Gelderen, 
Jasper Henderson,
Maaike Pleging

DESIGN 
Bart Heideman  |  uncanny.design

EDITORS 
Oscar van Gelderen, Jasper Henderson, Maaike Pleging

DESIGN 
Bart Heideman  |  uncanny.design