Name: Dr. Adileh Khayyam
Role: Site-43 Department of Psychology, Humanoid Anomaly Specialist
Description: Dr. Adileh Khayyam is an experienced psychologist who's worked with the Foundation for almost a decade. Having treated and worked with multiple humanoid and sentient anomalies, Dr. Khayyam has developed a reputation for being an omnipresent shoulder to cry on for those on both sides of the containment chamber. She routinely serves as a counsellor for not only anomalies but also staff members on-site.
Outside of work hours, Dr. Khayyam plays jazz piano as part of the Site-43 Zoetrope Quartet and occasionally writes pieces for intra-Foundation journals covering such subject matter such as work-related stress and Ethics Committee dealings.
- The Fountain of Lamneth (ラムネスの泉) by kidonoi
- SCP-2630 by kidonoi
- To Be Noir Not To Be (ノワールになるか、ならないか) by kidonoi
- Operation LLEWYN DARK (オペレーション・リーウィン・ダーク) by kidonoi
- Allison Eckhart (アリソン・エッカート) by C-Dives
- SCP-2495 by kidonoi
Essay on Style
My writing style has a few really obvious influences – Neal Stephenson, William Gibson, Charlie Stross – and a couple less obvious ones – TyGently, A Random Day, minmin. I'm going to say that I'm definitely not an author who should be imitated, in that it's painful for even me to have to write things in the way I do. Depending on who you ask, it's even more painful having to actually read the end result of this process.
I have a couple really strong points in my writing, the biggest of which is my style slash imagery. I think that in both SCPs and tales alike, mental image is an important part of the final product that needs to be polished and honed down to a fine point – whether that be the cyberpunk fireworks of Lamneth, or the advertising insanity of wasp soap, I try to hit a good mental image and mine it for all it's worth, whatever that means.
In the case of Lamneth, it meant getting back to the classics of the genre. It meant re-reading Neuromancer, Snow Crash, and finally getting round to reading The Laundry Files, for which I am eternally grateful to sirpudding. It also meant hours spent bashing out the draft when I should've been doing an assignment – luckily, I didn't totally botch it, but it goes to show the kind of magnetism good images have on me.
Wasp soap was a different situation, because different forms demand different approaches. However, the core of the approach is the same – focus that image, boil the shit out of anything that doesn't add to that image and repeat until you have a good skip. Wasp soap was inspired by an oddball idea in chat that managed to metamorphose into a candy-coloured commercial horror with the aid of dental anaesthetic. (At least the upvotes helped with the pain.)
I will say, however, that a lot of the time my focus on imagery detracts from stuff that isn't special effects, such as character. Rimple is a better man than I in these kinds of situations – his attention to subtlety and help in shaping the pure emotional core of A Memorandum helped hone it into a much stronger piece at the end of it all. Both SCP-2338 and SCP-948 are masterclasses in that kind of punch, which is why I'll scab off him for character tips relentlessly.
Speaking of scabbing, that's another one of the features of my writing style, namely that some of the best inspiration from my closest friends and colleagues on the site. TyGently's excellent Friendly Vacuum article, as well as their advice, was what fuelled my last-minute Christmas Gift of Space Lesbian Robots that is I Stand Atop a Spiral Stair, which arguably featured Ty's article over Conwell's (many, many, many) articles.
The final part of what makes both my writing style and this community tick is the emphasis on collaboration that lies at the heart of it all, which is why I supported the Wikiwalk proposal. I love nothing more than to help an article grow to fruition, and I also adore seeing what people create with the ideas of others (and myself, for utterly unbiased reasons.) Crosslinks and using other people's concepts – see also the excellent Under Control – are both great features of the community I enjoy not only writing with but also reading about.
So that just about sums up my writing style: a crowdsourced mish-mash of ideas packaged into a tight bundle of imagery, unconventional storytelling and the odd shot of bittersweet irony. If you're reading this, best of luck on your writing journey, and I hope to see your article on the site some day. Rock on.
– <3, AE
At least Zyn liked it.
A large part of the coolness of the skip is pre-SCP-2370 realising he's SCP-2370…
It's a cool idea, and I see how it could be used in tales and the like…
– Jacob Conwell
SCP-2370 is my first article on the site, and what a kick it is to be saying that with all the experience I've gained from my writing career on the site. You can pretty obviously see my influences shine through: I'm a time-travel nerd with my roots in Steins;Gate and L'Engle alike, as well as a passion for robotics skimmed off of Conwell. It's kind of got that whole newbie sheen on it, where I'm flailing for upvotes and ideas in the Discussion – Scorpion451's tireless patience with a million desperate authors is herculean, if not nigh-on oblivious.
Despite the relatively cliche story and the awkwardness in how I phrase my ideas, I don't mind having this one in my back pocket. It's a cozy little skip that tells an old time travel story in a hopefully new way, while also using a relatively unconventional time travel method to do it.
As a hardcore cyberpunk fan, this appeals to me. It perfectly encapsulates the feeling of classic Gibsonian cyberpunk and pulls it into the Foundationverse.
As said in chat, this is the best thing I've read in months. Excellent work.
Somebody hasn't been to enough dive bars.
I think it's set in the Maxwell net and involves getting a meme virus out of someone's head or something
– Jack Ike
There was quite the gap between 2370 and this article, which I think is either a sign of my maturing on the site or a sign of my inability to write things according to any meaningful deadline, as multiple contests and I Stand Atop A Spiral Stair will both attest. Whatever my opinions, I can say with honesty that what happened in the intervening months was great for me both personally and writing-wise. I got acquainted with the cliques of the site, made friends, gave crit, did all the classic things that people forget to do when they're focussed on that first page.
That time spent socialising meant that I was also able to encounter GreenWolf, A Random Day and TyGently – the ringleaders of the Third Law canon, which wasn't even a thing at that point in time. I'd also started work on Operation LLEWYN DARK, which lead to the evergreen "psat setana when" meme courtesy of Ty, but I'd stalled on its conclusion to the chagrin of all involved.
One weekend, while I was taking a break from the hustle and bustle of school life, I picked up Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash and began to read. The kick of cyberpunk was the catalyst for the creation of this particular tale: an energetic infusion of 80s counterculture, informational weaponry and nerdy jokes that ideally reads like a scene from a scrapped film from the time when Akira and Ghost in the Shell were a thing.
It did two things I'm proud of: matured my skills with imagery and kicked off Third Law. I'm also proud of it just with regards to writing, since it features some of (in my opinion) my strongest lines and concepts.
Of course, it also features my repeated problem with "not writing the promised sequels for months on end." I swear to god I'm going to fix that one day.
I've been waiting for this to be posted for ages now. Good work, Aiden.
A good story mixed with a solid primer on paratechnology and an admirable combination of different formats. I've been looking forward to this for a while. As you know.
Excellent work. I particularly like the idea of a 'microscopic tartarean pinhole', and thoroughly enjoyed this tale.
First person to make a Code Geass joke gets stabbed.
Again, this displays my persistent ability to snatch one concept from another person's tale – in this case, the NDA-geas mentioned in A Random Day's excellent T-Minus – and build it into an entire story – magic health alert satellites using mind control insurance policies that go horribly wrong! Formatting and plot elements take inspiration from AJMansfield's history of demonics article.
LLEWYN DARK is a showcase for my technical writing flair and my ability to talk out my own ass to make things seem as plausible as possible. It was written after reading Stross' The Jennifer Morgue, and combines three of my favourite things: well-defined magic concepts, satellites, and —people dying horribly Prometheus Labs. I wanted to present an inversion of the traditional "lol Prometheus fucked up again" by having it happen and – more importantly – having it not be Prometheus' fault.
If you look at it the right way, it's an uplifting story about organisations putting aside their follies and foibles for the common good of mankind, and going into space to exorcise some demons and kick some ass. It's meant to be immersive, it's meant to be plausible-ish in-universe and it's meant to be simple, 80s sci-fi throwback fun.
<~GreenWolf> UPVOTE UPVOTE UPVOTE
– ~GreenWolf mashes button
mechanical auguration is nice.
This was originally written on a train ride back home, when I was tired, suffering from caffeine withdrawal symptoms and a painful bloody headache. Following the spitballing session that led to the development of the necromancy tale, I decided to take the idea of automated necromancy that's actually necromancy (that is, divination using corpses) and make it into a skip. I slapped up a neat little draft and posted it in a side chan. G-dubs and co. got hyped over it, and (again) I sat on my hands for a while.
Upon revisiting it, I decided that the weirdness of the concept alone could be used for much greater effect, and as any hack will tell you, "if you don't know how to do something, rip off someone who can." So I turned to my favourite example of "WTF weird", SCP-1193, and tried to copy the "semantic whiplash" technique from the skip by piling on absurd detail after absurd detail. I also decided to ditch the Series III semi-trope of story being told through addendums 'n' such and left the majority of the story implied.
The name Reikia comes from TyGently, although I'm sure he never actually intended for it to be used that way.
Questions you might be asking:
- What's Incident 219-Keynes?
There was a little economic meltdown that happened in 2011 you might be aware of. Whoopsies!
- Where did the human intestines come from?
"SCP-2630 should never come into contact with animal products or live animals at any time."
- What's the tragic golfing incident?
She was hit in the head by a rather large fragment of a well-known satellite.
There's not a lot of good tales about people on the site. This is one of them.
The emails and correspondence have a lot of nice flow, and I really find them to be believable. There is good characterization here, and you can really feel the different personalities of the various hands involved.
– Jacob Conwell
I was prepared to be disappointed by fancy schmancy try hard format screw or unnecessarily wonky storytelling but it was excellent epistolary tale
This was difficult for me to write, although if I describe how I wrote it, it doesn't exactly seem that way.
Let me explain: when you really get down to it, there are four main elements of any really successful piece of writing, namely plot, character, setting and style. Operation LLEWYN DARK was my attempt at writing for plot and setting, while Lamneth was style and setting over just about anything else (as the comments stating "tf is this I don't even" would suggest). Memorandum attempted to address the gaping hole in all this, namely, characterisation, with a good dose of style.
The idea of this tale came from me reading an article in the paper (one I actually linked in the discussion page, to boot) about paramedics and the culture of psychological abuse that's developed around the career. I've made no secret about my particular struggles with mental health and that article hit me straight in the gut. Combine the kick of grief-powered adrenaline with the subconscious urge to write character drama and I turned out this particular piece.
I wrote the entire draft in about five hours. It's gone through exactly three changes since the first draft – the first was to elaborate on Fletcher being sent to the med bay, the second was to make clear Morgan's motivation behind shutting down the D-Class' account and the third was to fix some typos in the timestamps in the security log. Rimple continues to prove themselves as a crit barometer, as I posted it expecting it to be downvoted to hell and found instead a +12 rating some time later.
The bulk of the characterisation and plot is delivered through the negative space in the notes: the sheen of passive-aggression that Morgan displays, the D-Class' abortive attempts at helping Fletcher heal, Khayyam's thinly-veiled desperation at seeing his mental health go into a free-fall. The epistolary form of the tale, too, is also guided by the clinical, detached feeling of examining the various memos and emails a bunch of colleagues sent to each other.
That being said, it might feel convoluted or difficult to follow for some readers – that's perfectly fine, given the slightly obfuscated format of the tale. It's unconventional, sure, and it could just as easily come off as melodramatic, no doubt, but at its prime it's an epistolary narrative telling the story of a toxic institutional culture and its effects on a group of characters who can only watch as it wears down an innocent person whose only crime was caring.
I like how you tie the rise of Noir fiction to anomalous meta-narrative warfare, and the idea of characters popping in and out of the written word armed to the teeth with fictional sci-fi tech is pretty inventive.
– Jacob Conwell
It's like eating freshly prepared General Tso's Chicken wrapped in gold leaf.
I can't really say much for this one. This idea smacked me over the head at school after reading The Big Sleep and for whatever reason I could not let go of that goddamn concept, so I banged out a draft and showed it to Pig_catapult on chat before posting it on a whim. This was meant to be a somewhat light-hearted, fun, and most definitely unconventional look at the SCPverse in general, and it's a bit of an oddball even in the… already pretty unconventional atmosphere of Third Law.
Allison motherfucking Eckhart.
I don't know why people keep insisting I hate clever things.
I honestly upvoted quite early at the phrase "autosynecdochic semantic pointer, believed to be the result of an artificially induced conceptual fractal" and dared the entry to reverse my vote as I kept reading.
I don't know why… I liked this.
– Doctor Cimmerian
Surprisingly, this doesn't get as annoying as it should.
In retrospect, this was probably another victim of the "Fuck It Let's Post" Syndrome that I seem to keep falling into. Allison Eckhart is probably the most oddly controversial thing I've written yet, which is probably to be expected. There were similarities to two of Scantron's skips – SCP-2602, which used to be a library, as well as Di Molte Volci, which was posted pretty damn close to when Allison Eckhart came out.
If anything, though, I'd say it's more reminiscent of Inside, considering the semantic fuckery going on in that as well as the repetition of a word/phrase ("is/became inside", "Allison Eckhart"). That all being said, I don't feel the similarities to other SCPs are the main flaw of the article – rather, the logical flaws that psul pointed out.
The weakness of the article is its lack of a really strong internal logic apart from "ha, it funny". Allison Eckhart is predicated around the slow, semantic horror of having literally everything become Allison Eckhart. The clouds are Allison Eckhart, the water is Allison Eckhart and the skin flakes of Allison Eckhart are all Allison Eckhart.
The problem here is that how the Eckhartransmutation actually occurs is ill-defined and inconsistent. If I get around to rewriting it, correcting this fuckup is probably going to be top priority, as is correcting the odd pacing and escalation (which went from "huh, that's cute" to "oh god the entire planet's breathing Allison Eckhart fukkkk").
Very sloppy, needs a rewrite. Not happy with this.
– Jacob Conwell
Your goddess approves.
Dedekind was yet another one of those tales that I had Ty and Randomini waiting on like some authorial version of using a fishing rod and a dollar bill to get someone to run around in circles. It's a tale written in a mood that could be succinctly described as "fuck it all, fuck seriousness, fuck you, fuck me" and it shows it proudly: Alliott Chao is a follower of the goddess that is the physical embodiment of not giving a single damn, and the general mood of the piece is less than serious.
I'm very pleased with a single piece of description in this – can you guess which one? – as well as the chance to just have some wacky fun times with two of my favourite GoIs, those being the Black Queen and the Unusual Incidents Unit. The whole "eigenweapons" deal is going to be fleshed out some more, courtesy of A Random Day – feel free to get hype about it if you'd like.
Can you say "out of left field?"
I adore this; it's vivid and emotional and intelligently written. And thanks for the shoutout, let's coldpost tales into the sunset together
how dare you make me have emotions take your upvote you monster
This is a very unconventional approach to the Anderson Robotics saga as a whole, mainly because a) since Conwell wrote like a million tales for the GoI what the fuck Conwell everything he writes is "conventional" by definition and b) because he's very, very good at writing Anderson tales. While I'd written about Mr. Roboto in Dedekind, it was a light-hearted approach that I didn't really feel would be appropriate for a more character-driven approach to the GoI.
It's also one of those tales that took a ridiculous amount of time to get from conception to completion, mainly because I wasn't sure how to write trans characters well (Kari's implied to be a trans woman, although it's a subtle allusion, I'll admit), to say nothing of trying to pull together a coherent plot out of my brainsludge. While absently stalking reading up on best doggo TyGently's output, I read up on The Friendly Vacuum, which has fast become one of my favourite SCPs full stop – it was also the catalyst that really crystallised Spiral Stair.
Sci-fi has had a continuing obsession with the inhuman, but as Stanislaw Lem put it, "We have no need of other worlds. We want mirrors." While I still think Soulless is the foremost authority on the alien meeting the human in disquieting ways, this tale was partially my attempt at leveraging an inhuman perspective as a distorted reflection on the human psyche.
Wankery aside, this was written from a raw and uncritted place when I finally finished it, a day late for Gaffsey's deadline. Maybe that's part of its appeal. I dunno. Whatever the case may be, this tale has a special place in my heart.
This works as a concentration (and re-hashing) of the antimemetics milieu - tlaol indeed.
Thank you for sending me back down the antimemetics rabbit hole. This is a very handy collection of skips and stories, this is. :D
I really quite like the Antimemetics series, if you couldn't tell, and when the History Contest came up, I went trawling through my notes on a couple other historical-ish SCPs before remembering a conversation I'd held with atomicthumbs on the subject of their Project Viewpoint SCP. The tie into one of the better-known historical conspiracy theories out there was a godsend in this particular case, as it gave me something to chew on and really fully flesh out into something cool: add to that the insane hallucinogenic properties of Y-Class mnestic and the requisite dash of mind-fuck that comes with all the antimemetics tales and you have Matterminded, basically.
Short and effective / The ideal I aspired to / Upvote for ego.