- by Gitabushi
I might never get my act together and write consistently.
Ah, screw the long-winded introduction. Let’s just get right into it:
Here are some story ideas I’ve started and abandoned. If you like any of them, use them. Whatever you would do with them would be so different than what I would do with them, most people wouldn’t even be able to tell they came from the same idea seed. And that’s if I ever wrote any more on these stories, which I probably won’t, so if you use any of these, you won’t even owe me a mention on your acknowledgement page.
- Science Fiction story: a spy ship is on a mission to collect intelligence from an enemy world. Detected, it flees. But a traitor within prevents it from escaping, and the crew is captured. Basically, the point was a Science Fiction remix of the capture of the USS Pueblo and the Collision of the Chinese Fighter with the EP-3, with my thoughts on leadership and responsibility thrown in. Does the pilot/commander have the responsibility to sacrifice his people for mission secrecy? Or, at what point do military secrets matter less than a handful of lives? Does it matter if those lives are volunteers who accepted their lives might be forfeit the moment they stepped on the craft? And how do you lead your people to resist mind-games while in captivity?
- Fantasy story: Magic in this world is placed into twigs via ritual. Breaking the twig releases the magic. It can do things like increase strength, increase distance vision, permit levitation, etc. But each use of magic draws upon the normal powers or energy of the user. So, for example, if you use the vision enhancement twig, your vision is weakened for a few hours after the spell runs out. If you use several magic twigs to boost the effect or delay the cost, then you risk permanent disability. Placed in the context of war, the intent was to explore the sacrifices soldiers make to complete the mission.
- Private Eye Noir story: man wakes up to find a red-haired woman wearing bright green pointing a gun at him. She asks him a few inexplicable questions, then pistol whips him into unconsciousness. I have no idea what I was going to do with this, I just thought it was a good start. One possibility was when he goes out looking for the girl, he finds a red-haired girl in bright green has been murdered…but is it a frame? Is it even the same girl?
- Science Fiction story: Due to an unknown development (but likely a microbe unexpectedly brought back from Mars), children are born without the ability to heal wounds. This should cause them to die before passing on their genes, but one rich family spares no expense to let their son live a full life: protective equipment when young, ballet and martial arts teachers from before they can walk to have the grace/balance to avoid damage. This method spreads to the point that there are hundreds of millions of people afflicted with unhealing, but someone uses fear of the unhealing to stir up hatred, and a war breaks out. The superior grace, balance, and fighting ability of the unhealing results in them eradicating the genetic line of the healing, and civilization collapses, and all modern knowledge is lost within 40-50 years. But a moon colony has been watching this, developed a cure for affliction, and now wants to come back and re-introduce civilization, but as masters. So the healing serum is offered to a young fighter to seduce him into being their general. Being able to heal, he can be more reckless in individual duels to ascend to tribal champion, then unite the various tribes by conquest. Except maybe he has plans of his own. Intent was to show that some of the arguments about evolution are garbage (“See the giraffe? The long neck helped them survive by reaching the tops of trees when other animals starved! That proves evolution!”), but also the nature of using hate to build political power, and the desire of people to be rulers/masters.
- Epic Science Fiction universe: An asteroid barely misses the earth, inspiring a wealthy entrepreneur to fund a generation ship to another solar system. Inhabitants go through a trial to make it on the ship. The ship launches. A few weeks later, a mission to terraform Mars is launched. Then an asteroid hits the earth, destroying most of life. This allows all sorts of science fiction stories: how are people selected to be crew on the generation ship? You don’t want only intellectual scientists and engineers…do you? Apocalypse stories. Maintaining civilization on a ship stories. Moon colony stories. Mars terraforming stories. Rebuilding civilization stories. Could maybe even through in a zombie apocalypse, or magic re-emerging on earth in the wake of the asteroid apocalypse. Epic.
- Science Fiction story: FTL needs pilots. Humans go insane from brain damage if they remain awake during FTL travel. Computers also fail if left on during FTL travel. An accidental discovery indicates that children that have passed into the Pre-Operational stage (ages 2-7) can pilot ships without brain damage; obviously, a two year old couldn’t follow the steps correctly, but their brain development stage allows them to experience the FTL environment without damage. In the Concrete Operational stage (age 7-11), brain damage begins to occur; however, the damage doesn’t actually impact the mental activity until they achieve Formal Operational (around age 11). The government needs pilots. Age 2-7 is too short a time period for useful mission operation to be worth the training, so the government allows kids to keep piloting until they actually go insane. However, few parents would agree to this, so the pilots are all orphans. After they go insane, they are allowed to mingle, have sexual intercourse, and birth children…who are, of course, Wards of the State and eligible to be pilots. To justify this virtual slavery, the pilots are given a good salary and the ability to buy out their contract. Most, being kids, just buy toys and candy. One child, however, actually enjoys the idea of investing and manages to buy out his contract before experiencing any brain damage. He gets out and goes into business and becomes wealthy, due to his ability to plan for the future, work hard, and delay gratification. Then one day, a gray man comes to him and says, “Your little brother is still in, but will reach the damaging stage some time within the next year. Join me.” This idea was conceived in reaction to Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, in which children think and act like adults. It pissed me off. Plus, I wanted to write an epic Star Wars like space opera romp, of a ragtag crew fighting against an all-powerful, and banally-evil govt. I always like stories where the govt is the bad guy, but not from Rule the World evil as much as People Are Liabilities and Must be Told What to Do and How to Live sort of evil.