Entertaining the notion

September 15, 2011 § 1 Comment

…because that’s all science fiction is. You take an idea stemming from scientific theory or speculation, entertain the notion that it could be real, and follow it to a set of logical conclusions for anywhere between two and two thousand pages. Beautiful and simple. Any single idea can be interpreted in a myriad of ways, providing for incredible diversity within the genre. Spaceships and light-speed drives make reaching the farthest reaches of the galaxy a cinch? That’s Star Trek. That’s the Ender series. Humans create artificial intelligence only to have it develop sentience and turn on them? That’s the Matrix. That’s Battlestar Galactica. Point being, there’s a million different ways you can go from one jumping-off point.

Now with the end-of-semester project in the back of my mind, I’m trying to think of jumping-off points for a short story of my own since the alternative, a 15-page critique, just sounds nightmarish. The premise has to be original, which means no time machines, no zombie apocalypses (yes, I consider zombies science fiction), and no wars between intergalactic empires. These topics have been beaten to death.

I’d play it.

I want to write something original, but brainstorming for an original story is its own beast altogether. Thankfully I’ve got a couple of ideas already. Like this one:

Geneticists and molecular biologists have discovered the cause of aging (Hayflick limit). If we know what causes it, what’s to keep us from stopping it? What would be the implications of immortality? Sure you’d have all the time in the universe (or at least until our sun collapses into itself),  but think about the consequences: overpopulation, scarcity of resources, ethical controversy, losing that sense of purpose that comes with mortality. If you can’t tell, I’m leaning toward a tale of the dystopian variety.

Schuyler

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§ One Response to Entertaining the notion

  • ghostofdurruti says:

    My two cents: I think you’re assigning too much importance to the originality of the basic concept. There’s a pretty large chance that–even when you think you’ve come up with an original idea–someone, somewhere, has already written a story about the same subject. (Case in point? Torchwood: Miracle Day explores pretty much the same ideas that you suggest exploring in your last paragraph.) I understand wanting to avoid concepts that have been done to death, but I think the particular manner in which you explore some idea matters a good deal more than the idea itself.

    Like

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