First Impressions

October 15, 2012 § 2 Comments

1.  There used to be a name for gifted people like Aiko. Tobi ga taka wo umu, or a hawk born from kites.  Only now, everyone can be a hawk.

2.  If you ask for her most treasured memory, she’ll tell you it’s a scent.  Ask her for her favorite story, and she’ll say it’s a song.

3.  Before he left for his expedition from Narita Station, I remember seeing sakura blossoms fall behind him in frail, blushing blankets.  He told me to expect his messages  to arrive from across the intergalactic drift when the streets were covered once more.  This year, the petals were as white as snow. The Federation decided that pink was distasteful.

4.  Julian dragged himself from beneath his blankets as the morning alarm rang incessantly in his bedroom.  As always, he gave a deep shudder as he uploaded himself into his school’s network.  Mondays were the worst.

5.  Harry quickly spit out the meatloaf that the lunch lady had unceremoniously dumped on his tray.  It tasted far too much like an E sharp.

Please enjoy my first lines for the sci-fi stories running through my head.  Which one would you be most inclined to read?

-Angela L.



Gimme Five

October 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

B6:  Five ideas for “hooks” to kick-start a Sci-Fi story…

1)  As soon as he stepped foot on the ship’s bridge, the Captain understood why he’d been disturbed from his much-needed slumber. Resting before him, in a forgotten solar system in a forgotten outskirt of the Milky Way, was a little rock long since dismissed as legend.  Suddenly aware that all eyes were on him, his jaw snapped shut and he murmured, eyes still lost in the blue and green, “Officer Boyd, send a dispatch to headquarters and tell them we found it… We found Earth.”

2)  The day of my accident, every news outlet in the world was reporting on the first-ever contact with intelligent extraterrestrial life.  When I came to twelve days later, I could only gather two things: 1) They were smarter than we were, and 2) They were not friendly.

3)  “Any last words, buddy?” one of the twenty-first-century soldiers shouted.  The screen projected on the interior of my helmet visor flashed “CALCULATIONS COMPLETE”: 8 adversaries, 5 arranged in a semicircle (distances 7-18 feet) and 3 detected on nearby rooftops (distances 38, 49, and 71 feet).  In a word?  Easy.  I suppressed a grin as I responded, “A word of advice: Never bring a gun to a laser fight.”

4)  In the midst of finger pointing, heated shouting, the clamor of alarms, and the groans of injured crew members, my eyes gravitated toward the look of utter shock on the face of Ted Yang, the ship’s Head Scientist, and that’s when I knew: We were never going back.

5)  If there was a silver lining to my prodigious black eye, it was the first-hand knowledge that I could throw a pretty decent punch.


Killer Hooks

October 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

A macabre series of opening lines to match the title of this blog post.

1. As Peter gazed at the colossal asteroid, it gazed straight back at him and blinked.

2. The being was divine it seemed, containing a conscience so vast and powerful it single-handedly made Jeff a believer.

3. Through the lens of the microscope, back into the nightmare, thought Dr. Chang. The strain was simply resistant to everything that was thrown at it. It just would not die.

4. As the morning sun evaporated the lingering fog, it appeared in the distance: the last island, the last truly uncharted place on this planet. It was then they heard a roar, an old roar, a primeval, carnivorous roar.

5. The signal that was being emitted was a sort of electromagnetic pulse that acted on human brain rather that technology. 10,000 of society thrown out the window; we were back in the wild. And it was war.

-Pranav Santapuram


Hook, Line & Sinker

October 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

Fourscore and seven years ago, the world turned to darkness. Utter and complete darkness. The government had ignored the signs; the people had ignored the signs. Nobody was to blame, but everybody was to blame. The list of pointed fingers was endless.

Pounding heart. Tunnel vision. Dr. Bryan’s lungs screamed for air as he waited for the thing to pass. He exhaled softly with his hand clasped to his mouth, but he was not soft enough. It stopped next to the table he was under, and he hugged his knees to his chest, his knuckles starkly white against the black handle of the scalpel in his hand.

Humanity’s greatest achievement had become its worst nightmare. No amount of backpedaling could reverse what had transpired over the past few months. There were only two possible solutions: to run or to hide, and each had remarkably low rates of survival.

The ship hurtled through the atmosphere with no concept of the planet’s space or time, much too fast for an approach vector. While the Planetary Guard’s docking bays could be calibrated for relativistic effects, it was clear that the pilot of this craft had no intention of landing safely. The commander gave the order for the space-time turrets to open fire, but it was already too late.

“My life’s work between my own two fingers,” I thought, examining the pill’s milky translucence under the fluorescent lighting. The countless nights in the lab; the many trials and many errors; the rat bites pockmarking my fingers – all of these had culminated into my dream and ambition: a way to make man…perfect.

Hadley Wilson, B6

Blog 6: Sci-fi Pickup Lines

October 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

1. Millions of years before the rise of unicellular life, Earth was bathed in a sea of organic compounds. Each individual compound was endowed with its own chemical signature as well as a distinct volition that modern man calls consciousness – enabling each compound to intentionally violate the cold, impersonal laws that nowadays underpin all chemical bonding.

2. They say that at absolute zero, all motion – as well as passage of time – ceases to exist.

3. Tabkur was a medium-sized, Earth-like planet that revolved in a figure-eight pattern around two red giants in the Andromeda galaxy. For Tabkur’s inhabitants, two millennia had passed since their planet had last wandered dangerously close to one of their suns.

4. I slammed my textbook down on the counter: what kind of archaic scientific readings did my instructor assign me today? Discovery of the Higgs boson, final proof of the string theory…even my grandfather, who was born on the exact day on which Einstein would have turned 300, thinks my textbook is antiquated.

5. Detective Johnson clipped into his belt a shiny metallic weapon – an antimatter pistol that shot infinitesimal quantities of the exotic substance, resulting in spectacular matter-antimatter annihilations capable of wiping a human being from the face of Earth.

Sean Justin Lee

5 Engaging Starting Points

October 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

1. Everyone had expected the international release of the commercial time machine to be the start of a new knowledge revolution – past, present and future always at your fingertips. However, no one could have predicted the horrors that came hand in hand with the ability to see from the beginning to the end of the human race.

2. “We’re sorry, but even with your high IQ, we are unable to authorize your college application without the proper genetic disease modifications.”

3. In twenty years, the extinction of the human race will most likely be complete. The propensity towards “designer babies” two thousand years ago started an evolutionary downward spiral.

4. After one hundred years, everyone I knew has grown old and died. I’ve increasingly been questioning my decision to transfer my thoughts and memories into ‘the machine’ to live forever.

5. Mindy had hoped that she could live in a world where humans and aliens could love each other peacefully – the Planet Impartiality Act was supposed to mediate any issues. But over the past few years, segregation and animosity had been vigorously increasing.

-Lexi Blog 6

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