Friday, October 1, 2010


Every November, I participate in National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoRiMo as it is known to the literary faithful.  The object is to have 50,000 words of a novel written by the midnight hour that breaks November 30th from December 1st.  It is a time of late nights and early mornings, of cold coffee and takeout food, of housecleaning that goes undone, and family members who get testy from your absence.  
I have a few kernels of ideas for this year's opus and I am undecided as to which one to pursue.  So I thought it would be fun to toss it to you, dear Strangers.  Which science fiction book would you most like to read?

-A robot probe is launched to Mars.  The rocket carrying it malfunctions and the probe crashes into the Chicago suburbs.  The robot, however, still believes itself to be on Mars.  A darkly comical and at times terrifying tear through suburbia ensues.  The team that goes after it becomes stunned when they discover their robot project is not what they thought it to be.

-This is one for Ghost Dogg.  Two brothers teach in the Humanities Department of a small, liberal arts college in Indiana.  They discover that one of their colleagues, an English professor and an expert on the works of William Faulkner, aches to communicate and interact with his literary idol.  He builds a robotic version of Faulkner.  Unintended consequences ensue.

-In an alternate version of Victorian England, Sir David Reginald Jones is a brilliant inventor as well as the world's first punk rock star.  Together with John "Montana" Smith, a preacher from America, he must stop the insidious co-plottings of a Chinese Mandarin and a re-animated pharaoh from ancient Egypt.  Intrigue, pulp, and Steampunk for everyone!

-A novel split between two time eras: 1947 and the current day. An alien survives the crash at Roswell and eventually escapes.  In the present day storyline, we see how that event ties in with current conspiracies and even the commercial products we take for granted.  Sorry if it sounds vague, this one is still forming.

-In a cyberpunk future, a clean-cut man homeless man shows up preaching the values of peace, love, and selflessness.  He wanders the nation, living off of the grid and with no discernible records or history.  He forwards email messages to his followers, messages that have somehow originated outside of the Net.  Gradually, he grows more and more insane and depressed, manic at the displays of greed and hatred that he sees, crying of people have misunderstood everything he told them "the last time he was here."  The powers that be begin to see him as a threat and want him either committed or killed.  I think you know who he is...but will anybody else believe it?

-A bit of Dieselpunk.  In an alternate version of World War II, one fought with the inclusion of computers and a proliferation of jet fighters, the Nazis are on the verge of a high tech weapon most foul.  A team of guys is sent on a mission behind enemy lines to win the day.

-The crew of a spaceship returns to Earth...only to find it in ruins.  There are scattered enclaves of people who have banned together to live in domed cities while the remainder of humanity scavenges a living as animals amongst the rocks.  The crew is rescued by the "civilized" ones...only they are not who they appear to be.  A stark commentary on the cultural division in the US.  Watch me as I rip off about four different sci fi memes.

-As long as I'm ripping things off, howzabout an alien invasion story?  Told from multiple points of view in an almost interview-like form?  Just like Norman Mailer's The Naked and the Dead?  Only this invasion is done genetically as humans are converted to aliens.  As Edward the Longshanks said in Braveheart, "if we can't get them out, we'll breed them out."  If this is too much like World War Z (which I have not read) to work, I can dump it right now.

You may begin

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1 comment:

  1. -The crew of a spaceship returns to Earth...only to find it in ruins.


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