Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Aliens and Nukes and Health Care

Forget Health Care - friendly aliens have appeared in orbit, and they have a plan for humanity's infinite prosperity.  "Join our Interstellar Economic Collective," they say, "and you, too, can reap the tremendous benefits of our patronage."  But wait - first, humanity must prove itself.  It must ensure its peaceful purposes.  "Once you have destroyed the last of your nukes and all of your strategic weapons," the aliens say, "you may join us..."

And so you're a senator.  It's a close vote - will the U.S. turn all those nukes and submarines into frying pans?  Or is this one of those peace treaties we'd better skip...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Galactic Heroes Unite!

So what happens when you've got some poor worn-out soldier who can't die (Jonathan), a poor time traveler who's traveled across thousands of years trying to work out the enigma of existence (Bethi), and a semi-indestructible soldier/pilot/angry-but-silent heroine who wants nothing more than to get rid of the constant feeling that insects are crawling around inside her synthetic polymer skin (Jill)?

The Planet Sputnik

Yes, it's named for the lump of metal that once made a quick orbit of the Earth.  But that's what you get when a Martian starship captain names a planet (they dubbed the other planet Tulip - go figure).

So Sputnik has one natural resource: yellow sand.  It's an oxidized silicon grit very similar to the glassy sands of Earth, except it has more metal ores mixed in.  And there's not as much oxygen in the atmosphere.  And no carbon dioxide, either.  In fact, Sputnik doesn't really have an atmosphere.  It was all blasted away when a nearby start went supernova.  Or maybe it was the end result of that last galactic war they had.  Either way, the atmosphere's gone, and no one can tell if the shavings of metal ore were deposited by natural processes or if, instead, those shavings are all that remain of the society which lived on Sputnik in the distant past.

The Ocean Planet Tulip

Tulip - It's a planet.  It's the second extra-solar planet that humans have colonized.  And it's a beautiful place - all twelve square miles of it.  That's all the bigger the main island is - the rest of the planet is submerged under a freshwater ocean.  Yep, that's right - barely any salt, but plenty of water, and no continents.  But like I said, it's a beautiful place.  The one island, in fact, looks a bit like a flower as seen from orbit - that's just the pink residuals from the acidic lichen they had to sand-blast off the rocks before dropping down the settlements.  Oh, yeah, the lichen isn't really gone - all the sand-blasting really did was drive the spores deeper into the pores in the rock.

Jill Nakamoto

Imagine the kind of girl who goes kayaking in an open ocean populated with flesh-eating alien fish things.  And by open ocean, we mean that the entire planet is under water except for this one cluster of islands near the equator.  So if she gets lost out there, there are no landmarks to help her find the way back - it's just an endless stretch of ocean from here to the horizon to the end of the world.

Oh, yeah, and she doesn't believe in using a compass.  And don't worry about her getting eaten - she'd been reinforced with a titanium-alloy skeletal reinforcement and polymerized dermal weave armor.  Actually, you might want to worry about the flesh-eating alien fish things.

Bethi Sooru

Bethi Sooru is a character from Jonathan's War.  Actually, she's two different characters.  One of them - we'll call her Bethi Sooru Alpha - was born not-too-bright.  The other one - Bethi Sooru Beta - was born to the same parents, but on a slightly different day, and with slightly different DNA.  The two Bethi Sooru's are like sisters, genetically...except that, according to the computer trying to fight a war across two time periods, Bethi A and Bethi B were supposed to be the same identical people...

Jonathan's War

So the current story I'm working on is about an American soldier - Jonathan Mitchell - suddenly facing an unusual enemy: Martian colonists from Earth who have come back in time to invade the U.S.  And these Martians aren't bad people, really - they're trapped in a war of their own, too.  And they never did like those pesky people from Earth...

Twelve Hour Island

So here's a story idea that could be realistic or surreal: Imagine an island which has come up just to the surface of the ocean.  During high tide, it's under water - during low tide, it's a wide stretch of damp sand.  And people live on this island.  They've anchored their homes into this sand on stilts, and they live on fish and salvage, and their kids swing across ropes from one house to the next.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Posting Science Fiction Story Ideas Online

Okay, so I know that nobody does this, but I'm going to start posting science fiction stories here, online.  Maybe it will be good advertising - you can take a look, post some comments, let me know which ones you like.  And if you're really interested in an idea, maybe we can work something out where you can write a story from the idea (I'm not looking for anyone's royalties, just recognition.  And the freedom to write the stories that I come up with).

I hope you enjoy the stories I'll be posting here over the next several months.

Half-Leg's War

So what happens to the walking wounded?  In a peaceful society, they're sent home with a medal.  But after the war gets big enough - and serious enough - they just get shuffled to a different front to recuperate.