Recently I’ve been listening to a lot of Startalk Radio at the suggestion of E-mace and I love it. If you are not familiar it his the show hosted by Dr. Neil Tyson who you may know as the “black science man” on Cosmos. His passion for science is infectious and the guests he has on, as well as his often comic based co hosts make the the podcast supremely enjoyable and informative.
Also i can’t figure out if the “Black Science man” mems are overtly racists or poking fun at racist ignorance. Probably it’s more likely a combination of the two with neither side realizing they are using the same vehicle for different purposes. Kind of like why I think hardcore racists rednecks probably like Media movies.
One of the side effects of listening to all these episodes of Startalk radio is that I end up dreaming up a lot of Sci Fi movie/book ideas since there is a lot of inspiration drawn from science and science fiction in both directions. Each influences the other and at times it’s hard to gauge which has the more profound impact. Asmiov or Einstein. Rodenberry or Hawkins. I think it would be hard for either to exist with out the other. The sci fi genre needs Science advancements in order to set up the premise and settings and provide a rich yet grounded bases for the material. A great example of this is from a quote Steven King gave after the passing of Michael Chricton: “he made you believe that cloning dinosaurs wasn’t just over the horizon but possible tomorrow. Maybe today.”
Science on the other hand uses science fiction not just as inspiration for their goals but also as a tool for reaching those who are not or at least have not yet been introduced to the wonders of the natural universe and the mysteries it contains. It helps bridge the gap between those who have spent the better part of a lifetime to accumulate and build their knowledge of a particular field of study and those people that have less scholarly interests (or just people who are straight up dumb and don’t care).
All of my rambling above is just pretense so that I can prattle off some ideas I have had for Sci Fi movies, tv shows, or books. For the most part I would be more of Science fantasy writer since I have too limited of an understanding of most scientific principles. To use an analogy I’m more of a Star Wars guy than a Star Trek guy. In Star Trek they use actual concepts to describe how they use Warp fields to bend space in order to essentially travel faster than the speed of light, where as in Star wars they just say “Hey hit that button to go to Hyper space.”
Anyways here are my ideas and one I stole from my brother:
Architect of Hope: I liked the book “Brave New World” although it seems kind of clunky if you don’t take into account that it was written in 1931. The slippery slope type predictions of a not so utopian future dominated by souless and amoral engineering of almost all aspects of life today seems when read today to be an overly pessimistic view of what a secular society based on mass production and science could result in. Still it is a classic and gives a nice frame work for what some of the fears people had back in the day. This book kind of gave me the inspiration for a society set in the far future where Science has progressed to a point where we had almost complete control over all things except the inevitability that all things in the universe must one day end. Yes we solved the aging problem, and energy concerns, and everything dealing with natural resources, but we still have a giant ball of nuclear fission at the center of our solar system that has an expiration date.
So what does the last man on earth do on the last day of human existence? I think he would probably do a lot of reflecting and would build the story structure around him traipsing through his house remembering his long life. It would be a patchwork of small stories and events that shaped his personal life, the major events that shaped the world in which he lived, and the moments that let him find peace in those final moments. I wouldn’t get into any specifics of how mortality was over come or how other scientific advances like matter manipulation (think alchemy or the replicators on star trek) were achieved and instead just show how they became a part of every day life that is taken for granted.
My guess is that when the world is about to end there would be some people who would fight against the dying of the light (in this case somewhat literally) and leave the planet in search of other planets to make home, while some would take it upon them selves to go out in a way they saw most fitting or desirous.
The title is based on the “Architects of Fear” story that some of you might be familiar with as part of the Twilight Zone or “Watchmen”. I use that spin because the protagonist would spend part of his last day cataloging everything that represents us as humanity and shooting it out into the cosmos so that others can learn from our advancements and hopefully build on it and maybe even by pass some of the darker times in our history and evolution.
The Visitor: This is actually a comic book idea that I have that is based on my thought of what if Lex Luthor is right. What if Superman is actually the bad guy. An Alien that comes to our planet and seems like the good guy cause he is always protecting us from other unstoppable aliens or monsters or what have you. But really this alien is the bad guy. I’m thinking the story arc would be that this version of earth has a few people with super powers. Not a lot, maybe a couple dozen, and for the most part they use their powers for either good in a general sense or for profit, and only a small few would actually be villians as we are use to seeing in comic books. For example there would be a super fast guy ala the flash who makes most of his scratch from doing expensive last second immediate need deliveries. $500 bucks and he’ll take a special part needed in a lab from the manufacturer in ohio to the research facility in Texas in a matter of minutes, not days. Some one probably has the ability to heal people and it is kind of a curse that she hides from the public since she would naturally be swarmed by the sick and dying, and travels the countryside sneaking into cancer wards and ICUs to help people. An angel of life.
So this alien crashes down on our planet and maybe the first part of the story is the military maybe getting all butt hurt about him since he has some fantastical powers and we are natural scared by that which we don’t know or understand, but he is kind and innocent from all accounts so we finally demilitarize or something and accept the alien. Then the second part is we find this evil looking creature has followed the alien to our planet cause it is trying to kill him and won’t let anything get in it’s way. All the heroes unite to try and kill the bad alien. We find out the bad alien isn’t really that bad, just out for revenge cause the alien we accepted as our own killed off the rest of his species. We find out too late as we are partially responsible for the newer alien’s death and now have to band together (with the help of the super villians) to try and kill/stop/destroy the bad alien that had tricked us from the beginning.
I really would like to have a Lex Luthor type character that ends up being the savior of humanity and in the course of the story find out that he only took on the role of the foil because it served a greater good and he was wiling to sacrifice his public image and live with scorn and contempt. Basically it would be an entire series where you learn that some good guys aren’t that good and the bad guys are usually not bad just for the sake of being bad.
The Helpers: I don’t have a specific story for this, more of just a premise. Most alien encounter stories feature an invading army or a sole creature and usually they are either far superior to us or are in need of our help. District nine was a cool concept which should be obvious as to why for anyone who watched the movie. This idea I have might kind of step on the toes of that movie, but whatever. So my premise would be an ancient ship approaches earth and lands down safely, albeit maybe not smoothly, and once we inspect the ship we see that all the organic alien creatures are dead and that only the robot helpers are still alive (for lack of a better term). The robots having only one purpose, to serve, immediately dedicate themselves to helping humanity in a variety of ways. In my mind i’m picturing the robots from I am Robot (the movie) that were the older models and kind of seemed sad and helpless when they were huddled together in the shipping containers. I imagine these robots needing to desperately to have a meaning in life which for that has always been service and that their identity is completely wrapped up in the people they help. Completely altruistic entities.
How would this affect humanity. If we had these robots, a ton of them, and we could leap forward thanks to them and the technology we find on the space ship, what would the end result be. Utopia? Dystopia? I’m guessing it would depend on where it lands and how that country and its people would handle/exploit the situation. I also wonder what would happen if the original owners (species wise) came to earth and wanted them back or made the robots pick a side in an upcoming battle.
Pathway: again i don’t have a fully formed story in my head for this, just a premise. The biggest hurdle we have to over come in the future of exploration (aside from energy) is getting around the universal speed limit. Nothing can go faster than the speed of light, or at least maybe it can but nothing can ever go at the speed of light so how do you speed up to faster than light travel without going at the speed of light at one point. Also if you are going faster than the speed of light then you would have to also move backwards in time, so there’s that hang up as well. Anyways, the prevailing idea is that to travel great distances you have to create warm holes by bending space like it was a piece of paper allowing you to by pass traveling in a written straight line from point a to point b and instead fold space so A and B touch. So what happens if we develop this technology, we would probably test it out on inanimate objects at first, and then live subjects like bunnies, mice, monkeys, etc… and then move on to humans.
My premise is that we do a test and create a worm hole for travel between two points not that far away, like mars and earth. We send a guy through, it works, everyone is happy. whoooo!!! and we start to develop the tools to use it on earth for mass transportation. In the interim the guy (or gal.. women can be heroes too I guess) who was the test subject starts to realize something is wrong when notices a series of minor things are not as he remembers. Minor stuff like the color of his sister’s first car, or the name of a restaurant he went to with his dad as a kid. Minor stuff you might chalk up to bad memory or maybe getting older and remembering things wrong. As the story goes on, the hero (who may or may not be a chick) realizes that when he or she went through the worm hole, he/she actually traveled to a near identical universe and that all those test performed in the past lined up with the same test being done in the mirror universe. Kind of a transdemensional balancing act. We give them a monkey and they give us the same monkey (mostly).
So what is the story about. I’m guessing there is a fight to get people to believe him despite them thinking he might be crazy, or maybe the crossing of the universes might cause a small imbalance each time that normally corrects itself but as a massive launch of planet side worm holes for transportation is nearing, the increased imbalance could cause cataclysmic destruction.
Project Renautus: ok I actually started writing this book already and got about 10k pages into it before I switched my attention to another book I wanted to do first. I actually care less about this other book which is why I wanted to do it first since chances are my first book will be much crappier than the second. Project Renautus was an idea I came up with after I read about the WOW Signal. Brief explanation back in the 70s scientist thought up what they thought a communication from an alien civilization would be like if they were trying to reach out to other intelligent life forms in the galaxy. Then they started listening for something similar to it and after a lot of listening they caught a brief radio transmission from outside our solar system that fit exactly what they hypothesized. I
t was so shockingly close to what they were looking for that the scientist on duty that heard it wrote “WOW” on the paper print out. When I first read about it, it sounded like one of those factoids that get misrepresented by conspiracy theorist to represent their factually inaccurate theories. When I read into it further I found a lot of reputable scientists who agreed with the analysis that it very may well have been a partial transmission from an alien.. something. Even Stephen Hawkings has mentioned it as evidence for alien life. It’s not proof, just something that isn’t explained away like most other things mentioned by conspiracy theorists on coast to coast AM talking about “The Greys”… fuck those people. (the people on the radio, not the alien lizard people they think rule the world that don’t exists no matter how much they want to believe they exist.)
I’m not sure how the WOW signal directly factored into my book but basically it features a meteorite falling to the earth. We find out it is not a natural heavenly body since it has markings/text and flat surfaces, and other stuff. Government puts together a team to study it from a variety of fields. Turns out the government is shady and that they know more about the object than they are letting on, and are tracking a much larger one headed toward earth. The government being even more shady we find out that the very diversified group assembled to study the object were actually selected for a much more duplicitous reason. The name of the book comes from the roman general from which the phrase “hope for the best but prepare for the worst” is attributed… or at least I think he was Roman… and a General… and that it was that precise phrase. I don’t know I researched the title a long time ago. Either way i like the name and am going to stick with it.
Generational Divide: This is an idea for a book that my brother has but he is too busy leading a productive meaningful life to actually sit down and write anything. He imagines a planet that at it’s core gives off constant low level radiation that causes genetic mutations at a rate far greater than what we have on earth. The end result is that there is a much more diversified human population and that even from parent to child there may be significant difference that can cause strife. i don’t know if my brother was going for allegorical references to generational conflicts in our own history relating to race and sexuality, but I can imagine the parallels between a father not accepting a gay son or a mixed race grand child, and this fictional world where a father isn’t able to accept a child that is born of with a mutation that would but it in a lower class of citizenship.
Speaking of geeky stories that I will probably never actually write in full, I also had one other quasi Sci Fi idea that I was obsessing over the last couple days, and I really have no idea why. I guess it started when I was thinking about the idea that if you could travel along a certain path through a black hole that it would take you to another universe (or maybe another universe is actually inside the black hole and maybe are universe exists inside the black hole in another universe). The idea of traveling through a black hole to get to another universe seems impractical and somehow that made me think about that passageway story above which then lead me to thinking about Spider Man. Swear to god, that’s how my mind works.
So this most recent Spiderman movie was kind of crappy. It wasn’t terrible, but it just had some things working against it and it felt like they were trying to tell two or three not just different stories, but different type of stories. At one point you have an almost emo parental abandonment/redepmtion story, and then you have a hipster love story with a touch of tragedy mixed in, and then you have the fun light hearted comic book movie. It just didn’t mix well, and now there are some rumors (that have supposedly been shot down) that they might reboot spiderman again instead of moving forward with the idea of creating a set of movies similar to what marvel did with the avengers (thor, iron man, capt america, and now the Guardians of the Galaxy) where there would be a new spiderman universe movie every year. Maybe one year would be spiderman 3 then the following year is a venom movie, then a sinister six movie, and then spiderman 4. With the number of Spiderman villians they have there is plenty of story lines to do this, but I don’t think it would work if spiderman himself was the star of each movie. The Venom movie might be good if Spiderman was barely in it and it was venom fighting off the symbiote and it giving rise to carnage.
Anyways, my idea for something they could do to really shock the world and make the risk Marvel made with the Guardians of the Galaxy look safe as hell, would be to go with the spiderman “Shattered Dimensions” route. I would love if at the end of one of the upcomming spiderman movies you see spiderman swinging through the city and then his spider senses goes off and he notes a bright flashing light in a ware house or something, he goes in and he sees this round structure giving off lots of energy and light and creating a portal. A web comes out from the portal and spidey easily moves out of the way as it grabs some crates or whatever. Spidey sees that it’s a web which is curious and then a split second later a figure comes flying out of the portal along the path of the web and crashes into the crates. spidey approaches and sees that it is someone in a spiderman suit and that it is all busted up and chared and a little bloody. He hears the person under the mask muttering something about saving MJ and and Aunt May and whoever so spidey pulls off the mask and we see Andrew Garfields Face. We hear from the portal a voice say “Peter we need your help” and we pan to see this spiderman pull of his mask to reveal toby mguire.
Obviously this would never never never ever happen, but it would be cool to think about. The spiderman shattered dimension is a video game where three or four differen versions of spiderman from different dimensions have to team up to solve some type of problem that spans their different universes. One spiderman is the 2099 spiderman (not sure about the year) where he kind of robotic or something (which should b played by donald glover) and then there is our spiderman, and maybe then the ultimate spiderman version… which ok I should read up on the game since I played it like 5 or more years ago I think, and then there was the noir spiderman that was really kind of cool and was like a cross between batman and Rorschach.
Theres so so many reasons they could never do that movie but holy shit it would be awesome for the fan boys. I especially like the idea that the generator doc oct created in spiderman 2 with toby ends up being the gateway in his universe and then the gateways in the other universes are… idk, they can make that up later. I don’t care. hahahah I just realized I wrote “I especially like the idea…” as if I’m not the one who came up with it for my little fan fic overview here.