five fiction ideas

From the file of "things I would like to be writing if I had more time." Please, if you're inclined or would like to use one of these ideas for the basis of a story, please feel free to.

  1. A distributed space opera

I've been telling very tight space opera stories for a while now. Stories set within the next 1000 or so years that revolve around our sun, where the civilization shares much of our cultural background. Stories set in the future chronicles of "Western Civilization" as it were. I'd like to get away from that and tell stories that are bigger than that, stories with less ubiquitous communication between worlds.

  1. An Alien Story

As a kid who grew up with ubiquitous bipedal aliens in Star Trek, I've been wary of alien stories, as I worry that the aliens will be too campy or too human like. Or I'll fall into the exoticisism trap and have my aliens be too wondrous, and that's not good either. Despite this avoidance, I love alien stories, and I love stories that can take advantage of this additional spectrum of difference and diversity, to mention nothing of the potential communication issues.

  1. A Planet-bound Space Opera

Back to space opera. If this is my thing then, I'm happy for it. One of the things that I like about the forum are the ways in which it forces us to expand the limits of possibility and difference, it makes us thing big. The distributed idea above makes the world huge and vast by disconnecting the story-world from ours. I think setting a story on a planet or outpost, in a world where there's a interstellar economy/culture, I think it would be interesting to explore the vastness and world view from the perspective of people who don't actually travel between the stars very much.

  1. Cyberpunk and Internet Networking

I'd like to write some sort of story that addresses some of the problems with managing "big data." Which is to say, we're collecting so much data right now and there's so much raw information that it's difficult to keep track and store it reasonably, much less find a way to make use of it. I think this is a hugely interesting problem, but I think as we begin to expand a little bit the there's going to be technological limitations to the accessibility of data in some locales based on distance and local capacity. Exploring how this plays out practically in cyberspace is I think important. There will clearly be massive shared data collections, and computers will be networked, but will there be one data network in the way that there is now, or will there be many data networks? And where are the breakpoints socially?

  1. A Story about Death and Closure

In my psychology major days I was very interested in development processes and moments around death and dying. Maybe I read too much Irvin Yalom, but I think a science fiction story--perhaps a sort of claustrophobic inmate story about the death of a civilization/society/planet (i.e. a "Cultural Fugue" to borrow an idea from Delany) handled in an optimistic sort of way, but not terribly sentimentally, to be fair. Because I like that kind of thing.

Onward, and of course, Upward!

Critical Futures Futures and Curation Futures

I posted a new story on Critical Futures today. It's another one from the Knowing Mars novella that I wrote a year ago and that I had been posting previously. After a much too long break from posting fiction, I've decided that I have enough brain space to work through some projects there and bring it back to life. While I think my first six months was an unparalleled learning experience, I think a different strategy is in order.

My goal/intention is to slip into a Monday/Thursday schedule, of posting 400-600 words rather than the every work-day of 200-400 words. The word counts are mostly for my own thoughts and less of a hard guideline. It's also helpful, because I think, that even if I run out of my backlog, which seems pretty likely to happen pretty soon. I feel like I could probably write the requisite 800-1200 words on Saturday/Sunday morning along with my non-fiction essays, no matter what my life is looking like. I'm not sure what the future will hold, or what exactly is going to happen with my fiction, but it's going to be there.

One of my background projects, however (and I'll write about the theory here in an essay,) is generate a few "curatorial" pages for critical futures (and I suppose for tychoish as well). Basically I want to give people an easier "in" to the stories that I post on the web. This includes more creative templates and some hand-compiled guide pages, and as websites become home to more and more information my thought is that curation is the only real solution to this, and that, in that, it's really the next big thing for content. But that's another thought for another time...

Check out the new Critical Futures story, "Knowing Mars, ` <>`_"

Thanks for reading, and do tell your friends/submit fiction if that's your thing.