12/21/2002

I had some more thoughts on a possible plot for Against Gravity, and I've come up with this short outline. I'm glad its short, since that means the idea is fairly tightly focused. I've come to understand a plot outline that's very long is really a sign that you haven't figured out what your story is.

Backstory: retired, obsolete cyborgs from war plan to escape earth to space with aid of rogue ai’s in space, because they believe the machine parts of them are still developing in unexpected ways and altering them accordingly. Since what they will become is inherently unpredictable, they represent a danger to common humanity. They must escape or die.

Narrator: pasquale has had cyborg elements removed, but due to unexpected growth of machine parts, to remove any more of them would kill him and others like him. as a result, they are required to be constantly monitored, not unlike criminals in parole. They are regarded as living evidence of the bad old days; current legislation and political climate is much more oriented towards green policies in order to attempt to save damaged earth. Eventually, pasquale and others like him realise they will be interned in hospital-camps as the changes within them progress. Since this leaves them powerless and uncertain of their fate, they must escape to space, or die.

Well, that's it. Let's see if I can stick with it. God knows, it doesn't bear much resemblance to what I thought Against Gravity would be about, but at least it's coherent. My only concern is the same I'm sure lots of people who write SF have, which is that, described in ultra-brief form, the plot sounds kind of ... silly ...

I suppose that's a question of treatment, really. The problem with SF is that in the description, it just sounds, well, silly, sometimes. I suspect thats mainly because the aforementioned outline could be a plot for an episode of Stargate (which, in case you're wondering, I think sucks), or even that awful Starship Troopers cartoon series (why?)

Reminds me of when I was working in Borders Books and they went round a table and asked all of us during a training session to describe a book we'd read and really enjoyed. I started describing Eon by Greg Bear. I said it was about scientists to investigate a mysterious rock that flies into the solar system that goes into parking orbit around Earth, turns out to be a clone of a Martian moon, and has seven cities in vast chambers within it, except for the last chamber, which goes on forever ... by the time I got to that point, they were all staring at me like I was a complete nutter. I'm a pretty reasonable, normal(ish) kind of guy, but I'll never forget one woman in particular who was looking at me like I really ought to be locked up. This is when I began to understand why some people I know, because of the nature of their professional careers, if they're ever asked outside of a certain group of friends what do they read, they lie. And there was me thinking we lived in an enlightened society ...
Post a Comment