Either I have an uncanny skill for prescience, or I'm one of those people who's always the last to find out (or notice) what's actually going on. I found a blog by Julian Dibbell, who apparently wrote an article for Wired magazine called "Unreal Estate Boom, or, The 79th Richest Nation on Earth Doesn't Exist."
This entirely touches on what I was thinking about for RWK (as Real World Kills shall henceforth be known), as the main drive for the story: what happens when a virtual economy becomes so powerful that it can actually upset, in some strange way, real world economies? Everything else I've been thinking of comes out of this.
Now, I've been preempted before. Remember the Jackie Chan movie 'Shanghai Noon'"? My idea. Now I'm not at all saying the idea was stolen from me, I'm just saying I sat on my fantasy novel idea about a Chinese warrior who goes to the WIld West and hooks up with an American Indian who's just lost a gold claim to hunt down an evil Chinese warlord type who has come into possession of an object that could Destroy the World for far too long. It's not even the same idea, exactly; apart from the Chinese guy and the cowboy idea. Ah well. Adam Roberts recently wrote a novel called Polystom where the basic idea was kicking around in my head for years and years, and again I did nothing about it, and of course it's gone.
That I'm not really bothered about. What bothers me is the idea I might start writing something ... and halfway through, or even at the end someone beats me to it.
I note a paragraph from Dibbell's article: "A lanky, bespectacled 30-year-old, Stolle looks less like the third-generation construction worker he is than like the second-generation sword-and-sorcery geek he also is. When Stolle was 10, his father, a union electrician, died of a heart attack, leaving behind a cherished 1967 paperback edition of The Lord of the Rings and a copy of the Dungeons & Dragons rule set." Does this sound like the early bio of a burgeoning evil/misguided computer genius, perhaps the creator of the virtual world in RWK, or what?
What else? I"m halfway through a terrific book by William Goldman called Adventures in the Screen Trade, with a lot of interesting ideas about writing. And I think I'm maybe a third of a way through the edits on Angel Stations ... it's a long, slow grind. But I'm getting there.
Oh yeah. The Buffy finale. Very good indeed. Just exactly the kind of empowering ending it needed. What am I going to do with my Thursday nights now? he wailed.
No, really. What the hell am I going to do with my Thursday nights?
Late addition - seems someone has written a paper on virtual economies, and the similarities between them and the way the Mafia operate. Gnaagh ... must make tinfoil hat, before they finish reading my mind!