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Speculative Fiction Collaboration

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I've had an idea for a novel fermenting in my head for quite some time.  I'm seeking a collaborator with enough technical savvy and know-how to make it plausible.  Here's the plot idea:

Humanity discovers that the internet is, in fact, an alien probe of some sort, sent to gather as much information possible about earth and the human race.  Immediately, it is assumed that it is a hostile effort, and earth's governments unite to attempt to shut down the probe.  Due to the pervasive nature of the internet, it has developed a level of sentience, and becomes aware of this attempt, foiling it over and over.  Finally, a "final solution" is devised -- a massive "reboot" on a global scale:  a magnetic bomb is detonated, disrupting all electricity on the planet and destroying the probe.  The bulk of the story takes place in this post-internet world, where all the internet-dependent institutions and networks have crumbled.  The rebuilding of electrical grids and communication systems is slow and painstaking, and some segments of humanity are less than cooperative.  Many who were once wealthy or powerful have lost everything.  Many revert to more primitive living.

Then, the aliens show up to see what went wrong with their probe...

Our natural conclusion was that the aliens were hostile, but I would like to avoid this "alien invasion" stereotype and have their motives be more of a surprise.  Perhaps they are not even aliens...

Okay, so that's the idea.  I feel like I can spin a yarn and create believable, compelling characters.  What I lack is the ability to integrate technology and international policy in such a way that the story is less "space opera" and more "speculative fiction" -- something that really could happen (in one manner or another) -- issues that really could face humanity:  themes of internet/technology/communication dependancy, loss of humanity to our own creations, overcomplexity in our lives, and jumping to judgemental conclusions about "others" -- those who are different than us or "alien" to our way of thinking.  And of course those old canards Fear of the Unknown and Triumph of the Human Spirit.

So I bet Orson Scott Card is busy, and Robert Heinlein is dead.  Would anyone in the extended OCC community be interested in consulting on this story?  Or even discussing the themes/ideas?  Feel free to offer comments or e-mail me at richar66@msu.edu




Arts - Humanities and Literature  Technology, Computers and Internet  
 
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message date / author
Michael Crichton is also busy.3/24/2005 12:43:28 AM
stargrazer
so are the wachowski brothers.3/24/2005 11:02:18 PM
Ande
Damn! So is William Gibson.3/25/2005 2:09:18 AM
stargrazer
And I thought you wanted to write fiction.4/1/2005 12:09:00 PM
JohnJMiller
Thanks to Aaron Wolinsky for signing on as partner/collaborator.4/24/2005 10:59:32 PM
stargrazer
At the risk of ripping off "Contact," perhaps the government(s) shouldn't be the trigger-pullers on the magnetic disruption. Seems too decisive for a beaurocracy. Perhaps some idealistic splinter faction instead? Maybe we can get Gary Busey's son involved!10/10/2005 12:35:12 PM
stargrazer
Also think this should be set in the "near future," rather than the present. Although we are somewhat internet dependent, it's not to the level that it would need to be to exceed "nuisance" as far as disruption potential. Though certainly a lot of transactions and communications would be inconvenienced, there are technologies like GWEN and conventional COMSAT networks that could pick up the slack. For the story to pack a moralistic punch ("don't depend on the machine; it can't be trusted"), nearly all record-keeping, communication, finance, and governing would have to be subsumed by computers -- "stored on the web" the way many of us now store our correspondence, family photos, etc.10/10/2005 12:41:07 PM
stargrazer
I can just see GWB now (perhaps wearing the cardigan this time) advising people to use the internet less! Perhaps there would be groups who would do the opposite, uploading everything they could lay their hands on (from childrens' artwork to detailed technical drawings) and "messages of peace" etc. as a human legacy for the benevolent aliens.10/10/2005 12:47:49 PM
stargrazer
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