Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Story ideas if I had time to write novels...poorly
Published on August 20, 2003 By Draginol In Blogging
Ever since college, I've had a long term goal of becoming a fiction author.  The problem is that while I can crank out words fast, their quality is oh so poor. I'm just not cut out for serious writing.  I can be mildly amusing in a pinch but drama, eck.

During my senior year of college, I actually started on the first part of the "back story" of the main set of stories I've had in my head.  My wonderful aunt agreed to edit them. And so I handed in the first few chapters and any illusions I may have had as to the quality of my writing were shattered by my aunt's gentle explanation that my writing needed work. Having looked at what I wrote since, she was way too kind.

The game we made, Galactic Civilizations, takes place in this universe. But only in the most superficial way. I hope in a sequel to be able to do more. Depends on a lot of factors though such as will some future publisher try to own the rights to any characters and such created.

I did put some of the back story in the history of Galactic Civilizations article. But it just scratches the surface.

I have two other story concepts in my tiny brain bouncing around. In brief here they are:

The Alternative Timeline

Main character and partner in the 23rd century must follow an unknown number of terrorists back in time starting in the year 1775 in North America to fix (as much as possible) the damage they did.  The characters go back fully armed with whatever they can carry but have no way to return. However, there are some perks: 1) They age only very slowly (like half a year per decade) and 2) As time passes, they gain in super natural powers due to the nature of the time field (Which is what was the incentive for the terrorists to go back in the first place). Super natural powers being mainly increased strength, increasing levels of invulnerability, very fast reflexes, etc. 

So the series follows the main character and partner through their adventures but deal a lot with trying to go into depth on what life was like during the various periods.  For instance, a modern American would not do well in 1775.  Underwear? Forget it.  You're going to be wearing wool, if you're lucky and it's not going to be soft. The food would make us sick due to microscopic organisms, and we would be physically uncomfortable most of the time.  How long can you go without a shower before you are breaking out in a rash? Could you go 3 months? And so on. 

The stories are an almost guided tour of what different eras in history were like to live in. I got the idea after reading a non-fiction account of what life in 10th century England was actually like. I'd be dead in a week.

He who would inherit the earth

In this story, we're in the late 21st century.  Earth has discovered that it's not alone. It was attacked by an alien force. The only reason humans weren't wiped out was because they had underestimated the pace of human technology. Basically, World War II saved the human race due to the massive technological leaps that were made during it and shortly after (atomic power and weapons, computers, the internet, rockets, space travel, etc.).  But from a captured alien office we learn that they will be back. But because of the distance between Earth and the invading alien world, it will take 100 years for the next force to get here.

The leaders of Earth recognize there's no way to fight off a huge invasion force. A small force nearly took out all of Earth's military forces combined. The next time there will be no stopping them.  Unless... The humans figure out that while they aren't currently smart enough to solve the problem, they resort to genetic engineering to bring into the world humans are who much much smarter, stronger, faster, etc. to try to solve the problem.  Each country is left to its own ideas on what they should do.  Some countries make incredibly intelligent humans (IQs that are off the charts).  Some focus on making humans who are much stronger, tougher, and can be cloned enmass to act as foot soldiers.  The story really revolves around what the North Americans do for it has long term consequences.  The NAs genetically engineered humans aren't as intelligent as some country's are.  Nor are they as strong as the other alliance of country's group.  But they are smarter and stronger than most humans but more importantly, they are still human. That is, they can still reproduce with normal humans whereas the other genetically engineered humans can only reproduce with others of their own species.

The story revolves around a main character starting in childhood. Their goal is to come up with some way to defeat the aliens when they arrive.  But at the same time, the government, which is portrayed as being pretty competent, is also thinking of the aftermath. The Americans take the optimistic view that mankind will win out and the real concern is what will happen after the aliens are defeated. Are we creating a race of beings who will turn on them? Whereas the other projects believe that the aliens are the immediate concern and if we survive we can deal with comes after that later.

A lot of the story focuses on the different cultural differences between the North Americans, Europeans, and Asians.  North Americans, in the story, tend to be far more optimistic, perhaps a bit naive. They've never seen true devastation or suffering like the Europeans or Asians.  The Europeans tend to be a bit impatient with the American "It can't possibly happen to us" attitude.

But what makes things really interesting is seeing how the super kids in America get along with other kids. They're like nerds but with almost super human athletic abilities.

But the aliens do indeed come and one wonders what the super humans have come up with and who will ultimately inherit the Earth. The aliens, humans, or metahumans.

on Aug 21, 2003
I like the idea behind the 'and the meek shall inherit' story. They say that writing is a matter of discipline, so get blogging! Time travel stories have that whole paradox thing going which no one seems to be able to resolve satisfactorily - it is probably safer to stay away from this one.
on Aug 21, 2003
Then how can you explain the whole success of the Star Trek franchise. Time travel is something of the norm with the series. Don't ask me how Picard can jump through alternate timelines to save humanity one last time with a little help from 'Q'. --- I always did like the last episode. Heeheehee
on Aug 21, 2003
Time travel is always a fun romp in an episode but it can be hard to carry out for a whole book. I think that is what Chris is saying. The way I get around it (sort of) in the story is that there's a special energy field that surrounds the time machine that keeps everything relative to the original path but they can see the results outside the field (i.e. ruin and destruction). Hokey but still entertaining I think.
on Aug 22, 2003
Great story ideas, especially the second one, I'd LOVE to read that book. As to time travel, the best time travel book I've ever read is Isaac Asimov's The End of Eternity. Definitely worth your money.
on Aug 23, 2003
My point is that most time travel stories fail to resolve the paradox involved with changing the past. For example, can you prevent your own birth and what are the implications of doing so? I'm not saying that you can't be successful with a time travel story, just that they tend to be more science fantasy rather than science fiction.
on Aug 25, 2003
I have read a time travel story that is probably one of the best short stories I've ever read. It was never published and an unknown someone, a friend took a sci-fi writing class and he let me read the story of a student in the class. Anyway, the story is kind of complex, but the way the time paradox is resolved is time isn't just one-dimensional, but two-dimensional. With the idea, that alternate universes are sitting side by side. He labelled the points at which time took place with complex coordinates (i.e. e^(pi*i); e^((3*pi*i)/4), etc.). It was a pretty complex story and left me scratching my head the first time I read it. But, after reading it again, I realized it was the best story I've read.