Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Okay. Recently reading _Year's Best SF 7_, I came upon a time-travel story.

Time-travel stories are some of my favorites, not only because you can get the interconnected feel of things that I believe underlies most events, but also because they're just neat. Typically things end up wrapped up in a neat (possibly impossible, but neat) little package, sort of a knot in the middle of a long, stretched line.

So my new idea borders on a Douglas Adams-style notion. There's a mass distortion which appears to have something to do with the timestream itself, which all but the Council (whatever the hell I'll call them this time) are forbidden to disrupt.

Except, of course, for Carchin, the man who discovered the mindbending mathematics required to warp time without machinery. Carchin's discovery allowed the creation of the few time machines the Council uses, but it also gave Carchin the ability to step backwards in time.

Now, Carchin's not a fool. He knows that mucking with the timestream is serious business, what with paradox and all. He would only use it for trivial effects or a very, very good cause.

He has no good causes, and, predictably, has discovered possibly the most trivial effect ever. He uses it to extend happy hours and prevent last calls.

Some lackey of the Council's been sent to speak with Carchin, because of the distortions which are occurring and are localized around the planet Carchin calls home, our dear Earth. He speaks with him, determines that Carchin has told no one, and proceeds to try to speak with the Council. Due to interference, Carchin's evening plans are destroyed and he spends the night working with the lackey. Council messages back later the next day, good work lackey, the distortion's not increasing any more. Lackey doesn't know why. Carchin goes back out, distortion begins to increase again.

Lackey decides to convince Carchin that he's given up, and he's free for the evening. Following Carchin from bar to bar, he realizes the trick and realizes further what's happening -- mass is being unevenly distributed in the timestream due to Carchin's beverage intake.

Carchin's drinking is causing temporal catastrophe, if you can believe that.

Anyway, I think a humorous conclusion to this should be easy. Perhaps a letter: "I've taken up heroin. It would appear to be safer."

Ugh, too dark.

Ah, well, I'll figure something out with it.

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

First, a quote from _The Princess Bride_:

"When I was your age, television was books!"

As odd as it sounds, the truth drips from the statement -- in the days when you did not have the ability to turn on someone else's visual representation of what they want to convey, you had to learn to do it yourself, and a lot of people got good at it, I suspect.

Anyway, I didn't come here to prattle on about how mediums affect stories (that's for another post, surely) but instead the topic of _The Princess Bride_. I love this movie. I love the concept and the execution and the whole ball of wax. There's nothing unlikeable about the film -- excellently executed characters, plots that are organic to the story despite the enormous leaps and bounds made in the name of mistaken identity and extraordinary chances, dual stories that wrap around each other perfectly well and provide bizarre contrasts (the "fairy tale" is almost more believable than the "real life" story that it's told in -- the kid and grandfather with no names and stereotypical responses compared to the swordsman, wandering lover, egotistical henchman, etc., who all have interestingly original responses).

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

New efforts, both on the IF front and the novel frontier. I've been reading Lawrence Block's _Writing The Novel: From Plot To Print_ and _Telling Lies For Fun And Profit_. Both have pushed a few of my novelization buttons, so I've been feeling the urge to lay a few things down here and there, and have actually considered (horrors!) going back to my old Russell and Mouse stories (which I may well attempt to post excerpts from here, should I find the ambition).

Next up -- I've been working on a not-altogether-original idea (aren't they all?) for an IF game. You start at the end, with all the items and such that you're supposed to have, and a backwards-running clock. You have to put everything where it's supposed to go before the starting time, then you play through and get through the game to win. :D

Saturday, January 25, 2003

The real key to the backwards novel is using what _Memento_ used: Careful interleaving of present and past tense. Memento uses the b-n-w scene between the backwards scenes to provide both a running explanation of the issues surrounding Leonard Shelby; something else, something similar and jarringly different from the backwards-running scenes should be used as buildup to the final scene at the end of the novel (and the beginning of the day).

Maybe the main character should suicide at the temporal end.
Okay -- a thought. A backwards novel -- start with the end of the day, when everything's ruined and over, and work backwards. Might be interesting.

Monday, July 22, 2002

James Bond at 50 http://www.kuro5hin.org/print/2002/7/15/16126/6536

Thursday, July 18, 2002

A concept that I'm not even certain is executable as a storyline: Various pressures convince government bodies to take action to prevent reckless/stupid procreation -- modification of genitals until sexual activity requires extreme intelligent behavior, perhaps with implanted switches that activate upon the solution of puzzles or whatnot.

This is some fucked up right here... :\

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

The concept falls to me in midst of heat-death: Why wouldn't people chase weather after technology reaches a sufficient point that a significant portion of them can indulge every single stupid little whim? If they truly despise the heat, they could never again see a summer day.

They'd be called winter-chasers, or summer-chasers (I doubt seriously that fall-chasers and spring-chasers would exist, but it's possible, I guess). The concept is simple: You own four homes, two pairs of diametrically opposite homes. When the weather starts to change to a season you don't like, you fly to the next home.

Some people would get all the homes furnished identically, and there would be little psychological side effects of that (most notably interaction with Seasonal Affective Disorder statistics), and there would be parasitic behaviors that arise from the situation (more housesitters, burglars who target weatherchasers, etc.).

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