I like the idea of writing science fiction, but I don’t want to put the lens on the distant future; I want to put it on the futurist’s perception of “right now”—the places we could go, conceivably, theoretically, soon—so my audience feels moved by the precipice humanity may or may not be standing on.
With that spirit in mind, the following 7 technologies are part of my 2021 science fiction setting in the novella I’m currently writing (I’ll be releasing it on Kindle Unlimited, so subscribe to receive notifications about my blog updates if you’re interested)…
#1 Chips Replace Animal Testing
Initial Thought: What if we didn’t have to do weird things to so many mice all the time?
Setting (Politics): As artificial intelligence becomes an element of our everyday world, we need to evolve ethics from humanistic to transhumanistic frameworks to coexist peacefully. This may mean we’ll also visit animal rights, indeed maybe the Rights of Consciousness as a whole.
— bluebonnetdem I.Am.Pissed (@McElroyMarra) April 6, 2018
Additional Tension: Conservation of resources for the sake of not just human rights, but animal and artificial rights, could be another major driving force within the politics of 2021 sci-fi society, with research on consciousness placing ethical questions at the forefront of superintelligent-AI-slash-cyborg-supported international city-state politics (a result of the dissolution of empires, such as the United States into its individual states; and other countries into their different providences, regions, and metropolises).
#2 Predict Alzheimer’s 30 Years Ahead
Initial Thought: I was seriously betting on the retinal scan. I don’t know why we still need to fuck with blood. It makes my skin crawl like a thousand scarabs.
Character (Memory Issues): If a new medicine could detect Alzheimer’s 30 years in advance, and I found out Alzheimer’s was written in my stars, what would I do before my mind slipped away? What if I knew I was headed towards stomach cancer, 30 years in advance? What would this information do to the protagonist of a story? (I can’t help but think these questions when I watch these kinds of videos.)
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Additional Tension: Memories are more poignant than normal when looking at especially vibrant colors, smelling rich scents, or tasting powerful foods; so could a character arguably have an acute memory if she’s on the autism spectrum? Could this character be compare-contrasted with the character with perceived memory issues?
#3 Unnatural Methods for Natural Resources
Initial Thought: Isn’t there a giant hole in the ground in Arizona because of copper?
Setting (Nature): Regardless of your stance on overpopulation, it’s true our society’s moving from industrial energy to tech-based energy—which is yet another leap away from our abandonment of natural, fire-based energy; or literal horsepower; or watermills—integrating artificial support, such as solar panels, so we can channeling natural resources, like sunlight, in a whole new way. We’re leering of nuclear. We’re concerned by our consumption of metals. Resources is an unavoidable conversation, or should be an unavoidable conversation, anyway, in any science fiction setting worth its salt.
Side Story: Yep, here it is. The hole in Arizona. The second largest hole in the state, next to the Grand Canyon… the Lavender Pit Mine.
#4 The Mapmaker
Initial Thought: I wanted to make fantasy maps when I was a kid, until I read this article in a 1990s Writer’s Digest about how authors don’t get to draw the maps for their own books, and I was all like 🤬.
Character (Identity Issues): I always loved the idea of learning to draw maps. What if the mapmaker of the universe was one of the major characters of this story, and she fell in love with mapmaking because she dreamed of drawing someplace she could call home?
#5 Diamonds Rain from the Sky
Initial Thought: I’d heard of diamond planets before, but… diamond rain…!?
Setting (Space): Diamonds of massive size exist on different planets, such as Saturn and Jupiter; diamonds may even rain in Neptune and Venus; intense lightning converts methane into carbon, and the clouds of carbon clump under extreme pressure into diamonds; gravity then pulls the diamonds to the core; scientists have also found diamonds in meteorites, when asteroids collide, crushing the carbon together; you could say diamond is like Earth’s closest form of star-stuff;
Side Story: What if I fully realized my map-making dream by purchasing this book, then assuming the role of a mapmaker for this science fiction world?—what’s the worst that’ll happen? …I’ll come up with cool ideas…?
#6 The Dark Matter Scientist
Initial Thought: I’ve always been fascinated by dark matter. But what science geek hasn’t thought it’s interesting? To me, it feels like an ultra-enormous-sized ozone layer, like the literal version of the Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger “Ultima” spells.
Character (Hyper-focused Special Interest): What is your job like if you study dark matter for a living? What kinds of questions do you wrestle with? What are your most existential fears? Do you believe in God? Why aren’t you doing something else with your genius? What will the world gain if you complete (what you at least perceive as) your ultimate intellectual quest?
— @love_preet (@blovepreet6) April 8, 2018
Side Story: What if there’s a light scientist who’s working with the dark scientist? Sounds like something straight out of a JRPG. 😉
#7 Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Story
Initial Thought: I like the idea of closing your eyes and picturing a galaxy inside your body; each of your cells, an individual inhabitant in a massive apartment complex of neighbors (who’re either disgruntled with one another, or play board games with one another on Wednesday nights).
Side Project: For Cleo’s Autism Awareness, I thought it’d be fun to write a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure story as different cells in the autistic body for celebrating 50 posts. Once I reach the end of April, I’ll have 32 posts; and I’ll write 24 more posts by the end of the year, for 56 posts total.
So this project will happen towards the end of the year, likely during November; and that is momentous, since November is National Career Development Month, meaning I’ll be working towards my writing career…
Perhaps, my 2018 goal ought to be, then…
Progress in My Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Career
- design choose-your-own-adventure projects for each blog;
- design choose-your-own adventure e-book;
- would it be possible to make a choose-your-own adventure journal…?