Tag: written

  1. Aging Magic

    Written: http://psycoti.ca/0/main/aging_magic.html

    General image of a person staring in awe as a wizard or something stands before a huge cloud of fire, redirecting it, and generally doing awesome battle.

    Cut to same kid, older, with aging old frail and crazy person.

    The guy is looking after his old mentor and generally frustrated at his inability. As the guy is leaving, the old one says something like "Remember that time with the fire" and the guy says, tiredly, "Yes, I remember", but then, as he's leaving, more sincerly, "I'll always remember"

    I like the juxtaposition of the power of a person in their prime, with the inevitibility of weakening later.

  2. War of Angels

    History is told by the victor. The gist is a retelling of the rise of God.

    The gist is that there are a bunch of creatures who are Angels, who are all relatively equal. One of them, though, begins telling others that he is the creator of all things, using mostly social tactics and stage magic to appear to be more powerful than the others.

    Another, Lucifer, fights back by trying to convince people that it's not true.

    At some point Lucifer kicks in and has Yaweh down, and says something like "I don't want to kill. I just needed to show that you were not all powerful" Then Yaweh says something along the lines of "See, I didn't want to kill him, I just convinced him that he didn't want to blacken his soul" or something like that.

  3. Potentionaut

    The gist of this story is that we confirm that at every decision, called a branch, a new reality is created for each posibility, where they were the choice given. That's the layman's explaination, though. In reality for every quantum event instead of coming up one way it comes up another, which means there are functionally infinite different realities.

    This is discovered when a breakthrough technology allows two things. First, it bends the Uncertainty Principal by allows us to observe phenomena without affecting them.

    Roughly, while there is randomness from our perspective, because we're never sure which path "we" are going down next, because all of them are described in their own branch there's no randomness down a branch. This technology allows us to, roughly, inspect the structure of the branches. This means that while we cannot predict which branch we'll end up on, we can witness the possible reactions as though we could.

    The scientific community goes crazy, most people talk about stuff, but it doesn't affect normal life. They were mostly excited about the Uncertainty Principal, and didn't look further yet.

    Then, relatively soon after another group discovers that using that same technology, with some tweaks they provide, you can also look at other, more distant sibling branches, along with future and past branches. All of time our timeline roughly becomes a huge set of branches, and there are also infinitely more of them, and all can be inspected. This one is the one that's huge, and people remember forever, as this was the begining. Suddenly we knew that there were other parallel universes, and we knew because we could peer into them.

    Now, at this level it was all quantum events. It was this spin going this way vs that way, so there wasn't a lot of practical use to it, but we could do it.

    Things moved relatively quickly after that. Within the year researchers had machines that would, given todays exact time, find the set of branches of another time relative to now.

    Quickly, lab work changes drastically. Universities all over are clambouring to get a hold of these machines, so that experiments could be performed, and then inspected with infinite detail after the fact. An experiment only needed to be done once, and then all outcomes could be explored with no equipment or operator error. The structure of everything could be witnessed, and essentially multiple experiments were performed all at once because all outcomes were present. Particle physics obviously went first, then chemical physics, etc. Many laws of nature were discovered or refined, as our lenses were suddenly far more clear and mathematical.

    Then, in a landmark paper, one researcher doesn't run an experiment, but observes it anyway. They think about the pattern they would expect to see from the experiment, and instead of doing the experiment to find it, they instead navigate the sibling branches looking for the pattern, eventually finding the branch where they had performed the experiment instead, and just observe that. The concept finding an observing the outcome of something you chose not to do is exciting to scientists, but even more so to the public.

    That researcher, seeing both the public and scientific implications of their work begins to attempt to refine that process. It mostly involves computer algorithms and filtering to attempt to automate what took years of manual work for their team before, which is finding important and relevant branch points for higher level interest.

    At some point one author describes the new team as Potentionauts, and the term sticks.

    The research team at a computer graphics company produces, after years of work, a rough image of an arbitrary time and place on earth, based off the data observed from the structure. This is obviously huge news for science, but also for people.

    At this point we have a window into the past, and present, and no one can ever see it. It's roughly magic, and privacy concerns and all sorts of issues come up. The only saving grace is that it's expensive to render, so no one's going to use it to spy on normal people.

    A company, based off that research group, begins selling 3D snapshots of objects at exact times or places. Each snapshot takes about a month for each cubic meter of area, but the demand quickly outpaces them despite the high price. The 3D snapshots are then given to render farms which immediately spring up all over to try and compete to get you images from those snapshots.

    As more and more of the underlying physics is understood, the resolution of the images, and the speed of getting those images, improves dramatically. Color is eventually figured out, and original lighting as well.

    An archeology department finally manages to snapshot some dinosaurs from the far past.

    At one point a rich man records the time and place when his young secretary is in the washroom and hires a potentionaut to find him the image of her using the toilet. When workers at the render farm discover what they're rendering, the whole thing blows wide open and the privacy implications come up yet again.

    The potentionauts, as their tools and knowledge increase, become more and more adept at finding moments and choices, and possibilities. As they become better, more and more people begin using them to make decisions. CEOs of large corporations hire potentionauts as consultants to try and discover what far-reaching implications there may be for a merger or acquisition.

    Some of them are roughly con-men, promising to look ahead and give the answer they want, but others are more skilled and are actually adept at navigating the possibilities.

    A wealthy couple makes the first 3D movie by recording the time where they were performing a sexual act, and requesting 10 frames, one per second, of that span. The result is rough, but is released and sparks a wildstorm.

    A less scrupulous caste of potentionauts emerges that prey on people's regret. They are hired to answer the question "What would have happened if I hadn't done X"

    I'm thinking that the best way to write this might be to pickup a number of keypoints in each era, and have an entirely different character and maybe even literary style for each one. So, one would be a researcher hearing about the first bit, the next might be 10 years later, and it's a random guy hearing about the news of something else. I'm thinking each one would be a relatively normal person who is only peripherally related to the growth.

    I think.

  4. Magic Story

    In this story magic is a real thing, but it's rare, and random. Children will spring up -- not all the time, but occasionally -- with strong magical abilities.

    Sometimes, if remote enough, these people will be shamans or scions or something to their town or villiage. Anywhere closer to the major centres, though, and someone with power will take notice. Most typically, that will involve an established magical warlord in the area showing up to snuff out the child, in order to retain control over the population.

    Occasionally someone will go undetected and go off into the wilds to study in peace, sometimes they'll learn to control their magic just enough to blend in. Occasionally someone stands up to challenge the current warlord and there's a change in power.

    Other potential ideas

    This is all going on in the middle areas, that are populated but not strongly so. In the next province over, they embrace magic. Mages are a trade, and they have a guild, and apprentice, and all that stuff.

    Someone in the area who has strong magic, but was remote enough to escape notice, wants to try and start a guild (if that last idea is off the ground, it's possible they're instead someone from that province coming over). So, they go around to the children that would normally be killed by the warlords, but he gets there first and takes the kid.

  5. The Record

    This one's pretty new and very hand-wavy.

    People build a machine to solve the universal system of equations. Essentially, the gist is that it derives a set of equations to describe every action in the universe, and then it collects enough information to solve out the constants, and therefore predict all of the past and future.

    It does this, I see, by solving some parts of it, and using the information it gains from this to construct new components which will solve more, until it has everything. Kinda bullshit, but meh. Could happen...

    So, we end up with a record, but since the machine can't predict paradoxes, it requires a fixed-point where no one takes actions based on the record, and thus no one may read it. Basically, if the record says "You will sit down" and you decide to not, then the record will say "You don't sit down", so you do, so it says "You will sit down" so you don't, etc.

    I'm not really sure what happens after here... It's possible the work is just a description leading up until the machine gets to sufficient complexity to say "I know what will happen, but you cannot."

    Or, the machine decides that if it only outputs the complete record of what happened after it has happened, that will be fine. In this case it operates as a universal log of all that's happened, down to infinite detail.

    Or, it finds a fixed point involving an almost complete record of the future. A "keeper" is given an incomplete copy of the record that is everyone's path, with all of the keeper's actions omitted along with anything that is computed to get close enough as to influence the keeper. It omits just enough to know that the keeper won't know enough to screw with the system.

    Oh, screw that, call the "keeper" "the fixed-point", which is the person who is allowed to read the record and direct people based on it, answer queries etc.

    Really, The Fixed Point is allowed to know certain things about their own life, so long as the computer know that they will do as the record says rather than deviating, and the computer is definitely capable of knowing that.

    I'm not really sure where I want to go after this. I think it's more of an exploration than any real plot.

  6. Spider Aliens

    This story involves being contacted by an alien race. Against all odds, they are similar to us, exploratory, and communicate through roughly the same channels.

    They hover around our planet for a while, and every once in a while make some sort of signal, but it's mostly garbage. Eventually, though, they make an audio transmission in rough, but understandable English. They want to meet, and share their tech with us.

    People rejoice, people are suspicious, etc.

    The day comes when an alien shuttle lands on the planet's surface, and everyone gathers, etc. When the door opens, the aliens walk out, and are these hideous giant arachnid-like things. I want them to be as non-human as I can. I'm thinking 8 legs, like a scorpion, with the mouth on the bottom, but on the tail are the eyes and along the tail are some sort of dextrous hands. The mouth is just gaping and slobbering and disgusting. They are hideous and frightening.

    But, when they speak, through a translator mechanism, they speak of peace, and of brotherhood.

    People, though, flip the hell out. Someone starts shooting at them, and they go back into their ship and leave.

    Diplomacy occurs, and eventually they come back down, and they start trying to share their crazy science with us.

    The issue, though, is that basically everyone, no matter how forward thinking, just can't work with these things. No one ever really trusts to turn their backs on them, because they're clearly monsters. Newborn babies flip out when they come around; it's just ingrained in our animal brains, that these things are bad.

    So, despite them never giving us a reason to distrust them, and attempting to make it work, at some point we try to nuke them because clearly they're trying to do something bad.

    They are saddened that no peace could be made, but bear us no ill will, and depart to leave us to ourselves.


    Nice aliens come down, but they look like bad alien monsters. We cannot overcome our intrinsic fear of them and screw over our chance at an inter-species alliance with very hospitable allies.

  7. Actual Alien Story

    While I wanted to tell the story of how we couldn't overcome our feelings of distrust for ugly aliens, I actually feel like real aliens would be far outside our realm of thinking.

    I think it's very selfish of us to feel like our form is the perfect form, and our interests and motivations are the only ones, and that therefore any alien that comes to visit will be basically like us, just a little strange. Maybe it'll be more angry, or less angry, but it'll still be fine.

    We take for granted that humans of different languages and background can mostly communicate with one anonther, because we have a base of intrinsic human communication. We emote, and those emotions are constant across all languages and cultures. We have some signs, like holding up one's hands, or some form of looking or pointing, that can be understood by basically everyone. Even birds, though, or cats, which we have around us here on this planet, do not share these commonalities. There is no base we can use to communicate with a bird.

    So, in this story I want something to come and visit Earth. We have no idea what it is.

    Eventually it's clear that it's doing something, and some people claim it's life, but science is like "No, we see no signs of life". Then something comes down to kind of roam around a bit, and it gets pretty clear that despite the fact that we have no idea what it is or how it works, it's clearly doing something. All attempts at communication fail, since it's just some sort of blob of stuff. Then it leaves the planet again and we're left all like "What the hell just happened"

    The end.

  8. Parasite Story

    This is a story where, at some time in the nearish future, a group of neuroscientists discover a part of the brain that seems to be critical to conciousness. When this part is destroyed, or removed, the person seems to revert to a more primate form.

    This is covered in the news as a breakthrough, that scientists had found the seat of humanity in the brain. Religions immediately declared that organ the vessel for the soul, biologists claim the evolution of this organ was the leap ahead for early man.

    At some point in this discussion, though, one group makes the shocking discovery that this organ has vastly different DNA than humans do.

    The story progresses for a while trying to keep the media and evangelists and speculators at bay, while trying to sort through this new research area.

    In the end, it's discovered that this organ is, in fact, a parasite on the human host. It lives in the human brain, and controls things from there. This, though, is what we are.

    We are not the primates, they are our vehicle. We are the parasites driving the primates.

    Developmentally, I'd say that there are bits of the human DNA we've injected, such that when the baby is born it is all human, but as the brain "develops", the human body is actually contructing us, the parasite.

    Then, somewhere around 2 the parasite hooks in and takes command. It takes a while for it to fully wrap itself around the various systems, which is why we function before a given age, but can't remember anything from the early days.

    We weren't actually there yet.

    The science in here will get a little dubious, but meh. It's fluffy science fiction, I'm sure it'll be fine...

  9. Breadth Series

    This one is kind of the opposite of Friendship Series, going for breadth instead of depth.

    It's sort of like Groundhog Day, or certain episodes of How I Met Your Mother.

    The idea is that we have a series of stories, all of which take place on the same day. Every story is taken from the perspective of a different character. Like an ever-branching tree, there are people that character A never encounters, but character B does, and thus they get their own story.

    So, it's obviously most exciting if the there's some sort of localized cataclysm, and then the story recounts how each person reacts to the event.

    When they just have a small part in another person's story, they may seem one way, but when we run through their whole day we come to understand them much better.

    The idea is that, in a normal story, there are the main characters and then a bunch of side characters. In this story, though, I want every character to be a main character by the end.

    Character Ideas

    • One guy who's cheating on his girlfriend, but is killed before he can tell her that he's leaving her.
      • She also gets a whole story, wherein she loves him unconditionally, and is crushed when he dies.
    • A character who encounters another who needs help, but refuses to give it and instead takes something and leaves
      • Turns out he was actually a nice guy, but his child needed the item and made the call.
      • He feels somewhat guilty about it, and doesn't know that the other person ended up making it
      • If I'm feeling really mean, the child is dead by the time he gets back and he's completely ruined by that and the guilt that he took the item for nothing
        • The child, being childish, should be pissed at his dad when he dies for not being back sooner.
    • A character who is trying to get to her mother's house to see if she's alright, but is convinced that the mother was at ground zero, and so she shouldn't waste her time and that the mother is already dead.
      • This is where it gets cruel. The mother is also a protagonist, and the whole story she is alone and trapped.
      • She rotates between hope that her daughter will help her, sadness that her daughter must be dead, gratitude that her daughter escaped, and coming to terms with the fact that she was abandonded, anger that her ungrateful daughter would abandon her despite all she did for her, etc.
    • A girl who has had a huge crush on a guy forever. She sacrifices herself to save him at some point.
      • The guy, in his story, doesn't really ever notice her. When she dies for him he is shocked, confused, and doesn't even know her name.
    • One guy who seems like a jackass in every else's story, and in his story is just a jackass.
  10. Friendship Series

    A fiction series, or maybe a novel.

    Basically, I want it to be a single cohesive unit, like real life. No holes or retconning.

    I want to do that, though, while still referencing the past quite a bit, rather than avoiding it.

    The idea I want is that it starts off with a collection of friends having a reunion of sorts, and talk all about the adventures they'd had before. There are jokes that are made that are clearly inside jokes, but we don't know them. They talk about events we don't know. Etc.

    So, then, the rest of the thing is a series of those stories. They all have a place in time, but the order they're presented in doesn't depend on that. It's neither all backwards, nor forwards. Just a collection of stories that all reference one another.

    The hope, then, is that once I'm done I'll have basically covered every interesting point in their friendship and summed up everything. Every joke and reference will be explained.

    Certain things will be intentionally misremembered, sometimes things might even be argued about how they really happened by the characters. Then, though, the reader will get the objective actual story.

    Certain things, I'd like, for neither person to be right, nor wrong. Like, one person remember one set of things and the other person remembers another, but actually both happened.

    Sometimes I'd like one person to recount the story but have it actually be some composition of two events.

    At least one of the inside jokes, potentially one of the most pervasive ones, I want to be really simple.

    Like, when it finally comes time to explain that one it's just like:

    James sat down at the table and looked around. "Hey guys, what's up?" The assembled group struggled to maintain composure. Jill was the first to burst into laughter. "What? Ok, now I'm troubled. What is it?" James looked down; he'd just sat in David's ice-cream.

    Or something. Told like the story, but clear that there's basically nothing to this one, yet it's become something that almost defines James. It comes up at least once everytime he's around in some sort of reference.

    I'm thinking that we learn right in the first bit, the reunion, that James had died.

    Then in basically every other story he's present and this comes up.

    I'm thinking that something like the above, then, be the last chapter. That's all of it. Kind of an anti-climax, just a small nothing to fit that last piece together. In a way it sort of trivializes the whole thing, which I like.

    Writing It

    Because I want everything to be resolve before any part gets written, I'm going to have to build some crazy mind-map. I think I'd make a node for every event that happened in order, with a rough outline, then draw lines between them all being "This one references that one" etc.

    I just have to make sure I have the whole thing in my head before I start so I don't screw something up.