Ignored by Science Fiction   Leave a comment

primordial_soup

As one who pays attention to these things, there are always topics and trends that crop up in science fiction that capture imaginations and remain hot for years.

For starters, let’s say anything to do with computers – a perennial favorite.

It seems the moment someone figured out how to put information into a machine and expected a result from doing so launched an endless parade of stories.  You got hacking films (take, for example, “Sneakers” to “Blackhat”), unfortunate, misleading games turning out to anything but innocent fun for kids with big ideas and little life experience (“War Games,” “Enders Game”), and even computer-generated lives influencing mortal ones (how can anyone forget “Max Headroom”?).

I’m guessing computers/computing kind of puts you in charge of the story, in a way.  As a writer, all one has to do is invent a directive without actually writing one for real.  So of course your story can have the main character develop a fantastic method of convincing every single stock broker in America to hand over 25% of profits and deposit the money in a Geneva bank, without question, just by writing a simple, foolproof code.  Then the main character goes off and gives all the money to charity instead of living high of the hog.  Now that, folks, would be real science fiction, because nothing like that ever happens in real life!

Other perennial favorites sci-fi topics (but not limited to) include:

  • Aliens attacking the Earth
  • Attractive aliens seducing Earthlings and making them do things (good and bad)
  • Human-looking people cavorting with otherworldly beings (and what category do they fit in?)
  • Nuclear accidents and other holocausts
  • Earth going bye-bye
  • Interplanetary hijinks and death battles
  • Every sort of space station on every kind of planet, moon and subspecies of galactic existence having issues of some sort
  • Weather (Earth and elsewhere) having a mind of its own
  • Time/space travel and its consequences (good and bad)
  • Beings simply not getting along and the often unfortunate circumstances that arise from said conflict
  • Brains – you name it

The mind has a reputation for possessing a fertile imagination.  I’d like to think I’m pretty good at dreaming up stuff.  I’ve had this blog for nearly a year and I kind of pinch myself when I notice how much I’ve managed to spew out.  And yeah, some of you might notice I started two chapters of a book on this site and left it alone for ages – sorry, had other things going on – but I’m not done there, so don’t worry.  So I’m putting together a list of topics I really haven’t seen any serious sci-fi author tackle yet.  Yes, I might be mistaken, and maybe I haven’t read the right books yet (and there is an endless supply of those, too), but here’s kind of a wish list for topics I’d like to either read or write about someday:

  • Brussel Sprouts and Liver – Moms terrorize children the planet over, forcing them to eat food they hate (vegan/vegetarian options welcome)
  • The Anti-Text – A 17-year-old girl has to live a full hour without her cell phone…and survive
  • Game Over – Professional gamers have to make do with “Pong”
  • XT/AT – Present-day programmers scramble to get work done with only 10/20K of memory and have to use Sideways to print their spreadsheets
  • Ink Link – Tats jump off of everyone who has one and take over the world, with both disastrous and comical results
  • We Get It – Men and women understand each other perfectly and respond to each other’s needs and wishes without fighting over who’s right or needier
  • Nice Day – The confusing, unfortunate results of continued pleasant weather, good-mannered people, well-paying jobs and general happiness
  • Netscape – People discover this is the only browser available and have only the “Surprise” button to use, and so experience wacky, madcap misadventures
  • Wait for No One – Serving staff goes on strike, coffee ceases to exist, coffee isn’t served anymore and the populace winds up jittery, angry and bitter
  • Misidentified Fruit – People mistakenly ingest innocent-looking but suspicious-behaving fruit and wind up encased in rock-heavy cakes everyone rejects when served up during the holidays

Anyway, I could go on.

What would you add?

Underserved topics of sci-fi, unite!

 

 

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