Thursday, June 26, 2008

Pretending to be WrittenWyrdd

For everyone who regularly reads Wyrdd's blog, you will know that she frequently sees some interesting idea and then gives a bunch of suggestions on how to use it for speculative fiction. Well, I'm going to kind of do the same.

So Agent Kelly had a link on her blog about some scientist who wants to use man-made tornadoes around the equator to combat global warming. Someone in the tornado discussion then linked to an old Isaac Asimov lecture from 1974, which had an interesting bit in it. Here's the whole Asimov talk. Anyway, he's talking about some story of his, perhaps his very first story, that was sold to a publisher and he thinks it sold because one component of his story was that many people on Earth were not interested in going to space. In fact they opposed it bitterly, and at the time this was innovative. All other stories had either astronauts as heroes or as travelers on distant planets with space centipedes and women in green skin and tiny bikinis. (Not his exact examples, but that's basically what he says.)

It seems one could use this innovation of Asimov's to come up with all sorts of more complex societies and conflict for the protagonist. Take your initial idea of how society would react to something in your fiction - and then splinter it. Find a legitimate and appealing reason that people might oppose it. Or find people on your protagonist's side who have stupid, frustrating reasons for supporting his or her cause. Makes everything more complex and intriguing. As long as it's not needlessly complicating things. In the real world, a planet like ours has 200 some odd countries, but, boy, would that be confusing in some SF. Sometimes we read to get away from that kind of stuff.


ChrisEldin said...

I haven't been here since the goat voices.

Beautiful, no, I mean breathtaking photos of Maui!!

pacatrue said...

Thanks, Chris!

writtenwyrdd said...

Hilariously enough, I posted about that tornado article, too. LOL. Great minds thinking alike, paca! I didn't have mine post until today, though.

I kept thinking that weather control by terrorists would be the interesting take on this topic.

You cannot imagine how flattering it was to see someone referencing me in his blog post, either! :)