Saturday, December 21, 2019

story ideas

I've had some strange ideas for short stories lately. Maybe I should write a collection.

1. Mr. Fusion becomes a reality: matter/energy conversion is now available to the general public. Collecting garbage now becomes a way to either earn money (you're paid for dumping your trash into a converter) or earn energy for your domicile/community (dumping trash into a local converter means more energy for your and your neighbors' homes). But with this new tech comes the downside: the mafia and various other unsavory types now have an easy way to dispose of damning evidence, dead bodies, etc.—and there's no way to trace these things once they've been lost in what is essentially the ultimate Orwellian memory hole. Also: some people cheat the system by dumping things like soil, rocks, and trees into the converters, which (in these early days of the new tech) can't distinguish between trash and non-trash. What shape does such a society take?

2. On the eve of his first major battle in the Civil War, Robert E. Lee is yanked out of his reality and transported to another world on which he is stripped of all rights and dignity and forced to labor as a slave for what feels like a year. After his period of cruel servitude, during which time he witnesses and experiences unimaginable horrors, Lee is brusquely transported right back to the place and time from which he had been snatched. But now, Lee has a completely different attitude toward slavery, and he looks upon black chattel slaves with a compassion rooted in experience—an experience he can't talk about with his fellow Grays because no one would believe him. What does Lee do? He might be in a position to halt the Civil War before it begins if he has the courage of his new convictions.

3. A story called "The Failures," about a group of friends who all seek some sort of redemption after having spectacularly failed at something earlier in life: a failed monk, a failed tiger, and a failed rabbit, falling in together and having an adventure that will change—and perhaps exalt—them all. If they survive.

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