Saturday, June 27, 2009

Black Science: Preparing for JulNoWriMo

Instead of returning to Bad Company, I started a new short story (which is turning novel) instead. I'll post the first few chapters soon, and I'll inform you here (and elsewhere) when I do. Though I'm now delaying BadCoFiMo, I still plan on doing the complete rewrite of Black Science for JulNoWriMo. I'm already assembling reams of old handwritten story notes, writing new ones, and collecting a small library of books and websites as research material.

A short synopsis of Black Science, or a rough treatment for the eventual plot: After the disastrous events of Bad Company (in short: Barack Obama gets elected, and giant military corporation Dictel invades America in a futile attempt to restore Operation Permanent Republican Administration), the government psychologist Willa Richter-Thomas is confronted with a choice to either join the super soldier project at Dictel Research or get railroaded for espionage. She chooses to fight. The big question: Why does the new Democratic government want to bring back the evil corporation that tried to destroy them in 2008? The answer, in one word: Afghanistan. President Obama is escalating the Afghan war into yet another Vietnam. And the Pentagon sees Dictel as the key to victory.

As the opening chapter contains the evolution vs. creationism debate in which Willa disposes with creationist pseudoscience, and 2009 is the year of Darwin, I decided to start chapter 1 on Charles Darwin's 200th birthday (February 12) and end the main plot on the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species (November 22; read it here at Darwin Online). I dispose of creationism in chapter 1 because the real threat in the post-Cold War era is Social Darwinism (which was actually started by Herbert Spencer, a lifelong Lamarckian, before Darwin even started publishing). Social Darwinism is the Malthusian-based faith of the corporations, based on the primary tenet of "survival of the fittest", a notion actually not consistent with the actual theory of evolution (as Willa points out, it's really the schoolyard game of "king of the hill", a representative zero-sum game, transformed into a hegemonic worldview). Dictel thrives in such a world, and its leaders (the Becket brothers) are determined to rule it. People are nothing more than game pieces to them. Willa wants none of it; she wants to make a better world, a more humane one — but to do that, she must destroy the world that is, the world of Dictel. The conflict which makes up Black Science, of course, ensues

I think I'm right in laying Bad Company aside for a few months, or at least taking my time in finishing it (which involves, among other things, dissecting the Microsoft Word file). As Black Science has none of the problems that have made BadCo so difficult to write, I may be able to finish it first. Starting July 1, I'll find out.

Back to Spanner’s World...

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