Monday, August 10, 2009

AugNoWriMo: Getting Back to Black Science, with Notes

I finished my AugNoWriMo short story last night. Then I spent the rest of my session reading articles and retweeting on Twitter. I didn't feel ready to do anything with Black Science. Well, now I'm ready. But first, I need some story ideas to play with. Some of these come from a book I reread often: Screams of Reason by David J. Skal.

Here's some of the ideas I'm likely to throw into Black Science:
  1. Good mad scientist vs. evil mad scientist! Even better yet, the two enemies were once married:
    • Dr. Willa Richter-Thomas, a psychologist who sometimes works with neuroscientists and is sometimes considered one herself, once wore a shunt in her brain for a year so she could observe the neurochemical activity inside it. She also has a scandalous rocker past.
    • Her ex-husband, Dr. C. Henry Becket, is notorious for his eager participation in the CIA's infamous MKULTRA mind control project and was heavily involved in the interrogations at the Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo Bay prisoner-of-war camps. His monomania is the creation of a "psychotron", or mind-control machine. He was a leader of the pro-torture faction which led the American Psychological Association during the Bush era and is a fanatical proponent of "conversion therapy" of homosexuals.
    The reason I'm including as a backstory subplot the story of Edward Teller's destruction of J. Robert Oppenheimer is not only because of the obvious analogy between the atomic bomb and the psychotron, but also because of the similar struggle between the two main characters of Black Science.
  2. The automaton of the classical variety, modernized into sleek gynoid robots inspired by the likes of Hajime Sorayama. I should specifically relate this to the origin of the "PowerSuits" in Spanner.
  3. Social Darwinism and eugenics raise their ugly heads. Again. This carries over from Bad Company and is one of the consuming obsessions of the Becket clan behind Dictel Corporation.
  4. How about today's crop of "Frankenstein monsters" being developed by and for the US military? Hover drones, cybugs, biomass-eating EATR robots (which the manufacturer claims is actually vegetarian — a classic case of plausible deniability), and other components of Skynet. In short, the combots. The ones Dictel Research is working on are humanoid, like the Terminator.
  5. Uploading human personalities into computers and robots, the engineering of new "posthuman" species, and other obsessions of the Extropians and similar cults.
  6. Cybersex, cyberfetishism, and other such things beloved of the cyberpunks.
And so on. I could go on almost forever. This is just a sampling of the ideas I'll probably throw into that masterpiece of mad mixology I call Black Science.

Now all I need to do is get out those index cards and start giving this story a plot — something I haven't done yet, even though I started writing it in NaNoWriMo '06...

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