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Idea for a scifi short story

Republican95
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10/13/2009 6:55:54 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
For English I I have to write a short story (15 to 40 pages long) and I got assigned the genre of science fiction. I came up with the following idea for a story.

Due to the escalation of the oil energy crisis during the 2010s and 2020s commuting long distances to and from work has become financially unfeasible. Thus, the more "affluent" population of the suburbs starts to migrate to the cities and the value of the land in the suburbs decreases. The poor, due to the rising demand for land in the cities, start to move into the suburbs, where land is cheap. By 2035, socio-economic population patterns have almost completely reversed, with the rich Whites and Asians inhabiting the cities while the poorer Blacks and Hispanics live in the suburbs. Starting around 2040, EPA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development start something known as the "Dome Initiative", which involved building huge geodesic domes over cities for "environmental reasons". By 2060, the 30 largest American cities are all "domed". All of the domed cities are connected by vast underground highway systems known as the "catacombs" and people get around in solar powered vehicles that can travel up to 750 miles per hour. The government portrays those who live outside of "the dome" as prosperous and having adequate healthcare, education, and other needs, while in reality the government have ignored the needs of the citizens and it has turned into an Anarchic society in which various street gangs fight for control of the "government", goods, and services.

Our story begins in 2071 and focuses on the events of the life of 17 year old Kathryn Henley who lives with her six year old sister and widowed mother in a plush apartment in New York City's Upper East Side (the entire island of Manhattan is under "the dome"). One day, while her mother is out shopping something unexpected happens.

The outsiders have rebelled.

They break into the Southern Catacomb and invade the city. Kathryn and her sister escape via the northern catacomb trying to escape to Canada. However, about 10 minutes into driving the catacombs suffer a huge power outage and amidst the panic Kathryn loses her sister. Her, and the hundreds of other motorists, wait into a designated "emergency center" until government help arrives (which it never does). Finally, Kathy goes above ground and is outside the dome.

There she meets an older man (around 60 years old), whose name is George. She must adapt to life outside the dome while her hometown comes under assault.

I'm not sure how to end it.

Any ideas for changes or an ending? Criticisms? Comments?

Please respond...due on October 30th....
leet4A1
Posts: 1,986
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10/13/2009 7:00:30 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 10/13/2009 6:55:54 PM, Republican95 wrote:
For English I I have to write a short story (15 to 40 pages long) and I got assigned the genre of science fiction. I came up with the following idea for a story.

Due to the escalation of the oil energy crisis during the 2010s and 2020s commuting long distances to and from work has become financially unfeasible. Thus, the more "affluent" population of the suburbs starts to migrate to the cities and the value of the land in the suburbs decreases. The poor, due to the rising demand for land in the cities, start to move into the suburbs, where land is cheap. By 2035, socio-economic population patterns have almost completely reversed, with the rich Whites and Asians inhabiting the cities while the poorer Blacks and Hispanics live in the suburbs. Starting around 2040, EPA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development start something known as the "Dome Initiative", which involved building huge geodesic domes over cities for "environmental reasons". By 2060, the 30 largest American cities are all "domed". All of the domed cities are connected by vast underground highway systems known as the "catacombs" and people get around in solar powered vehicles that can travel up to 750 miles per hour. The government portrays those who live outside of "the dome" as prosperous and having adequate healthcare, education, and other needs, while in reality the government have ignored the needs of the citizens and it has turned into an Anarchic society in which various street gangs fight for control of the "government", goods, and services.

Our story begins in 2071 and focuses on the events of the life of 17 year old Kathryn Henley who lives with her six year old sister and widowed mother in a plush apartment in New York City's Upper East Side (the entire island of Manhattan is under "the dome"). One day, while her mother is out shopping something unexpected happens.

The outsiders have rebelled.

They break into the Southern Catacomb and invade the city. Kathryn and her sister escape via the northern catacomb trying to escape to Canada. However, about 10 minutes into driving the catacombs suffer a huge power outage and amidst the panic Kathryn loses her sister. Her, and the hundreds of other motorists, wait into a designated "emergency center" until government help arrives (which it never does). Finally, Kathy goes above ground and is outside the dome.

There she meets an older man (around 60 years old), whose name is George. She must adapt to life outside the dome while her hometown comes under assault.

I'm not sure how to end it.

Any ideas for changes or an ending? Criticisms? Comments?

Please respond...due on October 30th....

Sounds alright man. Perhaps we could catch up with the story in 10-15 years and the outsiders have a new leader, a young girl known only as The Leader, or some such. It turns out to be Kathryn's sister. Obviously this isn't an ending in and of itself, but I do love a twist in a story.
"Let me tell you the truth. The truth is, 'what is'. And 'what should be' is a fantasy, a terrible terrible lie that someone gave to the people long ago. The 'what should be' never did exist, but people keep trying to live up to it. There is no 'what should be,' there is only what is." - Lenny Bruce

"Satan goes to church, did you know that?" - Godsands

"And Genisis 1 does match modern science... you just have to try really hard." - GR33K FR33K5
Puck
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10/13/2009 7:26:05 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Just how are you solar powering under dome and under ground vehicles? O.o

Also city/suburb setup is very similar to the anime Ergo Proxy, even the break ins..
Puck
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10/13/2009 7:28:03 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Plus need to resolve the issue of those who are in Dome, if indoctrinated that out of Dome is a viable alternative, not actually wanting to move there.
leet4A1
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10/13/2009 7:32:04 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 10/13/2009 7:26:05 PM, Puck wrote:
Just how are you solar powering under dome and under ground vehicles? O.o


Maybe the sunlight can be redirected to underground by optic fibres.
"Let me tell you the truth. The truth is, 'what is'. And 'what should be' is a fantasy, a terrible terrible lie that someone gave to the people long ago. The 'what should be' never did exist, but people keep trying to live up to it. There is no 'what should be,' there is only what is." - Lenny Bruce

"Satan goes to church, did you know that?" - Godsands

"And Genisis 1 does match modern science... you just have to try really hard." - GR33K FR33K5
Puck
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10/13/2009 7:38:37 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 10/13/2009 7:32:04 PM, leet4A1 wrote:
At 10/13/2009 7:26:05 PM, Puck wrote:
Just how are you solar powering under dome and under ground vehicles? O.o


Maybe the sunlight can be redirected to underground by optic fibres.

Sure but ya need a pseudo science explanation how the surface area of the dome can possibly generate that much power.

Best pollution dystopian movie I've seen was the Korean Anime, Wonderful Days, where the affluents reside in a city that feeds off pollution to create the necessary energy. The outsiders are treated as an expendable work force living in slums.
leet4A1
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10/13/2009 7:42:20 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 10/13/2009 7:38:37 PM, Puck wrote:
At 10/13/2009 7:32:04 PM, leet4A1 wrote:
At 10/13/2009 7:26:05 PM, Puck wrote:
Just how are you solar powering under dome and under ground vehicles? O.o


Maybe the sunlight can be redirected to underground by optic fibres.

Sure but ya need a pseudo science explanation how the surface area of the dome can possibly generate that much power.

Best pollution dystopian movie I've seen was the Korean Anime, Wonderful Days, where the affluents reside in a city that feeds off pollution to create the necessary energy. The outsiders are treated as an expendable work force living in slums.


Speaking of anime (I don't really get into it much myself), have you seen Afro Samurai? What do you think of it? I f*cking love it, but then I'm far from an anime guru.
"Let me tell you the truth. The truth is, 'what is'. And 'what should be' is a fantasy, a terrible terrible lie that someone gave to the people long ago. The 'what should be' never did exist, but people keep trying to live up to it. There is no 'what should be,' there is only what is." - Lenny Bruce

"Satan goes to church, did you know that?" - Godsands

"And Genisis 1 does match modern science... you just have to try really hard." - GR33K FR33K5
PervRat
Posts: 963
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10/13/2009 7:54:34 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
First, a minor critique from a "science" perspective -- umm, solar-powered vehicles going 750 MPH ... okay, amazing but I'm not gonna critique that, except they run in underground catacombs between cities ... err, how exactly do you solar-powered vehicles getting solar power underground? Heh. I guess the domes could be covered in solar panels, and the powers are charged indirectly from them instead actually obtaining solar power themselves.

I would like to comment, on the subject of the right-wing science fiction fans ... it seems like an odd couple, to me. Science fiction, by and large, is a means for exploring liberal ideals -- social justice and equality, for instance, in your story from an oppressive government in a bit of a contrast of conservatives' long segregationism symbolized today with the efforts to wall out "illegal immigrants" much the same as walling out the undesirable poor from affluent-haven cities in your story.

I really found it odd that Star Trek: The Next Generation, Firefly and other liberal-idealed science fiction was homed on the conservative Fox network in the U.S.

Has anyone else pondered this seeming odd conflux of conservatives accepting liberal ideals in science fiction but rejecting them IRL?
Puck
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10/13/2009 7:58:33 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Firefly was axed after one series, and a troubled one at that. :P Most likely the reason Fox wanted it was the possibility of another cash cow like Buffy.
Puck
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10/13/2009 8:01:56 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
As for the genre being inherently liberal, I would argue against, since sci-fi is generally a term indicative of a setting, not the constructs therein.
PervRat
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10/13/2009 8:10:21 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Sci fi has long been an avenue for exploring taboo ideals.

It was sci fi, for instance, that brought us the very first regular African-American working alongside white Americans and the very first on-television interracial kiss (both from the original Star Trek series). Years before Ellen came out, Star Trek: The Next Generation had a provocative episode regarding gender identity (the one with the androgynous race, among whom some pervertedly started to identify as one gender or another in defiance of their conservative monosexual-protectivist government), another on terrorism (that was banned in the UK). Battlestar Galactica took that a step further when the protagonists resorted to suicide bomb terrorism as a guerrilla tactic as a tool to use against an overwhelmingly powerful military they did not have the capability of defeating in traditional fights.
PervRat
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10/13/2009 8:12:47 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Also, Star Trek and 2010 both humanized Soviets -- Star Trek with the Chekov character, 2010 with portraying the cold war as being a dangerous ridiculous game in defiance of the "good providence us vs. evil communist hooligans them" propaganda maintained by conservatives and the military-industrial complex.
I-am-a-panda
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10/14/2009 1:39:09 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
A good story will follow some metaphor or moral. Unless it's sci-fi, but I would recommend going with the former for school.
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brian_eggleston
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10/15/2009 7:01:33 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
I like this idea because it is sci-fi but with a socio-political message.

Indeed, it is very close to the truth in present day London. Years ago, the wealthy used to live in suburban houses and commute into the city for work, shopping and entertainment and the poor lived on the fringes of the city centre.

However, since the late eighties, run-down working class areas like Fulham, Battersea, Islington, Hammersmith, Maida Vale, Camden, Clapham, Wapping and Docklands (where I live) have become "gentrified" where even the smallest apartments will cost you £320,000 / ($550,000) + while the former upper-middle class villas of places like Thornton Heath, Manor Park, Walthamstow and Bromley have been converted into smaller units for multiple occupation.

True enough, the central areas are now mainly white; non-Orthodox Jewish; Asian (Indian) and Oriental (Chinese, Korean, Japanese) and the suburbs black (Carribean, African); Asian (Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Sri-Lankan) and Orthodox Jewish.
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InsertNameHere
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10/15/2009 1:29:14 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
I actually really like this idea. If you don't mind, I would love to read the finished product. It almost reminds me of a story I'm currently writing. It takes place in an alternate Universe, very similar to modern earth, but it's a strictly segregated society run by a totalitarian government. Everybody is born with a special ability and their class is determined by this. A bunch of people against the regime come together and eventually rebel because of some actions by the corrupted leader. I'm just beginning to get to that part...
I-am-a-panda
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10/15/2009 1:36:59 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
How the story should go from there:

George tells her of the U.S> governments involvement in a War over oil in Alaska with China. With all resources pledged there, it has ignored it's citizens in an attempt to control what precious oil is left.

George should be a veteran in a similar war in Nigeria and should have some disability. They should acquire a boat, with a boatman, a friend of George, who offers them a safe place, to Halifax (For an unknown reason) where Canada is pushing out troops for a conflict over natural gas in the North Sea. They get caught in the conscription crisis and the boatman is killed. George should be injured as a result of his disability. She brings George to a hospital where he's treated and they meet Aldo, leader of an underground Green Terrorist group. They plan a massive worldwide raid on nuclear stocks to be used on energy conflicts to end them permanently.

She agrees to help, along with George being he's a veteran and they go on a raid where she is badly wounded due to her life in the dome. As the rebels begin lose, George gains access to the launch controls. He states that the catacombs are the world's problem, and radios the various international groups, pretending to be Aldo. Realising George was just a government puppet all along who wants to get rid of the Catacombs (expand on here), crush the Green revolutionaries and dispose of foreign nuclear stockpiles. He holds her at gun point. Fearing for eevryone, she throws herself into George, killing him and severely injuring herself. The real Aldo reappears and overrides the commands. However, he needs to confirm it, and needs a hand, but a dead hand. With Georges body gone, and Georges fingerprints on her, she cuts off her hand, dies of blood loss and the nuclear bombs go to the various battlefields.

The scene changes to her sister, who is being transported as an army helper to Alaska. As her plane nears Alaska, she's sees the bombs go off and the plane turns around.

Expand on an ending and some moral and :D
Pizza. I have enormous respect for Pizza.
Republican95
Posts: 111
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10/15/2009 1:50:58 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 10/15/2009 1:36:59 PM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
How the story should go from there:

George tells her of the U.S> governments involvement in a War over oil in Alaska with China. With all resources pledged there, it has ignored it's citizens in an attempt to control what precious oil is left.

George should be a veteran in a similar war in Nigeria and should have some disability. They should acquire a boat, with a boatman, a friend of George, who offers them a safe place, to Halifax (For an unknown reason) where Canada is pushing out troops for a conflict over natural gas in the North Sea. They get caught in the conscription crisis and the boatman is killed. George should be injured as a result of his disability. She brings George to a hospital where he's treated and they meet Aldo, leader of an underground Green Terrorist group. They plan a massive worldwide raid on nuclear stocks to be used on energy conflicts to end them permanently.

She agrees to help, along with George being he's a veteran and they go on a raid where she is badly wounded due to her life in the dome. As the rebels begin lose, George gains access to the launch controls. He states that the catacombs are the world's problem, and radios the various international groups, pretending to be Aldo. Realising George was just a government puppet all along who wants to get rid of the Catacombs (expand on here), crush the Green revolutionaries and dispose of foreign nuclear stockpiles. He holds her at gun point. Fearing for eevryone, she throws herself into George, killing him and severely injuring herself. The real Aldo reappears and overrides the commands. However, he needs to confirm it, and needs a hand, but a dead hand. With Georges body gone, and Georges fingerprints on her, she cuts off her hand, dies of blood loss and the nuclear bombs go to the various battlefields.

The scene changes to her sister, who is being transported as an army helper to Alaska. As her plane nears Alaska, she's sees the bombs go off and the plane turns around.

Expand on an ending and some moral and :D

GREAT IDEA!!! I'm doing that...thanks Panda...
I-am-a-panda
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10/15/2009 1:59:07 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 10/15/2009 1:50:58 PM, Republican95 wrote:
At 10/15/2009 1:36:59 PM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
How the story should go from there:

George tells her of the U.S> governments involvement in a War over oil in Alaska with China. With all resources pledged there, it has ignored it's citizens in an attempt to control what precious oil is left.

George should be a veteran in a similar war in Nigeria and should have some disability. They should acquire a boat, with a boatman, a friend of George, who offers them a safe place, to Halifax (For an unknown reason) where Canada is pushing out troops for a conflict over natural gas in the North Sea. They get caught in the conscription crisis and the boatman is killed. George should be injured as a result of his disability. She brings George to a hospital where he's treated and they meet Aldo, leader of an underground Green Terrorist group. They plan a massive worldwide raid on nuclear stocks to be used on energy conflicts to end them permanently.

She agrees to help, along with George being he's a veteran and they go on a raid where she is badly wounded due to her life in the dome. As the rebels begin lose, George gains access to the launch controls. He states that the catacombs are the world's problem, and radios the various international groups, pretending to be Aldo. Realising George was just a government puppet all along who wants to get rid of the Catacombs (expand on here), crush the Green revolutionaries and dispose of foreign nuclear stockpiles. He holds her at gun point. Fearing for eevryone, she throws herself into George, killing him and severely injuring herself. The real Aldo reappears and overrides the commands. However, he needs to confirm it, and needs a hand, but a dead hand. With Georges body gone, and Georges fingerprints on her, she cuts off her hand, dies of blood loss and the nuclear bombs go to the various battlefields.

The scene changes to her sister, who is being transported as an army helper to Alaska. As her plane nears Alaska, she's sees the bombs go off and the plane turns around.

Expand on an ending and some moral and :D

GREAT IDEA!!! I'm doing that...thanks Panda...

@Dead hand bit: George has a fake, prosthetic hand
Pizza. I have enormous respect for Pizza.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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10/15/2009 2:24:48 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Pervrat, people that try to claim science fiction as the exclusive territory of their ideology should, for starters, actually read science fiction instead of watching the stuff that gets on network television (Which, unlike science fiction, is a liberal monopoly-- and that includes the Fox network, Fox's network channel and Fox News are two entirely different animals. You can usually tell the difference by looking at all the cartoons that declare Republican fathers lovable dolts and liberal daughters geniuses :P.)

You can start with the Ender series and something by Heinlein.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.