"...and so (maybe) it begins."

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August 12th, 2015 at 7:20:48 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
Posts: 9756
I'm going to let you in to my creative process, such as it may be. Maybe something will come of this, maybe not.

The other day I had a rather vivid dream. The part I recall is two police officers showed up at a couple's home to take them to prison, not to arrest them, informing them they'd been convicted in a class-action prosecution.

The wife said "We weren't even told about this!"

One of the cops replies, "What would you have done? Hire a lawyer?"

I also recall I knew of a law whereby every person even remotely "involved" in a crime would be sentenced.

That's it.


Now, as dystopian ideas go, this seems like a good one. But it's only an idea and not a story. It's not even a story idea, but rather just a them/plot element.

I did think a bit about it.

Suppose Joe kills Mary. The police will investigate, gather evidence, examine clues and question a lot of people. In time they'll find Jack was afraid Joe might kill Mary, and he told his wife, Ann. Also Joe bought a gun at an arms show without undergoing any kind of background check. The seller never asked him what the gun was for. They find the gun, the receipt for the sale, they match the gun to the murder and arrest Joe.

Well and good. Now suppose the prosecutor charges Joe, the gun seller, Jack, Ann, the owners of the security company in Mary's office building, Joe's shrink, Joe's wife and children, Joe's parents and siblings, Joe's employer and coworkers, for first degree murder.

Why all these people? Because each of them might, however improbably, have prevented Mary's death.

Now, according to my dream, only Joe, perhaps, need be tried. The rest may not even know they were charged. That seems like a stretch. More likely they'd all be brought to trial.

And then what? They'd each have a lawyer and any kind of trial would last months at least, if not years. Ah, but it's "class-action." Meaning they'd all be represented by a single lawyer or small team of lawyers, say three or four max.

Now, if they all face the same charge, then there's no conflict among them as to objective. But there may be as to strategy. Also, who's the client? How is that even determined?

But one last thing. In a class-action lawsuit, people not directly involved in it can get a payment from the settlement or verdict reached. Likewise in this case someone not charged at trial could get sentenced if their "role" in the crime is discovered afterwards.

Of course the whole notion may fall apart if given close scrutiny, but the odd thing is similar things have happened in totalitarian regimes like Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. They happen today in drug cartel fights, too, when whole families are attacked or outright murdered en-masse. It's dressing the practice up as law in a free country that makes it chilling.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
August 17th, 2015 at 7:12:43 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
Posts: 9756
Now I'm getting plot element ideas regarding this. More about this shortly.

Larry Niven imagined a world where even something as minor as too many traffic tickets could get one the death penalty. He had things evolve to this point, he explains, shortly after murderers began to be executed by dismemberment so their organs could be used for transplant.

In that vein, I need to have my idea evolve. I mean, if such a law were proposed tomorrow, it would have no chance of passing. Ah, but similar laws have been proposed, though I don't think they've ever passed or been implemented.

Laws have been proposed to hold the parents of juvenile delinquents accountable for their children's crimes. Also to hold gun manufacturers liable for deaths involving firearms.

We can "evolve" from that...

So, plot ideas... Well, I thought to have the story set in the early days of the very draconian law. One idea is to have the lawyer for one of the people indicted try to free their client by fighting the constitutionality of the law in the courts. Another idea is to have the defense team for the whole group demand X and Y police officers, who also might have prevented the murder, be added to the class prosecution.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
August 28th, 2015 at 9:15:52 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
Posts: 9756
The theme admits, thus far, two interesting approaches. One is from a POV (point of view) supporting this type of measure. the other is a principled, courageous opposition to it.

The second is far more attractive. It also allows me to begin the story right in the middle. I mean, instead of a murder investigation which results in mass arrests, I can begin with a brave police captain refusing an order to assemble a task force in her precinct to carry out the mass arrests.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
October 6th, 2015 at 11:37:54 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
Posts: 9756
There have been no further developments. Some process, huh?

I've moved it to the back burner for now.

I've plenty else to do. I want to finish "Ours," then tackle "Betrayal" just to see how I handle the massive exposition(*). After that I may continue with short stories with "Necropolis," or "Water and Sand," or try again to do a novel with "Keeping Secrets." Somewhere along the way I need to revisit "Three Ladies," "Golden," and "The Useless Rebellion of Calum Shad." (I think titles should either be very short or very descriptive; it's best when they can be both.)

(*) That one is set about 7,000 years in the past, but not on this planet. Three planets will be mentioned and two shown. I swear I thought up the names years ago, but any WoV veterans will think otherwise. Character names will be a b*** and a half. They're not supposed to be Earth-related at all.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
October 20th, 2015 at 8:49:25 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
Posts: 9756
Quote: Nareed
(*) That one is set about 7,000 years in the past, but not on this planet.


Major typo. It's 700 years, not 7 thousand.

Maybe.

See, I'm caught between two visions. One is showing a type of extraterrestrial civilization developing over time. Eventually they make contact with Earth (not in this story), then stories proceed from there.

the other vision is of a particular life sciences development in this civilization, which gradually extends life and ultimately leads to indefinite lifespans. With the latter criteria, 700 years might be less than one lifetime....
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
March 3rd, 2016 at 3:03:40 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
Posts: 9756
And so it begins again....

After not getting enough sleep, then suffering a grilling about the quality of our products (don't ask), while half dozing off, two stories sort of coalesced in my mind and merged into a single universe. Still two stories, but set in the same universe.

I waited until I drank some more coffee later, but it still made sense:

"You risked so much," she said to the preserved body of the Mother. "You lost so much. But you prevailed. I never forget I exist because of you. I live because of you. How can I thank you, but by living and making sure our people go on forever? What would you do? Would you go? Would you let him go? The risk is terrifying, but the stakes are everything you lived for, and everything you died for. It's worth my life to save us all. But it's not worth his life. Never his life."
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
March 4th, 2016 at 7:07:02 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
Posts: 9756
I'm just putting down some notes on bits of dialogue:

"We have hard choices to make. If the Earthman says the wrong thing, we will be in great peril. If he asks the wrong question, we will all die. What is my life compared to that? I would rather wait another five years, but we have lost the luxury of time. Either we strike in five weeks, or we won't be able to strike at all. We cannot kill the overlord now. We dare not attempt to kill the Earthman at all. Someone has to go. I know the risks. I'd be lying if I said I can accept them. But one of us has to be there if anything is to be saved. I will not ask anyone else, or let anyone else, make such a frightful gamble with their life. It has to be me."
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
October 24th, 2016 at 9:03:34 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
Posts: 9756
I'm mulling over an idea from the Rick and Morty show.

Pretty much Rick uses a "portal gun" to travel to "other dimensions," and a spaceship to travel to other planets. The impression is that the "other dimensions" include also, or are entirely (it can be argued both ways), different timelines/parallel universes.

This idea is rather old, but hasn't been exploited much. In Rick and Morty, they seem to buy into the idea of infinite timelines, or at least vast numbers of them. In one ep, we learn several Ricks from several timelines have banded together for mutual protection in a body called "The Council of Ricks." "Our" Rick is not a member, he's too independent for that.

I got to thinking of someone who can travel to different timelines exclusively, and who meets her analogue selves in some of them. And eventually they band together for support and to advance their (mostly) common objectives.

Ok, so this is derivative. But it gets worse. I keep imagining someone very much like the Techno-mages in Babylon 5 <sigh>. That has to change. Beyond that, all I need is a story :)

I did see Sliders, BTW.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
October 27th, 2016 at 11:28:51 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
Posts: 9756
Would you believe a parallel universe where McDonnell Douglas remains in business (whether or not it acquires Boeing), and by this time they have an MD-12 double-deck Very Large Airplane?

For the record, it was considered in the late 80s, but got dropped in favor of an upgraded DC-10 known as the MD-11.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
December 19th, 2016 at 7:43:14 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
Posts: 9756
How about a first contact story where the one alien character has only three lines? Hell, only three words, and two are in an alien language.

For the record, these are:

No.
Kren.
Misix.

Another thought: would we put an alien in a an MRI machine if she's giving us an anatomy textbook on her species?
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
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