G is for Grandiose Plans

A project I’ve just started – and I don’t know when I’ll finished it – is to go through all of my notebooks and see how many ideas for novels I’ve had. I would be very surprised if the number is less than 100. (Most have – at best – a one page outline.) I know I’ll never be able to write all of them. Therefore, some years ago I picked three that I would work on as my first three novels. Last year I bumped it up to ten. These were picked to demonstrate my range. I think if I could write these ten, I’d be able to die happy. Though I’d prefer to write all 100. 😛

#1 – None of Them Knew the Color of the Sky
I’m almost half done with this one. I set up a MySpace profile for this, but I haven’t really done much with it. I can sum this novel up in one sentence: “Will a treasure from the past be enough to unite the survivors of a nuclear war; or, are arrogance, mistrust, and hatred too akin to cockroaches?”

#2 – Damocles
Remember the asteroid impact movie craze of the late 90’s? Asteroid and comet impacts are a threat to the long term survival of humanity, so it was nice to see movies about it, but did they have to be so scientifically … wrong? Damocles is my “as scientifically accurate as I can make it” tale of a small piece of a comet that will impact the western Pacific … in about a week. It won’t wipe out humanity, but there isn’t time to deflect it, so it will hit. The main story is about the evacuation of Hawaii which will be devastated when the impact tsunami reaches it.

#3 – Bringing Peace to the Void: The Memoir of Admiral René Pomeroy, HRN (Ret.)
I started writing this, but I set it aside to focus on Color of the Sky. This novel is set in my Human Republic Universe. It follows René Pomeroy from ensign to admiral, from his graduation from Tsiolkovskiy to leading the fleet in The Battle of GDI, the final battle in The Milk Wars. (The Milk Wars are a big event in the history of the Human Republic and were key in turning the Human Republic Navy into an effective fighting force.)

#4 – By Petep’s Boulder
Long ago there was an alien monk named Petep. The monastery where he lived was near a large sinkhole. One evening as he meditated, Petep reached such a state of perfect being that all the evil in him split out. Petep pushed this evil being into the sinkhole and rolled a boulder on top of it so it could never escape. For generations, his followers came to the sinkhole to toss away their sins by writing them on a piece of paper and wrapping it around a rock. The world would end once the hole was filled with their sins. At least, that’s the story.
The novel starts with a team of archeologists excavating the sinkhole filled with rocks and the occasional skeleton. The novel contains, maybe ten parts, each set a few centuries before the previous one so the story of the religion made by Petep’s followers is written backwards. Part 1 deals with the “end of the world” while Part 10 tells what really happened to Petep that evening.

#5 – Mediocre Insanity
I started writing this novel in college, but I realized I was biting off more than I could chew at the time so I set it aside. The basic plot is this down on his luck writer inherits a house in the middle of nowhere from an uncle he doesn’t remember ever meeting. The story is him dealing with all the strange people he meets and his slow descent into madness. I put every strange thought I could into this, so it is filled with dream elements, things drunk people have said, and things I thought of when I had too little sleep. Case in point, one of the major sub-plots is that alarm clocks are trying to take over the world and their main base is this house. “Looking down upon its pitiful victim, the alarm clock barked out its vile laugh.”

#6,7,8 – The Mysterious Fleet, Spreading Cracks, Fall Into Darkness
This trilogy is my response to the Star Wars Prequels. I – like most people – was extremely disappointed in them. Sometime between the second and third one, I started wondering how I would have done the prequels. I came up with what I thought was a better story, but what to do with it? Well, change some details and write a trilogy. Instead of Jedi I have telepaths, and instead of clones there’s … well, you’ll have to read to find out.
For centuries, the telepaths have kept the peace by going into the minds of evil doers and making them stop. The navy is little more than glorified taxies for the telepaths. But then this fleet of pirates starts attacking and when the telepaths go out to stop them, they can’t break into the mind of whoever is commanding the fleet. Since the telepaths can’t do anything, the navy gets a huge influx of funds to start building up.
There are then incidents where it looks like the telepaths overstep their bounds, and the public begins turning on them. This leads into the subplot of a young telepath who turns against the others as well as a mysterious person who seems to be pulling all the strings. In the end the pirates are defeated, the telepaths are disbanded and mostly wiped out, and there is a very strong navy who only follow the orders of one person.

#9 – Cup of Joe’s
While Mediocre Insanity isn’t scifi, it is weird. But Cup of Joe’s is just standard, run of the mill fiction. It’s the story of a guy named Joe who opens up a coffee shop not far from a university. He tries to make it very student friendly, holding poetry readings or having a band play almost every night. There is a love interest – the President of the Poetry Club who he hires to be his event coordinator – and there is a secret which he keeps out of fear it could ruin any chance he has of finding true love.

#10 – Self Defense
I came up with this idea during one of my astronomy classes in college. The professor was talking about asteroid impacts. There are some groups that want to develop the technology to deflect asteroids, but there are others who fear some Bond villain could use the technology to deflect an asteroid towards Earth. The professor said that was just silly. Twenty minutes later, I had this idea worked out.
A small asteroid hits somewhere and kills a few thousand people. A massive effort is set up to find and deflect any other asteroids and for decades the people who do this are heroes. Go forward about a century. All potential dangers have already been deflected, all the equipment is fifty-sixty years old, and the people who now work there are misfits who can’t find better jobs. So this guy thinks of a way to regain the spotlight, to make them heroes again. Everything that could hit Earth in the next thousand years has already been taken care of, but not so for Mars. So he and some accomplices divert a small asteroid to hit Mars. They’ll discover it – just in time – and save the colony. Everyone will cheer, they’ll get more funding, everything will be good.
Then the Martians declare independence. The guy – way ahead of schedule – goes to his superiors telling them there is an asteroid heading towards Mars. His superiors just shrug and say, “Sucks to be them.” Does he tell everyone what he has done, or stay quiet?

#11 – Extra, title TBD
As an extra bonus, here’s maybe my eleventh novel. As I said I want to demonstrate my range, so this one is my stab at YA fantasy.
For several cold, winter nights, this kid hears a hammering coming from his bedroom wall. When he goes into the bathroom next door, he hears nothing, but the hammering in his room gets louder and louder until the wall collapses revealing a stone tunnel and several men. The men run away, and the kid follows them and comes out of the side of a hill. As he walks around the spring meadow, the men – who didn’t see him – dynamite the cave so he can’t return home. When they see him they run in fear. The kid wanders around, runs into a wizard, a love interest, maybe a few others.
The people of this land are being terrorized by Erds. These flying beasts used to only be found in the deep forests, but they have been spreading. Whenever an Erd senses fire, it lands and lets out a mist which puts out the fire and kills anyone too near. When the Erds come to an area, the people can’t cook or heat their homes without an Erd crashing through their roofs. And the people can’t do anything because it is against Tel law to harm an Erd. Tels are the very tall, flawlessly beautiful people who “benevolently” rule the land, even though they are rarely seen.
The kid things it’s stupid not to harm the Erds, so he takes a bow and starts hunting them. Whenever he hits one with an arrow, it explodes. He becomes an outlaw hero, and after many adventures, makes it to the Tel city where he discovers the Tel’s terrible secret.

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One Response to “G is for Grandiose Plans”

  1. Gretchen Says:

    Very cool ideas here, Steve! I hope you get to write them ALL! Personally, I particularly like Petep’s Boulder, the “extra”, and Damocles. (And I totally understand the urge behind #6,7,8. And your “version” does sound better!)
    A decade or so ago I did a similar thing: catalogued my writings, including unfinished ones, and came up with a list of the unfinished that I wanted to finish someday. I think if I revisted that list, it would be very different today!

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