Welcome to CL's next exciting Short Story Project!
This thread is a follow up to:
- The Colorless Short Story Project 3 Discussion
- The Colorless Short Story Anthology: Vol.2: Download and Feedback Thread
- The Colorless Short Story Anthology: Vol.1: Download and Feedback Thread
- CL Short Story Project 2: Sword & Sorcery Edition and
- CL Short Story Project 1: Horror / Thriller Edition!
People seemed to enjoy the idea of writing Science Fiction a lot, so there we go! It is decided!
Format, Genre and Restrictions
You will be writing an original Science Fiction story. This has been suggested by various users and was widely accepted by the others involved in the discussion. You are free to mix in other genres or themes, as long as the story can be recognized as falling into the above.
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginative content such as futuristic settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, time travel, parallel universes, and extraterrestrial life. Exploring the consequences of scientific innovations is one purpose of science fiction, making it a "literature of ideas". Science fiction has been used by authors as a device to discuss philosophical ideas such as identity, desire, morality, and social structure.
Science fiction is largely based on writing rationally about alternative possible worlds or futures. It is similar to, but differs from fantasy in that, within the context of the story, its imaginary elements are largely possible within scientifically established or scientifically postulated physical laws (though some elements in a story might still be pure imaginative speculation).
@--Jack-- has compiled a few items and topics that may be interesting to look at, and hopefully inspire some of the as of yet undecided candidates:
Some Topic Ideas:
- Space - (Story settings)
- Other planets - (Story settings)
- Futuristic Cities - (Story settings)
- Technology from alien species
- Theoretical Physics and how Sci-fi can be realistic at times (Theme)
--Jack-- also provided a nice list of inspirational and iconic media Science Fiction as a genre has to offer:
Some Sources of Inspiration (Books, Movies, Anime, etc)
- The Fifth Element (Movie)
- Larry Niven (Author)
- Ghost in the Shell (Anime)
- Isaac Asimov (Author)
- The "Metal Gear" series (Video Game)
- Douglas Adams' "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
- Blade Runner (Movie)
- I-Robot (Movie)
- Star Trek (Television/Movie)
- Forbidden Planet (Movie [you should see it at least once])
- Pitch Black & The Chronicles of Riddick (Movies)
To that list, I will add the following:
- Space Battleship Yamato (Anime)
- Warhammer 40,000 (Tabletop Franchise with expanded universe through novels, video games etc)
- Star Wars (Franchise of movies, books, games, etc)
- DOOM (Video Game Franchise)
- The Alien Franchise
- Jules Verne's novels ala Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea or Journey to the Center of the Earth. Yes, he wrote early Scifi!
- Deus Ex (Video Games)
- Cyberpunk (Roleplaying Game / Pen and Paper system)
- Fallout (Video Games)
You see, the genre is a huge one - you will find your own niche!
If you need further information or inspiration, go ahead and read this Wikipedia page!
Science Fiction is fantastic for asking big questions and painting bigger pictures. It is a great format for philosophical topics, such as asking about the extent of humanity, or otherworldly species. Moral ambiguity is something that really shines in the genre. Experiment!
Now that the topic is settled and explained, here are the more specific rules.
You shall plan your story to take up around 2500 to 6500 words.
Science Fiction benefits greatly from being rich of detail. Building a more or less believable world, with interesting characters, technology and problems is one of the most satisfying things about Science Fiction.
However, your scope may vary greatly, depending on your focus. Thus, the word range is much bigger than before. I do hope there will be people who get close to the maximum word count, just as I hope to read a few interesting, shorter but focused set pieces.
The following Not Safe for Work Restrictions apply:
There may be no purely sexual scenes in your story. While your story may have sexual aspects, taking it too far will have you disqualified. Tasteless smut will not be tolerated! You can get away with implying a scene like this, if it furthers the plot and does not become excessive. Remember that we have younger users on here!
Prohibiting violence in a science fiction story is just as ridiculous as with Fantasy, so we ain't gonna do that. Still, better make sure it suits the story's tone and characters, and don't go further than you really need. Keep it tasteful, if possible.
Regarding Fan- and Tie-in Fiction
Do not write fan or tie-in fiction. Work on your own, original story instead.
Do not restrict yourself to already existing franchises or characters, and best keep in mind that the reader will not have existing knowledge on any one franchise you might try to touch on anyway.
This means no Anime, no Space Marines, no Ice and Fire, no Trolls, and also no CL users.
I know fully well how tempting it may appear to write about your favorite Star Trek or Star Wars characters, being a 40k nerd and all. However, resist that urge.
The project starts today, January 25th.
You will have until Monday, the 3rd of March to submit your story.
This timeframe is supposed to allow you fully sketch out your story. As stated earlier, Science Fiction lives on ideas and questions, and finding suitable ones for yourselves may be rough initially. I hope that an extended timeframe will help you come to terms with it, without forcing you to rush the execution!
As an added point:
Please submit a short concept / synopsis or general idea by Sunday the 9th of February!
Even if you do not have a great, fully fleshed-out idea yet, please do communicate your ideas anyway. You may either post on this thread, or PM me about it, in case you consider your idea solid enough and do not want to spoil others who will follow the thread.
Please use this opportunity to gather feedback and discuss your concepts! Formulating your ideas and putting them out there does a lot to progress it, so don't be intimidated or insecure about your initial thoughts!
Please be aware that you may hand your submissions in earlier, though, since that'll help me getting things done quicker after the deadline drops. As last time, the stories will be edited into ebook formats, and the more time you give me to get your story finalized for the format, the better.
Also make sure you have enough time to proofread and edit your story!
Submitting Your Story
Do NOT post your full story, or huge chunks of it, on this thread or anywhere else on the forum!
Submissions solely via the forum or PM will NOT be accepted!
Instead, either PM me a properly formatted .rtf (Wordpad) document or similar. Alternatively you may send the document file via Skype (@ DarkChaplain). Copy/Pasted text and external websites are a no-go! Google Docs is fine, as long as I can grab said file from there.
The document itself may not use colored text. Keep it simple, keep it clean. Make sure your formatting makes it easy to read your story.
If you require your story to feature a second font type, which may be used to show machine-speak or other curiosities (which is not uncommon in Science Fiction), please let me know ahead of time.
An additional request: If you use italics, please mark them as you would on the forum by placing two *asterisks* around the word or phrase! This will help me when formatting your stories for the ebooks!
Now, Good Writing!