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  1. CL Short Story Project 3: Science Fiction FFA! Currently Editing!

    #690832014-01-25 16:03:21 *DarkChaplain said:

    Welcome to CL's next exciting Short Story Project!

    This thread is a follow up to:

    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:

    • Cybernetics
    • Space - (Story settings)
    • Aliens
    • 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.

    Project Schedule

    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!

  2. #690842014-01-25 16:03:36 *DarkChaplain said:

    Participants List A

    These are all potential participants who expressed an interest:

    Participants List B

    These are the participants who confirmed their participation via handing in a Synopsis for their story:

    You are hereby authorized to kick the butts of all those people from List A who haven't made it onto List B yet.
    A List C will be set up closer to the end of the submission window and list all participants who have crossed the finish line of their submission.

    Please notify me if I have missed any potential participants or their synopsis submissions.

    Participants List C

    Congrats to these people for submitting their stories!

    The others I either haven't heard back from, have dropped out along the way or aren't ready to submit as of the deadline's arrival. Too bad, but I guess it can't be helped, I guess.

  3. #690892014-01-25 16:40:26Rinneko said:

    What's going on with the reserving?

    At the expense of sounding horribly new and blur, I fear for my formatting. Any chance you have an example of what would be considered 'properly formatted'? It's perfectly fine if you don't; I will simply try my best.

  4. #690982014-01-25 19:17:30 *johan_5179 said:

    @Rinneko After you submit your story, DC always gives you screens of your story to edit and proofread. So, formatting etc. can safely be said to be something we don't have to worry about since DC does it for us. [except for the italics-enclosed -in-* and the mention-if-using-different-fonts thing he mentioned, there's actually nothing to it on our end.]

    Like this

  5. #691102014-01-25 22:56:45hellstorm901 said:
    What's going on with the reserving?

    As the thread OP DC reserves the right to reserve shit.

    Yes unhelpful post, I know, but there's not many times I get to say that.
  6. #690922014-01-25 16:54:27DarkChaplain said:

    @Rinneko I'd suggest looking at the ebook versions of the previous two projects (linked right at the top of the OP) - those are pretty much what the results here are gonna look like, so they should help to visualize what I mean.

    As for the reserving, I like to keep some room for participants lists, tips or updates, just in case I need the room up top : >

  7. #691072014-01-25 22:47:48Kirn said:

    Hmmmm... you know, thinking about it, it's not hard to create a sci-fi setting... However, it may be very hard to make it really meaningful in sci-fi way. I don't think I will have time to write anything properly this week, but I think I know the setting I will write about. But the greater meaning?... Yeah, that will take some thinking.

  8. #691732014-01-26 12:27:40DarkChaplain said:

    I received @Ecstasy's short synopsis and setting yesterday already. She's got a pretty damn neat concept there, and I'm looking forward to read her story.
    I also know @Kip is working on her contribution already, which I am looking forward to as well.

    Myself, I have various ideas which feel short-sighted or unsuitable, but will keep tossing them around in my head, hoping to create at least a minor bang. Hopefully I will have something to offer this time as well.

  9. #692222014-01-27 11:17:59 *Ucui said:

    I'm conflicted between two ideas. One involving fapping and the other about virtually real pornography. Really, I'm conflicted. I'll just write up the summaries for both and see how they turn out in my mind.

    F.A.P. Synapse (That's not really going to be its name)

    The world has been plunged deep underwater. In a last ditch attempt at survival, humanity constructed various undersea outposts to house the few remaining survivors of the world. In their respective domes, people began to lose touch with the outside world and began remaking their lives under the sea. As time went on, the outside world became nothing more than a story passed on through generations. Pollutants began to build up from the cities functioning and was thus thrown out into the sea outside of the dome. Because of this, after years of waste, the water outside of the dome has become acidic. Slowly, but surely, the acid water begins to tear away at the outer walls of the dome. Members of the group Freedom of Aquatic People, or F.A.P., put their efforts into escaping the dome before time is too late, but with Earth engulfed in water, where will they go?

  10. #692232014-01-27 11:18:33 *Ucui said:

    PROMPT #2 (I'll figure out the names eventually)

    In the far flung future, the world lives in peace under a single superpower. Daily necessities and housing is provided for by the government. Monetary currency has been replaced, instead, with "Time". People use their "Time" to perform various activities such as travelling on vacation, playing games, or indulging in more sexual desires. With set terminals established throughout the world, people enjoy the pleasures of virtual reality to gain experience about the world Suffice to say, much of people's "Time" is spent in the virtual world. For the first 18 years of one's life, citizen's are allowed free access to "Time". However, once they come of age, that time is taken away and they are forced to become productive members of society.

    Bradley Meyer has finally become 18 years old. With a life almost wholly dedicated to gaming, Bradley has become fixated with the virtual world. Because of his excessive gaming, he has gained almost no skills over the course of his life and has nearly depleted all of his remaining "Time". Bradley begins working as a maintenance man throughout the city as it only requires him to supervise the repair bots. With his now stable lifestyle, Bradley works hard to gain enough "Time" to play the games he so dearly loves. That is, until a young women, donning a talking metallic cylinder on her arm, begins destroying the city he was meant to repair!

  11. #692242014-01-27 11:19:32Ucui said:

    ^ There's more to the story than that, but I felt I made it a bit long for a synapse. Don't really want to give everything away.

  12. #692312014-01-27 16:21:22Kip said:

    i don't want to spoil anything, but my story involves an alien invasion of some kind and a guy i named Charles Lee.

  13. #692402014-01-27 20:33:55hellstorm901 said:

    I'm going to draw from the type of setting of Terminator and a film I saw some time ago called Screamers (1995)

    The story will be a conflict between two sides in a city after a world war where an attempt by one of the sides to use robots as weapons backfired causing them to target everyone. Both sides now still continue their war in order to take control of the remaining resources inside the city while avoiding the machines still hunting them down.

  14. #692942014-01-28 21:28:44 *Poro said:

    Story Synopsis: Technology had invented immortality; however, it wasn't perfect. The brain was preserved in a jar that maintains the neurons after surgery to extract it. However, one can no longer eat, feel, nor see. To live on, one must sacrifice their humanity. Although technology improved and this is no longer necessary, those who were about to die without this surgery could not avoid it. The story is told through the eyes of a Caretaker: one who looks after the unfortunate souls who clung on to life at the cost of their humanity.

  15. #693602014-01-30 12:09:03 *abinit123 said:

    story idea (basic description): Somewere in the near future.... A guy is working on a peice of software that has the potential to change how humans live. People do not belive that he possess the skills to complete the software. One night he is working late in the computer science department at a large university. Nearly everyone has left for the day. He notices cars coming parking near the building across the road (another science department). This intrests him so he goes to check it out. By the time he gets to the doors of the building everyone has already entered. The building was normally shut of from the students and teachers that did not have written permishion to enter. Today the door was open and he saw a man in glasses and follows him down a narrow hall way. The man then enters a room that says 'arcive' on the door. As he reachs the door he gets knocked over by a crowd of people leaving he room in a panic. He gets knocked out and wakes up about 15 minutes later. No one is there and it is quite. He stands and enters the room were there is a figure. He notices that it is a women, The women walks up to him as he falls back down from the hit on his head. Just as he falls he hears the women say "Found you"......

    Dont wanna ruin the end....

    I have kinda just bullet pointed the begining.....ow well :3 (ignore any spelling mistakes, i'm in a rush)

  16. #694022014-01-30 21:02:38Kirn said:


    For now I haven't started, and I am not having any sort or synopsis, really. Not my kind of thing... But anyways.

    I figure, I will do a sci-fi slice of life thing. One work shift of a very busy space station. Actually, just one department of the station. 8 hours of happenings... and not happenings... Obviously with stuff going on. And, since I am doing things better when there is a punchline at the end, there will be one.
    Honestly? I know what the department will be, I pretty much got the final twist. Still no idea what the characters are. I guess I will get to that when I will see them. But that's how I do things anyways. I don't have much experience with sci-fi, but I guess I can manage.

    Now, I have to say - I will be moving right at the start of the next month. So I may not have anything till the middle of the month. Well, maybe earlier, we'll see.

  17. #694412014-01-31 16:28:57 *Rinneko said:

    I really struggled with thinking up an idea for this because sci-fi is almost completely uncharted territory for me. I tried my best to get a grasp on the boundaries of the science fiction though. The ending has yet to be defined, but here's my basic idea:


    In the beginning, we all lived in the same singular world. Somewhere along the line, when we were unaware, the world split. With each and every decision made, time takes an exponential leap that leads to a walk down the path of one universe and the leaving of another. We would not ordinarily interact with another universe. However, children with neurodevelopmental disorders have a unique brain system that make it possible for inter-universe communication. Their thoughts are able to reach through an individual there, and connect with the parallel.

  18. #694632014-02-01 00:02:40 *Cloud-VK said:

    My story is set in a post-apocalyptic earth 3000 years after a terrible man-made virus known only by Slate turns mankind upside-down. Sending over 70% of our species down a bloody path of rapid evolution; the remaining uninfected erected walls to protect the last of humanity from the virus and the ever changing new subspecies that could no longer be referred to as humans. On this earth filled with a variety of new monstrous subspecies, we turn our attention to the futuristic city of Peace. Being the largest and most secure of the walled cities, Peace is a “paradise” in this upside-down world. In Peace everyone lives happy and orderly lives without fear. In Peace there is no crime, everyone follows the law and obeys obediently. Anyone caught breaking any of the laws of Peace will receive a warning, when anyone receives more than two warnings they will be directly removed from Peace. So no breaking curfew! The city is ruled by a sadistic Queen (no name yet) and a corrupted General that controls a military with enough fire power to express its own creative version of the word apocalypse. No subspecies can come close to the colossal and unshakable walls of Peace; if they do they are annihilated on sight. So Lieutenant Mary Ryder (My main character) finds it “slightly” strange when directly after a bizarre series of events, she is assigned to watch over a young "woman" who is unlike anything Peace has seen before…

    And that’s my Synopsis. I have my characters, I got a idea on the direction my story is gonna take, and maybe a twist or two in mind. So... going with it~

  19. #694662014-02-01 01:17:29 *Cenica said:

    Most recent and final decision on my short story idea, (the other two seemed a bit to complex to fit properly into the word limit):

    The story takes place on a planet where everyone is biologically linked to a virtual reality styled database. This planet is very much closed off to its fellows and normally only allows travel for trade and political reasons. Despite this several half-breeds exist on the planet, each having varying control over the biological database. (Some more than normal, some less). Because of their deep connection to the database individuals are always at risk of developing Real World Detachment, in which one loses their connection to the physical world and becomes lost in the net.
    Galina is a diver, one who attempts to retrieve those that have developed Real World Detachment and return them to where they belong. She works for the government and her latest assignment involves a man who is a suspected member of a terrorist group. Her job is to bring him back in order for him to be questioned. Tarian, a veteran agent, is assigned to protect Galina during the operation, as diver's tend to be physically weak and have difficulty operating in Real World, and to interrogate the subject. Not used to this newfangled way of doing things, Tarian finds Galina's physical weakness and slow reaction time annoying. Not to mention he has serious doubts as to why someone so young was assigned to such an important case.

  20. #694932014-02-01 17:07:39Reage said:

    ummm sorry for not participating last time,I got cocky and thought I'd make it on time ( I didn't). My idea is this:

    About five hundred years from now the human race has discovered "The diversity of light" a phenomen where light changes properties under the right form of radiation and electromagnetic pulses (specifically changing in to a solid or liquid state). This allowed scientists to create a ring made of solid light around earth, as a place that the residents of the now overpopulated earth could inhabit. A hundred years later the scienc of light manipulation is a growing industry, and the company that manages the stability of the "second world" is the most powerfull on the planet. The main character being only an observer describes ,first hand, his accidental involvment in one of the bigest events in human history. A terorist atack that shut down all electricity on earth. ...(the terrorist attack being a positive thing)

  21. #695232014-02-02 03:53:38 *--Jack-- said:

    I don't enjoy giving anything away about my story... I will reveal as little as I can about the main story. But the setting is fairy important and un-revealing.


    The time is one of great advancements, many planets have been cultivated in the pursuit of human expansion. Hyperspace travel is very expensive, so often times when people move between star-systems it is at the mercy of their employers, or they are fairly wealthy and can afford to do so. The main people who have any skill exploring the cosmos are from a select possible classes:

    • Outlaws - Those who steal, kill, and defile shipments, traveling vessels used in industrial or wealthy civilian transport, or are automated by AI computer piloting. They can take what they need and want from their victims. Rarely land on planets.

    • Workers - Asteroid Miners, Pioneering teams, and other company-funded interstellar activities. Not particularly combat-ready, but have survival gear, etc.

    • The Wealthy - often weak and frail as the stereotype goes. Can hire Mercs to protect them for luxurious pay.

    • Space Mercenaries - Those who work for the ones who pay the most. is work, and thats a thing that can be scarce in this time.

    In a nutshell: Men are hired to track down a wanted fugitive, the rich get richer, and those who are on the fringe peer into the true eyes of this world.

  22. #695342014-02-02 13:13:32DarkChaplain said:

    Put the latest participants down. Around 20 people on List A, that's kind of sweet, especially after the lackluster second round!