~Brigade Bar~ => Showroom => Topic started by: Zen on May 09, 2012, 12:02

Title: [Writing] Convergence
Post by: Zen on May 09, 2012, 12:02
This is an embryo of an idea for an SF novel, though it would probably work better as a manga, as many of my ideas are very visual in nature. The problem with that is that I can't draw. I will just have to see if I can "draw with words" so my visual concepts are understandable. [Incidentally, if anyone here likes to draw and would be interested in collaborating, I would be very interested!]

The story makes use of the multiple universe theory of quantum mechanics, quantum computing, and quantum-entanglement or "spooky action at a distance" as Einstein called it. The main plot driving idea is that some people have a genetic ability to sense other universes or dimensions. The story will take place between two fairly similar dimensions in the near future when quantum computers are a reality and devices similar to the "Ansibles" in science fiction stories by authors like Usula K LeGuin and Orson Scott Card are being developed. In addition, nano-technology has advanced enough to allow for the monitoring of human brain activity at the quantum level. (A lot of this will be techno-babble and probably hated by actual scientists, but I am not a physicist, nor do I play one on TV.)

One of the universes/dimensions is basically our own. The other is a world where the colonists lost the revolutionary war and the United States never existed. In this alternate world, the people in North America continued to be subjects of the British Empire, eventually achieving "home rule" sometime between World War I and World War II. In World War II, the lack of the technological advances made by an independent America lead to the Nazis conquering western Europe, making a deal with Stalin on a partition of the continent, then turned their attention to the King in Exile in the American Commonwealths, along with the Japanese, who conquered most of southern Asia and the South Pacific, then proceeded to split the North American continent in half with the Germans occupying the eastern half. The Brazilians conquered most of South America and the Mexicans took Central America and the Caribbean. Of note is that Texas, Arizona, and Southern California are part of the empire of Mexico. Northern California and the rest of the west into Canada are part of the Japanese Protectorate of Columbia with the exception of Alaska and the Yukon, which are Soviet properties. The eastern half of the US and Canada are the Reich Staaten of North America. This world is very similar to Phillip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle. Other than the political differences, there are some cultural differences having to do with these changes. Of particular note is the fact that cars in the Reich Staaten have the steering wheel on the right. (Since they were still part of the British Empire when cars came about, they used the same cars as the Brits.)

Here is a brief list of the main characters I have come up with.

Owen Lehane: A visual artist (painting, drawing, and photography mostly) who was raised in the Reich Staat/State of Illinois. He is one-quarter Native American on his mother's side, has a history of doing mind altering drugs, has taken just short of forever to get through school, but has finally straightened himself out. He also is a single father of a pre-school age son named Ian, who is the child of his ex-wife, but born after they got divorced and right before she died of an overdose, in his apartment, in bed with another man, who also died the same way. (Nasty time explaining that to the Gestapo in the Reich-Staat!) He is a visionary "dimensionist" who sees visions of other dimensions and occasionally other times. This leads him to make art that is quite disturbing to some, involving decay over time, reflections that show other worlds, and things like that. It also is what lead to his experimentation with mind altering drugs. Of particular interest to the story, he started writing a manga in middle school, which he has never had the confidence in to publish or really share with anyone, as he is "not a writer". The main character in it is a girl named Gemz who lives in an alternate world. Gemz has the ability to "see the right path" associated with any decision and most of the stories revolve around her helping her friends and family make the right choices in life, or others ignoring her advice and finding out how right she was. It is basically a slice-of-life romantic comedy with the main character never actually finding "Mr. Right". The Owen in each dimension writes about a Gemz that resides in the other dimension. (So the American Owen writes about a Gemz that lives in the Reich Staaten and vice-versa.) Gemz has long, wavy red hair and pale, almost grey, blue eyes with a dark rim around the iris. One might say that Owen is obsessed with Gemz, as she appears in his dreams on a regular basis and he carries around a sketch pad at all times that he uses to draw pictures of her in various states of dress, and lack there of, whenever he is bored or has time to do so. The pictures range from manga style drawings to photo-realistic portraiture. Owen is just short of finishing his Master of Fine Arts (MFA) and has already started teaching art classes at the local community college.

Juliana (Jules) Barrett: A computer science post doc at a large university in central Illinois. She grew up in Western Michigan and came to Illinios during Owen's "third final year" of his MFA program at the same university. She is studying Quantum Computing and working in the lab that is building the prototype for a functional instantaneous communication device, or "Ansible". She has the same ability as Gemz in Owen's manga, which is really an ability to sense other universes and determine which choice leads to the best outcome, at least in a limited way. She is also a redhead with startling light blue eyes with a dark rim around the iris. They meet at a coffee shop and a friend of hers sees Owen drawing Gemz on his sketch pad and makes the mistake of thinking he is actually sketching Jules, which prompts him to confront him about invading her privacy. The misunderstanding is cleared up, he buys them both a coffee, and Jules and Owen eventually begin to fall in love, though she is a bit taken aback when she finds and reads his manga and finds that it has strong, sometimes eerie parallels to her own life. She really wonders if she has come into the clutches of some kind of stalker. She never actually tells him how accurate some of his stories are about her life, as she is afraid it will scare him. He may find out from other people about some of the similarities, but I haven't decided that yet. They develop a strong bond, move in together, and get married. As a joke, Jules starts using an on-line username of Gemz, though Owen never calls her that, and seems to stop dreaming about Gemz altogether, having more disturbing dreams in place of the usually happy visions of his dream girl.

Raul Mendez: The friend that accidentally introduced Jules and Owen. He is a Cognitive Neuro-psychology Graduate Student who works with nano-tech quantum brain sensors. Both he and Jules work in the lab of a noted quantum physicist, located in the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies at the University. He has a theory that some human brains have a genetic ability to sense, or even cross, dimensions at the quantum level. His research involves the use of peyote, LSD, and other substances, which he believes can put a person without the genetic ability into a state where they can sense other dimensions, or drastically enhance the abilities of a sensitive person. He also has some theories about traumatic events leading to "dimensional transference" or physical manifestations that cross dimensions.

One device I will be using is that chapters that take place in the Reich Staaten will be told from the perspective of Owen and stories from the US will be told from the perspective of Jules. I have developed some of the details, including a major crisis point in the plot that takes place after the main couple is married and Jules is pregnant with their first child, but I won't share that here, since, if I ever get it written, it is meant to be a huge shock to the reader.

Some sources of inspiration for this story come from Phillip K. Dick, obviously, and Isaac Asimov's The Gods Themselves (a great story!) but also several animes, including Noin, Steins;Gate, and Madoka. The story in my head is probably a bit intense for the PG-13 crowd, with a significant amount of content about drug use, sex, and other 'adult relationship' stuff. If done as manga, there would likely be several **** scenes, with the potential of some 'H' scenes in the mid to late portions of the story.

That is all for now. Please let me know if you think this will be a workable story world! If you think you would be interested in drawing something like this, let me know! Maybe we can work together.
Title: Re: [Writing] Convergence
Post by: Zen on May 09, 2012, 22:23
This is the first half of the prolog to Convergence, to give you an idea of the style and mood. I posted it to my Dropbox sight. (
(Combined all of prologue into one file... See below)
Let me know what you think. If you are interested in working on it as a manga, feel free to make a frame or two. I haven't really put much thought into what Lil and Owen look like, thought Owen should probably have a tatoo visible somewhere, and dark hair.
Title: Re: [Writing] Convergence
Post by: Bonta-kun on May 11, 2012, 10:30
I can't comment much on the mood since it's only prologue but the style is pretty decent. Where's the rest???

Most novels can be made into a manga (picture novels) as they always say: "A picture speaks a thousand words." Manga would be a lot effort as the drawing part is the hardest obstacle so staying as a novel would be a better option for now.

SF - Sci-Fi?
Title: Re: [Writing] Convergence
Post by: Zen on May 11, 2012, 21:38
Well, the rest is either somewhere in my head, or it doesn't exist... Only time will tell!

I have quite a bit of the basic story line plotted out, but not much of the details.
Title: Re: [Writing] Convergence
Post by: Bonta-kun on May 12, 2012, 09:01
I'll keep a lookout for this section then, please do post the rest if possible whenever. Take your time.
Title: Re: [Writing] Convergence
Post by: Zen on May 13, 2012, 00:45
Here is the remainder of the prologue. (I combined them, and changed the spelling of prologue to the fancier version, because I was feeling pretentious...) (