Archive for the ‘Ideas For SF/F Stories — Help Yourself!’ Category

An Alien Cortés And Pizarro?

Almost none of the SF novels and films of alien invasion and conquest appear to have any notion of how the overthrow of civilisations actually happened on Earth. One of the closest approaches is Ian McDonald’s parable of community relations, Sacrifice of Fools, about nomadic alien tribes with superior business methods who settle among us, […]

Using Our Edge

That dear old Homo sapiens is a disgusting excrescence on an otherwise civilised galaxy is not an entirely new idea; it was, in fact, the revolutionary innovation of The Day The Earth Stood Still and was attempted also in the famous turkey, Plan 9 From Outer Space. And then we have C.S. Lewis’ Interplanetary Trilogy […]

The Shadow In The West

After decades of exposure to Tolkien, for whom all good things resided in the West and contrariwise, what we need now is a cod-medieval fantasy series in which the Bad Guys are in the West but have such complete control of the propaganda apparatus that no one who are the orcs.

Like, Whatever, Cool Spaceship

Aliens come to Earth in 1959 and visit American suburbia – that is, we parody the centrality of that suburbia in both Hollywood and much pulp SF. The aliens then draw the not unreasonable conclusion that women are some sort of non-sentient domestic symbiote. So far, so Stepford Wives; but they pay a return visit […]

Arthurians Among The Connecticut Yankees

There have been several fictions about people from the past catapulted into our own era, and then either sinking or – in the better tales – swimming there. Experience with so-called “primitive” cultures in the here-and-now shows us that people master new gadgets very quickly indeed. They may not know why they work or how […]

We Can Remember Yesterday For You

In recent times we have seen the same economic and other mistakes committed about a decade apart, as if we have no collective memory. Well, perhaps we don’t, perhaps the men who brought us the last banking crisis were still in short pants for the one before that. This would repay us for a culture […]

The Unimpeachables

A new wrinkle on the alien first-contact story could feature a planet with a subtly dimorphic race. The earthlings naturally attempt to read this arrangement in terms of two sexes, but in fact the aliens are hermaphrodites, like Ursula Le Guin’s Gethenians but more so. So there are no anatomical differences. But then, amid much […]

The End Of Desire

Postulate: some time in the future, a politically-correct attempt to suppress “appearance-ism” and achieve what Hartley once called “facial justice” through a tailored virus or some other deus ex machina goes horribly wrong, wiping out human sexual desire altogether. As is common in SF, we ignore the fine print of whether and how this is […]

The Fall Of Paradise

If religion can be accused of inventing ridiculous paradises, in which there is nothing to do but to play the harp and sing the praises of the Hellenistic ruler, sorry, of God, the same blame attaches to the utopias of science fiction – the most religious literary genre we have. Far too many of these […]

Some Small SF Ideas

SF ideas do not have to be elaborate. All we need to do in order to startle ourselves – the famous “sense of wonder”, in a negative mode – is to imagine a First Contact story in which humanity meets aliens whose entire population is interested in things for their own sake. That is, interested […]