I’ve been brain storming some ideas to submit to Bastion for their first issue.
Initially I thought I could re-work the opening sequence of Monkeys in Space. That’s approximately 10,000 words so would need to be cut in half before it’s ready to submit. That sequence tells the story of humanity’s first contact with an alien race oh so similar to them. It could work as there’s probably a lot of waffle in there that I could cut down, and it does stand alone as an independent piece.
My other option is to write something completely new, so I’ve been brain storming a few ideas, which follow, hopefully without too many plot spoilers.
Humanity has made first contact with an alien race and sent a ship on the long journey to their home planet. When they arrive they are greeted by a holographic image welcoming them. When they land they discover a planet devoid of life, with only the holographic virtual intelligence left to haunt the world.
I really enjoyed Gene Wolfe’s three part novella, The Fifth Head of Cerberus, with its themes of lost identity. In a similar vein, I was thinking of a terraformed world inhabited by humans, who discover the remains of the civilisation which was destroyed to create their new home.
For the first time in thousands of years a crime has been committed which is worthy of sending the convicts to the Prison Planet. Only the prison planet has changed in the intervening years and first contact with an alien race begins.
I’m also a huge fan of Ursula Le Guin’s work, particularly her Earthsea books, but also a lot of her sci-fi. I like the idea of the titular story from The Birthday of the World which involves a native prophecy of first contact which brings about their destruction. I had an idea with a similar premise which involves humanity’s first contact with a galaxy wide civilisation. It all goes well until one species of alien recognises humans as the devils from their religious texts.