Friday, July 13, 2007

What's a Benderite?

Posted by goatchurch at 3:28 AM
I've no idea what a "Benderite" is. But it shows up in one of the interesting derivated discussions of this blog. Person had inspected my Myron Ebell Climate production, which is a proxy blog for the most evil person in the world, a major promulgator of life-threatening lies to the people of this planet. More people should join this undertaking. I have a whole list of such people.

My understanding is that human beings are born with an over-powering instinct to make ourselves consistent with the belief systems suggested to us by those in authority -- for very good reasons of self-preservation. You don't get far by disagreeing with your Chief. One of the unfortunate emergent properties of this instinct is that, on large scales, entire empires of human beings can go systematically insane. There is no doctor in the asylum to stop us from walking through the oven door.

Planet Earth is fine. In 500 million years there will be just as many oil deposits and beautiful living species as there were before humans discovered fire. We, however, are very likely to be one sorry grease spot, a thin 50,000 year layer in the rock strata, encapsulating all those childish dreams that we were somehow going to get off this planet, go forth and conquer the stars. This, after the scientists have applied their enormous energy and intellect to discover the laws of physics, ecology, and psychology, and we, the Science Fiction writers, have decided to disregard the entire lot for no reason other than habit and tradition.
MundaneSF backlog -- I've cleared it till 1 June. Having gotten many rejections of my own which are unhelpful, I try to write something down. I now understand why editors don't do this -- it can only cause trouble.

One unusual aspect of my rejections is I often include a link to a newspaper report or wikipedia article covering the same theme as the piece that was sent in. This is my none-too-subtle hint that reality has already beaten it, and it won't do. For me, the idea comes first. Without some form of thought-provoking vision about something real, no amount of good characterization and compelling writing can redeem it for me.

Here is a medley of sentences from notes I have sent out about stories recently. Submissions close October 31. Get your story in earlier and this gives you time to fail and try again.
Story appears to be from the PoV of aliens taking over the earth. Bacteria tend to be more specific in their activity. This is primarily a world-building sketch rather than a fully developed plot. For the purpose of your story you're assuming technology we don't have (cars that don't require a road network), and ignoring technology we do have (transponders). The SF element is not apparent. I'm looking for stories with larger scale conflicts than this. This story shoe-horns its premise into the standard "mad scientist invention escapes lab and destroys the world" plot. I don't believe space debris has the characteristics of velocity and density you require for your story. This appears to be about an application of a new law of physics. I believe there are already a good number of rules of war, with interesting and meaningful consequences based on historical cases, without needing to invent new ones to fit with a story. I am minded of the fact that with a shortage of gasoline people will not be abandoned, as they will be required for manual labour, as they were in the past. Although this story contains an illustration of some of the consequences of climate change, it also refers to brain downloads and a space elevator.

5 Comments:

Blogger cstross said...

If you want to know what a Benderite is, go watch a few episodes of Farscape. It should become glaringly obvious ...

7/14/2007 12:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Dylan O'Donnell said...

s/Farscape/Futurama/

7/14/2007 01:54:00 PM  
Blogger goatchurch said...

Sadly, I don't have cable.

7/26/2007 04:26:00 AM  
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