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Sci-Fi September Prompt!

one month ago

Sci-fi storygame writing prompt, anyone?

Earlier this summer there was a sci-fi-themed speed-writing challenge that... kind of fizzled, even though several people indicated they had ideas they wanted to finish. So why not make September the month to follow through?

This is merely a friendly writing prompt — not a contest in any way, shape, or form. Participate if you choose, ignore if you prefer. Completely unsponsored by the site admins, not a single thing at stake… as far as I'm concerned. But if you have a sci-fi story idea and need help finding the motivation to complete a story, maybe this prompt can be of service!

Deadline: 11:59 PM local time, 30 September 2020, whichever time zone you call home.

Theme: Whatever you want, within the science fiction genre. But if you need a prompt, maybe one of these images might spark an idea:

 

#1: Discovering the Lost Portal

 

#2: First Contact of the Bizarre Kind

 

#3: Ultimate Leviathan

 

#4: Flight of the Titans

 

#5: The Forest Dwellers

 

#6: Master of Dimensions

 

#7: Moons of Minos

 

#8: Shadow of the Giants

 

#9: The Long Passage

 

 

#10: Heretics of Gamorh

 

#11: Time Voyager

 

#12: Last Survivors

(All images found on goodfon.com.)

How to Participate: Just announce your interest here, and share your progress as it occurs! When you complete your story, be sure to post a link so we can all provide feedback.

Looking forward to the results!

Sci-Fi September Prompt!

one month ago
Never even saw this, but maybe it'll get looked at over here in the workshop. That's a nice set of image prompts.

Sci-Fi September Prompt!

one month ago

Thanks for bumping this. I probably made the mistake of posting this during the whole blow-up with your "don't gaf" thread, and thus it got buried...

Sci-Fi September Prompt!

one month ago
You made the mistake of posting it in a board that people only look at from the index while a thread about writing one sentence was being continually bumped.

Sci-Fi September Prompt!

one month ago

Below is the premise of my own storygame... if other responsibilities don't devour all of my writing time this fall. I got a good a good chunk of this done in one marathon session. Might need two or three more just like it to see this to completion, but I've been wanting to complete a few short-ish stories. Likewise, I have a good premise for Mara's prompt... all I need is time to do it.


Creatures Title

It is the distant future, and Earth has been ravaged by an ancient war with an alien foe known as the Cryndy. The War of Extermination, as it was called, left the world scarred by flames and littered with the debris of ruined warships and Battle Mech. The surviving human population lives in scattered settlements called Steads.

Elia Redling is an outcast in a remote Stead located at the edge of one of those ancient battlefields. With neighbors who are fearful of her red hair due to superstitions she barely understands, Elia spends her days hunting alongside her pet fox, Olix, exploring the surrounding woods and ruins in search of their daily meals.

One gloomy afternoon she finds evidence humanity's ancient menace may still be stalking the woods surrounding the Stead. She could notify her neighbors, but will they believe her — or blame her for bringing this threat upon them? If her suspicions are correct, though, this may turn out to be more than she can handle herself…

Sci-Fi September Prompt!

one month ago
Nice. This sounds like the intro to a YA novel or a good RPG setting, so going by the original 'kid friendly sci fi adventure' prompt that's just about perfect. Even got the cute pet in there I'm sure will tragically die at least once. And red haired female protagonists are the best protagonists there are, I'm already biased.

And you're almost done too....I'm really going to have to work in some reading/reviewing sessions soon, there's a lot of catching up I need to do before site activity picks up in the fall and I get buried even further in the backlog.

Sci-Fi September Prompt!

one month ago
Ahh, I missed this post as well. #9 brings a small idea to my mind, although it might end up being a "short" passage.

Sci-Fi September Prompt!

one month ago
I was just thinking the same about #10, if only for a short story to drop on the forum.

Sci-Fi September Prompt!

one month ago
All this stuff I've been hearing about potential signs of microbes on Venus seems custom made to build a story around.

Sci-Fi September Prompt!

one month ago

A Possible Sign Of Life Right Next Door To Earth, On Venus

"Venus: It's a nice place to visit, but the surface temperature of the atmosphere is hot enough to melt lead."

Sci-Fi September Prompt!

one month ago
I've read a couple of articles that made a convincing argument that humans could live on Venus in habitats suspended miles up in the air. Always thought it was a really neat concept, glad Venus is cool again.

By complete coincidence there's a European and a Japanese ship passing by Venus in October and this time next year, so they should be able to get more data.

Sci-Fi September Prompt!

one month ago

Subjects of this nature have been part of my 2020 book reading list. Alien Oceans makes the case for Europa and other moons of Jupiter and Saturn... just in time for a Europa-bound probe that is set to launch soon.

On the other hand, I have Rare Earth in the stack of books waiting to be read. The argument here is that while life may be abundant in the cosmos, nearly all of it will be microbial. Earth itself was the same way for billions of years, until these microbes started banding together into complex organisms. But for that to happen, there has to be a whole set of special circumstances: stable orbits, a star just the right magnitude, neighboring gas giants that stay where they belong, tectonic movement of the planetary crust, and so forth. Each stage in the development of life (multicelluar organisms, DNA, complex organisms, intelligence) is an extraordinary occurrence that winnows downs the odds it could be replicated elsewhere; the reason why SETI has been unsuccessful is because there is nothing to find. This should be interesting to read.

Sci-Fi September Prompt!

one month ago
Commended by mizal on 9/20/2020 2:42:17 PM
#9: The Long Passage As far as prisons go, it isn't a bad one. But that’s the thing, prisons have a way of...glorifying the mundane. I’ll explain. The greatest smoke you’ll ever have won’t be of the finest tobacco, blended and rolled to perfection. No, it’ll be the one desperation calls for. She’ll have you on your knees, cut off from tasting her sweet lips. Then, and only then, when you’d do anything for even a smell of her skin, she’ll allow you to have your way with her. It’s short-lived, however. The moment is over as soon as it starts, leaving the empty, lonely gap between where you are and where you want to be wider. Still, it’s a prison, and a lonely one at that. Twice now, that word’s come up. Hmm. Fitting. The grass is always greener, ain’t it? God, what I’d give for a conversation. Never thought I’d find myself saying that. I hate people. Well, I hated people. They’re too concerned with appearances. I am -- was -- too, but at least I had the common decency not to broadcast it to the entire galaxy. Remember what I said about desperation? The things one takes for granted, like a simple conversation. Used to think those were a waste of time. Now, I see them for what they truly are, shining beacons connecting the desperate and lonely together, somehow making each less of their name. That’s three times now. Days all begin the same, even those that end up guiding the arc of your life in the complete opposite direction. Funny how you can look back to exact moments and point out where things changed. Damn. I wish I had that sight in the moment. This, all of this, wouldn’t have happened. I’d still be sipping martinis at Rift Station. I wonder what that’d be like, to have the ability to turn back time, each moment subject to your reversing. Would that be truly living? Life, your life and those around you, would be subject to your fabrication. I imagine it’s like playing a game and knowing your opponents are allowing you to win. Satisfaction wouldn’t accompany success. They didn’t leave me much. All of this wasn’t supposed to happen. Grotta VI, just your average space freighter. The captain liked to freight humans as well, undercutting commercial transport ships. When I say “humans,” I mean all types of species. There’s too many to count nowadays. There are more important things to do than count the number of civilizations in the galaxy. Like, drink. At least they left me whiskey from planet Earth. Crates of it. It’s been seven months now, and my steady pace hasn’t even left a dent in the supply. When pirates maroon a dishonest crew member on a moon, they leave him a single charge in his blaster -- homage to the infamous ones of Earth’s Caribbean. Intentional or not, I was left with several rounds and then some. No, I can’t turn back time, but I have a fair certainty how this path ends. Cryosleep was meant to be a sure way to get from here to there. Just close your eyes, and it’ll all be ok. Climb into the coffin-like cryochamber, and allow it to put you under. Like going to the doctor for surgery. One moment, you remember laying down. The next, it’s all over and your organs are a bit more grateful. They’re the only ones, though. The pocketbook certainly isn’t. Quite the opposite actually. Overcharging, pretentious doctors. My ol’ man had a joke about that. “What’s the difference between a doctor and a politician?” he’d ask. “One lies to your face, and the other runs for office.” He died on the operating table. The black hole his bank account became soon was mine. Still is. Rivals the one in the Hernon Galaxy. That’ll be my crowning glory after this ride is over, and close to the end, I am. They’re dead. All of them. I’m sure they’ll diagnose the malfunction long after I’m gone. All I know is I’m the only one left, and this ship is off-course. Science was never my strong suit, despite the pressing need for it. Hell, school basically pushed us towards science degrees. Half of my classes growing up were some sort of “ology.” Bio, Meteor, Eco, that one having to do with solar systems -- whatever that is. Maybe that’s not an “ology,” but it works for my an-ology. Actually, that’s not right either. Earth whiskey, strongest in the galaxy. Coffin-like, the cryopods are. Those who climbed in never climbed back out. Why was mine the only one with a working release lever? Guess I’m just lucky, although after seven months of riding this freighter, alone, without the illusion of rescue, I’m not sure I have it better off. Sometimes it’s just better to go quietly in the night, a silent death unaccompanied with worry. Nothing like a good night’s sleep. Premature, yes, but in the end it doesn’t really matter. Man’s destination is all the same. This ride, this passage, is taking me straight there. Out here, in deep space, my broadcasts won’t reach the Federation. Sure, they’ll probably search the area when the freighter doesn’t arrive. By then, I’ll be good and sleepy like the others. It’s not a prison. It’s a tomb. Before I took a step on Grotta VI, my destination, the final one, wasn’t even a thought. There was too much going on, buzzing flies distracting me from truly seeing the beautiful landscape before me. Those “pressing needs” seem foolish now. Insignificant. I look back to see a life of wasted time. Nothing of substance was priority. My past, my life, a slow dwindling fire, barely kept alit. Cheap thrills, mere tinder burned-up in an instant was the focus instead of sturdy firewood. Sure, building a slow-burning fire takes effort, considerable effort, opposed to scraping tinder together. The destination is the same either way. One way brings peace. The other, well, it’s what I’ve got. The journey is set before me. There’s no straying from the path ahead, a final countdown until zero and the fire is extinguished forever. Appearances, conversations, people, that’s where my mind goes as I approach the finish line, the final lap around the track. Appearances, too much effort was put into them. Conversations, words that carry weight, I paid no mind. People, I identified by their flaws and used that as justification to push them away. It’s fitting that I die this way, alone, nothing but my thoughts for company. It’s exactly how I lived. If there’s a God orchestrating things from behind the cosmos, he certainly has an odd sense of humor. There’s nothing else to do. Only seven months in, and I’m contemplating the end. Pathetic, isn’t it? I still have several years in front of me. Damn freighter has a life-support system rivaling Rift Station. It’s almost enough time to place hope in rescue. Almost. The universe is a large place, and I’m but a single ship floating aimlessly in the black abyss of space. Whether rescued or not, it doesn’t matter. The universe will go on just fine without me. Humbling, isn’t it? Our lives are nothing in the grand scheme of things. I just wish it didn’t feel like they are. It’d be easier that way. I have a fair idea what today has in store for me. It’s been the same thing for the past seven months. Might as well try to enjoy it. There’s nothing else to do.

Sci-Fi September Prompt!

one month ago
Rift Station!

But good job, this was horribly depressing. If only he had access to the internet....

Sci-Fi September Prompt!

one month ago

Great short story. The least someone could've done is install a robotic bartender to serve all that whiskey and help the guy not feel so alone...

Sci-Fi September Prompt!

20 days ago

Because I know everyone has been hanging on the result of this writing challenge with baited breath...

I got so-o-o-o close to completion, but other obligations kept popping up, and I swear someone has been switching my coffee with decaf. But here is my story in preview mode, with one ending left incomplete. One more solid session should be enough to finish it... but my addled brain is making it clear that won't be tonight.

Sci-Fi September Prompt!

16 days ago
Any idea when you might get around to finishing this? That last path with the Snowmen I'm assuming was going to be the only winning ending and it just cut off right before the action. And this is a pretty downer YA story without it...

Sci-Fi September Prompt!

16 days ago

Yeah, that is the "winning" ending and most of what you read was drafted Friday night. There should be some opportunities to finish the story in the next few days.

Based on what you've read so far, any suggestions?

Creatures of the Snow

12 days ago
I actually missed this post, I was just coming over here to mention it's been published now.

I haven't read whatever you added yet but the only thing I wouldn't suggested was imperiling the fox more. The sole purpose of pets in YA books is to tragically kill them, didn't you know?

Creatures of the Snow

8 days ago

A tradition that began in "Old Yeller" maybe? That suggests a scene in which Olix is bitten by a Cryndy and gets alien rabies, and Elia has to take him out behind the barn...