A few posts back I mentioned that I was using a Science Fiction story to distract me from the issues I was having with my Fantasy novel. While I guess I could get into the differences (or non-differences) of Science Fiction and Fantasy, I don't really care that much. I think it's mostly aesthetic, but a friend put it to me this way, "Science Fiction is about the possible, Fantasy is about the impossible." While I don't think that works 100%, it sounds pretty nice, and again I don't really care that much. It's fiction.
Anyway, when I figured that stuff about motivation out I decided to drop the Sci Fi. I did that because that world was to be darker than the Fantasy I was working with, and I thought to myself that if I write a light story, then the dark parts will seem all the darker. I realize that it also works the other way, light parts seeming lighter in a dark world, but I guess I'm expecting my dark portions to carry more weight than anything light that I write. I wonder why that is. Probably the fiction I've consumed.
I decided to drop it, but that didn't last too long. I'm reading Snow Crash right now, under the fantastic recommendation of my good buddy Jack, who is spot on with basically all the suggestions he's ever given me. It's fantastic, and I hate to not be reading it right now, and basically always. So, obviously this high quality product is influencing me and inspiring me, and I keep thinking about what I want to do in my own universe. It's a lot of fun.
Also, my brother Nolan asked me a question the other day that evolved into one relevant to this discussion. He asked what five inventions I would remove from history, if I could. Getting over the idea that changing anything in the past would have a ridiculously incalculable effect on the present, I chose guns, cars, and planes. I chose guns, and thought about it a little more, and I'm not sure I'd stick with that answer. Swords are awesome and all, but guns can be used by the weak to protect themselves and others. So again, not sure I'd stick with that, but that's what I said then. The cars and planes remain answers under the hope that the railroad advanced and grew into something really, really freakin' awesome. Then I told him that five was too many to ask for, cause I couldn't think of anything else I'd want to remove.
If I had to add another two, it'd be hot wings and heels (even though the heels that I linked are kind of really awesome). Hot wings smell gross and heels are sort of stupid. What if some giant monster comes stompin' around your city? You can't take your shoes off to run away faster, there's glass everywhere! Are those nice calves worth risking your life to a giant monster melt down? Maybe actually, those pink polka dot shoes really are cool.
I hear my father said computers. Monster.
So, that question became, 'What five things would you add to this world, if you could?" Easy. Jet boots. Virtual reality. Artificial intelligence. Food substitute. A nice HUD for the real world. Sort of boring, non-creative answers, but I'll get some better ones after I put some real thought into what my world's going to sport.