How 2022 Compares to My 2014 Future Sci-Fi Idea: COVID, Google Glass, Military Robots etc.
2022 Update: I wrote this post and came up with this idea in 2014. I haven't worked on it much as I've dedicated most of my time to finishing my second historical novel, but imagine how shocked I was when a potential origin story for my idea happened to all of us in 2020! COVID really did put us in a situation where we needed to continue life and stay at home. Just like in my story, children started attending online schooling, a giant portion of the public embraced remote work and for a while there, it became our new normal. Thankfully, we were released back into the world, but what if we weren't? The sci-fi world I created suddenly has a real-world backstory!
Some other interesting things that happened since this post: Google Glass didn't go anywhere and Amazon is STILL figuring out their drone delivery system. However, some of the technology I researched for this book is still around and has progressed in different ways, including military bug drones and robots and virtual reality (which still has the potential to overtake our daily lives). Plus, now there are dancing robots and AI, which will certainly change the world as we know it, and is already in that process. Lastly, because this novel is about love after all, a little update on the Kissing Couple. They are still together!
In January 2014, I was completely surprised when an idea for a sci-fi novel took over my creative world and inspired me to write 50,000 new words. You might be thinking, historical fiction to sci-fi . . . bit of a leap. Actually, I've always been a huge sci-fi fan, and was even raised in what you might call a "sci-fi family." My dad and brother are sci-fi nuts. Not to mention the first book I tried to write was sci-fi. I had been thinking up the idea throughout college, but when I finally got around to writing it, the story of A White Room swept me off my feet. That's what it's been like with S0L-M8, which is texting lingo for Soul Mate. I got the idea while washing dishes. My husband is a total techno geek, so I know about a lot of up-and-coming technology from him, and I was thinking about how we are in the middle of the technological revolution. Things are progressing at an incredible rate, and it occurred to me that in ten years, I might not be washing my dishes the same way that I do today. It occurred to me we are on the cusp of living in the future, and the future is going to be a world where everything is at our fingertips. We will have such instant access, we won't even need to leave our houses. Right now, we can go to school online, we can have products airlifted to us from Amazon or just print them out on a 3D printer. We can socialize virtually and pretty much do or find anything online. Then the idea hit me. What if we never left our homes because we didn't have to? Then it exploded into hundreds of details that would turn that idea into a story, and by the time I walked to the bedroom to tell my husband, I knew I had to write it. Next step, research spree. That's my secret to turn an idea into a story. I was unsure at first how to research the future and then I remembered TED Talks, which have a lot of videos about potential future technology that may define our future. I determined that I really didn't want to write a book that predicts the future, but write a book that reflects the possibilities of today. Everything in this novel is going to be based on this potential technology being innovated on today.
Oh, and it's a love story. You guys know how I like to use pictures for inspiration, and I just happened across this image taken in 2011 during the Vancouver riots (it's also the cover of a Placebo album.) The feeling you have when you look at this photo is what I want to create with my novel. Love amidst chaos. Beautiful. I had to share it with you because it will be the image I return to time and time again as I continue work on this, just as I returned to the image of the Doyle-Mounce House over and over for A White Room. So to the left is a preliminary blurb, but keep in mind, things may change, even the title.
A Love Story
2153, the world is dead, the air toxic, the sun searing, terrestrial life wiped out. Humanity has survived by retreating to encapsulated houses, all of society geographically dispersed but electronically connected. The only time humans leave the safety of their homes is to be placed with their soul mates, chosen for them by the United Continents Genome Algorithm.
Caraway Pearman met her soul-mate, JayBird, when she was five years old, and there is no doubt in her mind that he is her one and only. That is until they meet a couple online, Geyser and Chrysalis two people who were matched but who are clearly not soul mates. The algorithm is not perfect, and there is no mechanism for re-selection. Caraway and Jay’s arguing suddenly becomes a terrifying possibility: maybe they were a mistake too. Caraway seeks the assistance of her mother, but in the middle of their conversation, there is screaming and shouting and then the connection is gone. Caraway and JayBird learn the Human Operated Robot Network or HORNET authorities placed her parents on informational lock down and house arrest, but what's more is that they have removed her twin siblings and her 17-year-old brother Carob from the house and transported them to a nearby facility. It's a consequence so severe it’s unheard of and no one will tell her why. Desperate to help her family, Caraway and JayBird decide to risk criminal charges and their lives to help the only people she has ever truly known. Their journey will not only determine who they are to each other. It will change everything . . .