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I have an idea to initiate a collective writing project. I'm thinking specifically of a Science Fiction tale in which anyone here who is interested writes a part (their part) of a larger story.

Before I go any farther, is anyone interested in doing this? If there is any interest we can work out the details on how it'll be done later.

So, anyone... anyone...

Buhler?

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I have an idea to initiate a collective writing project. I'm thinking specifically of a Science Fiction tale in which anyone here who is interested writes a part (their part) of a larger story.

Before I go any farther, is anyone interested in doing this? If there is any interest we can work out the details on how it'll be done later.

So, anyone... anyone...

Buhler?

First off, LOL @ "collective" writing project on an Objectivist Forum.

Secondly, sounds awesome. I'm in.

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I'd need more details because it's been my experience that these sorts of things are usually *horrible*. Either everyone spends all their time indulging in world-building for the sake of world-building or some twit takes the story WAY off course in a way that cannot be repaired.

You're talking about *a* singular story where each person would write, like, a chapter? Or a collection of stories loosely organized around a central theme or set in the same "universe"?

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You're talking about *a* singular story where each person would write, like, a chapter? Or a collection of stories loosely organized around a central theme or set in the same "universe"?

Well, first thing that came to mind for me (only thing really) is Lovecraft's "Cthulhu Mythos". He basically designed the vast majority of the world, and then his friends wrote short stories about it, as did he. He of course checked the stories to make sure that they aligned with his world correctly.

Come to think of it, it's sort of like what they're doing with the Star Wars books and video games now. They write them, then Lucas takes a look at them and makes sure they align and approves them.

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Well, since there is some interest I'll give my thoughts on the story itself.

It is the near future (less than 150 years from now) and after almost a century of foot dragging the Western Hemisphere Union and it's space agency the WHSA have finally opened Mars up for colonization.

Things on earth are more collective than ever, the WHU is the final result of the sort of collectivism the EU seems bent on perpetrating and most of what we consider "the west" including the USA is a part of it by this time.

One of the programs is the Fair Wage Law which limits the annual disposable income of people to not more than $300,000 per year (down from $500,000 when the program was instituted). But the Law has a loophole in that money spent on housing and food is not considered disposable income.

This has led to selfish individuals investing heavily in their personal homes. They have also been forced to engage in tax evasion. They prefer to deal in untraceable cash and sometimes hoard precious metals.

People who are looking to settle on Mars are mostly looking to escape the collectivization, not necessarily fleeing persecution per se but looking for some elbow room.

Tests and courses are held for all applicants and the successful ones are informed by email.

Our group have conspired to go to Mars and strike out on their own. Currently there is one Martian colony at Tharsis Station and it is run by the WHU. Though there is some increase in freedom the overall collectivization is on par with the EU today.

The basic plot is the struggle for freedom with sub-plots of creating a truly capitalist society and of course the interaction of self interested 'traders' and free thinkers, oh yeah and living on a planet that'll kill you dead! Until we terraform it that is. :)

As to the how. I was thinking that we could use the Lovecraft method (individuals writing short stories) but also incorporate an overarching plot line so that there is a definite goal for all the characters and can be a definite end point to the overall story.

There would be a need to confirm technological innovations we can't have one person talking about fission reactors as the latest and greatest form of propulsion and another talking about Warp engines and transporters.

These are just my ideas and only the very basics of the setting and plot, others are of course welcome.

What do you think?

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It's interesting, Zip, but I find your concept unrealistic. If things continue to get more collectivist, there won't be a space program to speak of. Keep in mind that the only reason there was a space race to begin with was the *military* applications, and if the U.S. and Europe are wholly subsumed into the collectivist world then there won't *be* an arms race any more--the multiculturalists will have won.

I would prefer to do a scenario where there was finally a collapse, the big nation-states have balkanized, and a couple of geniuses working in their garage have come up with a cheap and feasible way to transport lots of stuff to Mars, so they want to get off Earth and start fresh. There are several possible struggles implicit in this setup:

1. struggles between would be emigrants and their local gov't.

2. struggles within the groups of emigrants

3. the struggle of getting the colony set up

4. the struggle between the colony and earth

Heck, you don't even have to have the collapse, you could set it as a "next week" scenario.

Edited by JMeganSnow
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For one thing, all it takes is one person with funds in the billions of dollars to get such a program off the ground. That is a lot of money, but it's not completely out of the question. There seem to be plenty of really rich people willing to waste their fortunes on Africa or whatever. Colonizing space seems like a much better use for that money, and you really only need a few people who see it like that. It would be a long term investment, to be sure, but you can actually make money off of it in the long run (say 30-50 years). Timescales like that aren't completely unheard of, even though the Earth's political climate isn't very conducive towards that.

For one thing, think of how much money you can potentially raise with advertising and stuff like that? I bet companies would pay millions for their products to be featured on the first Mars missions, and there's all sorts of other things you can imagine to raise capital once you get it started.

I think I would enjoy writing about the earlier colonization aspects the most, myself.

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It's interesting, Zip, but I find your concept unrealistic. If things continue to get more collectivist, there won't be a space program to speak of. Keep in mind that the only reason there was a space race to begin with was the *military* applications, and if the U.S. and Europe are wholly subsumed into the collectivist world then there won't *be* an arms race any more--the multiculturalists will have won.

I'm not so shure Jenni. After all one of the things that keeps collectivist societies going is the building of "monuments". The other thing that keeps them from imploding is the hope of a better future. Take all of peoples dreams and you won't last a week, feed them a little bit of carrot with the stick and they're yours forever.

I would prefer to do a scenario where there was finally a collapse, the big nation-states have balkanized, and a couple of geniuses working in their garage have come up with a cheap and feasible way to transport lots of stuff to Mars, so they want to get off Earth and start fresh. There are several possible struggles implicit in this setup:

1. struggles between would be emigrants and their local gov't.

2. struggles within the groups of emigrants

3. the struggle of getting the colony set up

4. the struggle between the colony and earth

Heck, you don't even have to have the collapse, you could set it as a "next week" scenario.

I think the collapse would largely do away with the reason behind emigration anyway, certainly if it happened today I would seek out people whom I share ideas and ideals with to begin anew right here on earth.

I'm open to ideas and if we can reach a consensus on the why, do we at least have agreement on the bare bones of the rest?

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Zip, I've been holding a story way in the back burner that might fit (way back in the back burner, too).

The title is "The Male Marsperson" The plot is a man from a free, terraformed Mars comes to a collectivized Earth to rally support for the Martian Peoples' Party, which intends to do to mars what was done to Earth. After a tour of rallies and TV interviews, the Martian meets privately with a small group trying to liberate the Earth. He tells them that "ain't gonna happen until the planet collapses," and in the meantime offers them to settle on mars, where everyone's free. He leaves Earth with three of these people, plus some tons of seeds, chemicals and raw materials Mars can't produce yet.

Of course the Martian is a freedom-loving individual and Mars is a world of liberty and individual rights. The propaganda is to 1) keep earthlings away from Mars, and 2) a form of trade.

earth doesn't trade with Mars. therefore the ruse of the Martian Peoples' Party. The Martian see trade in this terms: Earth gives us seeds, chemical and raw materials, we give them the illusion that mars is a hell-hole and we take away those people they consider undesirable and reactionary.

What say you?

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I'm not so shure Jenni. After all one of the things that keeps collectivist societies going is the building of "monuments". The other thing that keeps them from imploding is the hope of a better future. Take all of peoples dreams and you won't last a week, feed them a little bit of carrot with the stick and they're yours forever.

That may have been true 40 years ago, but look at the enviromentalist movement. These are not people who want a better future. The monuments that modern societies like to create consist of building soup kitchens and preventing other people from building things. :lol:

But, yeah Martial colonization sounds like a good general topic, we just have to hash out the precise setting to a greater extent.

What are you planning to do with this project once it's done? Publish it as a collection of short stories? Web publishing is pretty easy these days with print-on-demand. It might be interesting to start a website and periodically publish collections of short stories on a topic.

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What are you planning to do with this project once it's done? Publish it as a collection of short stories? Web publishing is pretty easy these days with print-on-demand. It might be interesting to start a website and periodically publish collections of short stories on a topic.

Hadn't really thought that far ahead. Let's see how it goes first, then we'll plan our takeover of the literary world :lol:

How about this for the "why" of the plot line. The US has just elected it's most socialist President ever. His plan once he gets in the oval office is to eliminate the colonization program diverting the money to social programs and to eventually bring the US into the Western Hemisphere Union. The outgoing President is sending one last ship to Mars before he leaves the oval office as his last hurrah.

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Hadn't really thought that far ahead. Let's see how it goes first, then we'll plan our takeover of the literary world :lol:

How about this for the "why" of the plot line. The US has just elected it's most socialist President ever. His plan once he gets in the oval office is to eliminate the colonization program diverting the money to social programs and to eventually bring the US into the Western Hemisphere Union. The outgoing President is sending one last ship to Mars before he leaves the oval office as his last hurrah.

Write the first story, giving us a good idea of the world you are talking about, and then let us see it and we can work from there. I'm assuming you'll be the head of this project, of course. :P

Wait, I thought this was supposed to be fiction.

Well, the chances of it becoming non-fiction in a century or two is very slim. :P

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Okay, just spitballing here but I came up with a few ideas.

As the collectivised economy on Earth begins to fail, the government finallys releases its ban on Mars colonization in a desperate effort to jumpstart the economy and provide a monument. One particular industrialist has had working ships in the works for years, waiting for the ban to be lifted. He is one, maybe the first, to move to Mars. He begins his dream business of transporting people and supplies to and from Mars. The largely free colony blooms around him and begins to thrive. The economy on Earth continues to worsen and the demand for tickets to Mars skyrocket. Complaints begin to come from people who are unable to pay for the trip. The government takes this oppurtunity and nationalizes the business, stating that everyone has a right to a piece of Mars. The business takes a sharp decline. I don't know what my character could do about this. Try and convince the government to give it back? Blow up his own busines in a true Howard Roark fashion?

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Write the first story, giving us a good idea of the world you are talking about, and then let us see it and we can work from there. I'm assuming you'll be the head of this project, of course. :rolleyes:

Well, the chances of it becoming non-fiction in a century or two is very slim. :P

Posted here

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This is pretty much what I did with myself all day long a couple years back. I call it Roleplaying. (sounds a little less collective than collective fiction ^^) Each person doesn't necessarily have to pick a specific character, but essentially each person sort of adds their own bit of story here and there. I'd love to participate, if you wouldn't mind Zip. I really dig that plot pitch you've made and I'm currently reading the first post. I have a couple ideas floating around in my head, but I'd like to ask some organizational questions. Would you like to be a sort of 'Game master' for this? Major plot developments etc. would go through you? Did you have something else in mind?

Also, how sci-fi do you want this? Is Earth a dystopia now? You mentioned the space program is a sort of monument, so I would assume that there isn't much change in the way of technology for the everyday citizen, especially considering that fair wage law, but how advanced would you expect Mars to be? Is Mars already terraformed at this point in the plot or are colonists going to go live on a station for a while?

I also really dig the idea of a civil war over Mars and freedom.

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Zip I think you'd have to write a few, because I don't have a very good idea of what the world is like. I have a general idea, but not one that is very specific.

Try to lay it out like Orwell in "1984" or Rand in "Anthem", although a short story. Which is why you'd have to write a few. :rolleyes:

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This is pretty much what I did with myself all day long a couple years back. I call it Roleplaying. (sounds a little less collective than collective fiction ^^) Each person doesn't necessarily have to pick a specific character, but essentially each person sort of adds their own bit of story here and there. I'd love to participate, if you wouldn't mind Zip. I really dig that plot pitch you've made and I'm currently reading the first post. I have a couple ideas floating around in my head, but I'd like to ask some organizational questions. Would you like to be a sort of 'Game master' for this? Major plot developments etc. would go through you? Did you have something else in mind?

Also, how sci-fi do you want this? Is Earth a dystopia now? You mentioned the space program is a sort of monument, so I would assume that there isn't much change in the way of technology for the everyday citizen, especially considering that fair wage law, but how advanced would you expect Mars to be? Is Mars already terraformed at this point in the plot or are colonists going to go live on a station for a while?

I also really dig the idea of a civil war over Mars and freedom.

Game Master? No, nothing like that. I'd like this to be as collaborative and free reign as possible while still maintaining a coherent storyline. As for major plot developments I think all we really need to settle on is the general direction and as long as the stories push the plot in the agreed direction it's all good.

I would like to suggest that people ask before they use someones character in their story so that they don't compromise any plans the other person may have.

Well this is set a little less than 150 years in the future with Mars having had it's first human visitor under 100 years ago so there has been a considerable amount of progress, though with the socialist nature of most of Earth it may have been a little slower than the last 150 years. I don't want the colonization to be easy, once the group is on its own, I think it aught to be rather hard. Significant technology should get the group consensus I think.

Earth would be considered to be a dystopia to the group though most people would not view it as such.

The Mars colony (Tharsis Station) would be small, but with significant resources (off world) at it's disposal. The colony the group will eventually set up won't be as well off and that means more innovation using Martian materials and resources (note to self, it's time to start reading more on Martian geology and stuff ;) )

*A note for the players, there is scope for some intrepid billionaire or group of... to supply the station if he has the means, certainly some of the group (like my friend Andreas) are not going to be without means to pay for services...

I don't see Mars as being terraformed yet though that would be a good sub-plot (how, who, opposition?)

I hadn't thought of civil war, but an old fashioned one might be thrust upon us when the bad guys see what we have made...

There are limitless possibilities for the story to progress my basic thought on the plot was

1. Set the stage on earth

2. Get to Mars

3. Live in the Station

4. Plot to start out on our own

5. Build our colony

6. Achieve freedom. :D

That's pretty clear isn't it? :D

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That's been done before. Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars/Green Mars/Blue Mars series has "Reds" who want Mars to remain Red instead of being terraformed.

In fact a lot of what we have been discussing is touched on in that series in one way or another.

Well good science fiction is at least plausible I think. As for things being done before, its all been done before, it is the way it is done that is supposed to be new.

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