1. Montag
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    Montag Senior Member

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    A near-future sci-fi idea

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Montag, Oct 13, 2007.

    Probably set in 2050-2150AD. Tell me what you think of it. As far as I can tell, it seems pretty original. I haven't started writing yet, and this is just a vague idea, so any suggestions or feedback would be well appreciated.

    Darin, (like Darren, but spelled differently) born in Cirrian city, a massive structure with three central spires (a little like Sky City, but three of them). It is 1.8 kilometers high, and houses 6 million residents. It receives all its power from the orbiting solar collector Lux Orbis, (light of the world) which sits in the Lagrange point between earth and the sun, and casts a shadow on the earth to cool it and slow down climate change. Cirrian City’s neighboring tower city, Arcus city, is the only one within a thousand kilometers. Almost everyone lives in these tower cities, allowing 99% of the earth’s surface to be turned into sanctuaries, and return to their natural state.

    Darin’s parents died when he was sixteen, just before he graduated highschool. He spends the next two years studying metallurgy and nanotechnology, before taking a job on a space station, which houses 380 scientists. He earns $350k a year.

    The story starts as Darin is returning from a four year shift on the space station, reentering the atmosphere in a small shuttle with three other people. The spacecraft is hit by space debris, and loses its trajectory, landing hundreds of kilometers off course in the middle of a sub-arctic forest. He and the other female survivor make their way out of the destroyed spacecraft, which is in a freezing river, and they swim to the bank as the craft is washed downstream.

    They survive for eight days before they are rescued and taken back to Cirrian City, and the girl goes to Arcus city. Darin buys a nice apartment and tries to adapt to life in the city towers, but he can’t stop thinking about the time he spent in the wilderness. Darin develops a passion for the outdoors, and starts making longer and longer jaunts out of the cities.

    However, he has to apply for entry into the sanctuaries, and in some cases is denied. He illegally enters one, and is pursued by security forces, where he eventually evades them.

    On one trip, he spends two weeks out in the forest, and when he returns, Arcus city has been deliberately hit by a de-orbiting space station, (terrorism) and Cirrian city has refused to take in the refugees from the destroyed city. Darwin eventually finds the girl, and takes her out into the forest to live with him; a small crowd follows them and builds a settlement in the forest sanctuary.
     
  2. Domoviye
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    Domoviye Contributing Member

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    The reason for him being forced into the wilderness is a good idea. It's original, and can lead to some interesting developments.
    The premise though has been done. Colonists crash landing on a planet with virtually no supplies, or a future society crumbling for some reason leaving people fending in the wilderness are common.
    But this is a good idea, and it hasn't been done to death either.
    The only thing I wonder about is how come he went searching for the girl? Are they friends, lovers, or something, or does he just secretly have a crush on her?
    Without more details I can't really say anything else.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    One technical note - The L1 Lagrange point, which is the one between the Earth and the Sun, is not a stable position but a saddle point - it would require constant adjustments to maintain it in that position. It is also nearly a million miles away from the Earth - roughly four times the distance of Earth's moon, so to cast a significant shadow, it would have to be HUGE.

    Being that huge, it would also need even more active thrust to maintain its position, because of the solar wind would exert an acceleration away from the Sun.
     
  4. Montag
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    Montag Senior Member

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    The bit where they are lost in the forest would only be about the first 1/4 of the story, the next 1/4 would be him trying to adjust to the apartment life (he has been in space for four years, so its weird for him), the 3rd 14 would be his adventures in the wilderness, and the last would be the space station crash scene and his meeting up with the girl again. He could take her back to cirrian city if he wanted, but he chooses to stay out in the wilderness with her and a few other Arcus refugees.

    he starts to develop a crush on her in space, but doesnt act on it, then when they are lost, he comforts her, and she has some good survival ideas that impress him, then when they go to the seperate cities, he assumes it's over. finally, he wants to save her after her city is destroyed.

    as for the lagrange point thing, i didnt research it much yet but the idea is that its not a solid panel but a thin mesh that just diffuses the light, while generating electricity, probably using ion engines to stabilise itself. probably something like 10 000 square miles, just to block out a minute amount of the suns energy. its not a super huge element, just an intreresting little thing for the characters to discuss.

    thanks for your comments guys!
     
  5. SeaBreeze
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    SeaBreeze Banned

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    Sounds good actually, probably something that could be split into a trilogy or at least two books.

    Oh and hey, writers liscence.. it's creative enough that anything is possible! so I would probably wouldn't bother too much with the technicalities, either that or make it further into the future because you never know what's going to happen!:p
     
  6. Domoviye
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    Domoviye Contributing Member

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    Montag, that sounds like a good story, and a good reason for finding the girl.
    Good luck.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    10000 square miles would be a circular mesh a little over 100 miles across. At a distance of nearly 1 million miles, that wouldn't even cast a shadow that would reach the Earth's surface. The shadow would only extend about 12000 miles, based on the Sun's diameter and distance. Even the moon, at a quarter of that distance from the Earth, doesn't cast a wide enough shadow to cover the Earth's surface (think of the area covered by the track of a solar eclipse).

    I'm not trying to put a damper on your whole idea, but just pointing out the kind of scale that would be required to cast a significant shadow from the L1 point. The power generator idea works better to me, and the 10000 square mile collection grid would collect a great deal of power. Incidentally, that amount of power in a tight beam would pose one hell of a weapon if it fell into the wrong hands.

    I hope this helps.
     

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