Weird facts create great fiction
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a prediction about what would happen to us in the next thousand years. The prediction wasn't exactly heart-warming or utopian but with climate change gathering pace, I find it hard not to be pessimistic. I could poo-poo global warming or predict that we would use our amazing technological skills to find a way to reverse the effects of climate change, but that would be bollocks. The bare facts are that we're currently, every year, producing billions of tonnes of CO2, along with methane (thirty times more warming than CO2) and Flourine-based chemicals (ten thousand times more warming than CO2). That's a lot of cooking gases. No human machine can undo this scale of heat and chemical pollution. This human-created chemical output isn't even going down. For example, India has made it clear it plans to ramp up its coal burning in the next few decades as part of a programme to increase its GDP. Oh dear.
Our future looks grim. To be honest, it looks so grim that I wonder why half the population of the Earth hasn't downed tools and demanded a proper, war-footing new way of living to stop its effect. And yet everyone just noodles along as normal. It's very weird and a bit eerie. But rather than get depressed, or very freaked out, why not use this future of ours for a great science fiction story!
Great science fiction story with lots of terrible doom:
What's more, there's no need to create any weird aliens, sinister secret government groups and hidden, powerful cults for this story. Instead, let's use the aliens, sinister government groups and hidden, powerful cults that many people say already exist on Earth. Nice. To do this, we can use the writings of Peter Levenda, Jim Marrs, Richard Dolan and Mark McCandlish. They've all done years of research, speak intelligently and have put forward evidence of all sorts of secret weirdness.
Along with climate change and secret powers, we can even throw in some 'super-powers'. For example, in an earlier blog post, I described my experiences when I tried remote viewing. A lot of people don't believe this ability is possible, but I certainly experienced an information gathering ability that was way above chance, and RV has a highly developed history, so I'm comfortable with it. Also, the theoretical science underpinning remote viewing is fine, at least if you accept the consequences of the Influence Idea. If we put this stuff in, we've got secret groups battling against each other with psychic powers while the planet cooks in its juices like a Christmas turkey.
We've got our components; what about our story? Again, no need to make stuff up from nothing, let's just work with actual, funded predictions (allegedly). In Jim Marrs' entertaining book Psi Spies, he reports that a remote viewing team working for the U.S. military carried out a funded remote viewing of our future. To quote from the book (pg 253):
In March 1992, five PSI TECH remote viewers were commissioned to explore the ramifications of the ozone problem. This contract came from the Institute for Human Potential, a think-tank formed in honour of Senator Claiborne Pell, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Funding for the institute comes primarily from grants by Laurance Rockefeller. "The outlook is grim," succinctly stated a cover letter with the final project report. The report contains this sobering assessment:
"Atmospheric ozone depletion/replenishment was perceived to be driven by a natural ebb and flow process - a geophysical cycle. But this process has been overwhelmed by man-made activity. A critical point is reached, circa 2005-2012, where the destruction will begin a runaway course, in a fashion analogous to metastasis [the transfer of malignant cells from one location to another]. During this period, the problem, and its potential consequences, will no longer be subject to question. The ozone decay will not necessarily be slowed down, but its effects temporarily ameliorated by coincidental volcanic activity. One such related event will be the explosion of an 'extinct' volcano in the North American Cascade chain. The volcanic activity will literally and figuratively eclipse the ozone problem, but decreased sunlight will wreak havoc with crop production in many places. Chaotic weather patterns in combination with decreased sunlight will necessitate the construction of huge, environmentally controlled greenhouses, so that food production can carry on without being subjected to the vicissitudes of climate/weather."
"Unwittingly, these structures form the templates for technologies that will become increasingly critical to sustaining human life. They will begin to be seen as sanctuaries, then habitats, as society begins to migrate into them. A point is reached where very little life is seen outside of the artificial structures. The atmosphere outside these 'biospheres' is almost antiseptic. The sky is striated and multi-hued. Earth's remaining (surviving) inhabitants have either been driven underground or into these very large, climate-controlled domes, which now house complete, medium-sized cities. Our children's children are resident there. There is no perceivable violence. Most creative energy is directed to questions of survival."
That report was produced twenty-three years ago and, so far, it's right on track. It doesn't mention the exponential growth of social instability, refugees and migrants that will be created as crops fail, destabilising countries and catalysing wars, which we are now seeing, but maybe that was in the full text. Otherwise, it's spot on so far.
All that's needed to turn that actual report into a story is to replace 'ozone depletion' with 'global warming' and we've got a pretty solid framework for our story. It's not that big a fudge, I can imagine why those remote viewers, working in 1992, would have confused ozone depletion with the greenhouse effect. They're both caused by man-made chemicals in the atmosphere. In addition, CFC's are both ozone depleters and highly potent greenhouses gases, making the two issues even harder to separate as subjects.
Okay, we've got some potent elements in our story and we're basing them on researched evidence. But the story we've got so far isn't really capable of drawing in an audience yet. What we need is some threat, some secret plan, some fiendish enemy to make it work. Once again, we don't need to make a threat up from scratch, we can work with material that a lot of people regard as fact, then look at the consequences if that material is true.
Jim Marrs has written another book called 'Alien Agenda', which I did enjoy reading, in which he talks about alien races living amongst us now. I couldn't personally declare most of that stuff to be fact, as it's based too much on anecdotes and hearsay, but what if we used some of Jim's evidence in a thriller? For example, what if we included in a story the idea that an advanced, alien race was living in underground bases around Earth? How about including another widely discussed idea, that one or more elite, extremely wealthy groups were secretly building underground bases for their own personal benefit, both as centres of research and development and potential havens during future calamities?
Here's where it gets fun. If we bung together the material mentioned above, we get two thrilling scenarios:
Story scenario 1: Aliens hiding underground on Earth realise humans are going to wreck the planet. What do they do? Being aliens, and possibly a little cold-blooded, they decide to manufacture an event that will kill off 90% of Earth's population. Being experts in underground tunnelling and pulverising of rock with energy weapons while creating their secret bases, they concoct a fiendish plan to stimulate Mount Adams, a semi-dormant volcano in the Cascades to erupt (see RV prediction above), thereby covering North America in ten feet of ash, plunging Earth into twenty years of arctic winters and killing billions of humans as planned.
Several good humans hear about this plan and work desperately to stop the alien's plot. A human with dubious but cogent morality argues that it should be done, while an emotional, emotive human argues the opposite. Cue lots of moral quandaries, chases, tech, aliens, Green Berets and massive tunnelling machines.
Story scenario 2: A secret, elite, massively wealthy human cult realise humans are going to wreck the planet. What do they do? Being secret cult people, and possibly a little cold-blooded, they decide to manufacture an event that will kill off 90% of Earth's population, enabling them in their Nazi-ideology-type-way to repopulate Earth with their offspring (possibly genetically enhanced). Having become experts in underground tunnelling and pulverising of rock with energy weapons while creating their secret bases, they concoct a fiendish plan to stimulate Mount Adams, a semi-dormant volcano in the Cascades to erupt (see RV prediction above), thereby covering North America in ten feet of ash, plunging Earth into twenty years of arctic winters and killing billions of humans as planned.
Several good humans and helpful, friendly aliens hear about this plan and work desperately to stop the secret cult's plot. Cue lots of moral quandaries, chases, tech, aliens, Green Berets, quasi-religious outfits and massive tunnelling machines. [Yes, this is very similar to scenario 1, but it still works]
The fun aspect of writing either of these scenarios is you hardly need to make up anything at all, but they'd still both be convincing, fascinating, unnerving and quite exciting. Also, a lot of people might watch/read the story and actually rant and rave about the story being true, which could multiply book sales five-fold.
To sum up, there's interesting evidence that our world is actually already so strange that it would make a good science-fiction novel, and that some predictions of our future naturally belong in a science-fiction thriller. All someone needs to do is gather all the evidence together and mould it into a thriller and it'd be a blockbuster. Yes! Mark Twain was spot-on when he said:
"It's not whether it did happen or didn't happen but that it could have happened."
p.s. if it does get made into a blockbuster science-fiction movie, I'd like a cut.