Personally, for Really Short Stories, I prefer making a boring or simple premise interesting or at least invoke emotion. But what I enjoy reading, or at least what I read most often, is not the same as what I’ve been writing. Now that I’ve cleared this up on to the post…
1. Donut shaped world that is 85% uninhabitable (as a result of soil loss and gravity). Several people on different sides of the Donut-world discover mysterious devices that, if used together, can make more of the world habitable. The mechanisms can be used to communicate with one another and used together can complete the process of making more of the Donut-World habitable. The story would follow multiple people from multiple cultures who have to work together in order to create a world their people can live in. Conflict forms both within societies were the devices are made known to the public, societies were they don’t even believe in the Donut, people who are opposed to their local government, and try to keep their devices secret and all that. The story will follow multiple people who never actually get to meet face to face. These people will have to work together to stop everyone they know from dying despite differing cultures, walks of life, religious beliefs, ability to speak each other’s language, and even an understanding of what it is they are actually doing.
(Okay, something smaller this time.)
2. Okay, Parallel Universes!!! But Smaller!!
Not exactly… So, the main world will be similar enough to the real world the main changes are there is a non-existent technology that had no practical uses until a few years before the story begins. Some smaller countries who unwisely invested too large an amount of resources into not yet feasible applications of the technology during world war 1 and 2 don’t exist. So a few country borders and small historical facts are different.
Okay too much exposition here’s what’s relevant to the story:
Scientist in, let’s say somewhere in the USA it’s not yet relevant, created a device which after malfunctioning a few times brought in people from what are essential, fantasy worlds (my kind not generic) into the main world. It also brought some chunks of rock and a piece of strange architecture (Focus Ilan focus). The people brought over retain whatever fantasy abilities they formerly held, but in comparison to modern technology, most of them seem ineffective (see I’m keeping it somewhat small). As they learn the language, the fantasy characters come to terms with where they are, and while working to try and send themselves back to their homeworlds, which seem small and unexplored by comparison, some of them stage an escape. The story is about how some of the more responsible ones work to confront the more villainous ones as the wannabee Superheros get in the way.
Honestly, I had some world building pop into my head, but I don’t know where to take this at the moment so on to the next one
(This time, I’ll approach it from a different angle so I don’t get as caught in the details I don’t have time to complete and fully put down. This isn’t meant to be a worldbuilding post)
3. A story following an anti-supervillain police agency and their interactions with the “superheroes” they have to either arrest, recruit, or convince to retire in the rare case the hero manages to do more good than harm and are too popular to arrest. This story follows a long time agent as he recruits teaches to deal with the paperwork. His distaste for “superheroes”, or at least “superheroes'” who don’t get the hint, Driven by personal experience. And as he’s torn between bending the rules and his need for something to stop him from becoming one of the “superheroes,” he so despises.
4. A world populated by Tolkienesque fantasy races, but in this one, there are no humans. In addition, there are all sorts of different fantasy races, with common fantasy stereotypes regarding them being primary aspects of their culture. The culture, though, is fundamental to the story, as all children are mostly human in form, and they develop into a fantasy “race” depending on developmental and belief based factors. I can go in a lot of directions I can go from here, but as I realize that my first take adds and focuses on a new element, I will put it as a separate entry. In this one, people who grow up and don’t develop into a proper “race” become sickly child-like creatures, and if they are unable to form for too long, their bodies stop being able to support them, and they die young. A story in this version would be a focus on a group of these tall children over time and their travel to find a culture they connect with. The story will end as the main character discovers that he has to find a place for himself and either returns to his homeland or dies unable or unwilling to become something. (a third ending has him essentially starting a new “religion” and the birth of a new “race” maybe in a sequel if it’s a book).
(Another possible version is…)
5. Instead of becoming tall, sickly children, the requirement for growing into a race is either a sense of belonging or the proper tribalistic connection to a particular “race.” Those that don’t, though, become Grey Folk. Grey Folk are the closest to what we would see as ordinary humans, but there are gray-skinned, and their hair and eyes are lacking in pigment. Grey Folk don’t properly belong to any existing “race,” but mare share some physical similarities to existing “races.” The main character would be a child of a political ambassador and, due to a lack of belonging, become a Grey Folk. The story will follow a traveling musician or artist as he achieves inter-cultural fame for his works combining multiple foreign styles.
6. A dutch merchant purchases far too many tulip bulbs and attempts to artificially increase their cost. His first few attempts fail, but after he hires a local botanist, he finally gets something to stick, something sticks. Successful in finally making a profit, the merchants work along with the work of others like him feeds into what is to inevitably become Tulip-mania.
7. So there exists a number, say 7, of mysterious devices that, if brought into the void of space, enable faster than light travel. How the cubes actually work is a well-kept mystery. But the devices allow for acceleration of up to 0.4 lightyears a minute. A notorious crime lord uses all of the resources at his disposal to get his hands on one of these devices and flies to a technologically primitive world and establishes himself as a god. After a few years of being worshiped, starting religious wars, and getting his hands on everything he could ever dream of… the story either begins with him trying to redeem himself. Or with a seed ship fleeing earth establishing contact with the population of the planet, the “Space God” first established himself at.
8. Magic in fantasy worlds is often overpowered. It allows individuals to alter the universe to their whims and often is something that isn’t genetic but instead is something anyone can use if they simply knew how. In such fantasy universes, how to use magic is a closely held secret, and magic is split into multiple schools.
Why is this relevant? Because here we are taking these factors into the extreme.
Anyone can do anything if they know-how, quite a bit of knowledge has been lost throughout the ages. Every act of magic every change to the universe is a separate, distinct piece of information; there aren’t schools so much as there are distinct magical spells, and whoever knows or discovers a spell shares it only with the people who they trust most. People are willing to kill to monopolize a spell as anyone who knows a spell can use that knowledge to cancel out or prevent the effects of said spell entirely. While a few simple spells are common knowledge and a few are used in the pursuit of some professions. Magic is primarily seen as personal power, and it only takes one person who knows the same spells as you, and one more can cancel out anything you try and essentially possess absolute magical superiority. The story follows the youngest child of a famed magician who can create, binding, magically enforced contracts. Contracts that can only be dispelled by the other individual involved in the contract. This individual uses her knowledge of said contracts to create a secure method of trading magical information. The story will follow this character…
(No idea what to do next. Oh! I know soap is a bioweapon! now to come up with how that will work…)
9. A new mysterious flu-like virus is going around. A vaccine is developed, but the virus mutates enough that it essentially becomes seasonal. One of the best ways to prevent infection being the frequent washing of hands with soap. Little does the public know that the leading lye supplier for multiple soap company actually has contacts with a lab that researches the virus and puts viral samples in its products. Eventually, an employee of the lye supplier discovers the secret, and the story follows him as he tries to convince people of the soap conspiracy…
(One more Ilan think… ummmm… ohhhh… ahhhh… Fuckit, I spent too much time on this anyways. What would happen if people who achieved enlightenment became immortal and unchanging)
10. Another different history this time, but I won’t state the changes here I’m exhausted, suffice it to say India and China are even greater hellholes than they are today. As they are lead by immortal god-kings, which are relics of ages past. There are small groups of religious mortals, and to achieve enlightenment, you have to both believe that you have achieved enlightenment and not have your mind changed by the world around you for approximately 120 hours. The only way to die is if you kill yourself. The story follows a group of accelerationists who are certain that for the world to achieve its optimal state, they must end, or at least seal away, all the relics of a past age…