Thursday, 8 September 2011

Couple More Story Ideas

A story in which first one letter and then another start to go missing from words. The reader thinks it a string of typos until she groks that it is central to the narrative -- the abolition of c r. We start to see that an alien intelligence is waging war not against our infrastructure but our language.

A story in the form of a series of scientific papers, each with multiple authors, detailing a dangerous experiment. Each new paper, adding more detail and narrating advances in the experiment, has one fewer authors than the previous one. It dawns on the reader that the experiment is killing the scientists off, one at a time.

A whodunnit with a twist: our very concept of 'who' -- human identity and personality -- is the criminal.

3 comments:

Gareth Rees said...

A story in which first one letter and then another start to go missing from words.

This is La Disparition by Georges Perec.

Gareth Rees said...

A whodunnit with a twist: our very concept of 'who' -- human identity and personality -- is the criminal.

Similar in spirit to The Chain of Chance by Stanisław Lem.

Adam Roberts said...

So you're saying the post-title ought to be 'Couple More Unoriginal Story Titles'? Nothing new under the sun, I suppose.

That said: I read the English translation of La Disparition (a while ago, actually) and don't remember any aliens: isn't it more surreal, horror and faux-noir mystery?

I've also read Lem's Katar, which I would characterise more as being about the tension between our desire to construct meaningful connective and consecutive narratives out of the random events -- the sometimes linked but still random events -- that actually structure life. I don't remember it as being an interrogation of subjectivity per se.