The End Of The World As We Know It
I've been invited to participate in a collaborative writing effort. Details of the project can be found at EndofThisWorld.com. They asked me to help come up with the plot of the book, so here goes.
World-ending disasters can come in many shapes and forms. Here are a few that come to mind:
- Natural Disaster - Cosmic events, impacts, dieoffs, diseases
- Manmade Disaster - Runaway pollution, war efforts gone awry, economic collapse, bad inventions
- War - Nuclear, biological, technological
- Supernatural Event - Vampires, X-men, superheroes/villains
- Religious Event - God's Wrath
- Aliens - Gremlins, full scale invasion
I kind of like the concept of mankind's arrogance and curiosity destroying the world, because I believe it's already happening. It's just that it'll take hundreds of years, but in a novel the ending can be neatly condensed.
Take the example of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. Sure, let's just create energies not seen since the first couple seconds of the Universe and see what happens. There are some scenarios that involve not just the end of the world, but the complete destruction of the entire Universe.
So, what if this novel involves some experimental find that goes horribly wrong? If we throw in a supernatural element, that adds a lot of room for creativity. What if the RHIC uncovers the "evil" particle? It's like an infectious particle that can be used against people to turn them into bad guys with powers or something. Of course you can't have an evil particle without the coresponding "Good" particle that counters the effect. Maybe the twist of the story is that p-Good actually makes people worse than p-Evil because of course we're all evil to some degree and you can't change human nature.
Good vs Evil is one of my favorite topics. I'll have to make a whole blog post about it.
[update] I thought of another couple of possibilities. msnbc.com is running a series on the fresh water crisis. One solution is to increase desalinization. Now what would happen if we dumped tons of salt into the ocean? An oceanic disaster is always good. The ocean could dry up or some hidden cache of "bad water" could emerge.
Then I thought about bacteria. Some people estimate that 99% of Earth's biomass is bacteria, living all over and inside the Earth's crust. What if something bad happened to all that biomass? Think about all the people we bury 6-feet under? What if somehow all these bodies get absorbed into the biomass, and then the biomass gets sentient from it? What if their souls get absorbed? How about this biomass comes to live and invades the surface?