Story Ideas as Borg

I swore not to start any new fiction this year — at least not unless I finish a fair amount of the old. But sometimes I feel as if story ideas are an offshoot of the Borg, trying to assimilate me and bend me to their own purposes. I really need to swear off looking through the ideas in my Scrivener Stories file. I give them temporary names, and then when I have a reason to look through the file, one or more will catch my eye with a “What the heck is that about?” That happened this morning, and I wound up writing a couple of paragraphs before I caught myself. But I’m glad I did stumble over that title, because it gave me something to think about for when I go back to it.

The story is about a slave (So, what’s new? It’s an obsession. I can’t help it.) There are many economic factors to consider in historical slavery, making the whole subject more complex and therefore more interesting. When you bring slavery into the near-future and propose that it’s an integral part of culture and economics, you have to make sure the reasons for that happening make sense. If it makes sense, then it’s possible to write about slavery as a good thing, for the society, if not necessarily for the people enslaved. And yes, I did make notes. They’re my weapon against assimilation by the Borg.


6 thoughts on “Story Ideas as Borg

  1. Have you ever read any of the Tarnsman of Gor series by John Norman? You might not like them because of the way he handles slavery (culturally and psychologically), but he has some very definite ideas, and quite a following.

    1. I’ve heard of the Gor stories, of course, but I’ve never read anything that made me think I’d be interested in reading them. I gather they’re pure fantasy. Any particular reason why I might want to take a look? Usually willing to try something new, though I had to give up on Shadow of the Torturer after a few chapters. Not particularly interesting or well-written, to my way of thinking. Very disappointed in that one.

      1. You wound me, Catana! Lol. Gene Woolf’s work entranced me from the moment I started reading *Shadow of the Torturer*. I have read all the numerous “Sun” novels and enjoyed them. His style is not for everyone, though, I must admit. I’m also a big fan of his “Latro” novels about a Persian soldier with no long-term memory who has to write everything down each day so he can read it the next morning and know who he is and what he is doing.

        1. I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree in some areas. I dipped into some fiction by Doctorow and didn’t care for him, either, but I do like his articles.

  2. Catana, I think our differences here are simply a matter of taste. I gather that you came late to SF when it was fully developed and literary influences had made better writing and characterization important. I got started in 1958 – aged nine. In those days, SF was just beginning to find its way into novels (as opposed to the pulp magazines). If you wanted to read the stuff, you couldn’t afford to be selective. Since the buyers regarded it as trash, many libraries had no SF at all. I got lucky in the old Carnegie Libraries in Stratford and Kitchener, Ontario (they gladly accepted any and all donations), but SF books were so scarce I literally read every single one they had! That experience developed a wide range of tastes that have stayed with me.

    Cory Doctorow’s work seems to vary wildly. Some of it is outright “super-cool” YA (which I don’t like) whereas other works appear more mature. I have yet to get the range on him.

    1. Of course, tastes are different, and they may have something to do with when and how you’re introduced to a subject. But my introduction to SF was actually around the age of six or seven when I had an opportunity to dive into someone’s pulp magazine collection. But the disease didn’t have any chance to develop further until I was in my late teens and able to search out SF on my own. So my experience has included the golden age of SF, which is what I started reading first. I enjoyed a lot of books that I wouldn’t give the time of day to now, and only gradually developed my own tastes instead of reading indiscriminately. Some of that old stuff, like the various sword and sorcery and macho action, I’d read for amusement, if I needed to be amused, which I seldom do. The problem with those is the combination of pulp writing and a genre I just don’t care for. Yeah, I do prefer more literary writing these days.

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