Author Topic: "Life in Settledown" - a working title for my novel  (Read 663 times)

maduncle

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"Life in Settledown" - a working title for my novel
« on: June 30, 2021, 11:17:34 am »
Hello all.

I have had an idea for a novel bouncing around in my head for years now. It is influenced by what I like to read and what I wonder about. I am aiming for a near future dystopian setting with believable issues and future tech.

Themes will be around environment, genetic engineering, smart devices, social media and artificial intelligence. The main character will be first person and narrating the story, the supporting characters will be few but well developed with their own stories. Plot will be unveiled as the story evolves, but as each character is discovered and drawn to the one place, a challenge for them as a group will emerge that applies each of their unique skills brought about by a common mishap in their early lives.

I wrote page one a while back as an exercise for a team meeting at work. Here it is:

___________________________________________________________________

There once was a man who grew thumbs.

Not in the way you would imagine though. He was not a thumb farmer who would rise early each morning to take a cup of coffee out on the front porch and watch the sun rise over his well-tended fields of opposing digits.

He grew thumbs on his body.

Well sure you say most of us can do that, we have two of them.

Thing was so did he to begin with, but then he grew more. The first extra thumb appeared when he was just an ordinary twelve year old boy and starting to experience all the other natural growth changes that occur then - like hair in new places. But this was more than a follicle; this was a tiny but fully formed extra digit appearing on the back of his right hand near the wrist joint. And it grew fast, as fast as hair grows in fact. As soon as this thumb was at full thumb size a second started to appear in the same place on his left hand – at least there was some symmetry involved in the strange process. Once fully formed the growth became exponential, two more appeared on his forearms, then four, then eight and so on. At first his limbs were the focus of this strange digital enhancement, but then his torso, chest, back and shoulders were all sprouting thumbs.

Then thankfully it all seemed to stop at his neck. I mean, who wants a thumb growing out the side of their nose right? He was now festooned with thumbs. He spent one evening counting them in the mirror, the only way to do it without losing count was to put a red ink dot on each one as we went. Two hundred and sixty-two extra thumbs, on top of the two he started life with.

The total thumb number had now stabilised, and over the following months he learnt to adapt his clothing to baggy, larger sized outfits that might hide the fact he was carrying more than the average amount of thumbs. One morning while dressing and struggling with the usual challenge of pulling a hoody past his head, his thumbs started to help. Up to that point he hadn’t felt any conscious control over them; they just seemed to all twitch of their own accord. But now as he concentrated, he found that he was able to control the moment of every one of those 262 tiny extra appendages. He could instruct one thumb to move, a cluster to move in unison, a cluster to move independently or all of them to move however he wanted.

He could do tiny Mexican waves of thumbs up one leg up to his neck and down the other leg.

He could even lie on his back and move across the floor like some sort of human millipede.

This made his parents laugh.

Up to now they had been nervous, ashamed, protective and fearful for his future. Most of all they had felt very guilty, but they had never been surprised. You see – it was their fault. This was no accidental mixing of gene pools that resulted in a strange aberration, but a conscious choice on their part.

They had wanted a genetically enhanced boy with astonishing dexterity, instead they got a modd.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Maybe returning to BG is the incentive I need to keep writing, I shall ponder a few more character intro pages and drop them here as I develop them.

Naturally I welcome any and all feedback, pointers and constructive criticism.

Thanks - maduncle.

”Lockstock stonedead shock of a Dog Fenn frown”

Sorontar

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Re: "Life in Settledown" - a working title for my novel
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2021, 01:11:33 pm »
Nice start. My immediate thoughts are whether this is actually a description of a reference case being read/reviewed/remembered by the protagonist, i.e., the multi-dexterous dude is a way you are setting the scene for how you are going to tell the story, like Adams's narrator in the HHGTTG novels or Pratchett's descriptions of the Great A'tuin, but not a major character.

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maduncle

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Re: "Life in Settledown" - a working title for my novel
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2021, 09:22:15 am »
Nice start. My immediate thoughts are whether this is actually a description of a reference case being read/reviewed/remembered by the protagonist, i.e., the multi-dexterous dude is a way you are setting the scene for how you are going to tell the story, like Adams's narrator in the HHGTTG novels or Pratchett's descriptions of the Great A'tuin, but not a major character.

Sorontar

Yes, good point. Is it a narrator who never appears? I think the very next paragraph would then personalise it and associate it with the first person main character. I think it would start with "I first met Dex when he came to my office ..." and so forth.

I need to up the number of digits too. Thinking more like 1,200 plus as that would cover a body rather well.