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obvious noob questions from a writer
(11-15-2013, 02:59 PM)TheodoreBonn Wrote: guys suck. (Can't STAND it when people think of my great ideas first, though I should be used to it by now...I've been here, like, three days, after all.) Actually in my story it is a covert attack.

Technically, you did think of the idea first since you developed the story idea some time agoSmile We just came to a similar conclusion after you provided enough information.

On a related note, and sort of connected to the ideas below - how far in the future do you think you could have your sleepers hail from without compromising their 'real life relatability'? Would people who were frozen a hundred years from now be too far future?

I ask, because if people are willing to engage in cryonic storage now, when no method of reviving them is known, then consider what might happen if science developed a way of ALMOST reviving them.

As you probably know some species of frogs can survive being frozen:

Given your earlier comments on RL use of cooling in surgeries and such (and subject to our resident bioscience members not having a stroke at what I'm about to suggest), it might be reasonable to postulate that sometime in the next hundred years a method is developed to replicate what these frogs do in other (simple) organisms (at least to some degree). Perhaps only a wide range of cold blooded creatures, or maybe even some simple warm-blooded creatures. Maybe in combo with some sort of hibernation tech such as bears and other animals do.

The tech hasn't been developed to the point where it will work on humans, or been demonstrated to work safely on humans for any great length of time, or whatever but it would seem much more promising than cryonics to many. So perhaps there is a boom in 'cold sleep' enterprises.

As part of this large numbers of people, most with incurable diseases go into 'cold sleep' with the thought that future tech will be able to wake them and cure them (much like modern cryonics patients). Except that it turns out to be harder than first thought to get the tech to work on a human and get a functioning nervous system out the other side (animal subjects tend to develop cancer, nerve damage or deterioration and other not great things, but surely that will be cured or curable eventually right?). So the sleepers languish for centuries, first watched over by people and later by AI support systems. Which brings us to...

(11-15-2013, 02:59 PM)TheodoreBonn Wrote: In my story, a rogue AI that was run off Earth for being too...destructive has used nano (actually reprogrammed cancer cells, monocolonals) to infect both the hull and the crew of the colony ship, using these 60,000 hapless refugees as distributed nodes and servile waldos. This rogue AI got in on the ground floor, implanted some distributed nodes in the hull...and is using this flying beacon of attempt to infect its next target, that being the colony in question.

Been doing some thinking about this. Not sure if the following will still be relevant to your story depending on how it's developing, but will throw it out and see if it helps.

As part of the OA timeline we have mention of a conflict between different camps of transapient AIs:

The losers (many of them anyway) ended being driven from the solar system, using shanghaied starprobes to leave. I'm honestly not entirely sure about the starprobes bit (we don't talk a lot about this phase of early interstellar exploration and should probably expand on it), but it does lend itself to a couple of possible plots, one of which might fit into your story as so far described. To wit:

Option A) The conflict takes place much as already described. One of the losers, an ahuman AI, oversees one or more cryonics facilities. In secret it has been developing the sort of waldo tech you describe. Or maybe it just has some attachment to the sleepers as pets or a remnant of its programming. Or maybe it wants to torture them for some reason or do experiments or whatever. Regardless, it decides to leave Sol and take them with it. Via various tricky methods, it manipulates events so that the sleepers are loaded aboard a star probe aimed in the direction of the Hyades and uploads itself aboard. And then...

Relating to this, do you actually need 60,000 sleepers (which mass rather a lot), or would 6000 work?

Option B) The conflict between the AI factions takes place much closer to the nanodisaster (or maybe it's a WWI and WWII type of thing - more than one AI conflict). The conflict in question takes place near or in the ND (maybe the ND is a side-effect of the battle - a theory that some might hold in later centuries, along with the notion that GAIA was created to be a weapon that ended up getting out of control and turning on Her transapient creators - forcing them to flee Earth and causing some to flee Sol entirely). One of these is an ahuman AI that oversees a cold sleep facility as mentioned above. It first gets off Earth and then decides to leave out of fear of GAIA or the Dark Age or something. To get out of town, it manipulates events to get its sleepers and itself loaded aboard one of GAIA's arks and then takes off with it, heading for the Hyades. It might either leave before more people can be loaded aboard (I don't think we indicate how many a given ark could carry), only bring enough sleepers to fully fill the ship, or kill off the rest of the passengers en route. And then...

With this options, 60,000 sleepers is quite doable. It's an ark ship after allSmile

Regardless of the option picked, while in flight the AI detects the passage of faster ships and the colonization of the Hyades. First by ahuman AIs (which it likes), creating the Taurus Nexus and later by biologicals (which makes it very unhappy). Knowing that it is stuck heading to the Hyades, wanting to be there, and resenting the idea of dirty bios taking its chosen plot of space, it begins re-engineering the sleepers into bioweapons of some kind such as you describe or something more OA-esque. Eventually it arrives at a system in the Hyades and the story begins...

Or something like that - just some stuff that occurred in the shower this AM. YMMV. And some of this would need approval by the larger group since we might need to add or tweak some things to the setting.

(11-15-2013, 02:59 PM)TheodoreBonn Wrote: The interdiction ship - told from the viewpoint of a Dexter-type psychopath from Earth who has been blessed by a particularly malevolent archailect who has taken a liking to him with some unusually potent imbedded firepower - picks up on the ruse, and...duly blows the ship out of the sky.

Remind me again...why aren't you guys running scifi yet?

Are you thinking that all the colonists die? Many or most? I'm not overly wedded to happy endings, but something where some of the characters survive would be niceSmile Note that at the time the Taurus Nexus was a major modosophont civ, there wouldn't have been anything higher than the Third Singularity around AFAIK. Of course their brains are the size of Earth's moon, and they can make (crude and inefficient) wormholes, convert matter completely to energy, and create magmatter, among other things. So some quite potent firepower can be had if you want it.

Btw what sort of tech and wonders were you thinking of populating the Hyades/Taurus Nexus with? Some things appear later in the timeline and wouldn't be available. Others would very much be. We might also want to discuss wormholes. OA wormholes have various interesting features and limits and can take a bit of getting used to. Have you read the Layman's Guide by chance?

As to why we aren't running scifi yet...we talked about it but it seemed like it would be too much workWink

Anyway, hope all of the above helps. A lot depends on when you see your characters hailing from and some other factors, but hopefully this gives a starting point for discussion.

Hope this helps,


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RE: obvious noob questions from a writer - by Drashner1 - 11-16-2013, 12:41 PM

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