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poisonedantidote's avatar

Is my idea for a Sci-Fi book any good, and how could I improve it?

Asked by poisonedantidote (21539 points ) October 31st, 2010

Here is my basic idea in a nutshell:

It’s the future, and humans have invented an injection that makes pople immortal, as long as they top up every 3 months. With the injection there is no natural death or death from disease, but you can still be killed in an accident or by a gun.

The injection is owned by a large corporation that also owns most of the internet, tv, as well as many many other things. from mining to real estate.

The corporation charges a small fee for the injection, the equivalent of $20 in todays money. You can go to a hospital to have it done, you can buy it illegally on the street, or you can even get it from vending machines. there are even pay as you go plans, and more.

The story, will have a moral lesson about greed and power. as well as touching on oppression, corruption, and death.

If you dont have the injection on time you start to age, and you can not reverse it. The punishment for all crimes is having your injections held back, causing you to age and become closer to death. Jail does not work anymore because you cant punish an immortal by taking his freedom away for a temporary period, and permanent jail is impractical.

The world is over populated, and food is now expensive but there is still a good supply. Those who used to die from hunger and disease in 3rd world countries are now slaves of the corporation.

In this world, Life is very cheap to the corporation, but the world is obcessed with living and value their lives and the injection above everything.

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11 Answers

lemming's avatar

It sounds like a really good idea to me, especially refusing the injection as a form of punishment, but if no-one died the world would become over populated pretty quick; are women still giving birth freely?

poisonedantidote's avatar

@lemming There would be restrictions on who can give birth. Also this would be quite far in to the future, where we have space stations and colonies on other planets within out solar system.

The more evil and hellish i can make it the better. we could say, all males are steralized at birth, and only have it reversed if they are granted a license to reproduce.

roundsquare's avatar

@poisonedantidote Nice idea. Why not make it so that the ultimate crime is having a baby and make the punishment for that be a permanent stop on the injection (i.e. keeping the total population the same. You can say they randomly pick the mother or the father to stop having the injections).

JilltheTooth's avatar

Larry Niven (sorry, the link I want won’t load) is an SF author who deals with various permutations of this idea in his Known Space books. I like your idea, I haven’t seen it put that way before, but for some more interesting ideas on dealing with these issues (and to avoid already cliched ones) I suggest you take a look at him.

Kayak8's avatar

I like the idea. I am struggling with the “if you don’t have the injection on time, you will start to age and can’t reverse it” element. I still need my Sci-Fi to be logical. We had to have been different ages when we got the first shots. Are you saying we could get a late injection and it would do no good or it would stop us at the point to which we had progressed after missing the last one? If we miss an injection, do we rapidly age to catch up to where we would otherwise be (in the absence of any injections)? Just need some clarity (maybe because I am already old and trying to figure out what this world would be like.

poisonedantidote's avatar

@Kayak8 Yea, i did not quite explain my self well. Ok, here is my kind of idea for the immortality deal.

The injection prevents DNA from being damaged when it replicates. this way, with the injection you exist just as you do this very moment. if you are cut, you bleed, if you are shot, you may die. however, you will not age at all.

however, as the injection will be a combination of biological and chemical ingredients, in conjunction with little nanobots, as the nano bots have a limited life span, they need to be replaced. and as they are so small, we can calculate to the nano second, exactly when you will beging to age. and yes, you age at your normal rate. just how you age now.

In fact, forget nano seconds, we can predict to withing such precision, that it is amazing. the nanobots use a small motor that is just a couple of atoms in size. or even smaller. So, we can calculate to withing 1 atomic vibration exactly when you need the injection.

Technologically, we do not have the capacity to undo the damages of time on our bodies. the DNA starts to take damage, cells start to replicate worse, and so on. you can maybe restore a little damage if you are very very rich, but you cant repair the damage to the DNA. that is permanent.

So, naturally, with no injection and futuristic health care, the average human lives about 180 to 260 years.

With the injection you live “forever” according to all the claims from the sales men, but really, even in an ideal system, where you are rich, you dont take part in crimes, and you will never have an accident, you still have to account for some minor problems. such as a bad batch of bots, followed by 40 minutes of shitty customer service. Or maybe some other possible problem. therefore with the injection, the average human will live an estimated 800.000 years. to 1.2 or 1.4 million years. maybe 1.5 if you are really lucky.

Nullo's avatar

The ‘evil megacorporation’ is a little played out, IMO. You might try going the more challenging route of having a good – if a bit extreme – megacorporation. Or perhaps you could explore the negatives of such insanely long lifespans.

Science fiction has long been a haven to bizarre ideas; feel free to get creative.

mattbrowne's avatar

It’s got potential. Think about how this could cause strong emotions and controversy among the characters you need to invent.

markferg's avatar

Well, you’ve got a background to a story, as has already been pointed out, somewhat like a Larry Niven story. What hasn’t been described is the arc of the story and the characters. These are the elements that hold my attention – Who does what, and why?

snowberry's avatar

It’s a good idea to have your main character mature as he goes through life. Even though his body won’t age, his personality and thoughts would. How has his thinking changed over the course of several decades (or if your character isn’t going to last that long, you could have a less prominent character do it). Does he pass on his wisdom to the main character, and how does it change him?

Regarding the ability to reproduce or not, a woman might have different ideas than a man would. It’s truly an amazing thing to have another person growing inside of you. Imagine living your life knowing that someone else is deciding for you whether or not you have this right. This would give your story more depth and make it more memorable.

Faerywitch's avatar

I agree with Kayak8. Also I think it would be good if this injection were to cause some types of side effects, mental perhaps, or perhaps in unborn children. And it would be interesting to see if the characters want to live forever so much that they don’t care about these effects in themselves. Will there be a hero, who skips taking the injection to help others learn of their apparent insane thirst for immortality? It would be interesting to read a book in which evil wins and there is a hero but he fails and humanity goes on living in this odd world and those that did side with him aren’t bold enough to follow him. This has AMAZING potential. I’d definitely read it! Good luck!

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