View Full Version : Sci-fi novel idea... rate/criticize/discuss/insult/insinuate/accuse [Spoilers!]

2007-11-22, 01:17 AM
Before the Story/Setting/Introduction
Itís quite a while into the future, over one century having passed since the present day. On Earth, there are three world governments (with a handful of satellite states) - a fully secular, insular highly-advanced state (hereafter referred to as the AU), a religiously fundamentalist medium-tech state (hereafter referred to as the FC), and a moderate, religious medium-tech state (hereafter referred to as the MI). The MI and the FC want to take the AU out because a) they want more land because their populations are in constant bloom and b) they consider much of it's technology immoral, but by the same token the technologies they consider immoral are things like genetic engineering and intelligent computers, and so AU is their vast military superior.

All three states have access to a phlebotinum teleportation drive that allows interstellar travel to limited systems, but the AU doesnít really care (having population stability and a very insular ideology) and while the other two want some more space do not have the ability to terraform any of the planets in a time frame that they find acceptable. The FC, however, eventually locate a livable planet and begin monitoring it.

Finding it rife with natural life, an intelligent, if primitive and warlike, species (the kan) and easy to colonize, they immediately want to make moves to colonize it. However, while they want it all for themselves, they know that the MI are somewhat their military superiors and that just grabbing it without discussing it with them may provoke a war. Thus, they allow several MI members on the first expedition.

What exactly the FC plan to do to the kan could be anything between total destruction and teaching them the One True Faith. Itís not clear and, indeed, not decided. The key seems to be in whether or not they have souls and that is pretty much indecipherable, with disagreement amongst factions.

The end result is that the light (so as to be non-threatening) expedition consists of an FC sergeant, seven well trained FC troopers, an FC ecologist, an FC linguist, an FC anthropologist, an MI ecologist, an MI linguist, an MI anthropologist, and one MI field medic (just in case). All the non-troopers are former military to increase survivability.

Obviously before making this a novel I would give all the characters names and individual personalities, but they arenít terribly important to the plot so pfft for now.

The Tale Itself
The fifteen men land on one of the planetís few flat clearings (itís mostly forest and mountains), with instructions to attempt communication with any kan that do not immediately attack them. The first kan they meet does, hurling two sharpened bones which very slightly dent their armor and is gunned down by pretty much everyone before it gets anywhere near them, and giving off an ultrasonic chitter the suits detect.

Shortly after this, another twelve kan attack them in unison, and they successfully kill them, shooting them all in the head. They eventually locate the kan hive-pyramid, and throw an incendiary grenade in to destroy the whole thing while being beaten on by horribly weak kan who canít do anything more than lightly tap their armor. All the while, ultrasonic chitters are being given off.

They contact the monitoring station and the monitoring station tells them where the next closest kan hive-pyramid is. They locate one of the kans from this hive-pyramid after three days, and it does not immediately attack them. The suits pick up an ultrasonic chitter, and MI linguist attempts to communicate with it by translating normal speech into an appropriate sound range for it to detect, and enable them to slowly learn the otherís language. It responds by attacking. After the MI linguist nears it slowly, talking in ultrasound for a half-minute, it attacks suddenly, wrapping itís hands around the MI linguistís head and dying shortly thereafter from a gut wound inflicted by the MI linguist himself. The FCerís laugh until it becomes abundantly clear that something is wrong - the creature is leaking stomach acid, and the acid capable of damaging metals (or, at least, the metal the armor is made out of). While he shrugs off the creature and the metal doesnít get melted through, it certainly makes everyone a lot more nervous.

They are subsequently attacked by seventeen additional kan, and two more shots are accidentally fired into the kanís guts, killing the FC anthropologist and forcing the amputation of one of the soldiersí arm.

The sergeant decides that itís time to get out. The only notable ďplainsĒ that exist on the planet surround hive-pyramids, so they go to the one belonging to the kan that they were just fighting. However, before getting there, they encounter an unusual creature, the astid. Their intel tells them that the astid is, basically, a kan cow, only the milk is sticky and useful to cover wounds. One of the soldiers attempts to get some milk from the creature in order to protect himself from the kan, and is dealt heavy blunt-force trauma sufficient to kill him, even through the suit. The troopers open fire on the astid, killing it almost instantly.

They proceed to the hive pyramid, and prepare to open fire on the attacking kan. However, the kan begin to swarm around the leader of the troopers, simply holding onto the sergeantís armor and generating heat as quickly as they can, eventually causing his suit to malfunction, causing him to die of asphyxation. The rest manage to get off the planet

The resolution is that they discover that, in fact, the kan were nothing more than near-mindless ant-like creatures, not intelligent people like the FC had originally believed. Iím not sure who, exactly, should figure this out. One of the members of the expedition? An FC or MI official? An AU official?

So: Ideas/plot holes/criticism/flaws/other stuff?

Asid: I know the armor is a tad unrealistic, but I tried to make it as reasonable as possible and have people still get killed by some unintelligent space-critters. It's pretty hard, am I right?

2007-11-22, 01:39 AM
Well, a major flaw that I find is that there is no rising action, no climax, and nothing gets resolved. Some of the conflicts appear to happen for little reason and have no relavent result other than someone dying (like the encounter with the cow thing).

Also, you spend a large effort on exposition about three different nations, but the majority of your actual narrative has little to do with how these nations react with one another, and one nation is disregarded entirely and not mentioned again (AU).

So far its about a bunch of people stumbling around on a planet for almost no reason and slaughtering bugs with ease while still managing to be incompetent enough to get killed.

The story thus far has no depth. Flesh it out, and it might be good.