I have a lot of ideas for stories. Like, if I wrote a novel’s worth of them every month, I’d still most likely die before getting through them all. I will admit that some of the ideas probably suck, but I think there are some that a good writer could make something of them. I’ll just never get a chance to. So, I give them to the world. If you can make something of these, go right ahead. And if these are the ideas I’m giving away, maybe check out the ones I keep.
years ago, I had an image of a guy walking through a castle carrying a severed
head. (Like, your story process is “normal.”) So I wrote a short, little story about it
that ended hinting there was more to the story.
I recently reposted this little story, but if you don’t want to read it,
the basics are that Nallog the Third, after generations of fighting has finally
conquered the planet by taking the castle of the last holdout. While toasting his victory – with the severed
head of his enemy – his son comes in to complain that the troops are running
rampant and burning all the books. Nallog
the Third says that his son could just write more, but the prince says they
need the knowledge in those books to continue.
When Nallog the Third asks where they can continue to since they’ve
conquered the planet, the prince just looks to the stars starting to come out
in the twilight.
was to be the prologue to a massive
story. It eventually grew to seven
trilogies. When I say idea, I mean I had
some outline for the first book, and then a few sentences on what the following
trilogies would be about. So here goes.
background of the series, slowly pieced together, is that thousands of years ago
people on Earth discovered some type of faster than light (FTL) travel, in the
sense that it might take you an hour or two to go a lightyear. Which was great, but a downside was you
needed very accurate and up to date gravity maps. So you couldn’t just go out a hundred
lightyears right away. You had to go out
maybe one lightyear at a time and map everything. Once that was done, then you could make the
hundred lightyear jumps. What developed
were a few travel lanes between Earth and the few Earth like planets out there
located thousands of lightyears (months of travel time) away. Colonies were started on these planets, but
the initial focus was on things like food and basic goods. Do they want to ruin the pristine landscapes
to build the factories to make the things, that make the things, that make the
FTLs, or just import them from Earth that already has everything set up? Everything was going great, until the ships
from Earth stopped showing up. And the
ships sent to investigate, didn’t come back.
What happened? That’s the story for
the sixth trilogy. On this world, things
collapsed as the super high tech stuff either wore out or was hidden away and
society fell to a medieval level. Then the
first three Nallogs set out and conquered the planet.
1 of the first book of the first trilogy begins with Nallog the Seventh taking
a shuttle up to a space station. By
reverse engineering the few FTL ships hidden away and spending decades
industrializing, they’ve managed to get to the point where they’re going to the
surrounding star systems. They do have
the files on how to plot a course to Earth, but they are millennia out of date
and utterly useless. If they want to go
back to Earth, they basically have to find it.
But they knew there was another colony relatively nearby them – only a
hundred lightyears or so – and they found it on the last mission. The current scouting mission was to gather
intel on them, but it is late returning.
Nallog’s are military authoritarians, but Nallog the Seventh is … not entirely terrible. Like if you screw up, you’ll be demoted. You really have to screw up for him to have
you summarily executed. He’s worried
that maybe the scout was attacked, and hostile forces may be on the way
there. They do have some fighter ships,
but most of them are out on mapping missions.
The scout finally returns and the pilot apologizes for being late. They were supposed to stay in a high orbit to
avoid detection, but the pilot realized that the planet was far less
advanced. So they went low to get some
really good images, and it appears that colony also collapsed but hasn’t gotten
out of the medieval stage yet.
changes things. Nallog the Seventh was
planning to invade that planet, but not for many years. He needed time to get more intel on them, but
also to build ships. As it is, he only
has one transport ship capable of carrying a hundred or so soldiers. A second ship is just a frame. But if it’s a primitive planet, then he might
be able to take it with only a hundred soldiers.
put the hull on the second transport ship, and load it full of equipment and a
skeleton crew. The plan is it will also
go the planet, but it would stay in orbit with his “reserve troops” in case Nallog
the Seventh would need them. The crew
would use the flight time to try to install all the life support equipment in
case something happens to the first ship and they need to evacuate.
they get all the ships and soldiers ready and they go to the other colony. They land outside the largest castle, and a
guy with a sword comes out and Nallog the Seventh shoots him with a plasma
pistol. He maybe does this a few more
times at other castles, but the word spreads and the planet is soon his.
book would deal more with the problems of taking over this world. Like most of them thought that they had
always been on this planet, and the idea that they had come from somewhere else
is heresy. Also, Nallog the Seventh
assumed that once he took over the planet, the people would become the obedient
followers like back home, but not so much.
You could probably also through in some love interest to spice things
rest of the first trilogy would deal with the Nallog’s spreading their empire
out thousands of lightyears. They
discover some other primitive colonies, some abandoned colony worlds, and maybe
some new worlds. All the while dealing
with various problems, like putting down revolts and everything that would
happen if you took a medieval peasant from a field and tried to put them to
work building a starship. The trilogy
ends with a scout for Nallog the Ninth arriving at a planet only to find that
it’s not a primitive colony, but part of an equal power.
second trilogy would deal with this other power, showing their time from a
collapsed colony to a growing power. The
third trilogy would do the same for a third power. The power structure for each is TBD. Maybe all three are some shade of military
authoritarian, or maybe one is democratic while another is communist. If you ever write this, you can figure it
the first three trilogies give the backstories of these three growing
empires. The fourth trilogy is them
going to war. There is a lot of
fighting, and a lot of people die, but in the end they are more or less back to
where they started.
fifth trilogy is basically a Cold War where spies are sent out to try to
destabilize planets and whatnot. It ends
with whatever happened on Earth coming back.
sixth trilogy is the prequel that goes back to Earth pre-collapse and shows
what actually happened.
seventh trilogy is the three powers having to join forces to not suffer Earth’s
basically what I had. Now there are two
big questions that need answered: what about aliens and what actually happened
on Earth. My feeling is that there are
primitive aliens out there, but they probably don’t show up much in the stories. Like, the cliché thing would be for these
empires to use them as slave labor, but what would be so precious that they
would risk a most likely toxic atmosphere to force the equivalent of cavemen to
mine? Once they relearn the technology,
they can just have robots mine asteroids.
Maybe there are some 1940-equivalent aliens out there one of the empires
is debating how to make contact with, but for the majority of the time, aliens
to what happened to Earth, an obvious answer is some super advanced aliens
thought Earth was becoming a threat, so they wiped it out and figured the
colonies would just die out. But such a
power should easily handle three smaller powers and the seventh trilogy would
be really short. The same would be true
if instead of aliens, it was an AI.
Also, why would an AI not take over the colonies? Or was there some growing threat, and Earth
just sent out all these colonies, but didn’t tell them what was happening and
didn’t record where they were sent to try to hide them? Or is Earth just fine, and they kicked the baby
birds out of the nest to see if they would fly?
about vast space empires can be fun, but I think for this monster series to
actually work, you’d need to have a fantastic conclusion which can only happen
if you have a well thought out explanation of what happened on Earth. It would probably be better to figure that
out first, that way you can drop hints in the setup trilogies so it doesn’t all
come out of the blue.