The Idea Mill #29

We haven't visited the old Idea Mill for some time. To be honest, I've been busy, and the articles haven't really caught the attention of my Muse. I finally have three, so it's time to truck them out again.

For my new readers, I use push feeds to get the kind of news I want to read. This pushes archeology, cutting edge science, and even a few creepy feeds directly to me. I bookmark those that have some merit and share them here. There is an Idea Mill category in my sidebar if you want to skim the old ones.

Our first article is about a ship called the SS Baychimo. In 1931 she got stuck in the ice. This was the last time she had a crew. That didn't stop her from sailing the arctic without a crew. She was spotted for years, and there were several attempts to salvage her, but she was having none of it. She was last seen in 1969. I'll let the article do the math, and it says 38 years. You can read more here.

I like this, because it happened. It isn't some fantasy idea concocted by an author, and it lends real credibility to any ghost ship fiction you might want to write. You could give her a personality and write a kids book about her finishing her mission without a crew. You could also haunt the crap out of her and it's a perfect setting for a horror story. Isolation is a must for a good horror story, and hundreds of miles at sea is pretty isolated.

This one almost didn't make the list, but I decided to add it at the last minute. It's about gene splicing and designer babies. For you deep researchers out there, there are some great scientific terms that would be a great place to start your research. Read all about it here.

Let's face it, superheroes and their supervillains are all the rage right now. This seems like a great backstory for those characters. Maybe you prefer a different spin and develop a world where everyone is tall and attractive. Messing with nature could lead to unintended consequences. I have a bulldog for crying out loud. They are famous for the health issues associated with overbreeding. Take this to a human level, and perfect specimens might be more susceptible to health issues from pollution, or the common cold, or can't process sunlight into vitamins.

Finally, this one is more of a story element than something that would drive a whole plot. (In my mind. Your mind might be better.) There is a liquid that people can breathe in. It sounds pretty high tech, but it's called perfluorocarbon. I did a bit of digging, and found out it's also used in makeup and as a potential artificial blood. Read all about it here. Apparently it carries oxygen really well.

The first thing that comes to my mind is Mr. Freeze's wife in her liquid filled tube to preserve her life. Luke Skywalker went through some of this too. I have a need in a future story for a situation like this, and may have to use the word to explain how it's done. Thank God, I have it saved forever in The Idea Mill. Maybe it would make a great preservative for those deep space journeys to another planet. You know, the ones that take twenty years.

So part of these posts involves me outlining a corny story using all three. Let's see where this goes.

In a planet filled with designer perfect people, someone discovers the SS Baychimo. By now it is an archeological treasure to be explored and preserved. Unfortunately the researchers catch some ancient disease like Measles from the wreck. Their immune systems are compromised and any of the ancient vaccines aren't going to work. Make sure to make a political statement one way or the other about vaccinations. Doesn't matter to me which way, but this kind of story should make a hot-button point.

With a looming shortage of perfluorocarbon to preserve the dying, someone needs to act fast. This is where the second class citizens, produced the old fashioned way, will come into play. They are heartier and can work around the sick and dying with less risk. They are on the verge of a vaccine that will save the day. They've been treated like second class citizens for centuries, and there is some doubt about whether they will act, or simply let nature take it's course and rid them of the designer population.

How about it, you guys. Do any of these kick your Muse in the rear? Maybe you prefer a vat of designer babies, preserved in perfluorocarbon, being shipped to a distant planet. Their spaceship is called the SS Baychimo. Someone discovers them a thousand years later, and they're all still alive. What would you write based upon one of these?


Filed under The Idea Mill

30 responses to “The Idea Mill #29

  1. That liquid reminds me of ‘The Abyss’. Pretty sure they had something like that.

    Let’s see: A ship that roams the waters and it houses a gene splicing lab. Only the splicing is done with a recently discovered ‘ghost DNA’ that turns people into half human/half phantoms. Nobody is sure where the stuff came from and it’s cultured in the breathing liquid to keep it usable.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Gattica scared the hell out of me with the designer baby thing.
    I’m not feelin it with any of these, but am always impressed with your ideas ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Incredible ideas, Craig… morphing into reality as you write them down…


  4. Pingback: The Idea Mill #29 | Fantasy Sources: Art, Gifts, Ideas, Article Resources, News

  5. YAY!!!!! Idea Mill!!!! GATTACA was/is one of my favorite movies. I stew over gene stuff all of the time. If you have ever seen a high frequency oscillating ventilator, especially in an adult, that is freaky to watch. We also used to use heliox, a mix of helium and oxygen, in some patients. A rotating bed would rotate, turning the patient face down and changing position at preset intervals. I haven’t taken care of an intubated patient for so long, I don’t even know anymore what the cutting edge stuff is! Still, fun to think about…. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Like Charles, I remembered that liquid oxygen from The Abyss. That ship sailing by itself is quite appealing to the horror parts of my brain.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m really intrigued by the Baychimo. I hopped over to read the article, and it’s amazing to think that ship “haunted” the seas for so long. I like the designer population idea too with their weaknesses. Great story fodder as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m intrigued by perfluorocarbon, especially since it’s in fake blood. Off the top of my head, I’m thinking of a murder at opening night of the new play in town, a murder mystery that turns fiction into reality.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. These are some great sources for story ideas. Believe it or not, I was watching the 8-15 minute TED talks on the plane yesterday and jotted down about 15 story ideas. What a great, but unexpected, source. There was one on the purposeful evolving of humans over the coming centuries to adapt them for other planets. It was fascinating, yet chilling.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Once you start watching, inspiration is all around us. I have more notes about possible stories than I’ll ever write. Sometimes they get a reboot as an element in a different story, or even as a short story. Glad you like the Idea Mill.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. The wandering ship is a “people trap” by aliens who are harvesting their DNA? No, wait! A supervillain has stored his One Weakness on the ship, and it’s kept in constant motion so that those pesky superheroes can’t find it.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Reblogged this on Archer's Aim and commented:
    Some great ideas shared by C. S. Boyack!

    Liked by 1 person

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