We can’t all be Cherie Priest on the first try. But if the storyline of your latest dystopian/retro-futuristic tour-de-force has got you stumped, insert one thrupenny bit into the Electro-Plasmic Hydrocephalic Genre-Fiction Generator 2000, and watch inspiration emerge from the æther. Three early attempts the got me the following tales:
Your title is: “The Blackpunks”
In a leather-clad set from Road Warrior, a young brooding loner stumbles across an exiled angel which spurs him into conflict with computer viruses made real, with the help of a sarcastic female techno-geek and her closet full of assault rifles, culminating in a heroic sacrifice that no one will ever remember.
Your title is: “The Chronotrons”
In a VR-simulated Victorian Britain, a young student of metaphysics stumbles across a magic diadem which spurs him into conflict with a profit-obsessed corporation, with the help of a tomboyish female mechanic and her welding gear, culminating in a philosophical argument punctuated by violence.
Your title is: “The Cybermancers”
In a neo-noir one-way spaceflight, a young farm boy with dreams stumbles across an encrypted data feed which spurs him into conflict with murderous robots, with the help of a shape-shifting female assassin and her wacky pet, culminating in authorial preaching through the mouths of the characters.
If you wish to see the guts of the machine, there’s an attractive diagram – the Wondermark Fiction Generator – on which the above engine is based. Written/designed by the super-talented David Malki, and coded by Liam Cooke.
Gorgeous design (reminds me of the Dollar Dreadful), and a fun way to get the gears turning when it comes to new fiction, despite (or because of?) the obvious critique that’s going on here. [Via Milly, thanks!]