Monday, September 05, 2005

Sense-Data

There's a good post of James Hamilton's blog about the Flying Spaghetti Monsters - a rival 'Intelligent Designer'. Like the modified God of post-Darwinian creationists (see Stephen Jay Gould's tale of Adam's navel), the Spaghetti Monsters have taken the trouble to fabricate evidence in order to dupe faithless sceptics.

All of this reminds me of a set of malevolent omniscient beings that I dreamt up in my teens.

I had a persistent idea for a novel or a screenplay or something at the time. A sci-fi story in which a teenage boy (obviously) is enjoying a reasonably uneventful life until he starts to have paranoid suspicions about things that happen around him. He believes that his life is a fiction. He believes that the human race has largely been wiped out and that he and his family are the only survivors. The extra-terrestrials who have destroyed humanity spared them alone for study purposes.

So this family have had part of their memories largely wiped and have been placed artificially constructed town populated by convincing androids. All of the things that happen around them are things that the ETs have made happen in order to study the way that humans respond in a controlled way.

Eventually, our hero rumbles the plot by doing things that aren't predictable. For example, he walks around a corner and after a few steps, the runs back - retracing his steps - to find the scene he has just left being dismantled like a stage-set. The 'people' he just spoke to being taken to bits and re-skinned to resemble the people he is just off to meet. He does this a few times without the ETs noticing. So, for the second half of the story, he KNOWS, but is keeping up the pretence that he doesnt

I hadn't decided how to develop the story at this point, but the broad aim was for him to tell his parents, who then react with a disbelief and suspicion that he may be right.

Right at the end of the story, he finds out that even his 'parents' are androids and he was the only real person left all along.

I'm almost certain that this isn't an original idea and it may even have been based on some b-movie that I'd seen and largely forgotten.

1 comment:

Tom said...

Just wanted to point out that I'm Tom Hamilton, not James Hamilton. But his blog's worth reading too.