A Tale of Two Ideas

My gosh this post has grown from something short. I am pretty tired and it isn’t even 7am yet. I blame the lack of sleep.

I had a goofy idea just a few minutes ago, spawned from an older set of ideas. Those two ideas are odd in-and-of-themselves.

Ideas propagate with each other. That’s how creativity works.

So. Let me tell you what I just thought up for a story idea.

The first idea is the older one, and it is far simpler. Admittedly, it’s silly. Back in the day, while working on my second novel, I had a great amount of difficulty coming up with names. Not an issue I’ve had for a long time, but back then, as a teenage writer, it seemed like a big deal.

I named character silly things. One of these names returned to me this morning. I called the perspective villain in my second novel (A post-apocalyptic fantasy story) Cadillac. The reasoning was this: In this brave weird world based on the Earth, people would not know the original context of the word as a car company, but there are idioms that could be passed down. So a family named their son Cadillac because it meant quality to them.

There. That’s the first idea.

The second idea came later, about three or four books later.

I’d written a post-apocalyptic novel. I’d written a space opera novel (My first book ever). These were both awful books, but I had definitely gotten my feet wet with them. The new story idea was to combine the tropes of those genres.

The second idea is a high concept. Post-apocalyptic space opera. And in this context, I decided the apocalypse-event had to be big enough for multiple star systems, yet not complete enough to destroy planets or stars in the area hit. I scaled up from there to a whole galaxy. A galaxy that once featured a massive star-spanning society suffered a terrible collapse that destroyed whole species and made the old networks fall into disarray, yet some still ply the stars and since the collapse humanity has begun to resurrect dead species through genetic research and cloning. Humanity’s mission became the saving of species long-dead that they once lived alongside. A resurrection culture.

This morning a newer thought connected Cadillac with the resurrection culture. It’s one I toy with fairly often these days. Technological reincarnation. Some means of bringing back actual dead people rather than just their bodies or preserving their brains.

People dead for centuries could be restored to life, but what if the wrinkle in this is that reincarnation was already happening naturally. So when you pull a particular spirit back into the material world you bring all the memories of all its past lives with it. You put the spirit in a new body, and you end up with (Usually) a hyper-competent being capable of understanding the true nature of mortality. Or not. Still working on that one.

However, the idea that a far future culture could bring back a soul in a mortal form, and then, let’s say one of those reincarnated beings has a child. And that child might well be given a new name, a name from the distant past that won’t make sense to people who know only the far future resurrection, or reincarnation, culture.

A name like Cadillac.

So that’s today’s idea.

It got weird. But the more I describe it, the happier it makes me. In creativity, nothing is ever wasted.

And I am out.

Thanks for reading.

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