You wrote our crowdsourced sci-fi novel, now help illustrate it

Now that CNET is publishing the final product of our global experiment in crowdsourcing a full novel, we're seeking visual submissions -- everything from drawings to charts to Vines.

Eric Mack Contributing Editor
Eric Mack has been a CNET contributor since 2011. Eric and his family live 100% energy and water independent on his off-grid compound in the New Mexico desert. Eric uses his passion for writing about energy, renewables, science and climate to bring educational content to life on topics around the solar panel and deregulated energy industries. Eric helps consumers by demystifying solar, battery, renewable energy, energy choice concepts, and also reviews solar installers. Previously, Eric covered space, science, climate change and all things futuristic. His encrypted email for tips is ericcmack@protonmail.com.
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Eric Mack
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Help us visualize a story spanning two worlds, and two universes even.


It's been five months now since we launched our effort to crowdsource an original long-form story, the world's first MMOSFN (Massively Multiwriter Online Science Fiction Novel), aka #CrowdSciFi.

Against all odds, a completely open effort that involved hundreds of contributors from around the globe collaborating in a single Google Doc yielded a completely and (mostly) coherent story with minimal trolling.

A few months ago we took a version of the story as it stood in early February and we copied it into an offline doc to begin editing it and spiffing it up into a final draft that we are running as a monthlong series here on CNET.

In the spirit of #CrowdSciFi, we're now inviting all aspiring artists or illustrators with an eye for the futuristic or fantastical to help us add some visuals to the story.

We're very open to any visual interpretation you might have to go along with the story, whether it's a drawing, a Vine or YouTube video scene, an interactive map like this one of Westeros, an infographic, a set of emojis or whatever our tale of travel between two very different Earths inspires you to create.

Whatever you come up with, you can tweet it to us (@crave and @EricCMack) and tag it #CrowdSciFi. If you'd prefer, you can also hit me up privately via the email icon on my CNET profile page.

Keep in mind that this entire project is produced and made available under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, and we'd ask the same of anyone producing visual art for our #CrowdSciFi, but we're happy to give credit and a link for whatever visuals we run with the final story.

For inspiration, you can visit the original collaborative Google Doc, which is still live, or just check out these excerpts from the final draft in progress:

  • Rebecca Danish felt old. She felt it in her bones, in her blood, in her organs and her skin, despite the swarms of hyperactive nanobiotics floating through her systems, constantly repairing and improving all of them. They could not, however, rejuvenate her mind. Although she was pushing 110, she lived in the body of a woman half her age.

  • The light around Naomi was dim from fear. While it was usually a faint outline, it was barely noticeable now. The light she saw around people helped her to detect their intentions or emotions. Cindy called it simply 'the glow.'

  • "Now is the time that you can do your part to perpetuate our society. To rescue the humans of Earth from the Hell of their own devising and bring them to the Heaven of ours." There was a dramatic silence as Cortes looked self-righteously around the classroom. Most of the students glowered back at him, but a few, Meta included, looked hesitant, as well as excited.

  • A thick haze hung to the north as Rebecca Danish stepped on out of the front entrance of the Okhla Railway Station and looked back toward the sun setting behind New Delhi, lighting the hazy horizon on fire. She felt the burn of fatigue throughout her own body as she steeled herself to work her way through a growing crowd at the intersection below. Just beyond the low buildings that surrounded the train station she could see the temple's massive lotus petals beckoning to her, offering serenity if she could only make it a few more blocks on her weakened legs.

  • A man in a powder blue uniform carrying what appeared to be a large briefcase was making his way down the line in their direction, stopping to speak briefly to each person in the queue. Every few people, he would stop, flip his briefcase over so that it rested horizontally. What it rested on was not clear. It seemed to just hover in the air like something out of a vintage science fiction movie or some piece of gimmicky hover gear from a catalog. From inside the case, the uniformed man withdrew a wide variety of sundries, the totality of which clearly should not have been able to fit in the case. Blankets, stuffed animals, an older model Oculus, drinks, sandwiches, fresh fruit, screens and one live miniature pig had all emerged from that case...

  • They proceeded into the chamber where they were directed to two plain wooden chairs behind a plain wooden table that had sharp clean lines. This was in stark contrast to the exquisitely carved bench, behind which sat the seven members of the Committee. Everything about this chamber was intimidating, including the large, circular, well-polished bronze seal of Terra Superioris that had an inscription written in a language that Cindy didn't recognize. She did, however, notice that there was what appeared to be a depiction of the Rings on the seal.

Go nuts, you gloriously artistic geeks!