Around the middle of the 21st century, technology promises to make humans immortal, and the resulting ethical questions threaten to bring about World War III. Strangely, however, the people who stand to gain or lose the most from global war don't even live in the same universe.
That's the story that's still being written in one very long Google Doc that anyone, including you, can bring up right now and add your own scene or maybe just a few witty lines to our epic tale.
Since November 1, when National Novel Writing Month kicked off, countless people have witnessed CNET's first crowdsourced science fiction novel coming to life in real time. We only have a few days left to meet our goal of drafting 50,000 words in just 30 days. As of this writing, we have about 35,000 words, so there's still room left for your brilliant additions to the story.
Maybe you've got the chops to write a battle scene between a technologically enhanced transhumanist army and an insurgent movement of "uninstallers" who fight for what they see as the imperative of keeping the human race completely, well...human?
Or maybe you're into making our heroes a little more dynamic and colorful. Characters like Meta, the conflicted young inter-Universal diplomat with a hidden agenda who's sent to Earth to foment division among humans, or young Cindy Parker, who finds out the truth about the nature of the
universe multiverse and how to travel to a place that stretches the limits of imagination.
Check out the story now (be sure to be logged in to a named Google account if you want to be a credited contributor) and start suggesting additions simply by typing in the doc.
At the end of November, we'll begin the process of editing the crowdsourced rough draft into a final series, complete with illustrations, that we'll run here on CNET next year. You can still be one of the many contributors from around the world who have already collectively shaped whole new worlds, but you'll need to fire up your imagination now and head over to CNET.com/CrowdSciFi to be a part of science fiction history.
May the forces of creativity and at least decent grammar be with you, my fellow scribes. And for my fellow Americans, what better way to avoid uncomfortable arguments around the Thanksgiving table this week than sneaking off into a whole other universe via your laptop? You're welcome.
See you in the doc.