November 1st marks the beginning of NaNoWriMo, a 30-day novel writing marathon. This is my 3rd year of participating! Because I’m focusing on fiction writing, a minimum of 1,667 words a day, blogging will be sporadic and infrequent. I’ve added a word count widget to the right, where I’ll track my progress against plan.
The story I’m planning to write is this, however, I reserve the right to change it if my characters take on a life of their own – or if I write myself into a corner.
Casey Campbell is hired to save a failing, controversial floating city project in post-flood America. This paranoid new world is shaped by unmanageable numbers of displaced citizens and refugees, lack of availability of food and fresh water, and all of it controlled by a draconian post-democratic military government.
Upon arrival, she finds that the project sponsor has directed the team use a highly experimental & risky resource management system. It interfaces directly with the project team members’ neural systems and has the ability to actually speed up or slow down their subjective experience of time and ability to function in time, as the project requires.
Casey is painfully knowledgeable about direct neural system links, as she was part of the first generation of uplinkers, one of the few that survived the modification. She lives with the consequences every day – the induced autism, the spooky near-clairvoyance, the hard-wired preference for systems and data over people and the risk of brain burn.
The resource management system is administered by an IT team with parameters set by the project sponsor, a government military official with a fanatical drive to rebuild America.
As Casey digs further, she discovers that the project is staffed primarily by immigrants and refugees and they are being assigned to the highest risk teams. These project team members are being burned out, brain damaged and killed by the system, either from a glitch or because of the parameters required by the sponsors.
The controversial project is also the target of an organized opposition and pattern of attacks, both internal and external, from eco-extremists who believe the flood to be the earth’s revenge, and our just punishment is to live humbly with the consequences.
Casey must hold off the opposition, track down and resolve the system problem that’s killing her people and finish building the city. Failure is not an option in this paranoid drowned world; there are far worse consequences than late penalties at stake.