April 10, 2012


Each Tuesday, rather than a POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAY, I'd like to both challenge you and lend a helping hand. I generate more speculative and teen story ideas than I can ever use. My family rolls its collective eyes when I say, "Hang on a second! I just have to write down this idea..." Here, I'll include the initial inspiration (quote, website, podcast, etc) and then a thought or two that came to mind. These will simply be seeds -- plant, nurture, fertilize, chemically treat, irradiate, test or stress them as you see fit. I only ask if you let me know if anything comes of them.

SF Trope: time travel by suspended animation

Furkan Kurkmaz is seventeen, wild and crazy and lots of fun. That’s what everyone says. First in parties, first in taking risks – playing chicken with fast cars, cliff diving, trying “recreational” drugs and cheating on his work. He’s the one everyone wants to be like. His parents are in Turkey, intellectuals in exile who are in hiding in Chile, going to school at an American/International school.
What no one knows – not even his father – is that Furkan has been diagnosed with metastatic alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, an aggressive cancer creating tumors in soft tissue. The prognosis for survival is poor.

In other words, he is dying.

Huenu Paredes was born and raised in Chile. She also has cancer. Breast cancer that has metastasized to her brain. An “A” student up until the diagnosis when she was a 10th grader. Then her grades fell apart. She’s trying to recover her interest in life, but she keeps having setbacks. Her dog died. Her brother disappeared from his dorm room in Mexico three weeks ago. Her prognosis for survival is poor and it’s getting poorer.

In other words, she is dying.

Both of them fall ill to an influenza outbreak at their school.

Both of them are in danger of dying.

Both of their families – with their consent – volunteer them for a radical form of suspended animation that might slow down their bodies and their cancers. It involves being cooled to a point of coma and then cooled further by transfusions of near-freezing salt water…

They go to sleep and wake up far later than they thought they would be sleeping. The world they wake into is very different. China and India have fought a nuclear war and both are missing from the world picture. The center of the new world is Australia, whose central desert has bloomed under careful grooming. Chile, Brazil and Argentina control South America and are allied with Australia in a Common Market that includes a United Africa south of Sahara.

Furkan’s country no longer exists and Chileans have become proud and haughty, scourges of this new world. The government tries to separate them, but both refuse…technically adults; technically they discover that they’ve been suspended for the past twenty-eight years.

Shadow agents kidnap them one dark and stormy night; agents with accents they both remember as being TEXAN...

Names: Turkish, Chilean

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