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.
Fantasy Trope: Fantasy that is an “Appeal to a pastoral ideal: Much genre fantasy, of all genres, appeals to the pastoral ideal…There are some fantasies, however, which…deliberately take the opposite stance...”
Wú Méi Hé pursed her lips and shook her head, saying, “This is bad.”
Sūn Wén, her partner and sometime boyfriend, grunted and said, “So you say.”
Wii, as her friends called her, said, “How can incorporating ancient magical rites into what’s supposed to be a computer-controlled irrigation system be a bad thing?”
Sunny, as her friends insisted on calling him, shrugged. “It just makes things twice as hard. First they’re learning how the system works, then they have to learn antiquated rituals that will only slow things down.”
Wii stood up straight, peering through the heavy security glass. “This is the latter part of the Twenty-first Century, the whole point of the Central Party’s Future Program is to catapult us over the pathetic remnants of the American technological and educational edifice and prove once and for all…”
Sunny rolled his eyes and turned away, “I’m a member of the Communist Party just like you are. We’re ahead of the Americans; after being behind the Americans; after being ahead of the Egyptians; after being behind the Egyptians...”
“Stop already! I get your point. We’re finally a 21st Century people. The religious rituals they want to perform have all the significance of Santa Claus does to American post-Christians.”
Sunny hummed, then said, “I’m not sure the rituals are as insignificant as you think they are.”
She turned on him. “That’s absurd! What makes you think…”
He lifted his chin and said, “It may have something to do with that…um…thing growing over the substation.” She spun back to the window in time to see a cloud of brown-laced storm cloud forming the vague shape of a Chinese magic-rabbit...
Names: ♀ China (woman martial arts); ♂ Guangdong, China