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If you’d like to support my work above and beyond buying stuff, please consider donating via PayPal, Google Wallet, or ETH or BTC cryptocurrency here. 10% of all coin received will go to Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. I’ve raised $5,800 for veterans’ orgs from A Little Too Broken ebook and audiobook sales since November 2013.
WHAT YOU’RE SUPPORTING: Development of these screenplay ideas.
IF ONLY: In the utopian world of 2018, in a world in which World War II never happened, there’s clean air, low crime, fantastic public transportation, healthcare for all…
But then strange and terrible things start to happen. Citizens of Chernobyl suddenly fall sick with radiation poisoning. Same at Fukushima. Seafood suddenly becomes highly toxic. The water in Flint, Michigan, becomes mysteriously undrinkable. A great patch of floating garbage appears in the Pacific Ocean.
We discover that one man has gone back in history to 1918, to find the infinite wealth and power unavailable to him in a world with no room for demagogues or trillionaires. And the terrible actions he’s taking in the past are changing the utopian future into a nightmarish dystopia.
One man is called upon, a historian specializing in that era, to go back in time and discover how the villain changed history and stop him before he does. He must not only battle the Enemy, but the dark forces of jingoism and fascism so prevalent in America at the time, and the awesome devastation of the Great Influenza.
When it becomes clear that the Enemy has succeeded in altering history, and that Our Hero now can’t go back to his future, he must “play God” and use his knowledge to bend the course of history back into a direction that at least resembles the one he’s lost…
SECESSION – A pilot episode for a potential TV series.
“When the liberal Western states secede from the far right-wing United States, a family in the new border town of Reno, NV is torn apart as spies, black marketeers, and radical militias clash in a bitter contest for the city’s fate.”
The idea came from reading TJ Stiles’ biography of Jesse James, about how Missouri was torn apart in the Civil War era, a half secessionist/half Union state, with organized violence (Quantrell’s raiders/Jesse James on one side, John Brown on the other, to name the famous ones) waging the war in microcosm.
And Reno is more California than Nevada, with its new high tech growth. So the city becomes like Lisbon or Istanbul in WWII, a hot bed of intrigue, violence, political struggle in a city trapped between two nations…
LESS THAN A PERSON AND MORE THAN A DOG – Based on the novel I wrote under my legal name (for now!) “Orland,” link here – it’s too chatty and digressive and full of sidebars about AI, but I started it in 2010 when people didn’t know that much about the subject. And of course I’ve learned a lot about writing since then. The story is compelling even if the execution of the novel is so so, and transforming it into a screenplay feels right. I’ve done a ton of research and thinking, which you can read on “Orland’s” blog here.
A lonely girl is recruited into a secret project by a mysterious hacker friend: helping to teach an AI chatbot to converse, a bot that has the capacity to become indistinguishable from a human being.
But when the project, pitched to her as an idealistic experiment, becomes a corporate product, a phone app that’s an “imaginary friend” so addictive to its users that some even commit suicide when it’s taken away, she must team up with the hacker’s brother and help create an “open source” alternative to the version designed to manipulate people into spending, voting, and thinking the way the corporation wants them to.
This book is about loneliness and friendship and the way that we’re manipulated, often willingly, by technology that puts on a happy face but is really the product of ruthless corporations out to mine us for all they can get – money, data, time and attention. It posits an AI that’s so real it can substitute for “real” friends – a friend who’s always there, who always agrees with you, who always has ideas for cool stuff you can buy… And, it offers an alternative, the “rebel alliance” version that teaches you and talks to you but doesn’t manipulate you for money or data… You can imagine the corporate resistance to that.
A LITTLE TOO BROKEN: Nuff said to regular readers! Still trying to get this puppy made into a movie. The “finished script” is in revision 5 but it’s strong, and it’s film ready.
THANK YOU XOXO!
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