View Full Version : Research for my sci-fi novel

07-19-2011, 06:00 AM
I'm trying not going to go out on a limb here. This is a resurrection of a lost post. The story concerns a non-parodic, neurotic deconstruction of a Molly Ringwald character being coerced into volunteering for a life-altering procedure by a shady megacorporation in a futuristic noir city straight out of Blade Runner. Said procedure, Catharsis, is a combination of psychoanalysis, gene therapy, and physical conditioning. Ostensibly, the goal of this is to improve the corporeal and mental quality of life of people, but soon, Eva sees an uglier side to it. After all, it is noir...

Problems I'm having with verisimilitude:
-The gene therapy part. In the future. 'Nuff said.
-I had this idea that for gene therapy, Eva would be placed nude in a womb-like chamber, practically frozen in the gunk like a fly in amber. Feasible? Maybe not. Cool and symbolic? Yes.
-As part of Catharsis therapy, Eva has to go through a series of trials based on her psychological profile in order to fully redesign herself. Advice?
-Deconstructing Molly Ringwald. Any tips would be appreciated.

I'll add more later.

07-19-2011, 06:49 PM
I don't really understand the 'deconstructing Molly Ringwald' angle, but then, I don't really know who Molly Ringwald is (and beside what I just skimmed on Wikipedia, I still don't). What's so important about her? =)

Anyway, one aspect of your scenario reminds me of one of Greg Bear's books, Queen of Angels. Among other themes it looks at the pervasiveness and impact of psychological therapy on the citizens of a future America, through the lens of a so-called 'natural', who does not require it (or does she?). Something you might want to take a look at. It has a great take on emergence of machine sentience too.

At this stage in your process, maybe the Sandbox would be a better place for this?

07-20-2011, 08:24 PM
Eva's basically a Ringwald character taken from a John Hughes film and played realistically.

07-20-2011, 09:13 PM
What is "catharsis" meant to do. You have basically said "I am going to make something futuristic with a hammer, a gallon of vinegar and a weasel". Unless we are clear on just what it is your are trying to make with these ingredients, it is hard to offer suggestions.

In general putting a cute girl in goop may stray into cliche territory unless goop is actually a plausible mechanism for doing whatever to her....

Drachen Jager
07-20-2011, 09:32 PM
Genetic therapy would probably be most simply delivered through a retrovirus in the future. It could be as simple as a vaccination injection, or if the virus has side-effects it could have similar symptoms to the flu.

If you want her suspended in gel you could always say the virus can cause such a high fever that this is the only way to control her temperature.

07-21-2011, 12:19 AM
Meaning the interior must be very cold? Reminds me of Demolition Man.

I've never really considered having the gene therapy performed by a retrovirus. It crossed my mind, but I never followed through on it. I had this idea that the retrovirus would be contained in an apple (don't ask, pretentious symbol) that Eva takes a bite out of.

07-21-2011, 01:24 AM
So you want the redhead in your avatar to be realistically torn apart by the 'stupid, sickening, shallow, self-absorbed, perverted, nihilistic, violent, or a combination of all'?

Cool! Serves her right for screwing up The Stand miniseries.

07-21-2011, 01:32 AM
Watch it. I might have to call Klaus Krieger and have him sic the Children on you.

07-21-2011, 01:45 AM
Like I'm frightened by the drummer of Tangerine Dream.

07-21-2011, 05:59 AM

07-21-2011, 10:39 AM
Touched? Or do you mean 'touch', the French term for being wounded by the 'riposte' of the figurative fencing?

07-21-2011, 11:38 AM
Just saying, a couple of US-based folks in chat have said to me that they can't actually see the accented characters, they either see a space or an oddball code instead, so maybe writing touche instead of touch and (another often-encountered example) resume instead of resum is a technical limitation, I dunno. Or maybe the accent characters are being deliberately dropped from U.S. English.


07-21-2011, 11:54 AM
Sre, bt t AW, ll th ccnts sm t wrk... ;)

07-22-2011, 04:10 AM
I don't want this thread to turn into a war zone this time, okay? I'm in a better state of mind.

07-22-2011, 04:39 AM
I've never heard of anyone taking a movie role and deconstructing it in order to construct a literary protagonist. However, the idea of doing it is intriguing. If I were to do it, I'd watch the movie over and over and over again taking notes on the following items.

Dialogue patterns
Decision making patterns
Mannerisms - conscious versus unconscious and what triggers them, especially how she changes from open to closed body language
Central character arc driving the interior plot, other arcs that may be in the background of the movie but could be brought to the fore for the book
Relationships - commonalities between the people she likes/dislikes and how she behaves to each
Behavior under pressure

There are probably a ton more, but hopefully this gives you some ideas. Every time I watched the movie, I'd pick a different attribute to study and write down everything I could learn about it.

Good luck - I didn't recognize Mollie Ringwald as your photo until someone else mentioned it - for me she'll always be sixteen.

Rob Lefebvre
07-23-2011, 12:47 PM
They do a pretty good deconstructing in 1984 and a clock work orange. You could always have them give her a bunch of LSD and scare the shit out of her. There was a doctor who gave his patients a large amount of LSD over the course of a week or so. He also gave them electro-shock therapy during the time they were high. I guess after wards a lot of the patients ad no idea who they were. It is something worth looking into. It was Dr. Ewen Cameron of the Allan Memorial Clinic. I think it was in the 1960's in Canada.