Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Utopian Future Synopsis

Here's a synopsis for my #UtopianFutureNovel !  Starting to send out queries.


General Josef Faber is going stir-crazy after ten years of living on Roanoke, the first colony on Mars.  (They’ve lost contact with earth.  The last supply pod never came.)  During a war-games scrimmage, Faber kills the Magistrate, so he can abandon his post and return to earth. 

The other colonists realize it’s no accident—especially the Magistrate’s daughter Myrna.  She’s obviously furious at Faber, but he takes her along (unconscious, in suspended animation) because she’s pretty.  Faber thinks he’ll be emperor and she’ll be empress of—what he imagines to be—the new, post-Apocalyptic, desert wasteland of an earth.

When the colonists left, in 2089, a war was ramping up—looked like Axis versus Allies (the U.S. and E.U. versus China and Russia).  But it turned into a World Civil War, the poor rising up against the rich.  There is wide-scale destruction, including most modes of transportation.  All they have left are Spools: a sort of teleportation, body-sharing program, downloading / uploading consciousness, to see how the other half lives, walk a mile in their shoes…

Otherwise, the survivors are forced to—and decide to—live simply.  At first, in make-shift shelters.  Then, they build phalanxes, ghost-towns—museums you can live in—to remember history (and not repeat it).  There is a hidden phalanx, Hell, and an Egyptian mystery cult called Animus—working to replace the animals, who’ve died off (from radiation).
Faber wants to find Helios, the International Space people, to be debriefed—and demand to know why the supply pod never came…but never gets there.  It’s secluded. 

There is no central government, but Faber meets up with a remnant of the World Governing Body’s transition committee, Pierre Cardin the XIIIth and Casilda (former UN Secretary-General) in the Caribbean, New Venice.  Cardin is a philosopher—and they have a huge hybrid tree (jacaranda-mangrove) he calls the Tree of Life and Wisdom.

They offer Faber a consort, Aubrey—really a spy to keep an eye on him (and an initiate into the mystery religion, Animus).  They send him someplace he’ll be more comfortable: the Wild West.  He ends up going crazy and shooting up a Saloon—but the characters are robot simulacrum.  (So, they anticipated trouble.)

Aubrey pities Faber, but Myrna thinks they’re not taking the threat of him seriously.  Myrna turns Gummo—Faber’s right-hand-man and pilot—against Faber.  She gets Gummo to help her, and spools into Aubrey’s body, to take the law into her own hands and kill Faber—but only ends up getting Aubrey killed, when she switches back.  (Faber actually feels bad because he liked Aubrey.)

The world does seem perfect, but there’s a slight glitch.  The Boorstein Box (or “Puddle-Jumper” engine), which sped up travel-time from earth to Mars by creating little worm-holes—contracting space in front of the ship, so it’s sucked through—is causing distortions in the space-time continuum.  That’s why the supply pod never arrived on Mars.
Helios is working on a solution.  Myrna wants to steal a ship from them—maybe return to Mars, to get away from Faber, in case he takes over the world.  (Some gondoliers shuttle Myrna back-and-forth between New Venice and Helios.)

Alexander Boorstein, the inventor, used to work for Helios—and the World Governing Body—but has gone mad.  He’s a ghost of his former self from his experiments, torn between different planes of time.  He uses Faber as a puppet, promises to send him to the past—when Faber thinks things were better.  He was a famous astronaut, on top of the world and military hierarchy...  (Plus, to see his fiancĂ©e, whom Aubrey looks like—not a coincidence.)  Faber finds a few subversives who agree with him, living in the Capitol Building in D.C., a mix of former senators and hoboes.

Boorstein tells the subversives Faber will lead their revolution.  In the meantime, he gives Faber instructions to find a Boorstein Box in New Venice—and use it as half-time machine and half-weapon of mass destruction.  Faber lays waste to New Venice, kills most of its inhabitants, looking for the Boorstein Box.

A gondolier, Juan-Carlos, shuttles Myrna and Gummo to Helios.  On the way, Gummo complains that they didn’t have a back-up plan if Aubrey failed at her mission (keeping an eye on and neutralizing Faber, if he got out of hand).  Juan-Carlos, really a leader of Animus, chides them and says Aubrey didn’t fail.  She got closer to Faber than anyone.  Also, that she might still be alive—because they’re working on resurrecting animals—and a Spool, downloading / uploading consciousness, is halfway there.

Myrna gets a ship from Helios and is all set to escape back to Mars, but Gummo spools into a body in New Venice, to try and stop Faber.  He dies.  Myrna feels bad (because she used Gummo).  She spools into Gummo’s body and is close to death—when Faber finds the Boorstein Box and turns it on.  It seems like all is lost—until Aubrey returns from the dead (from a trap-door beneath the Tree of Life and Wisdom). 

Faber still pushes the button, and it goes off like a bomb—but Myrna is unharmed, inside the right radius.  Faber and Aubrey disappear into the past.