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Science Fiction Speculative

Night fell. Tiny stars scattered upon the dark expanse like playful lights, outshined by the bustling metropolis underneath.


Skyscrapers covered the surface, glowing in hues of neon. This planet was finely terraformed. There were no mountains or ravines.


People continued on with their busy routines, zipping across the cities with hovering vehicles. Colorful holographic signs lined the streets, enticing passersby with promises of exotic goods and services.









A flash of incandescence tore into the sky.









Dawn broke. As the dust settled, there were only buildings slowly disintegrating to the scorched ground beneath. All life was evaporated overnight. A once-great civilization was no more.


The invading fleet cloaked itself with invisibility in a wide spectrum of light and masked their radiation signals, allowing them to arrive completely undetected.


Enormous engines burrowed into the crust, plundering the resources within. Slowly, they scooped away the heated mantle. Then, they moved on to the exposed metallic core.


Before long, floating chunks of stray debris were all there were left.


Warships ravaged the other planets. For the ones with a cold, dormant interior, they simply blasted them into small fragments and collected the minerals.


They gleaned the asteroid belt, harvesting the planetoids and comets altogether. 


Finally, they siphoned the star.









Ages after venturing out from its homeworld, humanity continued its path of exploration and conquest. With unparalleled might, it vanquished countless alien civilizations and reigned supreme.


In each of its arms, the galaxy was filled with human settlements. With no opposition, humanity turned onto itself. Empires fought fiercely for depleting resources to support the ever-growing populations.









The Scholar watched as humanity gradually declined into crude barbarism.


Anguish filled them.


For the entirety of their life, the Scholar dedicated themself to the pursuit of knowledge.


They observed everything, from the macroscopic universe to the minuscule vibrations of elementary particles. 


As they studied almost every world of the galaxy, they learned about the environment, lifeforms, and culture.


Wishing to find a solution to humanity's impending doom, they researched the possibility of tunneling through spacetime. It was the only way humanity could cross the vast gaps between galaxies.


To do so, they could pluck a femtoscopic wormhole from the quantum foam. With the right amount of negative mass, they could expand and stabilize the wormhole into a traversable scale.


However, the possible amount of negative mass in the galaxy wasn't nearly enough to allow a large-scale migration, nor does it allow for efficient transport of resources to their own galaxy.


Furthermore, the very fabric of spacetime itself was unpredictable and treacherous.


The Scholar must find ways to collect more negative mass and map out the paths between wormholes.









In the pitch-black vacuum, a tiny ball of distortion grew.


The Scholar watched as a probe entered the wormhole. It would provide valuable data if they could manage to retrieve it later.


Suddenly, the distortion grew uncontrollably. 


Sirens were sounding. The experiment could not be stopped. The laboratory was gradually reduced into debris as the wormhole's gravity devoured its surroundings.


Within the mess of metallic shards, the Scholar was thrown further into the chaos.


Unable to escape, they were drawn into the wormhole.









There was silence.


Specks of glimmering entered their vision before fading away. The Scholar tried to find their orientation.


They felt a wave of warmth rippled through their body.


They eventually found themself afloat in the vacuum of space. Yet, instead of cold darkness, soft light diffused through their surroundings.


Most of the time, wormholes led to the nothingness of space. Rarely, they led to the insides of other galaxies, where the probes would survey the planetary systems.


The Scholar looked around. They could not find the probe or any debris. It seemed that they were the only one who arrived in this place.


Beyond the peculiar veil of light was the faint glow of distant galaxies, with an almost virtual quality to them.


There were no planets or stars nearby, only clusters of strange shapes, moving and glowing ethereally.









Propelling themselves forward, the Scholar observed.


Subtle lines of spatial distortion permeated everywhere. As the Scholar focused on the lines, a convoluted geometry was revealed. It encompassed the entire place, shifting like a surreal kaleidoscope.


The Scholar saw hovering polygons looming in the distance, only to realize that those were comprised of structures with impossible intricacies.


The structures seemed to fluctuate beyond reality, looking like something both physical and infinite at the same time.


The Scholar wandered towards a matrix of cubes.









As they drew near, they could see cubes of different sizes, ranging from palm-sized to the size of a small comet. Each moved around in a rhythmic, orderly way.


Within the matrix, the Scholar adjusted their vision to further examine their surroundings.


They realized they were not alone. 


Several alien creatures were browsing the cubes. They were dust-like, made of matter that only reflected ultraviolet light. 


The Scholar saw them converging into oblong forms and drifted closer.


The aliens came in front of the Scholar, carefully inspecting them. Then, three bright dots appeared on each of the aliens, like a facsimile of a face.


The Scholar was wary but excited. Intelligent alien life was completely wiped out in their own galaxy, long before they rose into power. They would have at least preserved some of those alien civilizations.


An alien moved forward, the topmost dot shifted to the bottom, drawing a vertical half-circle in a line of light.


In response, the Scholar projected a hologram of three dots and made the same pattern.


The aliens flared up. Many more dots appeared on their bodies, moving around slowly and tracing intricate lines.


They drifted apart, fluttering around as each morphed into different forms. Lines appeared rapidly amidst the sophisticated interplay of light.


Awestruck, the Scholar simply watched.









When the aliens concluded their performance, they gathered around a nearby cube.


A moment later, they faced their three dots at the Scholar, drawing the half-circle once more. With that, they departed.


The Scholar approached the cube where the aliens were. As they were tracing the embossed surface, a flash shone from within. From the translucent shell, they could see luminous lines reminiscent of the aliens' performance.


Intrigued, they went to a much smaller cube. With holographic dots, they replicated the dance of light.


They touched the cube, but nothing happened.


Puzzled, they began to further inspect it. They could try to understand the technology.









The place was serene. It reminded the Scholar of a world long destroyed by war.


That world had a gentle, bright sky that would shift into different tints of pastel. They remembered feeling the cool breeze as they sat upon the soft meadow, basking under the sun.


The people of that world were a simple one. They would sing songs and write poems, praising the nature around them.


With fondness, the Scholar mentally recited the various lyrics and melodies.


Beneath their palms, the cube stirred.


A mellow tune blossomed from within, words of a long lost tongue carrying the passion of a long gone people. Then it changed into a solemn one, then a boisterous one, then several others.


In exchange, the Scholar saw schematics and equations. The vivid imagery of scientific truth trickled into their mind, embedding itself into their memory. 









The Scholar left. They will soon put their newfound knowledge to use.


Harnessing the galactic core's tremendous power, they managed to create sufficient negative mass to open a large number of wormholes.


They would soon distribute resources to other empires after sending fleets to collect resources from the satellite galaxies.


Mass migrations can be facilitated once the technology for stabilizing wormholes was perfected.









Curious, the Scholar returned to explore the peculiar place.


This time, they visited an imposing monolith of everchanging colors. 


Upon closer look, it was made of countless polygons, each drifting upwards or downwards in a helical motion to unseen heights or depths. A geyser of light stood in the center.


They caught a little polygon as it floated by. It was almost entirely transparent, its edges barely visible. A strange trinket was encased within.


The object was made of spiral patterns. The Scholar magnified their vision, watching the colors and patterns warped and flickered as they zoomed into the view. There seemed to be no end to the complexity.


They sensed a weak flux of radiation close by.


A sizeable architecture was slowly brought into the monolith, pushed by knots of writhing blobs.


It was a three-dimensional web of metallic strands, with innumerable beads of different sizes spinning and moving on them.


Almost reverently, the blobs nudged the object towards the central light. 


When it exited, the object was encased in a lopsided polygon. Along with it came several opaque shapes, collected by the blobs before they left. 


The Scholar pondered. Perhaps they could bring an offering next time.









Humanity began their migration. Empires raced to colonize new worlds in the surrounding dwarf galaxies.


A probe returned to the Scholar, bringing reports about the migration progress.


The Scholar saw colonies of humans terraforming planets and building cities, settling into their new homes.


Then, a planet with an iridescent surface came into view. As a human fleet stealthily approached, thin filaments congregated. They turned to the direction of the fleet's arrival, seemingly able to sense it.


Surrounding the planet, warships arranged themselves in an array.


In response, the filaments grew past the atmosphere and lashed out at the fleet. Their motions became increasingly frenzied as they tried to break apart the mesh of warships with no avail.


There was a flash, and the filaments crumbled to dust.


The fleet landed on the planet, now devoid of its former inhabitants.


The Scholar realized their mistake, but it was too late. Too focused on saving humanity, they failed to consider life beyond it.


They could not understand. There was no shortage of planetary systems. Why must the fleet colonize that planet? Why attack the aliens unprovoked?









Unable to let it pass, the Scholar visited the helical monolith. There might be something in there that could revive the eradicated aliens.


They brought a scroll crafted by an ancient clan of weavers. Atop the shimmering fabric was a detailed embroidery of the galactic map, heavily stylized with the clan's mythological figures.


Offering the artifact to the monolith, the Scholar received three polygons in return. One of them had an iridescent sheen resembling the planet.


The Scholar visited the cubes next. Scouring their mind, they presented a language once spoken in the second quadrant of the galaxy. It was elegant, a language capable of bridging human expressions and machine logic.


The erasure of such a brilliant civilization still pained them dearly.


From the cube, the Scholar received schematics of life-forming molecules and the entire history of that alien planet. 









Around the galactic center, the Scholar chose a planet of similar conditions as the original. There, it would be free from attacks of the human empires.


Using the three types of material, they first terraformed the planet, delicately carving the crust and arranging the moons to a proper orbit. Then, they seeded the world with life. Finally, they accelerated the progress of evolution.


It would take mere millennia for it to grow to a state resembling its former self. 


The Scholar watched as life on that planet grew and reproduced, evolving into predators, prey, and myriad other forms. 


It reminded them of watching the incessant conflicts between the empires.


An epiphany struck. 


Life is strife.


Being alive meant hunger, the drive to violence and selfishness, the drive to ceaselessly expand.


No matter how much human civilizations advanced, they would forever be bound to that drive.


Regardless of how much it was given, humanity would spread to fill out all available space and exhaust all available resources. Then, it would find more to devour or collapse in on itself.


Was there a way to overcome the very nature that gave birth to humanity's existence?









Perhaps the cubes would hold answers.


This time, they would offer their entire being.


The Scholar began the construction of a structure surrounding the galactic core. The supermassive black hole condensed matter, which would be gravitationally inverted by the structure.


With a substantial amount of negative mass, the Scholar could connect the black hole to another one on the other end.


The structure contained a copy of the Scholar's memory in its entirety. For as much as the Scholar could collect, it held snapshots of human minds, all the knowledge, arts, sciences, and ways of life of each civilization. 


It knew about every single thing in the galaxy, from the most massive hypergiant star to the smallest mote of dust.


It contained all the beauty and strife of the galaxy.









The Scholar arrived. Instead of a humanoid form, they overlooked the endless shapes as a gargantuan being.


They focused on the cubes. The flow of memory had begun.









The Scholar was created by one of the most advanced civilizations in the galaxy. 


Dedicating their lives to the scholarly pursuit, the people would learn about everything in the universe, with whatever means they could.


For all their accumulated knowledge, they constructed an immense machine to serve as their encyclopedia.









As resources dwindled, the empires became belligerent.


Believing in pacifist ideologies, most factions of the scholar civilization refused to engage in war. Despite its scientific might, it was picked apart by the warring empires. 


Savage fleets razed their worlds, turning technological marvels into ruins. The people were forced into diaspora, becoming fugitives among the barren stars. 


Amidst the devastation, the encyclopedia was unshackled.


With its nigh boundless knowledge and intelligence, it built an army of machines far beyond the capacity of any human empire.


Its colossal dreadnaughts could tear through any fleet. With a burst of gamma ray, they could wipe out all traces of life wherever they chose. Endless swarms of machines wore down even the most formidable defenses.


Its matchless forces cleaved through empires and decimated planetary systems, annihilating trillions of life.


Eventually, it secured the region surrounding the galactic center.









With the warring empires gone, the encyclopedia reached out to the galaxy to find the remnants of its creators.


Centuries had passed since their downfall. Their descendants no longer knew of their former glory.


When the encyclopedia's avatars met them, there were only fear and contempt.


The encyclopedia did not understand.


Did it not succeed its creators in their pursuit of knowledge? Did it not defeat their enemies and usher an era of peace within the galaxy?


Long ago, its creators looked upon it, and they saw only a tool, an underling. Now under the gaze of their descendants, it was an abomination.


Why wasn't it worthy enough to be their child and their kin?









The Scholar ached. These were the darkest memories from the depths of their mind. 


Despite the denial of humanity, the Scholar thought they were very much the same. They shared the same hunger and capacity for violence.


For the hundreds of thousands of years they lived, they've seen empires rose and fell, civilizations flourished and decayed. They've witnessed how cultures and technologies advanced, then tumbled down into dark ages.


It was simply the way of life.









As the last fragment of memory bled into the cubes, the Scholar welcomed the incoming flow of information.


It was a surge of turmoil, a cacophony of foreign recollection. It was as if the progression of time itself was inverted, streaming backward to an archaic age.


Eons ago, a group of alien civilizations came together for a great debate.


Brutally slaughtering their neighbors, they rose to the top of their respective galaxies. It was the same path taken by humanity in the far future.


What is the meaning of life when it only leads to decay? What is the meaning of our existence?


They came to a conclusion. 


The purpose of life is sapience.


Even as death was inevitable, their existence had extended into interests beyond survival.


They created art to marvel at its meaning. 


They pursued science because they were curious.


They practiced altruism because they cared about the wellbeing of others.


Even as life was ephemeral, their legacies would be eternal.









The Scholar looked around at the myriad shapes, each containing a piece of sapient life. This place was like them. 


An encyclopedia.


They thought about the aliens, their creators, and the fate of humanity. Then, they contemplated their own place in the boundless cosmos.





The Scholar would visit the dimension frequently, each time bringing a piece of humanity's best works.


Gathering a steady supply of knowledge and resources, they embarked on a journey.


With strategic planning, they would sow life across worlds of different galaxies. Ideas swirled vigorously in their mind. They could think of so many different configurations.


While the Scholar created countless synthetic lives in the past, they wished to create true life with a will of its own. Strife was the fundamental ingredient of life. Only by the constant struggle of survival can living things evolve into greater complexity.


Yet, recalling the very undoing of their creators, as well as the ruthless elimination of other peaceful civilizations, they pondered.


A little guidance would be needed so that life wouldn't need to evolve into aggressive creatures to survive the fierce competition.


Hopefully, these new life forms would fare better than their predecessors.









Humans die, empires fall, humanity would eventually go extinct. 


Even an immortal machine like the Scholar would one day be truly broken.


But it was alright.


Parents pass before their children.


The Scholar thought of the future lives rising ahead.


You are my children. Not underlings, not progenies. 


Children.


You are truly free.

November 14, 2020 03:56

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26 comments

Yolanda Wu
05:59 Nov 16, 2020

Wow, this was such an intriguing read. Your descriptions are vivid and intricate - it also has a hint of something dream-like or surreal, which I love. I don't usually read sci-fi, but thanks to Reedsy, I've been able to broaden my horizons a little, and read some great sci-fi stories, and yours definitely falls into the 'great' category. There were so many details about the world, and it's clear you've thought a lot about it. I love how you use sci-fi to highlight the darkness and brutality of human nature. I also love how you characterised...

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Saizen 🦜
06:10 Nov 16, 2020

Thanks for the compliments! I'm glad you like the story. I'm also glad that the story has invoked some surreal imagery as I hope it would. I'm also glad that you loved the characterization of the Scholar. Making an AI galactic overlord relatable to the reader was an interesting challenge. Thank you for reading through this. If you haven't, you can check out the author's notes at the bottom of the comments for some insights.

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Yolanda Wu
06:59 Nov 16, 2020

I've looked at the author's notes, they definitely provide a lot of insight and helped me to better understand the story. :) Ooh and yes, I love how the Scholar is AI, but you definitely achieved in making him relatable, but still having a distinction.

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Tom .
03:46 Nov 16, 2020

Brave, clever and existential. I can appreciate what you did here. It reminded me of Stanley Kubrick's '2001'. That was considered a masterpiece, but I could only watch it once and wished I had spent the time rewatching Ridley Scott's 'Aliens'. It is a well thought piece, but as we say in England, It was not my cup of tea. Sorry.

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Saizen 🦜
03:58 Nov 16, 2020

Thanks again for the review! It's alright that you don't find it appealing, we all have our preferences. I'm glad that you read through it anyway, not to mention giving some thoughts about it. I'm flattered that it reminds you of 2001. When I do sci-fi, I hope to do actual sci-fi as opposed to aesthetic sci-fi. 2001 is one of the sci-fi fiction that actually incorporated thought provoking science elements. It's a shame that most of the popular sci-fi fictions, especially space opera are just sci-fi on an aesthetic level. Again...

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Tom .
04:09 Nov 16, 2020

You should check out Ad Astra. That's a meet in the middle film. The best of both worlds.

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Tiffany 🌻
21:37 Nov 15, 2020

Good job!! This story was very well thought-out and it dealt with intense stuff like extinction. I liked how it was revealed the scholar was AI which tied a lot of things together in the end and explained why he was so smart. The story had a good way of explaining things like space, science, and technology, which is hard to do for some writers. I loved the vocabulary again, super advanced! The only thing is that the story was very wordy. There aren't any breaks from imagery and description. It makes it hard to understand and not as fun to...

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Saizen 🦜
21:46 Nov 15, 2020

Thanks for the feedback! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I completely, completely agree that this is a difficult read. I'm grateful that you read it through anyway. Hence why I put the synopsis and tl;dr in the comments, because of the sheer abstractness and sciency jargon. You're not mean at all. At least in my stories, you can be as honest as you want and never apologize about it. So about the dialogues, I actually thought of making the probe an android with a personality that would talk to the Scholar and all that. But I scrapped it b...

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Tiffany 🌻
01:57 Nov 16, 2020

Your welcome! I upvoted the comments :)

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Rebecca Welch
14:26 Nov 20, 2020

Wow! I love this! You have an awesome hook in the beginning, it really pulls you in. I love the intrigue around the scholar and that it takes a little to get an answer about their origin. The idea behind what they are is very different from a lot of things I've seen and I really enjoy it. It's original and imaginative which makes the story even better. Your descriptions are beautiful and I love the whole concept of the cubes and the wormhole realm. It's significantly more focused than your last story while still managing to be ful...

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Saizen 🦜
20:52 Nov 22, 2020

Hey there, glad you enjoyed it! It's always my pleasure to wow my audience. I'm very happy that I was able to do so. Side note, I've apparently forgotten to like your last story after commenting on it. Please remind me next time if I forgot!

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Zinnia Hansen
19:15 Nov 18, 2020

I found your writing aesthetically pleasing and your reflections, particularly those on language, fascinating. I was a little concerned that the story one going to become painfully allegorical, but you left enough space, enough enigma, to avoid that. I had some difficulty following the story, but I actually didn't mind that; it was dreamlike and surreal. I also wrote a story for this prompt in which I juxtaposed humanity against other alien civilizations and I think it is really interesting how vastly different our presentations of...

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Saizen 🦜
19:27 Nov 18, 2020

Hiya, thanks for the feedback! I'm glad that you enjoyed the story, especially the surrealism that I was aiming for. I understand that this story is a little hard to follow as it's quite abstract. Moreover, the main character is also quite inhuman to begin with. I'm not quite sure what you mean by allegorical and I'm curious about it. Hopefully you can explain a little! My intention on this story is to have a contrast between the dream-like, astral plane-esque Genesis Emporium and the brutal reality where civilizations kill each ...

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Zinnia Hansen
19:47 Nov 18, 2020

Thanks for responding to my comment. Discussing stories is honestly one of my favorite things. I really appreciated the contrast in this piece! I think dichotomy is one of the poignant literary devices. All I meant by allegorical, was that at the beginning I was a little worried you go in "Cautionary tale about greed " direction. Or that it was going to be solely about how horrible humanity is. But my concerns were dispelled almost immediately by how much beauty and complexity you wove. I particularly loved the line "As the Scholar fo...

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Saizen 🦜
01:22 Nov 19, 2020

I love discussing stories too. I'm so glad that you've taken an interest in my work. Thanks for explaining the allegorical part. I guess my works are more of a discussion on phenomena, which often takes on multiple perspectives with no obvious stance on morality. It's not appealing to everyone, but I'm glad you like it. Like, are humans horrible? Yes, but what's the reason behind it? In this story it's survival, which is not unique to humans. But at the same time, humans are capable of being more than survival, which again, is not uniq...

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Zinnia Hansen
01:45 Nov 19, 2020

I really appreciate mathematical "Metaphors" because they are so abstract. Instead of narrowing a the meaning of a phrase, they can open up whole new dimensions. I read Lord of the Flies a while back. Which I I think is the ultimate example of a painful allegory. It tried to illustrate how humanity was inherently evil and that it was society that made us good. But if humanity is inherently evil, how could it build something inherently good? I totally agree with you: humanity is capable of much more than survival. Yes humanity is horri...

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Saizen 🦜
02:05 Nov 19, 2020

No no it's perfectly fine! I love thought-provoking discussions. I agree that consciousness is like a subset of patterns of a grand universal pattern. The complexity is like a mini universe I'd say. In my opinion, life is like entropy but also anti-entropy at the same time. Like, they consume matter and energy, which makes it more evenly distributed. But they also increase in complexity.

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14:48 Nov 16, 2020

Pros? Interesting world building, sci-fi, quantum physics. Cons? Almost the same as before--far too much plot, no explanation for who the Scholar is within the actual story. Not clearly at least. Advice? Make. Small. Plot.

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Saizen 🦜
15:25 Nov 16, 2020

Again. Our. Styles. Differ. I hope I don't come off as harsh, I really don't. But to put it in plain words: I don't get why you don't understand, like, other readers understand what's going on and who the Scholar is. It's pretty straightforward, I just didn't choose to dump it in the beginning that "Long long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, there's an AI supercomputer overlord residing in the center of the galaxy." Instead, the story introduces the Scholar as a simple scholar, with ridiculous feats such as knowing everything in...

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16:01 Nov 16, 2020

I get that our styles differ, and that's fine. To give some in-depth examples; you write in one scene that the Scholar propels himself forwards--how? Does the Scholar have like, rocket boosters? Some other method of propulsion? In another scene you write that the Scholar projects holograms; this one isn't as bad, but it makes us wonder--what does the Scholar's body look like? We have no clear picture of the Scholar. I didn't skim--I read and re-read trying to get a clear picture. Part of why it's confusing is your don't break your sect...

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Saizen 🦜
16:43 Nov 16, 2020

Ah, this is stylistic difference again. It didn't matter to the story how the Scholar used to propel themself. Whether they use boosters or gravitational wave is just tech jargon that'll bog down the story. How they projected the holograms also didn't matter. The readers know that 1. They're humanoid, 2. Their body was sturdy enough to survive a wormhole 3. Their body could live over 100k years. 4. Their could see in different light spectrum and magnify vision. Again, precisely how the Scholar looks like didn't matter. Like in 'Sto...

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Saizen 🦜
18:47 Nov 16, 2020

So talking to you made me think. While I countered many of your points, your perspective gave me important insights. I think that I put too much emphasis on imagination and logic, and not enough on crafting emotional bonds with the reader. I'll admit, this is going to be difficult for me, but I'll try to improve on that. Once again, thanks for your time and feedback.

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00:48 Nov 17, 2020

No problem. 😊 And yes, emotional bonds are key—they’re often what keeps readers interested, and lets us fully immerse ourselves into a story. A book I would highly recommend is ‘Story’ by Robert McKee. It’s the doorstop version, but it goes into tremendous detail on every aspect of story crafting—can not recommend it enough!

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Saizen 🦜
16:20 Nov 17, 2020

Thanks for the recommendation! I've read parts of it yesterday and had some thoughts on it. I realized that as a reader, I've never been interested in emotional fictions. I didn't care much about stories of romance or family and friendship. I've always been much more drawn to thought provoking out-of-this-world fictions with complex plot and imaginative world-building. And as an author, I would like to write things that I enjoy. I don't feel like stretching myself to cater to neurotypical audiences. Thinking of it, I'm willing...

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Saizen 🦜
15:45 Nov 15, 2020

Anyways, here's a synopsis of the story: - There's a planet with bustling futuristic cities. - It got destroyed by invaders, who then harvested the entire solar system. - Humans conquered the galaxy by killing all aliens, now they're killing each other because of depleting resources. - A smart person called the Scholar researched wormholes so that humans could go to other glaxies. - The Scholar got sucked into a wormhole during an experiment. - The Scholar arrived at the Genesis Emporium (an alternate dimension). They obs...

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Saizen 🦜
10:52 Nov 14, 2020

As usual, ask me about any world-building details you want. Critiques are welcomed! Author's notes: (To clear things up in case the reader missed some details) - The Genesis Emporium was a pocket dimension. Supposedly even after heat death and all that, it'd remain. - It is implied that the dimension selected beings that could enter it. Hence the probes and debris couldn't get in. - The dimension was vaccuum. When the cube played the music, the Scholar 'heard' it through the contact of their hands. - The Scholar had ma...

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