Shawshank Remixed

For my electronic literature project I will be creating a prison colony in outer space.  The idea came to me in a dream.  The book as well as the series to follow will be called FUEL.  The premise of the story is simple:  During the opening years of the 21century a COVID virus nearly wiped out mankind.  Just when man thought things were getting better, a massive meteor shower – dubbed Wormwood – pelted the Earth causing an insane amount of destruction.  One clever scientist discovered that the ore held within the space rocks contained an amazing fuel source.  Man’s reliance on fossil fuels and destroying the Earth to obtain them was on the verge of becoming a thing of the past.

The path of the meteor shower was traced back hundreds of thousands of lightyears from Earth.  In a distant galaxy there lies an asteroid field of unbelievable size.  Some of the asteroids within the field are larger than earth.  Scientists speculated that a small galaxy like the Milky Way suffered a catastrophic event.  The meteors and asteroids in the field are what was left after all of the planets exploded.  That was the theory at least.

A decision was made to send an expedition to the asteroid field.  With what Fuel was made from the wormwood meteor shower and some advancements to rocket technology, the trip would take five years.  Once at the asteroid field, a near-by planet was discovered that could sustain life.  Astrologists from the country Siam discovered the Earth-type rock while attempting to map this newly discovered galaxy.  The astrologists named the world Siam Un.

Another radical step was taken back on Earth.  The American government was going to send convicts into outer space on the expedition.  An idea was floated that if mining could be accomplished at the asteroid field, prisoners should do the work.  Just another way to clean up the Earth.

My first step in bring this to life is to research what an expedition into the unknown actually sounds like.  I will be using excerpts from The Fleet Letter.  The Fleet Letters are a collection of correspondence between British Naval Officers on their way to Australia and their Administrators back in England.  The British set up a penal colony on the continent of Australia.  There were locals and natives to deal with.  There were lazy officers.  There were unruly prisoners.  All of which I will mirror in my own piece.  Then there is the discovery of the alien planet and the exploration of such.  I will be drawing from the adventures of Louis and Clark on this one.  Again, research is required to make the experience feel more real, genuine. 

In regards to publishing I have two avenues to pursue.  First, my friend Mike Marts, whom I was an Intern with at marvel Comics has since opened his own comic book company, Action Comics, and is doing quite well, having recently signed Norman Reedus of the Walking Dead to take on a role portrayed in one of his titles. 

My second avenue for publishing this work came from the list presented in class last week. Inkle Studios is one of the sites that I found that just might be interested in something like mine.  There sight boasts of storytelling and technology mixed.  The art style used by Inkle is something I think would work best with my piece.    Inkle is based in England, so I believe my connection to the British expedition to colonize Australia hundreds of years ago might be of some historical interest to them.

The Fuel series will focus on a set of outlining short stories that will give readers an idea of who some of the inmates are and what brought them to the Wormwood Asteroid Field Penal Colony.  So far I have six short stories completed.  Each story averages around five to six typed pages.  There will be a main central storyline. This novella I have mapped out and all main characters identified. 

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