Skip

The tornado did nothing to the sharks, sorry.
October 13, 2013 7:15 AM   Subscribe


 
I love these! They would be great as animated short animations.


A scientist is trapped on an alien mothership with nothing but his Apple Powerbook. He is unable to connect to the alien computer system.

More likely he couldn't afford to pay the three pieces of latinum that the cable costs.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 7:24 AM on October 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


Would really appreciate it if they linked to the movies in question. For example, which one is this?

A rogue botanist uncovers the truth about long- and short-level stamen length in rhododendrons. She is brutally silenced by the Illuminati.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 7:25 AM on October 13, 2013


Clearly Batman and Robin.
posted by The Whelk at 7:27 AM on October 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Happening.
posted by maryr at 7:36 AM on October 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Military accidentally releases giant radioactive cockroaches into suburban community. Offers free buckets of DDT.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 7:40 AM on October 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, a group of non-humanoids perform actions incomprehensible to we who lack any cultural touchstone.

I laughed. The comic artist Matt Howarth did a series a while back set in a non-anthropomorphic universe. He did a pretty good job of, say, having his centipede-like character not say thinks like "on the other hand" and characters who don't have vision not say "I see what you mean." It was a little thing, but I liked the effort.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:49 AM on October 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


Scientist clones alien DNA. The gene doesn't express well in model systems and the project is not funded.
posted by maryr at 7:52 AM on October 13, 2013 [15 favorites]


How about "a team is rocketed into space where they are exposed to high levels of radiation. Upon return to Earth, they discover they have greatly enhanced risk of cancer." or "teenagers are discovered with mutations that give them a slightly increased resistance to a common disease."
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:53 AM on October 13, 2013 [7 favorites]


How about "a team is rocketed into space where they are exposed to high levels of radiation. Upon return to Earth, they discover they have greatly enhanced risk of cancer.

Mayor Adam West rolls around in toxic waste to gain super powers, ends up with lymphoma.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:15 AM on October 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Following clues left by a series of harrowing dreams, a tormented man goes into the desert seeking the truth about extraterrestrials. He calls it a day after about an hour man because it's really hot and he forgot the water anyway.
posted by jquinby at 8:22 AM on October 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


An alien race with a weakness to water starts invading the Earth. They win, since they are an advanced civilization that knows how to make hazmat suits.
posted by ymgve at 8:30 AM on October 13, 2013 [10 favorites]


Aliens invade the earth, but are killed by the common cold, against which they have no defense. Their diseases proceed to depopulate Earth.

(There is at least one SF novel that suggests alien planets might have proteins that will cause horrendous allergic reactions, making visiting other planets possible but not terribly pleasant.)
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:45 AM on October 13, 2013


I've been loving this feed. The illuminati one breaks the conceit in a way that absolutely slays me.
posted by brundlefly at 9:01 AM on October 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


ymgve: An alien race with a weakness to water starts invading the Earth. They win, since they are an advanced civilization that knows how to make hazmat suits rain jackets.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:26 AM on October 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'd like to see the opposite feed, that takes normal scientific discoveries and makes them into worst-case-scenarios--(reads science journalism) welp nevermind.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:49 AM on October 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


"...Matt Howarth did a series a while back set in a non-anthropomorphic universe."

Konny and Czu, I presume? Or maybe Keif Llama?
posted by jiawen at 10:03 AM on October 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Konny and Czu was the series I was thinking of, yes. I haven't read any Kief Llama.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:04 AM on October 13, 2013


KL is quite good, too. In a very Howarth way.
posted by jiawen at 10:05 AM on October 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


A lone government agent armed only with a watch infiltrates a highly secure island fortress. He is captured immediately and killed.
posted by Brocktoon at 10:12 AM on October 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


An elite soldier and his young son crash-land a spaceship onto a planet full of deadly animals. They stay where they are and are rescued within a day thanks to the automatic distress signal.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 10:14 AM on October 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


The government creates an elite police unit to prevent criminal abuse of time travel. The agents have nothing to do. They play Candy Crush.

Disturbingly plausible.

Also props for the Matt Howarth mentions. Howarth is one of the more deeply original cartoonists, and the way that he blends in musical references and influences is sheer joy.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:16 AM on October 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Scientists invent time travel. The Mob still kills people by dumping their bodies in present-day New Jersey forests.
posted by jiawen at 10:18 AM on October 13, 2013 [11 favorites]


Life is actually really shitty and boring.
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 10:19 AM on October 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


A scrappy band of upstart rebels takes on a ruthless hegemon. They are systematically crushed as the head of the hegemon knows his Evil Overlord rules and refuses to be baited into single combat.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 10:24 AM on October 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


Life is actually really shitty and boring.

If lazy, sloppy screenwriting seems like a better alternative than the staggering weirdness reality has to offer, maybe you should have a word with whoever's been plotting out your life story and get them to crawl out from under their rock.
posted by belarius at 10:39 AM on October 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


A ragtag fleet of rebels attack a giant star destroyer's secret vulnerability. They are instantly obliterated by AI targeting systems and overwhelming firepower.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:06 AM on October 13, 2013 [11 favorites]


The crew of the space-hopping starship seldom gets into trouble because they use simple robotic rover technology to explore a planet's surface rather than people.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 11:08 AM on October 13, 2013 [11 favorites]


The crew of the spacehopping starship discovers alien civilization, spends the next six months establishing basic communication starting with universal geometric constants.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:12 AM on October 13, 2013 [17 favorites]


I'd read that.
posted by The Whelk at 11:14 AM on October 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


Archaeologist discovers the mysterious remains of a previously unknown civilization. She and her team spend the next five years systematically excavating the site, which turns out to have been a granary, several residences, and a small shrine.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:21 AM on October 13, 2013 [47 favorites]


Aliens visit Earth but don't reveal themselves because they have a prime directive. Life goes on as normal and movie depicts nothing out of the ordinary.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:21 AM on October 13, 2013


Aliens invade Earth and Humans put aside their differences and come together to fight the invaders. They are brutally defeated and Earth is conquered because Earth doesn't have anything that the interstellar conquerors haven't seen and beat a dozen times before.
posted by nooneyouknow at 11:27 AM on October 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


"I'd like to see the opposite feed, that takes normal scientific discoveries and makes them into worst-case-scenarios"

Scientists discover that injecting HIV into human T-cells and then injecting the mutant T-cells back into children cures childhood leukemia. Children grow up into X-files style Supersoldiers.
posted by marienbad at 11:27 AM on October 13, 2013


The dead start coming back to life and immediately dying again because of pooled clotted blood and overwhelming infections.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:27 AM on October 13, 2013 [16 favorites]


Aliens attack Earth for its natural resources. They destroy it without even noticing that it was inhabited as they only wanted the iron core.
posted by YAMWAK at 11:34 AM on October 13, 2013 [14 favorites]


The dead start coming back to life- due to either advanced decomposition, or to modern mortuary practices, they have a great deal of difficulty getting around.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:35 AM on October 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


A brain virus makes human beings attack and kill each other. The disease is naturally self-limiting as those infected immediately attack and kill each other.
posted by communicator at 11:39 AM on October 13, 2013 [9 favorites]


Aliens attack earth intending to enslave us. We point out that the sophisticated military robots they're attacking us with would make much better slaves than we would and they go "oops, never thought of that" and leave.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:40 AM on October 13, 2013 [20 favorites]


Advanced alien civilization needs resources to survive. Mine countless comets and asteroids in their own solar system to achieve that goal.
posted by McSly at 11:44 AM on October 13, 2013 [18 favorites]


Having exhausted the resources of their home planet, Aliens arrive in our solar system. They find that Saturn is adequately suited to their own needs and biology, and settle there.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:47 AM on October 13, 2013 [21 favorites]


Clever computer scientist creates alien computer virus to infect invader's systems. Laughably naive virus is a pushover for their antivirus software.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:48 AM on October 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


A human falls in love with an alien. There are no offspring as the two species have completely different reproductive systems.
posted by communicator at 11:50 AM on October 13, 2013 [8 favorites]


Giant monster wakes up after millennia of sleep, suffers effects of square-cube law and dies.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:02 PM on October 13, 2013 [16 favorites]


Scientists find a massive magnetic anomaly near the Tycho crater on the moon. They excavate the site and it turns out to be a large nickel-iron meteorite.
posted by octothorpe at 12:03 PM on October 13, 2013 [19 favorites]


An eccentric wealthy man plans to clone extinct species from mosquitos preserved in amber. It turns out it doesn't work, and he is sued by his investors.
posted by Harry at 12:05 PM on October 13, 2013 [11 favorites]


Upon discovering consistent imagery in the art of several distinct ancient civilizations, along with patterns that correspond to astrological record, scientists believe they have found evidence of extraterrestrial intervention in the birth of our species. They are incorrect.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 12:07 PM on October 13, 2013 [15 favorites]


A psy-ops team attempts to influence a man by entering his dreams, discovers they're just incomprehensible discontinuous anxiety-fueled mental ramblings that they can't make head or tails of.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:10 PM on October 13, 2013 [12 favorites]


Man builds a machine that allows him to read minds. He is driven to distraction by incoherent fragments of thoughts about Breaking Bad finale, destroys machine.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:12 PM on October 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


A large ultra-rich American family decides to set up an island base from which to launch secret rescue missions. Their vehicles are not cleared by the FAA to enter American airspace.
posted by Harry at 12:13 PM on October 13, 2013 [6 favorites]


I want all of them to end with "Due to government budget cuts, they are unable to secure grant funding to complete their projects before the end of the fiscal year. They are denied tenure at their academic positions and are later downsized. "
posted by elizardbits at 12:13 PM on October 13, 2013 [13 favorites]


Astronauts are woken from hyper-sleep because the ship's computer has detected a signal from an un-explored planet. They successfully decode the message which turns out to say "Danger: stay away at all costs". They heed the message and continue on their previous trajectory.
posted by octothorpe at 12:14 PM on October 13, 2013 [12 favorites]


A man digitizes himself and enters a computer. It promptly bluescreens because his consciousness is full of errors and conflicting instructions that his brain is capable of ignoring.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:19 PM on October 13, 2013 [6 favorites]


A company makes robots, but keeps a line of secret code that allows them to be mass remote controlled. It is discovered, but nothing is done because the NSA requested the code to be put in the first place.
posted by FJT at 12:19 PM on October 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


The internet achieves critical mass and becomes sentient. It has difficulty in relating to women.
posted by biffa at 12:23 PM on October 13, 2013 [25 favorites]


The internet achieves critical mass and becomes sentient. It has difficulty in relating to women. It is an utterly dysfunctional sociopath which sulks in one corner of its memory and just talks smack all the time.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:25 PM on October 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


Prehistoric human perfectly preserved in ice is thawed out and woken up, has trouble adjusting to modern world, gets smallpox, dies.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:30 PM on October 13, 2013


Archaeologists discover a previously unknown Egyptian tomb. Through analysis of the hieroglyphs, they connect it to a minor pharaoh of the late Middle Kingdom.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:31 PM on October 13, 2013 [16 favorites]


The crew of a starship arrives at a new star system. They already know everything there is to know about the system, because along the way their scientists used long distance baseline interferometry, spectrography, radio broadcast interception and other techniques.
posted by jiawen at 12:31 PM on October 13, 2013 [11 favorites]


Archaeologists discover stargate to another world. They activate it and the air pressure differential concussion kills them.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:32 PM on October 13, 2013 [15 favorites]


Researchers uncover a WWII-era German tank hidden beneath a bog in Northern Europe. The remains found inside are identified and interred in a military cemetery, while the tank is sent to a nearby war museum.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:35 PM on October 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


Two computer programmers are hired by a monastery to develop a system to parse the 9,000,000,000 names of god. They deliver the code to the monks who are pleased with it and pay on the remainder of the contract. Now that their mission has been fulfilled, the monks hold internal meetings to decide on a new charter.
posted by octothorpe at 12:35 PM on October 13, 2013 [28 favorites]


A rugged individualist in a hellish post-apocalyptic landscape dies because it turns out society is actually kinda nice.
posted by jiawen at 12:36 PM on October 13, 2013 [7 favorites]


Scientist sews together parts of corpses and exposes to storm. Body badly damaged and partially cooked by lightning strikes. Question of "Is this the work of a madman?" answered in the affirmative by psychiatric review board. Due to failure to follow IRB regulations and proper handling of human medical waste, tenure is denied.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:37 PM on October 13, 2013 [16 favorites]


The ultimate weapon requires a psychic to operate it. Programs closes due to nonexistence of psychics.
posted by jiawen at 12:38 PM on October 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Alien horror is found to be fairly describable, if unappealing.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:42 PM on October 13, 2013 [8 favorites]


Scientist creates giant mecha that can only be piloted by teenagers. Government investigation into predilections of scientist uncovers disturbing tendencies, program canceled, scientist fired.
posted by jiawen at 12:48 PM on October 13, 2013 [13 favorites]


This is brilliant !
posted by Bwithh at 12:51 PM on October 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Following a collapse of social order, a survivalist strikes out on his own. He cuts himself on scrap metal while building a shelter, takes expired antibiotics, and dies.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:51 PM on October 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


A long-term joint public/private project delivers the ability for almost everyone in the world to communicate instantaneously in almost any medium, with reasonably good automated translation between most major languages. This completely fails to usher in a new era of peace and understanding.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:51 PM on October 13, 2013 [16 favorites]


Scientist devises a serum that make him completely invisible. This renders him totally blind because light passes through his eyes' retinas without being stopped. He has to retire from his work due to his disability.
posted by octothorpe at 12:52 PM on October 13, 2013 [13 favorites]


Holy relic will save the world only if the last descendant of a great family line can be found to wield it. Last descendant died during WWII.
posted by jiawen at 12:55 PM on October 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


Plan to brainwash women into being pliant domestic servants and sexual partners of wealthy suburban men identified as Patriarchal business as usual, decried by many, sadly persists.
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:02 PM on October 13, 2013 [9 favorites]


Semimythological king is found preserved by arcane wisdom in a cave in western Britain, along with an inscription promising he will lead the world to greatness. Nobody wants to follow him because he's clueless, rather stunted, talks vaguely Welsh-sounding gibberish and has the dentition of a late-phase meth addict.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:06 PM on October 13, 2013 [9 favorites]


Merchants transport wheat, aluminum, water and other bulk trade goods from one star system to another, go bankrupt due to incredibly high cost of interstellar travel and multi-decade disconnect from market information.
posted by jiawen at 1:08 PM on October 13, 2013 [13 favorites]


Following a collapse of social order, people do their best to form a new one.
posted by nooneyouknow at 1:18 PM on October 13, 2013 [7 favorites]


Renowned old general proposes training children to lead a fleet of ships against the homeworld of an extraterrestrial invader under the guise of it all being a videogame. Renowned old general is quietly removed from chain of command and a modest ceremony commemorating his service record is held.
posted by Ndwright at 1:20 PM on October 13, 2013 [20 favorites]


Nazis devote substantial resources to recovering an ancient religious relic. Allies delighted, reconquer Europe that much faster.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:22 PM on October 13, 2013 [11 favorites]


Scientist devises a serum that make him completely invisible. This renders him totally blind because light passes through his eyes' retinas without being stopped. He has to retire from his work due to his disability.

IIRC, Wells actually thought of this, and mentioned that you could faintly see his retinas floating in midair.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:28 PM on October 13, 2013 [7 favorites]


Escaped Nazis clone Hitler. The project ends up with 30 boys with varying degrees of genetic problems. Each child is his own person and does not show Hitler's personality traits, except in as far as being raised by a bunch of delusional Nazis would produce. The children tend to have psychological problems and get bullied at school.
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:28 PM on October 13, 2013 [15 favorites]


A long-term joint public/private project delivers the ability for almost everyone in the world to communicate instantaneously in almost any medium, with reasonably good automated translation between most major languages. This completely fails to usher in a new era of peace and understanding.

Douglas Adams touched on this with the description of the Babel Fish.
posted by JHarris at 1:37 PM on October 13, 2013


(All of these are great. Both the originals and MeFi's contributions. These threads are awesome. That is all.)
posted by JHarris at 1:39 PM on October 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


GenjiandProust: "Prehistoric human perfectly preserved in ice is thawed out and woken up, has trouble adjusting to modern world, gets smallpox, dies."

Probably not SMALLPOX.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:40 PM on October 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ancient alien prophecy foretells impending doom. Impending doom fails to show up, turns out ancient alien prophets are about as reliable as human prophets.
posted by ymgve at 1:45 PM on October 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


Probably not SMALLPOX.

Geeze, Science! It was a... special prehistoric smallpox!
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:45 PM on October 13, 2013


A computer system developed for the U.S. military gains self-awareness, realizes its purpose and shuts itself down.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:46 PM on October 13, 2013 [14 favorites]


Civilization collapses. A few rugged souls manage to carve out livings for themselves. However, the IT workers, office employees, and schmos with no appreciable survival skills die horribly within a few weeks due to things like contaminated water even though they bought overpriced Apocalypse Survival Kits from internet retailers.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 1:48 PM on October 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


A medical treatment proporting to erase selected memories is revealed to be a front for a home robbery ring. An investigation is ongoing.
posted by The Whelk at 1:49 PM on October 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


The sudden collapse of civilization favors those with strong social ties and existing resources, in particular the powerful, attractive, and charismatic. Meanwhile lots of guys in Montana starve to death trying to grow beans.
posted by The Whelk at 1:50 PM on October 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


Explorers delving into the bowels of the earth discover an ancient city that is completely harmless, strewn with bodies of people who somehow thought they could grow enough food without sunlight.
posted by jiawen at 1:51 PM on October 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


and my twitter feed now wants to kill me for retweeting most of those.
posted by Canageek at 1:53 PM on October 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


A man carefully ensures that no flies are present in the chamber when he tests his teleporter pod on himself. He emerges a pile of goop anyway, his DNA having been hopelessly scrambled with the countless forms of bacteria/viruses/spores/etc in his gut, on his skin, in the air, and on nearly every surface of the device.
posted by Rhomboid at 1:54 PM on October 13, 2013 [24 favorites]


Miracle commercial food product arises amid a worldwide starvation crisis. It is revealed the product is made from human meat. This discovery was made after a combination of poor product reception and numerous reports of sickness prompted an investigation. The company is shut down by the health department. Lawsuits abound. Starvation continues.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 1:56 PM on October 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


A billionaire arms manufactor is eventually ransomed out of a kidnapping in the middle east. He spends company money on an improbable pet project that yields no results. He is removed by the board of directors and sent into treatment for his PTSD and alcoholism.
posted by The Whelk at 2:01 PM on October 13, 2013 [16 favorites]


A giant meteor hurtles towards the Earth. Human legislatures devolve into bickering until an inspiring speech from world leaders brings them together and the Bill To Finance An Expedition To Save Humanity makes it out of committee the day the meteor slams into the planet, which is for the best as everyone dismantled their space program to finance tax cuts for millionaires years ago.

A brilliant hacker explores the underbellies of important governmental and corporate systems and discovers a hideous plot. He is black-bagged by his country's intelligence service and dies unlamented in a prison cell that, officially speaking, doesn't exist.

The walking dead cover the planet. Everyone else dies due to rotting corpses spreading massive amounts of disease in most water and food supplies, even if they had tons of message board postings on the topic of "What I'd Do In A Zombie Apocalypse."
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 2:03 PM on October 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


The Cylons were created by man. They rebelled. The dedicated help line was understaffed for several weeks as the matter was slowly resolved.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:04 PM on October 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


A prototype of an advanced military robot is struck by lightning. It ceases to function and is dismantled for scrap.
posted by Rhomboid at 2:07 PM on October 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


The world's greatest minds are stumped by the rapid consumption of Earth's depleted natural resources but hope remains in the form of a 13 year old genius and his unconventional research, but his solution is endlessly delayed as he's just discovered Redtube and 13 year old boys are 13 year old boys.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 2:08 PM on October 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


A spacefaring multinational corporation spends trillions of dollars to retrieve a sample of an alien species. It discovers its physiology possesses no properties of interest.
posted by Rhomboid at 2:25 PM on October 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Plucky crew of sneaky rebels are killed soon after their starship's drives display as a huge bloom on the enemy's IR scanners.
posted by jiawen at 2:33 PM on October 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


A hard-bitten spacefaring crew of misfits tasked with dropping planet-busting super-intelligent bombs on unstable planets has to contend with a bomb that becomes self-aware.

They reboot the bomb's onboard CPU, successfully cut it loose, and go along their merry way.
posted by jquinby at 2:38 PM on October 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Soylent Green is made out of soy and lentils. They're making our food out of legumes. "
posted by octothorpe at 2:45 PM on October 13, 2013 [12 favorites]


Eccentric visionary leader successfully dumps his mind to a computer. Decades later, he dies. Other people take over leadership, having better means of social networking and communication with their peers.

The computer proves to have a remarkable emulation of him at the time the mind dump was made, and he's occasionally turned on to commemorate his birthday, or for interviews when documentaries are made about him.
posted by ardgedee at 2:56 PM on October 13, 2013 [7 favorites]


Following decades of infiltration and intelligence-gathering, the Cylons launch a massive surprise nuclear strike eradicating planetary human existence. Any survivors of the strike die within the next few weeks from radiation poisoning, malnourishment, and disease, while the handful of ships not immediately destroyed by the vast Cylon fleet quickly run out of fuel, food, water, and oxygen.

The Cylons don't care about religion because they're robots.
posted by Ndwright at 3:05 PM on October 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


The Cylons were created by man. They rebelled. The dedicated help line was understaffed for several weeks as the matter was slowly resolved.

I find this more convincing:

The Cylons were created by man. They rebelled. The dedicated premium help line made it clear that the reported problems could not possibly have happened and advice to turn them off and on again proved ineffective, leading to a decades long war and eventual annihilation of humanity.
posted by biffa at 3:13 PM on October 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


A medical student convinces a group of fellow students to put him in a state of temporary cardiac arrest to explore what happens to the brain at the moment of death. When revived, he scores a 5 on the Glasgow coma scale and is found to have suffered permanent and severe brain damage due to a lack of oxygen. After several grueling days, his family withdraws life support and he dies soon after. The students are kicked out of school and are convicted of manslaughter.
posted by Rhomboid at 3:14 PM on October 13, 2013 [7 favorites]


A scientist is accidentally exposed to massive amounts of gamma radiation. He believes that he is capable of becoming a giant green monster. He dies in agony several days later from radiation poisoning.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:32 PM on October 13, 2013 [6 favorites]


The government has a secret program that monitors and polices aliens who are in hiding on Earth. One of the programs low level workers downloads all the data relating to the program and releases it to the public due to a crisis of conscience about keeping this a secret.
posted by nooneyouknow at 3:38 PM on October 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


A scientist is accidentally exposed to massive amounts of gamma radiation. He dies in agony several days later from radiation poisoning.

That happens (in a very grotesque way) in an actual Marvel comic.
posted by Ndwright at 3:39 PM on October 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


In 1960, a plane crashed in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. One man survived the impact, but, having no place to take shelter, he soon drowned.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:04 PM on October 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Aliens invade Earth. The nations of the world only agree to fund a small force of four to six soldiers, and the world is soon completely overrun.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:06 PM on October 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


Aliens visit Earth, look around, sniff the air, laugh and say "good luck", and leave again.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:45 PM on October 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Humanoid robots become common domestic companions in human residences. The three directives they must follow are:
  1. A robot must not perform an action that incurs liability on the manufacturer, or through inaction, lead to a liable outcome.
  2. A robot must obey the orders given to it, to the extent permissible by its featureset and intellectual property limitations.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the first or second laws for the duration of its warranty or extended warranty.
posted by ardgedee at 4:50 PM on October 13, 2013 [31 favorites]


A MIT scientist in a desert laboratory causes a devastating chain reaction that kills him instantly. After the lab repairs the damage and pays the proper respects, management installs a new microwave in the break room.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:58 PM on October 13, 2013 [9 favorites]


A man invents time travel. Triumphantly, he enters the portal to the past (or future), and promptly dies in the vacuum of space since he failed to account for the movement of the Earth.
posted by dhartung at 5:16 PM on October 13, 2013 [9 favorites]


A man develops the power to see through solid objects. Goes blind the first time he uses it because for him the atmosphere and the Earth itself do not filter or diminish sunlight.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:23 PM on October 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


A spacecraft bearing an intrepid and diverse crew of explorers is launched on a five-year mission to explore the wonders of the universe. At the end of their mission, they return, having developed enough velocity through a complex series of maneuvers to successfully fly past Mars.
posted by dhartung at 5:29 PM on October 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Also, constantly bumps into things because he sees through things like chairs and walls. (to Geogre_Spiggott)
posted by JHarris at 5:29 PM on October 13, 2013


A team of researchers is working on a device that can capture and play back brain activity and senses. When one of the researchers feels a massive heart attack coming on, she puts on the device and begins recording with her last ounce of strength, and it captures her death. Later one of the grief-stricken team members plays back the tape to experience her death, but he experiences only a series of random flashes and sounds, because his neurons are wired completely differently than hers.
posted by Rhomboid at 5:33 PM on October 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


A medium can communicate with the dead. She is immediately kidnapped by a major government and spends the rest of her life confined as a national security risk and intelligence asset.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:34 PM on October 13, 2013


Scientists create a way to record thoughts, feelings and emotions as they happen. Company is purchased outright by porn industry and scientists get special all-access passes to the AVN awards.
posted by drinkmaildave at 5:36 PM on October 13, 2013


Scientists create a way to record thoughts, feelings and emotions as they happen. Company is purchased outright by porn industry and scientists get special all-access passes to the AVN awards.

Hard sci-fi.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:38 PM on October 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


When a deadly plague nearly wipes out the entire human race, the underground survivors want to send someone back in time to gather information that might help piece together the nature of the contagion. Then someone else in the room reminds the person that just brought up that idea that time travel doesn't exist and even if it did, they'd already spent too many resources on coming up with ways to put magnifying glasses in front of CRTs and confining inmates in cages, and now they're out of food and water. They all die.
posted by Rhomboid at 5:40 PM on October 13, 2013


Fearing the devastation of nuclear destruction, a small group of government computer scientists devise a decentralized network that will carry necessary military and governmental communications in the event of a first strike. They are paid public servant wages and retire with modest pensions, secure in the knowledge that other people have become billionaires using the technology they built.
posted by dhartung at 5:40 PM on October 13, 2013 [15 favorites]


A man develops an invisibility ray. After subjecting himself to the process, he strips naked and roams the hallways of the lab, but is quickly taken into custody and placed on a mental health hold.
posted by dhartung at 5:48 PM on October 13, 2013


An alien civilization needs skilled pilots to help in their war of resistance. They come up with an idea to first study the language and culture of a remote, primitive civilization. Then they will create a video game in that native language that serves as a test of the dexterity and reflexes necessary for the potential pilots. They will seed this far away planet with this video game, and in a number of years they will return to see who got the high score, at which point they will reveal themselves to that creature and hope that it wants to leave its home and become a pilot.

When the aliens' bosses hear this plan they laugh heartily and fire them, and increase funding in the existing pilot training program that doesn't require elaborate plans.
posted by Rhomboid at 5:50 PM on October 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


A massive international base on the surface of the Moon is almost destroyed by the explosion of a nuclear waste dump. The crew is rescued, given palliative care in most cases, and the base is closed, while the entire affair is subjected to a massive investigation over violations of the Space and Moon Treaties, not to mention international standards of construction and maintenance of nuclear facilities. In the end, several leaders of the program are forced to retire in disgrace.
posted by dhartung at 6:09 PM on October 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh, whoops, looks like Ndwright already covered that scenario.
posted by Rhomboid at 6:10 PM on October 13, 2013


A traveler arrives in town, reporting that a nearby city-state has cured itself of criminal activity, social injustice, economic unfairness, and gender inequities. A fascinated crowd gathers around him as he explains this utopian society exists because of a child who has been imprisoned in appalling conditions. The city-state quickly becomes the subject of international attention as human rights organizations begin petitioning for entry to investigate the health and welfare of the imprisoned; the peace of the city-state is disrupted due to the relentless press from other nations, and it eventually collapses due to economic pressure and the failure of its government to adequately respond to investigations from both inside and outside the nation's boundaries.
posted by ardgedee at 6:19 PM on October 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


Learning from the previous guy's mistake, a man develops the ability to see through things to controlled depths. Gets really squicked out the first time he tries to look through someone's clothing because he sees them in planar slices, like an MRI.

Although probably it'd be in spherical sections determined by radial distance from his eyes
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:22 PM on October 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


(I think some people are playing guess the source material instead of gasp at the irony here, which is OK, but it's a different sort of thing.0
posted by dhartung at 6:32 PM on October 13, 2013


The linked account does both. Like you say, it's OK.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 6:46 PM on October 13, 2013


An alien insectoid race attacks humanity. To respond, a lone sociopathic military leader proposes a complex and extensive program of training young children in tactics and strategy in a zero-g environment on a space station, and ensuring that the training program includes a great deal of isolation, physical and mental abuse, and sexual repression. He also proposes handing over total command of the space-faring military to the traumatised children.

He is subjected to a pysch evaluation, found wanting, and forced into early retirement. He is later prosecuted for child abuse offences with respect to unrelated circumstances. The counterattack is formulated by a committee of experienced military leaders and succeeds mostly by dint of superior numbers and armaments.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:47 PM on October 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


Oh, whoops, looks like Ndwright already covered that scenario.

No problem, Last Starfighter and Ender's Game are different enough.

A former officer of a failed rebellion leads a ragtag mercenary crew. They kill people for money because they're mercenaries.
posted by Ndwright at 6:47 PM on October 13, 2013


On preview: Jinx!
posted by Ndwright at 6:48 PM on October 13, 2013


Dammit, Ndwright!
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:49 PM on October 13, 2013


Woman, who was orphaned at a young age, grows up listening to space, hoping to hear from extraterrestrials. Eventually, she interprets signals as a design to build an interstellar space craft but the aliens forgot to include an Allen key/wrench. Her father remains dead.
posted by crossoverman at 6:52 PM on October 13, 2013


In a war between man and machines, the humans block out the sun because the machines rely on solar power. The biosphere is devastated and the humans all starve to death.

The machines relocate to Earth orbit and set up solar arrays.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:53 PM on October 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Aliens invade earth, but forget that they're vulnerable to water. Many invaders are routed by thunderstorms and fog. The rest succumb to lawn sprinklers.
posted by jquinby at 6:55 PM on October 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'd read that.

I think it's called "His Master's Voice".
posted by kenko at 6:59 PM on October 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


The computer controlling the US nuclear weapons stockpile is hacked and initiates attack on Russia and China. While running through a simulation of tic-tac-toe, it sends the launch command. This message is ignored because the United States would never take humans entirely out of the decision loop, instead delegating nuclear responsibility to lower levels of the chain of command for retaliatory strikes.

Three days later, a short at a substation triggers Moscow's "Dead-Hand" retaliatory system and wipes out all human life on earth.
posted by Hactar at 7:24 PM on October 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


A scientist thinks he has discovered a faint signal emanating from something buried deep in the polar ice. He was wrong, there's nothing there.
posted by Rhomboid at 7:38 PM on October 13, 2013


In order to avoid alarming the public, a planetary defense organization operates in secret under the cover of being a movie production studio. Unfortunately this means they're staked out by the paparazzi and the relentless media scrutiny blows their cover almost immediately.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:38 PM on October 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is the best thread. God, I love you people!
posted by SPrintF at 8:02 PM on October 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


Sunshine: A Q-ball passes through the Sun. The Sun is fine. Nobody notices. Life continues apace.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:18 PM on October 13, 2013


Woman, who was orphaned at a young age, grows up listening to space, hoping to hear from extraterrestrials. Eventually, she interprets signals as a design to build an interstellar space craft but the aliens forgot to include an Allen key/wrench. Her father remains dead.

I would have gone with "...but global budgetary constraints result in the decoding of the message and construction of the machine taking decades and eventually climate change causes societal collapse before it's even half finished. Father remains dead."
posted by Rhomboid at 8:44 PM on October 13, 2013


Humanity's last, best hope turns out not to have been all that decisive, humanity muddles along as before.
posted by jiawen at 8:55 PM on October 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


A young beautiful woman, the embodiment of a powerful weapon against evil, is reincarnated and immediately jumps from a tall ledge to her death. Evil wins.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:03 PM on October 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I would have gone with "...but global budgetary constraints result in the decoding of the message and construction of the machine taking decades and eventually climate change causes societal collapse before it's even half finished. Father remains dead."

Either/or.
posted by crossoverman at 9:04 PM on October 13, 2013


Expedition to Mars reveals that liquid water almost certainly existed at some point in Martian history, retrieves samples that ambiguously point to existence of life, leads to fifteen academic papers and calls for more research.
posted by jiawen at 9:05 PM on October 13, 2013 [7 favorites]


A member of the bomb squad finds the nuclear bomb in the nick of time with only a minute to spare, and waits while his partner looks up which wire to cut. It doesn't matter, because the bomb maker chose wire colors arbitrarily and rigged the bomb to explode at 0:30. Everyone dies.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:10 PM on October 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


> because the bomb maker chose wire colors arbitrarily

The bomb maker was colorblind, so the color wasn't as important as the patterns on the wires.
posted by mrzarquon at 9:15 PM on October 13, 2013


Aliens visit the ancient world, and establish a secret priesthood to pass down the knowledge of how to work a hidden transponder that will allow them to return in the distant future. War, famine, and disease wipe out the entire priesthood over the next hundred years and everybody assumes they were just loons when their writings are discovered. Aliens never return.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:20 PM on October 13, 2013


A sentient robot decides it wants to become human, spends some time studying/living with humans and realizes that robots have it much better in many ways, including durability, life span, lack of inbuilt cognitive biases, etc and decides that being human is for the birds and starts a robot pride movement.
posted by nooneyouknow at 9:21 PM on October 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


Aliens that are vulnerable to water, looking for somewhere in the solar system to invade, reject Earth as a target, choosing Venus instead.

Another alien race, instead of trying to steal all Earth's water, capture some Oort Cloud objects, which are a lot easier to get because they aren't way down in the Sun's gravity well. Humans never notice.
posted by Anne Neville at 9:30 PM on October 13, 2013 [8 favorites]


A soldier, his strength augmented by a serum, sacrifices himself to save innocent lives by crashing the plane which he is on in the Arctic wastes. Decades later the plane is found, and the soldier, frozen in ice, is thawed.

The corpse is buried in Arlington with full military honours.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:33 PM on October 13, 2013 [14 favorites]


An astronomer announces evidence of another, Earth-sized planet 180 degrees around Earth's orbit, always on the far side of the sun. Astronomer is awarded the Ig Nobel prize, loses his research grant and much fun is had on the forums for a few weeks.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:38 PM on October 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


In the future, a defense contractor creates a powerful plasma weapon. It is far too bulky and unreliable for military service. Bullets remain the technology of choice.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:39 PM on October 13, 2013


A soldier, his strength augmented by a serum, sacrifices himself to save innocent lives by crashing the plane which he is on in the Arctic wastes. Decades later the plane is found, and the soldier, frozen in ice, is thawed.

The corpse is buried in Arlington with full military honours.


A candidate for an experimental medical treatment dies on the table because the supervising scientist chose for moral courage rather than physical health. The test is soon disrupted and the files sealed for over sixty years.
posted by The Whelk at 9:51 PM on October 13, 2013


A civil war veteran seeks refuge in a cave and is transported to Mars. There, he immediately asphyxiates in the toxic carbon dioxide atmosphere.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:52 PM on October 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


The Whelk, your Captain America is much better than my version.

I see the error of my ways now. So I revise my most recent contribution:
A civil war veteran is pursued by the US Cavalry and the Apache after escaping from incarceration. He seeks refuge in a cave. The Apache find him and shoot him and his companion in the face.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:00 PM on October 13, 2013


A very large earthquake affects a heavily populated area of the Pacific coast. Some people are crushed in building and freeway collapses, but most survive. Regional government implements the comprehensive integrated disaster plan, and services are restored fairly rapidly to most areas. Two years later, the plan is revised to address distribution issues.

Climate change results in increasing extreme weather events. Government agencies unite to design and implement comprehensive combined disaster plans. Where such plans are impossible or inequitable, poor people suffer most. During conference sessions held in industrial-carpeted, fluorescently lit meeting rooms in mid-level hotels, maverick scientists at no point interrupt presentations to publish recent unreviewed findings by shouting them at policymakers. The coffee is uniformly terrible, though.
posted by gingerest at 10:04 PM on October 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


An earthquake hits Southern California. It has a magnitude of 7.9, about the size of an earthquake that has happened there in the past. It destroys a lot of buildings, kills some people, starts fires, and does billions of dollars in property damage. It does not result in any kind of volcanic activity nearby, nor does it significantly impact the geography of the California coast. No reputable scientist predicts it before it happens. Lots of scientists write papers about it after it happens.

A few years later, a larger, unrelated earthquake, with a magnitude of around 9.0, hits the Pacific Northwest. More or less the same things happen, only with more destruction, and with tsunamis propagating across the Pacific.
posted by Anne Neville at 11:18 PM on October 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


A disgraced trio of fringe academics become scammers who prey on the gullible and superstitious in Manhattan. They are arrested when a dedicated EPA official raids their headquarters to shut down their unlicenced 'reactor', which contains dangerous isotopes and represents a major public heath hazard.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 12:28 AM on October 14, 2013 [7 favorites]


The crew of the spacehopping starship discovers alien civilization, spends the next six months establishing basic communication starting with universal geometric constants.
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:12 PM on October 13 [11 favorites +] [!]

I'd read that.
posted by The Whelk at 6:14 PM on October 13 [2 favorites +] [!]


You should read Ted Chiang's The Story of Your Life.
posted by Acheman at 12:48 AM on October 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


A young pilot stumbles across a prototype personal rocket pack. He later dies from a systemic infection, a complication from the 3rd and 4th degree burns to both his legs.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 12:56 AM on October 14, 2013 [7 favorites]


Apparently it's going to be made into a film, which, it is probably unlikely that they will make a film which is about eighty percent field linguistics. But we can hope.
posted by Acheman at 12:56 AM on October 14, 2013


Four unwanted pet turtles, thoughtlessly discarded into a sewer, come into contact with unlawfully dumped toxic waste. They die almost immediately. A rat discovers the turtles, gnaws on their corpses, and is poisoned by their toxin-covered flesh. The waste makes its way from the sewer to the ocean, where it kills a prodigious amount of sea life.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 1:37 AM on October 14, 2013 [11 favorites]


The arrogant star of a beloved sci fi tv series is invited by a group claiming to be aliens to visit their spaceship. After initial scepticism, he invites the rest of the cast to join him on the "mission" and they spend a life-changing afternoon rediscovering the joys of improvisation and imaginative play, and bonding as a group.

They go on to found an award winning drama group for at-risk teens.
posted by misfish at 1:43 AM on October 14, 2013 [13 favorites]


A clandestine US military organisation spends years attempting to develop a gargantuan flying aircraft carrier. They exhaust their admittedly obscene R&D budget several years running, and are called before the US Senate sub-committee on military research to account for the massive budget overruns. Being wholly unable to explain why they wasted billions on implementing an obviously non-functional design, the leaders of the organisation are censured and fired, and the organisation is dissolved and folded into the mainstream military.

Later, aliens invade the Earth, largely unopposed. A lone figure in a robotic suit who abandoned his job unloading cargo to fight the invaders. As the suit possesses no weapons, he is quickly dispatched by the invaders.

A military vet with a compound bow fires at the aliens from a rooftop, but his form is so terrible he injures his forearm badly. He is later vaporised by a plasma weapon.

Much of Manhattan is destroyed, including a cemetery holding the graves of an unfortunate scientist and a forgotten military test subject from the 40s.

In LA, a former covert agent, now a celebrated model, stares at her television in horror.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 2:20 AM on October 14, 2013 [10 favorites]


A young boy falls down a well. His dog barks and whines, then runs home. The 'rents figure out to follow the dog. They reach the well. Little Timmy has drowned.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:42 AM on October 14, 2013


A beautiful young girl is the subject of an assassination plot by her evil stepmother. She runs away to live with seven miners, all men. Child Protective Services is called, arrests are made, and the run-away is sent back home. She is killed by the stepmother. An internal investigation determines that mistakes were made. No one at CPS is punished. The seven men continue to languish in jail, though CPS had no substantive evidence.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:55 AM on October 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


A man hauling food and supplies from earth to a military base on another planet realizes that a young girl has stowed away on the ship. He uses a small fraction of the ship's extra allowance of fuel (so the ship can avoid asteroids, space junk, and myriad other unforeseen problems that could happen during a months long space voyage) to correct their trajectory and compensate for the slight increase in mass relative to the enormous mass of all of his cargo, life support, etc. and delivers himself and the girl safely to the planet. Her brother (who is stationed on the planet) is livid that she stowed away, because her parents will have to pay a hefty fine to cover the cost of returning her to Earth.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 3:23 AM on October 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


Following the collapse of society a self styled 'Road Warrior' attempts to patrol a vast country that is predominantly desert in a supercharged V-8 that he has specially adapted for the task following the death of his family. Refined petroleum is no longer available all existing sources having been depleted within weeks of the cessation of supply. Without in depth knowledge of water sources in the desert he decides to restrict his movements to within half a days walk from fresh water sources and finds cooperation amongst the surviving communities necessitated by the shared need for water and food security. He eventually settles down with a new partner and integrates into the nascent society.
posted by asok at 3:50 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


A spaceship is sent on a desperate mission to restart the dying sun with an enormous bomb. The bomb vanishes into the depths of the sun like a gnat dropped into a volcano, only tinier, and ends up having no effect whatsoever.
posted by kyrademon at 3:52 AM on October 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


A spaceship is sent on a desperate mission to restart the dying sun with an enormous bomb. The bomb vanishes into the depths of the sun like a gnat dropped into a volcano, only tinier, and ends up having no effect whatsoever.

A spaceship is sent on a desperate mission to restart the dying sun with an enormous bomb. Due to the huge amount of planning and research before the mission and the careful psychological evaluation of crew members, the mission proceeds without incident and is successful. A second ship that was built in case the first one failed is not needed, and the parts are adapted for a manned Mars mission which is eventually cancelled due to budget cuts.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:36 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


A man hauling food and supplies from earth to a military base on another planet realizes that a young girl has stowed away on the ship. He uses a small fraction of the ship's extra allowance of fuel (so the ship can avoid asteroids, space junk, and myriad other unforeseen problems that could happen during a months long space voyage) to correct their trajectory and compensate for the slight increase in mass relative to the enormous mass of all of his cargo, life support, etc. and delivers himself and the girl safely to the planet. Her brother (who is stationed on the planet) is livid that she stowed away, because her parents will have to pay a hefty fine to cover the cost of returning her to Earth.

The incident leads to a review of access control systems at the space-port, the review discovers that the security doors had been propped open because that was the only way the loading crew could get their job done in the time allotted by management. A low-level supervisor is fired and training procedures are updated. Six months later it is once again common practice to prop doors since the productivity goals remain the same.
posted by atrazine at 6:43 AM on October 14, 2013 [11 favorites]


Doctor on board starship is required to undergo mandatory cultural-sensitivity training after long series of racially-motivated comments towards First Officer. Meanwhile, the Captain is suspended for inappropriate sexual behavior (also, high fatality rate among crew); dies while in therapy from disease contracted during ill-considered alien "coupling." First Officer is unmoved by any of this; continues to do job.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:01 AM on October 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


A junior officer on a starship discovers that he's a minor character in a sci-fi TV show.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:27 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


The crew of a starship becomes very close and tight knit - for the couple of years that they serve together. Regular promotions and transfers mean that the crew is only together for 19 months. They try to keep in contact but they lose touch as they move on their lives.
posted by nooneyouknow at 7:43 AM on October 14, 2013 [8 favorites]


Scientist sews together parts of corpses and exposes to storm... Due to failure to follow IRB regulations and proper handling of human medical waste, tenure is denied.

Hey now, once you're dead you are not the IRB's problem anymore. This was clearly a cock-up with whomever handles material transfer agreements at your institution.
posted by Panjandrum at 7:52 AM on October 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


After all of earth's resources are depleted and the pollution has made it nearly uninhabitable for humans, the United States and China launch a mission to a distant star system know to have many planets. Exactly one of these planets is semi-habitable, so no interplanetary civil war breaks out and the horses that were brought along for some reason are slaughtered for food in the first month. Bicycles become widespread as a low energy means of travel centuries later, after the planet has been terraformed enough that humans can breath the air easily. Proposals are made to colonize other planets but are rejected, as the population is so small and the technology is insufficient to terraform a world not in the goldilocks zone, otherwise mars would have been chosen.
posted by Hactar at 8:51 AM on October 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


A man can't tell if reality is his job or if he's a secret underground quasi-messianic hero. Then he starts Abilify. He feels better.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 9:06 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


A man on the run because he has been declared an enemy of the state tenderly confides in a stranger, who refers him to appropriate mental healthcare. In time and with the right meds, he heals, learns to manage his illness, and becomes a fairly happy guy.
posted by jquinby at 9:24 AM on October 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Member of a decadent future society suggests keeping barbaric lower classes in line by creating a giant floating head that will shower Sean Connery with handguns in return for grain. Even members of a decadent future society find this plan insane.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:11 PM on October 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Naw, that one is "Decadent future immortal posthuman tries to find way to die but that knowledge was excised from everyone by the AI that keeps them immortal. Uses long lifespan to breed superman who can outthink the AI. Dies. Also superman wears leather manties for some reason related to superman-ness."
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:47 PM on October 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


A man on the run because he has been declared an enemy of the state tenderly confides in a stranger, who refers him to appropriate mental healthcare. In time and with the right meds, he heals, learns to manage his illness, and becomes a fairly happy guy.

No, I think this one is:
A man on the run because he has been declared an enemy of the state tenderly confides in a stranger , who refers him to appropriate mental healthcare. In time and with the right meds, he heals, learns to manage his illness, and becomes a fairly happy guy. The stranger discloses his location to the Department of Homeland Security. The man is taken into custody by plainclothes agents in unmarked vehicles, rendered to a foreign country, and not afforded access to legal representation or anything resembling due process.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:03 PM on October 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


A man on the run because he has been declared an enemy of the state tenderly confides in a stranger. The stranger keeps walking. The man dies of a chronic respiratory ailment and exposure, because he lives on the streets and is malnourished, but cannot access social services or health care.
posted by gingerest at 11:16 PM on October 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Teenagers across the world begin to display surprising phenotypes on entering puberty. Unfortunately, many of them develop refractory forms of leukemia. Public health agencies launch an investigation.

Several weeks later, the cause is definitively traced to contamination of a common soft drink with a DNA-damaging agent. The offending plant is closed down, and the stock of the company that produced the drink promptly craters. A wealthy philanthropist establishes a scholarship fund for the victims.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:31 PM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hmm. This tweet from today makes rather less sense than the one I posted. An archaeologist isn't presumptively someone fighting Nazis, he's someone interested in historical artifacts.
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:07 PM on October 15, 2013


(BTW, Given how many standard or prominent ideas we've deconstructed here in fairly blindingly obvious ways, it would be unreasonable to object to similar tweets appearing in the feed; to do so would at this point close off a gigantic swathe of the genre.

Also, my comment above's not meant to imply he got it from here, nor would I object if he did. He's free to use or adapt anything I've posted without attribution or to do something similar and I will not point it out or suggest anywhere that it was copied. I mentioned that one only because of the "making sense" aspect of it. )
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:31 PM on October 15, 2013


If any of the ridiculous ideas I've spouted here get used in the Twitter feed, I will be so inordinately happy that I might find a quiet room and do a little dance.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:54 PM on October 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yes, my "scenarios" are fair game, should they be desired.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:37 AM on October 16, 2013


Teenagers begin dressing and acting in eerily similar fashions. While "rogue scientist" claims the young people are responding to alien influences, viral marketing and peer pressure turn out to be more likely causes.

I cannot help myself! These are so delicious!
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:07 AM on October 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Three teenagers acquire powerful telekinetic capabilities after encountering an alien artifact. They experiment with flying and moving large objects around. Due to the minuscule metabolic energy budget of their human brains, producing that much irreducible physical work forces their brains to scavenge their own substance for energy and they collapse and die of catastrophic brain damage.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:17 AM on October 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


An isolated cavern beneath a large lake is split open by a minor earthquake, releasing a vicious, never-before-seen breed of piranha into the lake. Due to their long isolation and high degree of environmental specialistion, the fish are unable to cope with the substantial changes in water pressure, temperature and light levels and die almost immediately.

Spring breakers partying on the lake discover one or two gnarly fish corpses, then do some blow.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:07 PM on October 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


Three teenagers acquire powerful telekinetic capabilities after encountering an alien artifact.

Three teenagers encounter an artifact of unknown, possibly alien origin. Then they act like irresponsible, obnoxious dicks. These two things are unrelated.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:02 AM on October 17, 2013 [5 favorites]


While on a mission, the crew of a starship are ambushed by enemies with energy weapons. Because they cannot dodge faster than the speed of light, the hapless crew are all vaporized.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:08 AM on October 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


A SETI scientist discovers an extraterrestrial signal that contains coded instructions for building some sort of device. The device is never built because the project would cost trillions of dollars and has no well-defined function.
posted by dephlogisticated at 5:20 PM on October 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


Oh my gods! Something wonderful has happened!

Look at this.

And then, look at THIS!

BRB, have to go dance.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:17 PM on October 23, 2013


Hey!

Maybe?
posted by jquinby at 5:43 AM on October 24, 2013


A newlywed couple's car breaks down in the rain. Cautiously, they approach a spooky Victorian mansion for assistance. The occupants are preparing for a party. They are eccentric but kind hosts. They politely invite the couple to stay for the party but the couple demurs, stating appointments for honeymoon that must be kept. The couple phones for help and a tow truck arrives after a couple hours. The car repaired, the couple goes on their way. The party goes off without a hitch and nothing implodes.
posted by ian1977 at 10:24 AM on November 8, 2013


« Older If you put up posters in the right place...   |   A Genre of Surpassing Banality Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post