1. Margaret O'Connell's fiancée, Jack Bandi, was murdered six months ago. Just as she begins to pick up the pieces and recover, Jack returns in the form of a spirit only she can see. He inflicts visions of the last moments of the lives of murder victims upon her, insisting she use the insight to assist the police. Jack believes this will free him from earthly ties and does not relent, even as the police begin to suspect Margaret of criminal activity due to her intimate knowledge of cases.
Maggie and Jack were kicking around in my brain for a while, I was actually inspired to create them by talking with someone about ice climbing. Ice climbers wear these big huge boots with jagged blades at the bottom, and I was looking at them and thought they would make a grisly way to kill someone. So I wrote a short murder mystery story about it, and for some reason my detectives were a woman and the ghost of her dead husband because apparently I can't write anything remotely normal, ever.
2. A transgender woman does small acting jobs on the side of his work as a waiter to help raises extra money for his surgery into a woman. His acting career unexpectedly takes off in the process however, and he soon becomes a television star. He raises more than enough money for his surgery, but is offered his first film role at the same time. People on all sides pressure him not to go through with it, and he must decide what he truly wants from life.
While I was doing this project I was having a conversation with a transgender friend of mine, and he's finally booked his surgery to fully become a man (he's a female to male transgender). I was so happy and proud for him that I was inspired to write something in his honour. Transgender people are a group often overlooked, but they are some of the bravest and strongest people I've ever had the privilege of knowing.
1. In the distant future, humanity has mastered interstellar travel to such a degree that it has become almost synonymous to sailing. In a similar fashion to 16th century ships, thousands of personally and corporately owned spacecraft crowd the solar system. A young man on a poor mining colony dreams of exploring the cosmos and finding his riches amongst the stars. When a bedraggled old ship makes port on the colony for repairs, he joins the crew in a heartbeat. This world explores the idea of history repeating itself, and celebrates human curiosity.
I am in love with the idea that at one time the ocean was as enormous and ominous as space is to us today, and I am also fascinated by the way history repeats itself in oddly specific ways. So inspiration for this is everything I've ever read in my life about sea-fairing people, from early explorers, to Vikings to Pirates. I want to tell an old story in a new way, take historical personas out of the ocean and plop them into space.
2. In the near future, Earth is grossly overpopulated and in need of more space. A team of scientists is sent to Mars on a project called "Ascension". Ascension accelerates the development of life on Mars in order to make it suitable for human colonization. It is a resounding success but for one flaw; the process creates a sentient form of life who subsequently worship the scientists with superstitious awe. The scientists are suddenly cast into the role of Gods, and have absolute power over an entire culture. The world deals with issues of religion, morality and what constitutes a person.
"Terraforming", which is to speed up the development of life to make a barren planet habitable, is a common trope amongst sci-fi pieces. It's always puzzled me why nobody ever addresses what kind of intelligent life could accidentally arise from terraforming. I then came to the conclusion that if they created a sentient, thinking form of life, that would make scientists essentially Gods. That in turn, would shine an interesting light on the God versus Science debate, because they would be one in the same. And that was an idea I wanted to give a closer look.
3. It is Ancient Egypt and the country has fallen considerably from its former glory. What was once great is slowly becoming more venerable as conflicts with the Nubians and other forces wear the country away. During this time, the prince next in line to be Pharaoh is killed, and the position is passed to his younger brother, Akenamon. Akenamon goes mad with power, demolishing the current religion and ruling as a mad tyrant, shaking a weakened Egypt to its core. This world highlights themes of power, corruption and madness.
I'm half Egyptian, I lived there for a while, and I used to go back to visit before the political unrest. I've been to all the sights in Cairo, Alexandria and especially Luxor, and I know a good deal about Egyptian history. The most interesting and bizarre time was the short rule of Akenaten (or Akenamon before he changed his name). He demanded a new art style rather than traditional, and introduced monotheistic religion rather than polytheistic, and really just turned Egypt on its head. He was also Nefertiti's husband, and yes I am a little bit obsessed with him.
1. A Christian missionary sent on behalf of the new King of Norway gives out crosses and replaces all figures of Norse deities with those depicting Christ within a Norse settlement. Tensions begin to rise when the villagers wear their crosses upside-down. It escalates when the images of Christ are found mutilated, and peaks when the missionary himself is murdered in his cabin. Word is sent to the King, and a Templar is dispatched to investigate.
I'm really interested in this time period. I love periods of flux, times when change doesn't happen smoothly because it's forced, and I also love Norse mythos and so this point in history really intrigues me. It is endlessly entertaining to try to imagine what life was like during a time when tensions were so high, and I think investigating the murder of a missionary would be a great way to delve into the heart of that conflict.