Guest Post by Guy Hasson: Confessions of a Science Fiction Author
Confessions of a Science Fiction Author
Guest Post by Guy Hasson
I got myself in a jam.
A year ago I came across a great idea for a science fiction story. But, innocently enough, since like many of my ideas it could actually be implemented today, I thought to myself: Why should I write a science fiction story about it when I can just create a start-up and potentially earn millions?
Well, that’s what I did, and that’s how the trouble began.
The idea was simple enough. Once upon a time, radio shows for greats like George Burns and Jack Benny were brought to us by sponsors, as in The Campbells’ Tomato Juice Program, The Hinds Honey and Almond Cream program, The Swan Soap Show, and so many more. Later, on TV we had such greats as The Colgate Hour Comedy Hour, and today some of the more popular podcasts are brought to us by Stamps.com, GoToMyPC, Audible, Adam & Eve, and more.
The SF author in me thought, “Why sponsor content? Why not sponsor time?” It sounds crazy, but it’s really simple. My company (which I named Brought To You By) market-tests how people spend their time, and tries to find patterns according to their jobs, income, hobbies, family status, etc. Next, we’ll be offering money to families in exchange for having a banner and push messages on their computers/iPhones/tablets/ etc. which the message is usually along the lines of: “This hour is brought to you by [so and so]”.
Sounds innocent, right? So why am I in a jam? Because right now, we’re beta-testing, and we’re beta-testing the product on people I know, namely: Myself and other science fiction authors. They (not me) are all getting money to have our apps on their various computers, iPads, and so on. So now, when I go to visit my parents, my iPhone tells me, “The next hour will be brought to you by Advil.” When I play with my kids, my iPad beeps every five seconds, “This hour is being brought to you by Toys R Us.” When I write, that time is brought to me by Interzone. When I spend time with my wife, that time is brought to me by the sex store three blocks down. My breakfast is brought to me by Honey Nut Cheerios, my sleep is brought to me by Prozac, and when I sit down to watch TV the commercials are brought to me by TiVo. The time I spend sitting by myself thinking about ideas for stories is brought to me by J.J. Abrams, looking for pitches to new shows.
And now I can’t stand it anymore. There are commercials everywhere I go, no matter what I do, and I can’t concentrate on anything. The entire thing was meant as a joke, as a funny idea for a story, and now it haunts me every minute of every day, and I have to endure two more months of beta-testing. And possibly I’ll be forced to continue to use it years later, as a personal example while we’re pushing the product.
I learned my lesson. My ideas belong on the page, not reality. But still, yesterday I had the best idea for a science fiction story, except that it could actually be done today. I shouldn’t just give it to the world, right? I can make millions from it if I keep it to myself and start another company. And this one is foolproof, and wouldn’t annoy me as much as this one does. Okay, one more, and then I’m out. Just one.
This entry was posted on April 9, 2013 at 12:03 pm and is filed under Arts & Entertainment, Fiction, Free Fiction, Guest Post, Science Fiction with tags Confessions of a Science Fiction Author, free fiction, Guest Post, Guy Hasson, science fiction, Secret Thoughts, The Emoticon Generation. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.