Q: What’s an idea you’re dying to write but haven’t, and why?
A: I am fascinated by the themes Stanislav Lem explored so intriguingly in ‘contact’ works such as The Invincible and Solaris. High intelligences that (pace Ted Chiang’s “Story of Your Life”) are unable to communicate. Ostensibly sophisticated animal life forms that turn out to be mechanical. Phenomena that cannot be understood – at least not on human terms. I have been developing an idea for a story about a gradual parasitic invasion/colonisation of Earth that humankind cannot comprehend because it is occurring on such a lengthy time scale as to be imperceptible or unremarked. By definition, that puts the story far beyond any normal literary narrative cycle (beyond the life spans of characters, for example), which is a big challenge.
Martin Westlake’s story “Going Home”
in Metaphorosis Friday, 12 March 2021.
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