It’s often said that nothing is ever wasted, that’s certainly true when it comes to half-finished stories and ideas. Sooner or later, you get to a point where what you had thought would never work has found a place to fit.
A while ago now, I had an idea for a short story. Prompted by a series of news reports, concerning high profile falls from grace, in ways that were often bizarre, it dealt with an obscure branch of government dedicated to keeping the establishment free from potential embarrassment.
The Unfortunate Accident Squad (U.A.S.) had one purpose, to discredit and to remove any potential threat to the government of the day. It might come from anyone who got too popular or too close to the truth about the way things were. Polite warnings were the first course of action, failure to desist would result in escalation.
Outspoken politicians might suddenly find themselves caught in awkward situations. Celebrities who ridiculed “important” people or acquired too strong a following for some contentious cause would find their careers inexplicably on the wane. In extreme circumstances, the ultimate sanction was applicable if all other means of dissuasion had failed.
And of course, whatever happened, be it a sting or a honey trap, or even an impossibly coincidental car crash, it was always made to look like an Unfortunate Accident.
Life then carried on. Until the next time that the U.A.S. was needed.
I never finished the story, it occurred to me that if it were true, they might turn their attention to me for exposing them. And I was worried about my fictional allegory being taken for some sort of acquired knowledge.
So where does this part-finished work fit into the scheme of things?
It all started when I got a review for my novel Survive, which suggested that its popularity might be enhanced by a prequel. It was suggested as a way to get the reader more invested in a certain part of the story. For obvious reasons, I won’t give too much away. Suffice it to say that, as I was racking my brains to come up with an idea, the U.A.S. drifted back into focus.
The concept needs a little refinement and a change of emphasis, taking it from the corridors of political power to the corporate environment but the principle remains the same. As a bonus, in one of the characters from Survive, I already had a ready-made, fully paid-up U.A.S. member.
All that I need to do now is to get typing and see where it leads. Whether it becomes a novella or sticks at a short story is anyone’s guess. Whatever it becomes, it all proves the theory that nothing is ever wasted.
In the meantime, you need to read Survive to see where the U.A.S. fits in.
Ballantyne Alysom is the Galaxy’s most famous explorer.
Davis Jansen is the cameraman he takes to record his latest mission.
Alysom is giving nothing away, except that it’s something that’s never been seen before.
When things go wrong, they are marooned on a savage and uncharted planet. The survivors need a leader they can rely on.
Jansen watches and records it all as Alysom’s true character is revealed. He’s not the genial and fearless explorer that everyone sees.
The Far Explorer is a ship riddled with infighting and jealousy, Alysom is controlling and arrogant, nothing like the man that his reputation suggests.
Jansen’s efforts to expose the truth carry just as much risk as surviving on the planet did.
Find out if enough lies can ever bury the truth in Survive, the tale of Ballantyne Alysom.
“I recommend this book, it’s the kind you can’t put down till the end and then you’re disappointed when the end happens.”
The novel is available by clicking the picture above, the sequel (and this new idea) remain as works in progress.
It occurs to me that, if I’m not careful, I’ll have another series on my hands.
Once I can get around to actually writing it.
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