This excerpt is from a science-fiction novel I’m revising and is complete in two parts, divided into several long pages. It is set in what I’m currently calling the What-Little-Girls-Are-Made-Of Universe (more about that in a future post). A science-fiction story’s setting is critically important, but the more dazzling it is, the more the setting can blind the reader to the humanity of the story’s characters.
In this excerpt, the setting is a few centuries in the future; energy is cheap and boundless; computers and artificial intelligences are discreetly ubiquitous; swarms of industrial robots build enormous structures; and a purportedly lucky discovery evades the speed limit of light and enables exploration of distant worlds. However, if you ignore these superficialities, you will see that people still behave like people. Or if you prefer, if people from a few centuries ago were able to observe you and your world, they would still recognize your humanity even though your technology would be complete mystery.
However, there is still one more superficiality to consider, one more tiny thing: Some people are psychic; that is, some people are powerful mind readers, fortune tellers, mediums, movers from a distance, and… more.