We know about identical twins, where a fertilized egg splits in two; half-identical twins, where an unfertilized egg splits in two and is fertilized after the split; and fraternal twins where two distinct eggs are dropped at once and fertilized separately. A newly discovered phenomenon is superfecundity, where a second egg drops a day to a week after the first, and is they are fertilized separately. This also allows the possibility of being fertilized by two separate fathers. This would explain how the young lady who got drunk at two separate frat parties found herself pregnant with twins who were of different races and body types. The boys had to figure out how to navigate their lives together as brothers.
As an art project, a dad creates lurid tabloids starring his kindergarten-age children, as if they were celebrities. He details their affairs, their battles with alchohol, their fights with the paparazzi, etc. It’s so dead on to the real thing, such a perfect commentary on talentless celebrity, that it becomes a viral hit. People start stalking the kids and the parents. The goverment investigates the dad, and the paparzzi are there to feed on it. Everyone is watching as the horror of their celebrity spirals out of control.
Paul McCartney asked a chauffeur how life was. The man answered he was so busy, he’d been working eight days a week. Bingo, another idea for a song. For both of them. Paul & the Beatles had a hit in America with the song, though it never caught on in England. But the chauffeur also wrote songs. The truth was, he was an amazing song writer, but was too damn busy to ever finish anything properly. He was getting on a bit when he heard his kids playing the song, and it rekindled his thoughts & desires.
In 2016, trying to avoid a repeat of Obama’s first debate performance, the exhausted candidate took a caplet of Focisin, a newest legal ADHD drug. She did great. Another caplet before the second debate, another before the first meeting with Congress, and she had a pattern in place. Before the news leaked of her habit, half the house members had quietly started taking it, and a mental arms race was on. There was no advantage to be won in negotiations with the Chinese, since they used it as well. When it was discovered to shorten life span, everyone turned to younger politicians. The big question was how to go back to becoming merely normal.
He always preferred reading & writing to playing sports. Macho posing made him ill, and watching confident guys pick up girls made it twice as bad. So of course he turned to a more refined world and wrote about things like concerts and culture, art and movies. Unfortunately the only job he could find was reviewing urban street art openings, rock concerts, and horror films. He became famous for pouring his hatred onto the page. He met a kindred soul promoting a swaggering rock singer, and they tried to find a way out of their self-loathing together.
For the first time physicists are coming up with realistic equations saying warp drive might be possible. It turns out we’ll need to get away from massive objects. The problem is the Oort cloud is thicker than we thought. And at a distance of one light year out, it takes a three-generation ship to travel that far enough to clear the cloud. One woman has survived from launch to warp ignition, and seen civilization on the ship change drastically.
He’d had a long life, served in WWII, raised his family, grandkids and seen a couple of great-grandkids. But he hurt everywhere, constantly. And since his wife died, he didn’t see the point of anything. He hadn’t been happy in years. The cancer was a blessing, and the hospice nurses were at least quiet. But he didn’t die. Whatever concotion of drugs and household chemicals interacted with his tired genes, he got better. Then he got younger. Within a year he was physically a young man of 23. But a life of habits and thought patterns don’t change overnight, and she was still gone.
She was having a great day at the mall until the jerk in front of her stopped suddenly. She was about to yell at him, when she noticed everyone was stopped. A flash of motion on the lower floor caught her attention. They stepped sideways out of the air, short gray people in gray clothes. She watched them lift bodily a few young teens and some random children, and carry them sideways into emptiness. Everyone began moving again, calmly. The parents of the children, the friends of the teens, acted as if the missing people had never existed. Suddenly she remembered she had always had a younger brother, until one day she never had one.
Sequencing the first genome took years and billions of dollars. Within two decades it was done on a desktop in minutes. The first clones grown from a genome came soon after. By that time recording memory engrams that begun, and within two decades it was possible to grow a person, complete with memories. But it was still took thousands of years to reach the nearest habitable planets. The ark contained information and cloning machines. The people who were chosen to colonize the planet trained like mad, put the recording helmets on their heads, gave a drop of blood, and went home for the day. At the other end, however, they remember putting the helmets on their heads, and then waking up orbiting the planet. Along the way the ship had received records of how the original people, long dead, had lived the rest of their lives.
English science and philosophy was a small world in the early 1800s, and there was no clear demarcation of the disciplines. The philosopher William Godwin most likely knew of the works of Ersamus Darwin and his works on galvanic response—the twitching of dead muscles in response to electircal shocks. It may be that one stormy night William’s young daughter, Mary, half-awake from the noise of the storm, might have stumbled upon a late-night meeting of her father and friends. Lit by flashes of lightning, she may have watched them trying to infuse dead animals with the force of life. It would be the hard-to-fathom sort of memory she might have half-carried into adulthood, when she wrote the novel Frankenstein.
His imagination never stopped, and it haunted him. He built up stories, movies, songs, plays, operas in his mind, but never had the time to record them. They say that each story is like your own child. Everywhere he went he saw the ghosts of all those children unborn, the stories never told. A number would remind him of a character he meant to write. A sunset would remind him of a film he meant to shoot. He loved those pieces he’d created, but everywhere he was haunted by those dream unwritten. And he knew that even the paltry half-life they had would perish with him.
He grew up with frequent drills about where to hide when the government came for them. As a six-year-old he listened sternly, waiting for the day, and made his own secret hiding places in the woods. He was playing hide-and-seek with the other children in the Family one afternoon when the heat lulled him to sleep under the hollow tree. He never heard the attack, the gunfire, the other children crying when the government agents rounded up the surviving Family members. When night came and hunger woke him there was no one in the remains of the compound, but he could see soldiers in black patrolling the fence-line.
Explorers come across savages living in the remains of an automated civilization. They determine that the people were all enslaved by their leaders using nanobots. Over time, due to cosmic rays, etc., the nanobots instructions, mutated and they couldn’t reproduce properly. The explorers find the original nanobot programming, and there is great temptation to rebuild a slave society.
Dissociative Identity Disability, commonly called Multiple Personality disorder, is finally tied down as a real genetic disorder affecting adults, after a remote population is found where everyone has the condition. (Okay, let’s say it’s on another planet or something.) In this society they have survived with it for thousands of years, and their culture includes it seamlessly. They have multiple families that they live with as different people, and children are swapped back and forth. They consider single-track minds a sign of holy oracular powers, and are thrown into chaos by outsiders. Of course the outsiders can now add multi-track minds to the list of viable post-human abilities.
Human first contact comes in a solar system filled with hundreds of wildly varietating species. The humans land & blend in without a blink. There is one human question: if there are so many species in the area, why has no one contacted us? The natives explain, humans are the first extra-solar species they’ve met. Every form of life on the home planet is worked on until they acheive intelligence. Then they choose to genetically modify themselves. They all derive from one planet. They wonder why humans chose to be so monomaniacal in only advancing themselves.