Where Stories Come From – Parts 475, 476 and 477, probably.
1. The other day, walking along the Trent Embankment (which is still closed to vehicular traffic) heading for The Meadows, someone asked me for directions and he was obviously not paying attention. I just knew he’d get it wrong. Sure enough, I watched him take the wrong turn a hundred yards away… Notebook out, and I made a quick jotting (half a page A4) for the outline of a story about these two space types standing in the airlock before dropping onto a new planet. One of them is not listening carefully to the final briefing, and you just know he’s going to cock it right up. Look out for “Pay full attention, Doyne” some time in the future.
2. The next story along in my Possibles folder came about in much the same way, when we arrived at a restaurant for a meal and the receptionist asked if I’d been there before. No, I said, although I had been to that building many years ago, when it was a pub of a different name and completely changed layout and nature. She clearly didn’t believe I hadn’t eaten there previously, and persisted every time she came past, ‘Who were you with last time?’ and “’as the it House Special Grill you had previously?’ So between courses came another story about a guy just off the stellar-liner onto a planet and being interrogated at the immigration desk by a suspicious official who was convinced he had been to that planet before; thus, he must be lying; thus up to no good, and to be detained. Look out for “You ever been here before?”
3. Today’s sci-fi story “Coupla Yumans” (next blog along) is about two alien friends who happen to meet in the All-Species Vet Waiting Room. One has a “Coupla Yumans” in his carry-cage, and is all too willing to explain his interest in this strange life-form. The idea came about in the vet’s waiting room in Eastwood, Notts. I think the feller with the large Morrisons shopping bag had two rabbits of some way-out variety – maybe Dutch Lops. B my little notebook had a few lines that gave rise to catchy little 8-pager in my next book of short sci-fi short stories – Further Yet.