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At the beginning of it all

I have been developing an idea for a story for about a week now. It is still very rough and with many uncertainties.

Basically, the idea for the story is that Global Climate Change has forced the governments of the world to devote their limited resources solely to Earth. This story is likely going to be set in either the last years of the 21st Century or in the early years of the 22nd Century. I am leaning toward the early 22nd Century; some plot elements (I will describe these further down) would likely need the extra time to develop fully. Due to the to the severity of the climate change, governments no longer fund manned spaced missions.

Large multinational corporations now see a new area to expand into: the business of manned space flight and resource extraction in space. I am not sure yet if the resource extraction will occur on planets or on asteroids; but, I imagine it will likely be asteroids with some minor processing facilities on the Moon. Likely, this would begin in the late 21st Century; that is why I am leaning to setting the story in the 22nd Century.

Thus far, I don't have any ideas for characters. I am not even sure what their occupation should be. My ideas have ranged from being privateers for one of the corporations or just being pirates against all corporations stealing supplies to give to some minor settlements (founded by the richest individuals on Earth in an attempt in get governments to start funding similar settlements; the settlements get fewer and fewer supply ships as interest in their "experiment" dies) on either the moon or Mars.

My priorities right now are:

1) Developing the main characters
2) Developing their occupations
3) Refining the story idea
4) Develop a plot
5) Further refining of ideas
6) Research the types of propulsion that might be available to space vessels during the early 22nd Century.

I would greatly appreciate feedback on anything in this post. Even if it is negative, it will help me refine the story ideas. Any suggestions for the story are most welcome as well.

Food For Thought

I would throw away both the "space pirate" idea, and the idea of autonomous governments coming together to act in the interest of saving the planet. My version of your future would have an autocratic corporatocracy (maybe the seeds of which were sown at what we now know as the "Bohemian Grove" retreats) functioning as a world government. I would divide my story among the actions of a shadowy ruling class, a working class, which would consist of various kinds of researchers and scientists, and a serf class which would be enslaved a la THX 1138 and relegated to the most menial tasks, in the harshest environs of earth post-climate change. For instance, what we now know as North America could be covered in ice. In such an environment, you could have splinter groups, insurgencies, etc. Perhaps, your working class could live and work on science vessels in the local solar system, where they would research new methods for the extraction of, or synthesis of, new materials.

Your antagonist wouldn't necessarily have to be the Autocracy, or some figure therein. I can envision any number of scenarios up to, and including, those which may involve a malevolent metaphysical entity. I just tend to find those scenarios which are strictly man vs machine (ie government) boring. I mean, it's been done to death. Good luck with your story. I hope that I have given you some ideas that you can use, or that I have, at least, inspired you to take another direction with your work.

I think this is a good

I think this is a good start, and that your list identifies most of the important things that will need further development. But I would add one more thing to the list: what the 'hook' will be. There have been many stories projecting an environmental dystopia for the late 21st/early 22nd century. Is there something you can add to *this* story that will set it apart from the others?

The pirates/privateers idea is definitely rich, and something you could take in many directions (from hard sf to space opera, really). You might try starting there, and ask yourself, "There are several groups of privateers and pirates running around. So why will the story I tell be about *these* pirates in particular? What makes *them* the real story worth telling about this world? What sets them apart from all the others?"

I suspect if you can identify that 'something', a lot of the rest of the story may start falling into place.

Does that make sense?

Suggestion

You might consider setting this story in the late twentieth century and incorporate the secretly developed means for space travel such as at Area 51, etc, etc. The idea that the means may already exist and must be somehow brought into the open for the benefit of all humanity might add a bit of intrigue??