Sea of Dreams contest

S L Moffitt: Retrofuture London
S L Moffitt: Retrofuture London

A picture is worth a thousand words, or in this case 450 words. As you might have guessed from the various posts on the site, I am interested in the visual arts. In particular, I have been trying to visualize the world of Sea of Dreams. The book cover is one part of this visual treatment.

What I have not done is to imagine what all the scenes in the book would look like, so I thought it would be fun to see what other people made of them. For the first Sea of Dreams contest, send a visual treatment of the following passage from Sea of Dreams. The treatment can be one or more images, film, drawings or photographs, whatever medium you prefer. The only rules are that it relate to this passage in some way and the treatment can be copyrighted by you, that is, no use of images from other books, films or illustrations. You can either link to your treatment in comments on this page or email the treatment to ‘book at seaofdreamsbook dot com (replace the ‘at’ and ‘dot’ with the appropriate symbols if you are human, or a very smart AI)

I’ll post my favourites as they come in until 8 February 2015. Then I’ll select up to five that really excite me with the winners getting a signed copy of the book.

“Attention, Explorer 1 has stopped transmitting! Attention, Explorer 2 has stopped transmitting! Attention…”

The digital alarm exploded in the relative silence of the moon base command room, causing both Zhang Han and Wu Ji to jump. Zhang was the first to hit the alarm window on the screen. The icon spilled out a datastream.

“What the..?” Wu blurted out.

“How do I know?” Zhang snapped as he rearranged the currents so he could scan them better. “This doesn’t make sense,” he muttered. “The explorers had just reached the target area and were preparing the analytic routines when both had minor power fluctuation and then…” He drew his hand horizontally across his body, indicating a flat line.

“That can’t be right.” Wu said. “They were both completely powered before they left.”

“I know,” Zhang said as he opened up the explorers’ video feed. The controllers watched the images from the two explorers. They showed the flat, featureless plain extending seemingly forever in front of them and, at the bottom of the view, the sensor arm extending into view. Abruptly the view went black. Zhang rolled the video back and advanced it a millisecond at a time. The switch from the image to black happened almost instantly. There were three milliseconds of fuzzy images and then black.

“Have you tried rebooting?” Wu asked.

“Of course not,” Zhang snapped. “I just started looking a second ago.”

“Well, should we try it now?” Wu Ji asked quietly.

Zhang started to say something, but stopped. He turned back to the screen and pulled up the control view for Explorer 1. Zhang reset the view and initiated the restart sequence. Both of them watched the datastream expectantly. Nothing changed. Before Wu could say anything, Zhang was trying Explorer 2. Nothing. The monitor probe that hovered at the edge of ridge the explorers had descended to reach the target area showed both robots sitting there: a collection of expensive bits of metal, synthetic materials and software on a vast, monochrome plain.

“We need to notify Commander Fong.” Wu Ji noted.

Zhang Han sighed. “I guess so.” He touched the frame of the screen and a comm link appeared in front of him. “Fong Zhixuan.” A view opened and the commander’s icon appeared. A moment later, it was replaced by a low-resolution image of Commander Fong’s face.

“Yes, Controller Zhang?”

Zhang Han briefly explained the situation. There was a pause while Fong looked at some screens. “I will be there in a moment.”

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