Item Seed: Forced Inspiration Generators.

Forced Inspiration Generators – Google Docs

Forced Inspiration Generators


Mad Science at its best! Or maybe at its worst.  Almost certainly at its worst, in fact. There’s just something about that particular interdisciplinary field of study that really, really likes things to go as badly as they can possibly go. And Forced Inspiration Generators can go quite badly, indeed.

The basic principle is at least sort of comprehensible: inspiration is a mental condition.  That means that it’s something that’s generated by a human brain. Therefore, if you can overclock the right part of the brain, you can stimulate whatever-it-is that causes people to have inspirations… you see where this is going, right?  And the various side effects? Which absolutely include “your brains are now leaking out of your ears?”


To be fair, it’s not as bad as when the first FIGs showed up, in the Dieselpunk era; back then, it was an open question whether you’d survive getting zapped by one long enough for the long-term effects to show up.  Indeed, at least one villainous sort simply used his FIG to commit baroque, pulp-themed murders in the old, lurid style. FIGs were later refined during the Atomic and Polyester Horror decades, to the point where they could be more or less safely used on the obligatory kidnapped scientists in the obligatory volcano lairs.  Although ‘safely used’ should absolutely be put in scare quotes, and even then it’d only be true for a limited time.


But it is in the modern Age of Apps that FIGs really shine.  With a distributed network one can piecemeal generate enough inspiration and creative genius to fuel any number of projects.  You can even disguise the process as a hot new mobile game, or something! Of course, you have to tweak the effect to get regular brains to perform on cue, thus more or less ensuring that a certain percentage of those affected will feel compelled to pick up a kitchen knife and go all yellowsign on passerby, but you can’t construct a Nefarious Scheme without frying a few neurons.  Preferably, somebody else’s. Mad Science, remember?

1 Comment

  • JustDave says:

    Have you ever read Vernor Vinge’s A Deepness in the Sky? Rather reminiscent of his Focus idea used in that book.

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