I had an extraordinary dream.

It had started out as some space mission to avert some crisis, but it ended in the discovery that a massive black hole was going to form in the middle of our solar system and take out everything with it. It wasn't from the sun, it was just going to appear.

As it eventually turned out there was very little we could do about the black hole, so I distinctly remember the live news where they were trying to break this to everyone.

They first tried to soften the blow, by talking about a different black hole forming in a different part of the galaxy, and then saying that it was going to happen locally too, and everyone had very little time.

So then it started, and it was pretty cool, everything went stretchy and time distorty until eventually everything just stopped.

And then it started again, and I realised quickly I was back about a day before it had happened. 

At this point I would have expected the dream to go into a kind of Groundhog Day/Edge of Tomorrow avert-the-disaster sort of plot, but it decided to go in a different direction.

It turned out that everyone remembered the black hole, and although at this point images in the dream became disjointed, it became about how a society would change if everyone was essentially immortal, but stuck in the same 24 or so hours of time.

What everyone realised is that the only commodity worth anything was the brain - whatever it could gain in terms of knowledge, emotional fulfilment and so on. Any possessions or money you got would reset after 24 hours and money quickly becomes useless because nobody has any need to hold onto it. 

Everyone quickly becomes the master of their local area, and so it's the most curious and willing to explore that thrive in this society. 

Things that can be done without material wealth or possessions become the most highly prized. So, learning, entertainment and so on. Whatever entertainment can be scraped together in 24 hours, that is. So theater overtakes TV, most TV is now live theater, music and sports. Storytelling reverts to a sort of oral tradition because it's too hard to write and preserve a novel. 

There were a lot of things my dream didn't consider, such as how we deal with people who were in a lot of pain during the 24 hours. Or whether any effort to try to come up with a 24 hour solution to the black hole problem was underway. 

Or what about a murder? I can imagine a scenario where a murderer is about to plunge the knife in at the start of the loop, and they can't stop themselves the first couple of times, but perhaps in the end they try to.

By this point all the victim has experienced for however many loops is being stabbed over and over again. The murderer, truly changed takes it upon himself to fix this by eventually, over a series of several loops, reconciling with and eventually befriending the victim.

Or perhaps the knife has already gone in at the start of the loop. How, then, do they deal with that, every 24 hours?

I feel like there are a lot of weird stories to be told, here.

AuthorPeter Silk