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Suzanne - Story Ideas


Learning about Hackerspace / First time at the Hackerspace

Status: Low chances

Suzanne learns about the Space for the first time - probably from Adam giving a presentation at the Technical University - or standing in for a friend conducting Copyright classes.

[alxd] I'd rather not use it, as giving someone a status of a “newcomer” would limit the plot and the story, leaving Suz with a lot less knowledge / projects to show. If she was really working on her interface with open licenses, she must've heard about some other groups doing that - and Hackerspaces. I'd much rather start with her already being part of the community.

Visiting another Space - finding interface testers

Status: Nope. Too cheesy

Suzanne - with her prototype already working for her - needs someone with a “fresh” phantom limb to gather some signal / test on. She hears about quite a loud case of a musician robbed with a machete and decides to meet him, offering his prototype in exchange of some signals.

[alxd] While not unlikely in the crazy world of bio-hackers, grinders and so on, it could paint Suz as way more proactive, and even more manipulative. It would seem too unrealistic for an average reader as well, so better fall back to something much more relatable.

Thesis conflict / leaving the university

Status: The most feasible option for now

Suzanne has been in the 'Space for some months now and she's been spending a lot of time on her interface. At the University, she is nearing a point where she has to choose her thesis subject. She proposes her interface - both with the user experience part (muscle-computer interface, no robotics involved) and the electrode usage.

Her professor disagrees, saying that she relies too heavily on the work of other people / open source libraries, and the project doesn't qualify for a self-written thesis. He proposed another option instead: she can join an interdisciplinary team consisting of senior scientists working on a new generation of prosthesis. She won't be required to keep up with them - just a minor role, allowing her to attend a lot of conferences, where she'd be able to present the solution.

For Suzanne it's clear she's being invited as a model / mascot to make the team look better in the press, and her role as an engineer is ignored. She hates the idea of forcing ideas on people - like the prosthesis one - and doesn't know what to do. She's torn between refusal to play a mascot and impostor syndrome telling her that the professor may be right - and her project is not good enough.

[alxd] This would nicely introduce the need for Spaces and dissent in education, nicely highlighting the Inventor role of Suz. Respective characters could give her advice, showcasing their personalities and attitudes.

Financial situation

Status: Volume 2? Maybe?

Suzanne isn't a perfect person. Her parents have sent her to study in a big city covering most of the costs, but she's not sure they really believe in her. They'd rather see her study psychology or something more suiting a girl - and with less manual demands.

After taking the gap year at the University she didn't tell them, still insisting she's working on her thesis - and it just takes more time? Is she right to be afraid to come clean?

Soon an angel investor learns about Suzanne's project (maybe through Greg) and suggests creating a startup / buying rights to market the interface. This would probably mean financial independence for her, but what about the licenses? Market doesn't like open source and she'd have to rewrite everything into proprietary software, ignoring a lot of effort many people put in the libraries. Will she follow her ideals or decide to get independence first?

Someone from the Space may also point out that her project is pretty useless without hardware being available on the market. Maybe she'll be able to help a lot of people by selling it - and then making some small opening for hackers who would like to tweak it further?

Loose ideas

characters/main/suzanne/story_ideas.txt · Last modified: 2017/01/24 14:17 by alxd