Late last year, a terrorist attack took down the U.S. power grid for two weeks. What happened next is up to you: at least, it is if you are participating in JC Hutchins' new experiment in science fiction podcasting. The author of mega-hit SF podcast 7th Son (soon to be published as a book from St. Martins) has just launched a new project called Obsidian about this alternate-history terrorist blackout. Already, audio and video files like this one are rolling in from fans who want to expand the apocalyptic world Hutchins developed in 7th Son.

You can see more videos shot during the blackout here, including one by Hutchins' fellow podcasting novelist Mur Lafferty. But as the inclusion of pros like Lafferty makes clear, this isn't going to be pure user-generated madness. Hutchins has lined up contributions from frequent Star Wars novel writer Michael Stackpole, as well as Scott Sigler, podcaster and author of Infected. Yes, it's a giant circle of SF podcasting goodness.

And you can play along too. Writes Hutchins:

How can you play? You gotta believe in this conceit: On November 19, 2007, the U.S. suffered a coordinated terrorist attack, and was plunged into a nationwide blackout. The country devolved into chaos. Power and order were restored two weeks later. You are invited to be a participant in that blackout. I'm opening the gates and empowering you to create content that will appear in the OBSIDIAN podcast and YouTube experience. You can record video of yourself suffering through this mayhem. You can call a voice mail number and leave a panicked message, or a news report from the field.
I like the idea that "a panicked message" from an excited fan could wind up in the pages of Hutchins' next novel. This is like an ARG that actually means something.

Become a Victim of the Obsidian Blackout [JC Hutchins]