A Blade Runner-inspired story about cops who battle overpopulation the hard way — with guns, tough attitudes, and a whole lot of infanticide — is reportedly getting tons of interest from movie-makers. And you can read it online.
"Tipping Point" by Todd Stein is online at Popcorn Fiction, a site devoted to pulp short fiction, much of it by Hollywood insiders. If "Tipping Point" is anything to go by, the stories are basically movie pitches in short-fiction form. "Tipping Point" feels like a story outline rather than a story, sketched out in Spillane-esque noir prose.
The story takes place in a dystopian future where human overpopulation has reached critical levels, and water wars have destroyed Africa. Now, it's illegal to have a baby unless a member of your family agrees to die, to keep the population from growing. And Fishers, cops like the story's main character Solomon, hunt down illegal babies and the brokers who help people game the system. And when they find an illegal baby? Well, it's strongly hinted that their justice is sure and final:
It was a second child after all. They already had a beautiful little boy. Legal and all. Then they got greedy. They screamed. They begged us not to take it away. They always beg us.
Alexi and I have been together for nearly five years now. I became a cop because I believed in what I was doing. Alexi became a cop because it lets him kill people. I never met anyone who actually enjoys killing people. Until I met Alexi.
I used to think he was a sociopath. Now, after five years, I swear to God, there's nobody on earth I'd rather have by my side. If you're good with Alexi, you're good forever. I trust him more than I trust myself. And I mean that quite literally. With cop stuff, I mean. Not with women. Never with women.
Slashfilm reports that Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are among the Hollywood wheelers and dealers who are excited by this dystopian thriller. It does have some neat ideas, and it only takes about ten minutes to read. You're left with the sense that it would be a pretty great action movie along the lines of Logan's Run, if people could stomach the whole baby-killing thing.