Sleepless sci-fi

This concept of existing without sleep could take many forms. Rather than envisioning a world where nobody needs sleep, one could imagine a science fiction story based on the premise of a mutant gene that removes the need for sleep. Those who have the gene could arguably have an enormous advantage over the rest of us.

The story might track the effects of this phenomenon on relationships between people. It could be that the sleepers would start out trying to identify and persecute the non-sleepers, because they would understand that the non-sleepers have a distinct advantage.

Such a mutation would represent an adaptive evolutionary shift that might appear very threatening indeed. The resulting conflict and battle of wits could make for a very compelling story.

Now somebody just needs to write it. Oh well, I won’t lose any sleep over it.

3 thoughts on “Sleepless sci-fi”

  1. This reminded me of the novella Beggars in Spain by Nancy Cress, which I read in an anthology called The Science Fiction Century. It hits many of the points you mentioned, though it’s an intentional genetic modification. Looking it up now, I see it was expanded into a novel, a whole series of novels!

  2. Oops, typo, that’s Nancy Kress.

    Also, Hi Ken! I’m reminded of when we first met, you were excited to tell me about your AR research, I mentioned Rainbows End and you immediately went and bought it online. Sadly I just learned the news about Vernor Vinge.

    Further afield, there are some new games on my web site — Speleomorph is the best — though I still haven’t made the programming game we talked about back then.

  3. It’s very nice to hear from you Adam! And congrats on creating Speleomorph!!!

    Beggars in Spain by Nancy Cress looks really great — thanks for the recommendation. Glad somebody did indeed write that story. I look forward to reading it!

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