The Story

Bad Influences concerns the devastating spread of a fatal pandemic flu virus. The story is set exactly thirteen years from now – the posts and comments will go up in real time, on the same dates and at the same moments that the characters will post them in 2026. The story is told simultaneously from the viewpoint of four major characters from four distant corners of the world, and sometimes by their friends, family or random strangers who comment on their blogs.

The four main bloggers are a group of friends who met on a conservation volunteer project in Vietnam a few months before the beginning of the story, and are now keeping in touch through their blogs.

Mei is an idealistic first year art student at Peking University, Jack is a comic artist and gamer living on his family’s farm in New Jersey, Elaine is a misanthropic supermarket greeter in Canberra and Ash is a nurse, husband, father and disillusioned ex-rebel in North London.  There are some other recurring characters who will comment on their blogs, some created by the writer and some created by readers. The ones I’m writing will have the distinctive cracked purple border around them. If you’re interested in writing a character, see the guidelines and fill out the agreement.

The blogs will be live from January until November 2013, when the story will end. If you’ve come in after this point, I’d still like to hear about how you read the blogs and what you thought, but it will be too late for you to take part in them.

However, the story will remain online at least until I hand in my thesis in 2015, and possibly longer. After this time, I might open up the feed to other blogs and let you continue the story with your own character(s).


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Bad Influences by Emma Pooka is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.