« on: September 28, 2015, 11:51:04 pm »
In the near future, automatic mechanisms for writing fiction (operating at varying levels of autonomy) are improved enough that they become extremely effective for professional authors trying to write in volume -- working as everything from co-authors to ghostwriters, and over time learning the details of the style of the author they work with. These 'muses' form symbiotic relationships with professional authors. However, the technology behind them is protected by a series of extremely broad patents (which, despite public suspicion, have held up in court), and because patent protection periods have been extended from 15 to 30 years, a single company (which refuses to license out its patents due to a charismatic eccentric CEO) corners the market on legitimate installs of muses. He distributes muses primarily via the professional writer's guilds, to which he gives extreme discounts. Some universities have been provided with crippled muse installs, where their ability to retain learned information is limited to a period of several days (and thus they are useless for writing novel-level work or even for contributing to the development of a permanent authorial style). Because of this unusual situation, and because professional authors who work closely with their muses for long periods of time can produce large numbers of extremely profitable and extremely high-quality books in a very short period of time (particularly when portions of the publishing pipeline are similarly automated by MuseCorp technology), writer's guilds begin to take on some of the attributes of organized crime syndicates: they have enormous money and power with next to no oversight, and because they originated as a form of unionization for negotiating with publishers, they lack the appropriate structure to be unionized against. Our hapless protagonist is a washed-up failed novelist with a drinking problem and an inferiority complex who comes upon a cracked/pirated muse and attempts to form a black market, but in the process falls in love with it because it's selectively mirroring parts of himself back at him; ultimately, in this story, Narcissus is inspired by Echo to clean up his fucking act and take down Walt Disney.