The Happiness Monster

The Happiness Monster

927 Reads 21 Votes 24 Part Story
Ieva Melgalve By IevaMelgalve Completed

He was born in a utopian society where everybody works together to ensure fair distribution of happiness for all the people. However, he is... different. His callousness, lack of empathy and troubling disregard for happiness of others makes him an outcast in his world.
She was born in a merchant's family and took off before her wedding to become a tech-hunter instead. A hundred scars later, she has realized that it was a mistake; and one that she cannot fix, not easily.

When I was a child, I was convinced that there is a limited amount of happiness in the world; that every time when I was unhappy somebody else was a little bit happier, and every time when I was happy somebody got a bit more miserable. 

Flash forward to utilitarianism, to "Moral Tribes" by John Greene: "..for a utilitarian, the ideal world is one in which everyone is maximally happy, including the baddies. In fact, the ideal utilitarian punishment system is one in which punishments are convincingly faked rather than actually delivered. In an ideal utilitarian world, convicts would be sent to a happy place where they can't bother anyone, while the rest us believe that they're suffering, the better to keep us on our best behavior."

The idea was so outlandish and so perfectly SF-ish, in a "what could possibly go wrong?" way, that I thought of a prison planet Miasma almost immediately. And then added things, like bacterial enhancements that can change people's physiology just about in any way imaginable (and are not *that* far fetched). And then threw in intelligent alien life. That is kind of cute. And some weird sexual customs. And....

And then I ended up with a couple of notebooks full of NaNo-scribble, a realization that the story is sprawling in all directions, that it is this weird glob of "something" that is equal parts fun and unpredictable, and that I have always wanted to do serialized fiction.