One of these days, I need to get some business cards made. They’ll read “Stephen L. Thompson – Professional Dreamer and Destroyer of Worlds.” The Professional Dreamer part is because I feel deep down writers are dreamers who, hopefully, get paid for their dreams. (But will I have to wait until I’m a professional writer to be a “professional” dreamer?) The Destroyer of Worlds comes from the fact, not to brag, that with my bare hands I’ve driven humanity to extinction – twice. At least twice. That’s where the conundrum comes in. In one of the stories I’m working on, a character from the distant future casually remarks that these aliens will exterminate humanity a few thousand years from now. Does that count? Can I now say that with my bare hands I’ve driven humanity to extinction – thrice? (Actually, because of other stories, the number would be higher.) Do I have to write a story with the details of how humanity becomes extinct for my genocide to count, or can it just be mentioned in passing?
In case you’re wondering, I don’t always lay waste to the species. In some stories I only kill a billion or so. 😛