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Literature / Bad Influences

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Bad Influences is a Blog Fiction. It is told through a set of four interconnected character blogs.

It is a Near Future Disaster Fiction, set in 2026 (thirteen years in the future, at time of posting) and blogged in Real Time. It follows the devastating spread of a fatal pandemic flu virus. 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. Readers are encouraged to sign up to participate in the comments in-character and become part of the story.


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 keep 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.

As each character's individual story unfolds, a fifth story emerges in the comments concerning their influence on one another and the nature of online friendship and communication.


This show provides examples of:

  • Apocalyptic Log: This is effectively the central premise. There are explanations of how the internet remains functional, provided the characters can find the means to power a device that can connect to it.
  • Just Before the End: The apocalypse is ongoing throughout rather than immediate, so we get to see a Depopulation Bomb in progress rather than coming in afterwards.
  • The Plague: The quick-spreading H5N1-like strain of bird flu is referred to by a few names before being dubbed "Blood Flu".


Episodes of this series provide examples of: