I thought of a book wherein someone is thinking about refrigerators and how absurd it would be to set up a little propane=>electricity generator to run the refrigerator. Fire to cool (absorption refrigeration). Of course, there are other ways to generate electricity that don’t involve fire. The real question for this hypothetical character is how can we make the idea of refrigeration not require power, except maybe to jump start the system. Is self-sustaining refrigeration possible in an environment with more heat energy than that which is wanted inside the refrigerated space? What kind of process could essentially draw the kinetic energy out of the system? Heat is motion. How can the motion in an enclosure be used to draw the motion out of the enclosed? Perhaps a sound onion layering to within that somehow sets up a pull from above on below.
Although the ideas involved with solving that problem are interesting in their own right, I then went on to imagine a world in which this character solves the problem. But with a tiny caveat: the process can accelerate wildly out of control and ultimately consume the entire universe; Earth would last around 72 hours.
The book would be about the effects of the metaphysical implications of the meaning of the solution as they dawn on him and spill over out into the world like or no.
The story doesn’t have to be simple.
It’s a story ultimately about the human condition.
This story is suggested to me by current events. The refrigeration solution is encountered by each person at birth and there are many choices to make and courses to take as we navigate the full implications of the meaning of our nature.