A while ago I wrote a short story called "Imitation Joe" that really didn't come off very well. I essentially had half an idea, that an alien gelatinous creature essentially devours a man and then recreates that man, including all his memories and emotions and mannerisms, etc. Sort of an extreme version of a Turing Test: given that everything about this man was the same as it had been before being devoured, was he the same man? Or had the original version of himself died and was this merely a copy, an imitation? Sort of like the argument behind the transporters on Star Trek: do they kill the person each time they transport him or her, and is the person who is assembled at the destination merely a copy of the original?
And if so, does it matter?
So, I had this half-an-idea and suddenly decided to really flesh it out and extend it beyond the original story. I am now turning it into what I suspect will be a novella, or maybe even the beginnings of a novel, which I am calling "I, Me, We, Us" or maybe something like "Imeweus" to give it a less obvious title...
The concept here is that the alien entity winds up combining it's "self" with the "self" of the human, breaking down and then reconstructing everything about the human, who experiences every moment of the process - or seems to; I intend to make that rather vague - so there is a clear continuation of "self" during the metamorphosis into the alien/human hybrid...or perhaps a better word is the alien version of the human.
There's more to it, as well. The gelatinous alien is a single entity split into essentially an infinite number of shards that then merge with other life-forms, absorbing their identities and experiences, and if/when these re-merge with other shards, the experiences are shared, so the main characters also have memories of aliens who were absorbed, even entire species who were absorbed by the alien entity.
The alien entity is also possibly the first actual intelligence to have emerged in the universe, on the first habitable planet that the universe created.
It's a fun idea that I've decided to take as far as my imagination will let me!