Years ago, i had an idea for a short story. Set in some unspecified not-too-near future, it was based on efforts to deal with a severely overpopulated world by colonising another habitable planet that had been found. The problem was that the other planet was already occupied, by a civilisation that had fairly advanced weapons and was rather resistant to the idea of being dispossessed of their home. After many years, with the cost of the war ballooning out of control, the government decided to take a new tack - making use of the one resource it had an excess of. Instead of pouring more money into weapons, provisions and equipment, it decided to just overwhelm and wear down the alien defenders through sheer force of numbers. Through mass conscription, particularly of the unemployed and petty criminals, they could solve two problems at once.
The key scene of the story, and the mental image from which the idea started, was a trainload of conscripts arriving at what they thought was to be a basic training camp, being ushered through a mustering area where they were handed makeshift weapons - axes, clubs, rusty kitchen knives - and then sent charging, perhaps at gunpoint, through a stargate-like portal right into the thick of battle on the alien world. The carnage was terrible, with the human invaders being slaughtered en masse, but they just kept coming and, little by little, took a toll on the defenders.
I had a basic idea of the story worked out, told from the perspective of a young conscript and (what would be revealed to be) an alien soldier on the front line, but i never got around to putting pen to paper, perhaps because i decided the 'twist' was kind of cliched.
I had forgotten all about the idea until this week, when someone on Facebook posted a link to this:
I guess that would make my story obsolete.